Everyone goes through hard times in life. Some go through heart-wrenching moments when it feels like things are so dark and hopeless that they just want to give up. If you’ve ever felt that level of despair, Latter-day Saint author Steven Anthony Bishop has a message for you.
“The most troubled of souls may most often be the closest to salvation,” he writes in his book, ”Putting on Christ.”
More than just a feel-good religious book, “Putting on Christ” takes readers through the soul-searching process of coming to know their Savior through spiritual rebirth. Several reviewers have reaffirmed that the book doesn’t just teach you about Christ; it helps you to truly come to know him personally.
To illustrate how this can work, Bishop shares the stories of nine people who’ve been “born of God” through this very process. He describes these experiences as being “on par with many who have entered God’s presence through a near-death experience,” in the sense that people’s hearts were forever changed through having come to a perfect knowledge of God and of their own redemption in Christ..
It is Bishop’s hope that by reading these stories — along with adhering to the pertinent doctrine of Christ — readers can come to understand what the born again experience might feel or be like when they, too, take upon themselves the name of Christ through spiritual adoption. He highlights seven of these stories in chapter eight alone. From one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ earliest presidents to personal acquaintances, each of these accounts will brighten your faith in the Savior’s ability to fill the heaviest of hearts with a “perfect brightness” of hope.
Without spoiling the book, here’s a brief snippet from a few of these stories.
The witness of Lorenzo Snow
Bishop notes that of all the stories of spiritual rebirth in his book, Lorenzo Snow’s story resonates with and resembles Bishop’s own experience the most.
Snow described an experience within weeks of becoming a convert to the Church, and long before becoming its fifth president, that gave Snow a perfect knowledge of God’s reality. It was during a moment of personal prayer that he experienced “a tangible immersion in the heavenly principle or element, the Holy Ghost.”
“I knew that He had conferred on me what only an omnipotent can confer — that which is of greater value than all the wealth and honors worlds can bestow,” Snow stated in his account.
That one simple experience proved to be a pivotal moment in the life of the future prophet, and one which he would carry with him for the rest of his life.
Reaching a breaking point in prison
Another man shares his story of having made poor decisions that led him to cry out to God for help in a jail cell at just 18 years old.
“I placed my heart upon the altar of the Lord and asked for his help and mercy,” he says.
“Immediately the room filled with light and the presence of Jesus Christ, as if I could see him face to face, yet shrouded by the veil, came to me and my soul was filled with peace I cannot describe even to this day.”
Hope in the midst of despair
After the devastating loss of his son to suicide, one man desperately turned to God for help to overcome his pain.
“I began to cry to the lord from the depths of my agony. I was drowning in guilt, torment and grief. … I pleaded for help, like a person hanging on to the edge of a cliff, but without the strength to hold on one second more,” he shares.
“Just at the moment I was ready to give up, feeling totally and completely abandoned, hopeless and desperate, the most incredible miracle of my life occurred: The Lord spoke to me. His voice was clear, audible, and unmistakable. … I felt myself being lifted up out of hell, and filled with marvelous and indescribable feelings of peace and hope. It felt as if I had been spiritually reborn.”
Battling personal demons
A young sister missionary struggling with an eating disorder and perfectionist tendencies shared how the Lord lifted her through her darkest moments.
“It was as if [the Savior] were simply waiting for me to acknowledge myself that I needed power beyond my own, and permission for Him to heal me. He did not expect me to give anything I was not capable of giving,” she said.
“I gave everything I possessed and it was enough. That moment made every minute of my suffering and pain worth it. The joy was indescribable.”
Read the full stories in ‘Putting on Christ
These are just small previews of the stories you’ll read about when you pick up “Putting on Christ.” You can order a copy on the book’s website or on Amazon. The book recently came out in audio format and will soon be available in 10 languages.
“Putting on Christ” is an Amazon No. 1 National Bestseller in nine categories and is a top seller among Latter-day Saint-authored books on Amazon. All profits from the book will go toward remarketing the book as well as helping to feed and shelter the homeless.
In the words of the author, “The path is real and He is coming. Waste no time.” Pick up your copy of ”Putting on Christ” today!