WAY TO BE!: Nine Ways to Be Happy and Make Something of Your Life

Gordon B. Hinckley, Author, Steve Young, Foreword by . Simon & Schuster $14.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7432-3830-4

The nonagenarian president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers young adults optimistic, down-to-earth advice in this inspirational gift book. In short chapters that are especially directed at teens, Hinckley presents "nine suggestions gleaned from more than nine decades of living": young people should be grateful, smart, involved, clean, true, positive, humble, still and prayerful. The tone will be familiar to those who enjoyed Hinckley's 2000 book Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes; even the virtues themselves are very similar. As before, Hinckley shares simple but meaningful stories from his own life, concentrating mostly here on anecdotes from his childhood on a fruit farm. Although Hinckley's chief role is as a Mormon prophet, his folksy advice is virtually indistinguishable from that found in other Christian self-help books: he lauds Jesus Christ as "the Savior, who is the perfect example in all things," discusses the importance of not taking the Lord's name in vain and argues for daily prayer. He also adopts conservative stands on social issues, eschewing pornography, tattoos, drugs and premarital sex. Some readers may wish for more, since the book feels a bit thin on the ground; young women, also, may wish that Hinckley had more consistently employed gender-inclusive language. In all, however, this heartfelt, homespun primer on spiritual values is well crafted for its intended audience of young Christians, Mormon or otherwise. (Aug.)

Forecast:Hinckley's bestseller Standing for Something has sold more than half a million copies, a number that was nearly matched by his 2001 devotional Stand a Little Taller. Expect strong sales for this—a natural gift book.

Reviewed on: 07/22/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-2720-0
Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-0-7432-4787-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-2719-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6872-2
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