Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Brothers by Chris Stewart

My friend Heather recommended the Great and Terrible 6 part series. I just finished the first book called The Brothers and was blown away. In this first book the LDS (short for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) author, Chris Stewart, has taken our beliefs of the premortal world (aka our spiritual existence before we came to earth) and added fictional characters to tell a more vivid story. In the LDS church we believe that before we came to earth we lived in heaven. Our Heavenly Father presented us all with a plan to come to earth, gain a body and experience life in a way we couldn't in heaven with only our spirits. Our eldest brother Jesus Christ volunteered to come to earth and lead the perfect example and die for us that we may return back to the presence of the Father but wanted us to have our agency to choose for ourselves.  Our other brother Lucifer also volunteered but his plan was to take agency away from us and force us all to live perfectly on earth under his rule and glory. We were all then faced with a choice. We all chose to follow Jesus. But some chose to follow Lucifer. This time of picking sides is referred to as the war in heaven. Lucifer aka Satan and his followers could not stay in heaven and did not get to come to earth and receive a body. We don't have all the details or know what life was totally like in heaven, but I believe we were excited to follow Jesus and excited to come to earth. SO, this is the time frame of the first book. It was so cool to have kind of a different picture painted for my imagination on something I have been taught and believed all my life. It really made me think deeper about what life could have really been like there and maybe the struggle some people had with choosing which brother to follow.
Here are a few thoughts I had while reading and quotes I enjoyed:
1. I wonder if I sat with the Father and was shown what my life was going to be like on earth. Was I scared of the trials I would face or did they seem much smaller because I was still in heaven and could see the bigger picture? Did the Father have to comfort me and promise not to give me more than I could handle or did he smile at my confidence that I could handle it all?
2. "When it comes to talents, I wish all of Father's children could be just a little more like Beth: not afraid of failing, not embarrassed for their weakness, not so prideful in their efforts to improve." Could you imagine how much better and kinder we all would be if we had those talents. If we would try anything even if we knew we would fail.
3. "Many of our brothers and sisters are simply not that interested in the battle for good. Many will pretend and say the right words; some will commit, but then quickly fall away; others will go through the motions only to please their family and friends. But in the end, when it's over, few will have the faith to make the sacrifices that are required to stand next to Christ." When the time came to choose, where was my conviction? Did I jump right away at the chance to follow Christ? Did I have to think about it? Did I do what my friends and family were doing? I would like to believe that it wasn't hard for me. I believe I was a follower of Christ from the beginning.