“Blessed: The Beatitudes and the Christlike Life” by Lloyd D. Newell and Mary Jane Woodger is an invitation to study the Beatitudes from a variety of perspectives and apply the principles taught in our modern-day lives.
“Although given two thousand years ago to his chosen Apostles, these words stand the tests of time, temptation, and opposition," Newell writes the first chapter. "True believers in all generations who desire discipleship internalize the Beatitudes today.”
Eight chapters, each exploring one of the Beatitudes in-depth, are bookended by the first chapter, which introduces what the Beatitudes are, and a closing chapter titled “Ye Are the Salt of the Earth.”
Each chapter heading cites the scripture reference for the beatitude and ends with a section that shares what the scriptures say about the quality being studied. For example, the section about mercy is followed by suggestions of how to practice that quality in everyday life. Black-and-white pullout quotes featuring memorable statements illustrate the book. The authors wrote alternating chapters.
The authors, with the help of a staff of research assistants, have created a wonderful study resource full of thought-provoking insights based on statements from modern and ancient prophets and apostles, as well as current Christian scholars. It would complement study of the current curriculum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints focused on the New Testament.
The book’s small physical size belies its hefty spiritual content. This is a book to be read in small, thoughtful bites over a period of time. It is available in hard copy, digital and CD formats.
Both authors are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and graduates of Brigham Young University in Provo. Newell, announcer and writer for “Music and the Spoken Word,” well-known speaker and author of many books and articles, is currently a BYU professor of religious education. A Utah native, Woodger is a BYU professor of Church History and Doctrine who has written many books and articles on a variety of church topics.