In his book "10 Questions to Answer after Serving a Mission," Benjamin Hyrum White has gathered together a host of talks, research and articles written by general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help a returned missionary focus and find direction at a time when he or she may be feeling uncertain.
The book features an introduction from Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and throughout the pages is advice from LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson; Elder David A. Bednar, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and men and women who have been in church, government and business positions.
While the book has plenty of good advice and wise direction for any newly returned missionary, there isn't really anything fresh or groundbreaking.
The "10 Questions" cover choosing a new wardrobe now that the full-time mission is over, choosing good friends, staying clean and following the principles of "Preach My Gospel" in daily living.
White addresses avoiding debt and promotes living providently and finishing educational goals, among other topics. He suggests that returned missionaries perform "spiritual calisthenics" every day by praying and studying scripture and fully embracing the doctrine of conversion.
He also emphasizes the need for a Mormon returned missionary to be willing to date and to seek a serious relationship, but he points out that no mission president has gone on record as advising a returned missionary to marry within six months of his or her return.
White spends a good deal of the book clarifying what chastity is and stressing the need to establish and keep high standards until marriage.
He addresses sensitive topics such as same-sex attraction and sexual abuse. He doesn't shy away from anything, but nothing in the book is offensive.
He effectively covers most of the territory that pertains to a missionary trying to get his footing in the real world, but, again, this book acts more as a collection of valuable resources than a font of new material.
White is a seminary teacher who has master's and bachelor's degrees from Brigham Young University and served a mission in Denver, Colorado. The Utah County resident is married and regularly speaks at Especially for Youth conferences and BYU Education Week.
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.