Sunday, June 8, 2014

Books that changed my life

I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember and I’ve read far more books than I ever could remember.  As an adult, though, I’ve read a few books that have stuck out in my mind because they changed me in significant ways.  I thought I’d write a bit about them.  [I am deliberately not including the scriptures, though they have and do change me regularly.]

The Divine Center by Steven Covey –I read this book during the time we lived in Pocatello, probably when I was about 24 or 25.  The concept that we can only successfully center our lives on Christ is still something I think about regularly.  The really important thing for me in this book though was his writing about scripture study. The things he said changed the way I thought about scripture study forever.

Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson—I can still remember the issue of the Ensign that had the article by him that later became his book.  The idea that it was not enough to believe in Christ, but that we must also believe Him, that he can and will save us, was amazing to me.  I of course had never thought of Christ in this way, and it was the beginning of a new understanding of and appreciation for grace and the atonement.  I read this in the first couple of years that we lived in North Carolina, so I was probably 27 or so.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman—One of my friend told me one day about a class her sister had taught in Relief Society about a new book.  As my friend described these different “love languages” everything she said made so much sense to me.  I read the book as quickly as I could get it and felt like it helped me understand myself and my family so much better.  I think I was 28 or 29 at this point.

Leadership and Self-Deception and The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Foundation—One year I was in Utah and my sister offered to loan me Leadership and Self Deception.  I was so impressed that I bought The Anatomy of Peace as soon as it was published.  These books helped me see myself and my relationships to other people in such a different way.  I am often not successful in living the principles in these books, but it sure is a noble goal to be working towards.  I think I read these books when I was about 37 and 42.

Real Love by Greg Baer—I blogged here about my experiences with Real Love.  I still try to live by these principles and they have made such a difference in my life.  I’m far from perfect at loving unconditionally, but in the places where I have really made a big effort in my life I have seen wonderful results.  I think I was between 38 and 40 when I first was introduced to Real Love.


  1. What a fun post! :D I haven't read two of these so I'm excited to read them.

  2. I've read The 5 love languages and it completely changed my world. It has been so much easier to relate to my entire family and understand what they need to feel love. Jeremy has a love language not even in the stratosphere of mine (words of affirmation) so I always try to pause and focus on that every once in a while. I then read his 5 love languages for children which also helped because it was a different perspective than your mate. It would definitely be on my list too!
    I also read the Anatomy of Peace...well I should say I'm reading it. I'm maybe a third of the way through. I'm reading it in conjunction with 'The majesty of calmness' (which is also pretty cool, btw)
    Leadership and self deception is amazing also. It's actually a must read in our house. We have like 3 copies hanging out. The example that I always think about is the man laying in bed with the baby crying in the next room. It's soooo something that happens and it completely changed my perspective on how to be focused less internally. Really a great book.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I need to add a couple of these to my to-read list.