Falling to Heaven: The Surprising Path to Happiness

by James L. Ferrell

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"When we are struggling, where is happiness actually to be found? What I have learned in response to this question has been one of the biggest surprises of my life." — James L. Ferrell

As incredible as it may sound, much of the sadness and frustration we feel in mortality is actually created by our well-meaning efforts to find happiness. Relief from this predicament can be found through a divine gospel paradox that rescues us from failed roads and puts us on the surprising path to happiness.

Through engaging stories and fresh, invigorating gospel insights, James Ferrell has written a book that challenges our unquestioned and perhaps mistaken assumptions about many of life's fundamental concerns. For example, what if happiness depends less on forgiving ourselves than on giving up that quest? What if repentance is even sweeter than forgiveness? What if neither happiness nor heaven can be reached by climbing?

Falling to Heaven is an account of a gospel that's specifically designed to change our minds and transform our hearts. It is an account of the truths of Christ that really do set us free.

Unabridged audio book

Product Details

Audiobook NarratorJames L. Ferrell
Runtime4 hours 2 minutes

About the Author

James L. Ferrell

James L. Ferrell was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Yale Law School and is a founding partner of the Arbinger Institute. He has authored several bestselling books, including The Peacegiver, The Holy Secret, and The Hidden Christ. and Jim and his wife, Jackie, are the parents of five children.

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Average rating:

(based upon 11 reviews)

Some good ideas, but some of his ideas are not quite right
By , Submitted on 2019-02-18

This book started out wonderful and had a lot of really great things and ideas, however, there were a few ideas and theories that he explained like they are proven facts that were just off. Especially in his ideas about how depression can be caused by pride, or being to worldly in the way they think. This author obviously has never had depression because you cannot just "pray yourself better" or be more humble or Christ-like to get rid of it. It is just as real as physical injuries and sicknesses. This book is enough to make someone depressed and those who are already depressed would feel worse. There are plenty of things that just do not line up with what we have been taught by the leaders. I dont really know why this book was published, but I would not recommend it because it is more off than it is right and can mislead and confuse people. I do, however, recommend "Silent Souls Weeping" especially for the author so he can learn more about depression and the struggle people face, it's a fantastic read!

After a testimony of the Book of Mormon, this book is a cure all for mental illness
By , Submitted on 2017-11-16

I have schizophrenia and depression and this book totally put things into perspective for me. I have tried to commit suicide twice. Now when I’m sad, Instead of comparing myself to others I rejoice because I realize it is an opportunity to humble myself and turn to Christ, and that accepting Christ’s mercy is a choice that you have to first believe in, and then allow into your heart. To those suffering with depression I totally reccomend this book, it answered all my questions about how to be happy. His other book the peacegiver brought me to Christ. This book taught me how to act after I found that faith in Christ. To those who let go of their pride, it is a cure all. Basically I was paranoid that the world was out to get me and that only added to my depression, making it more severe. But when I finally realized that suffering is a blessing my despair turned into hope, and that is all it takes. Just believe and Christ does the rest. This book taught me how to believe. Because of this author’s ability to help me understand Christ better, I have finally found an everlasting peace that I’m just starting to grasp and apply. I now know that Christ can heal me, I just have to believe. I’m now in remission from schizophrenia and depression.

By , Submitted on 2016-10-31

This book has amazing insights on accepting our own faults, but doesn't round it out by weighing different angles or perspectives than the author's own.

For instance, from a mental health perspective, it's iffy to imply that depression is solely caused by pride. As someone who has struggled with depression and feeling inferior, I agree completely that viewing ourselves from a worldly perspective does not help when assessing our worth. But once you use the word depression, you are entering a very sensitive area because there are those who are clinically depressed sometimes due simply to brain chemistry that they cannot completely control. Although they can try to manage it, it is a burden some are given to carry their whole lives, even if they are righteous. Jacob from the Book of Mormon seems to have been anxious and depressed.

The author says giving up is a form of pride. While I can see where he is coming from and find it to be a useful point of view even for those struggling with depression, again he does not round it out so as not to overwhelm certain readers who may have mental health issues that are incredibly challenging. When you are told your whole life that you are worthless you start to believe it. Checking your pride can help, but it is often not as simple as that.

The point he makes that we need to not ignore our weaknesses but be able to make ourselves see and accept them in order to change is wonderful. People who do not have that ability will really struggle with life, making it harder on themselves and those around them. But, while impressively insightful, he simultaneously doesn't often address the complexity of certain issues.

Thought provoking and insightful!
By , Submitted on 2015-07-21

I love this book. I have listened to it several times and planning on listening to it over and over again. It explains a very difficult paradox of life; mainly through humility we are raised up to Christ. Not a concept we normally think about. I would recommend this book to anyone who is earnestly seeking our Savior.

Gaining a deeper understanding of Christ's love.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Falling to Heaven is one of those books that you will want to pick up again and read a couple more times. This book has become a new favorite of mine that I can recommend to any friend or stranger. I personally learned more than I ever thought I could by reading this. James L. Ferrell really knows how to connect the reader with what is being written. He talks about the many paradoxes that are in our lives and how we can learn from them by applying them to our lives. I enjoyed reading every single page and could not wait to read what Ferrell was going to write next. He uses personal stories that clearly and simply model the topic that he is writing about and through these stories I am able to relate myself and my life to this book. Ferrell also uses many analogies that portray exactly what he wants you to see and understand. This book will be cherished in my home for a long time and I cannot wait to read it again. My testimony of the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown immensely by reading this book. I have a fuller understanding of the atonement and who I am as a child of God. Read this book; you will not regret it. You will learn a lot and enjoy every page.

Life Changing
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Falling to Heaven is amazing. There really is no other way to describe it. It’s one of those life changing books with layers of lessons that you will discover every time you read it.

You have to follow the Lord and only then will true joy find it’s way to you. You can’t force it. Only through service and humble submission to the Lord’s will will you ever find lasting happiness.

I can’t tell you how much I dislike the “self-help” formula for women these days, and I have mentioned several times that for many of the world’s women, even more “me time” is not necessarily the answer to why you are discontent with your life. Only by fully embracing your role as a woman, wife and/or mother will you feel relief. I’ve gotten a lot of flack for that kind of comment because people think that I am somehow saying that we women shouldn’t ever do anything for ourselves or that we should never take a break. I’m not saying that at all ...

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Insightful, uplifting - a message of hope
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Falling to Heaven is full of insights into the paradoxes of the Gospel of Christ. To find our self, we must lose our self. To be chief among (wo)men, we must be the servant of all. We are strongest when we are weak.

Ferrell takes his reader on a surprising pathway to happiness. A pathway that requires us to bow ourselves down, develop humility, and fall at the feet of our Savior.

I have spent the past decade of my life studying the science of happiness. None of the 'world's' strategies for happiness come close to the ideas in this book - and yet the principles in Falling to Heaven have left me feeling renewed and elevated, spiritually touched, and 'happier' than any of the typical happiness strategies offered by positive psychology.

I loved this book. I couldn't stop turning the pages to learn more. I am already looking forward to re-reading it (more slowly this time) with my wife and children.

This is a book that every follower of Christ should read. At least three times!

An Eye Opening Book
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Even after reading the first 50-75 pages of this book I really started to reconsider what I've been doing to be happy in my life. It's encouraged me to look at my relationship with Christ from a more hopeful perspective.

I've really benefited from the chapter where the author discusses the trend of comparing ourselves to friends, family, neighbors, etc. His analogies are clear, insightful and most importantly they have motivated me to make positive changes in the ways I look for happiness.

I even used some of the analogies in my Sunday School class yesterday!

Spiritually Heart Changing
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I was able to read an advance copy of this remarkable book. As Eleanor Roosevelt suggested "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people" This book elevated my mind to spiritual/intellectual/CHRIST centered ideas which are truly matters of my HEART. Many of the ideas shared in this book were butter to my soul. The honesty of the author's perspective invites a level of humility that I desperately welcome. Thank you James Ferrell. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!

Good ideas, but can be misleading
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This book starts with a great idea, but then spins it off in what might for some be a discouraging direction.

Some of the expressions and phrases the author uses directly conflict with what I've read in talks by apostles and Preach My Gospel. I don't think he intends to be discouraging at all, but it can easily be read this way.

If you're interested in this book, I'd recommend trying to read it with the Spirit, so you know which ideas are right for you to apply, and which are inappropriate for your circumstance.

Major paradigm shift between book bindings
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I can't begin to describe how important this book is to me. I've already given 4 copies away as gifts because I want to share this with everyone! I agree with James Ferrell, that most of us are slavishly laboring in an effort to find happiness, but our efforts are often the very thing keeping us from that result! His language is plain, direct, humble and laden with the Spirit. I believe that he has captured the essence of our true mission on Earth and cut past our usual to-do lists, even those good and better lists, to go straight for the best. At the same time, his approach is empathetic of our fallen nature and our human foibles and does not leave the reader feeling shamed or condemned. Just as if blinders have been taken off our eyes and a wonderful tool given by a loving friend to draw closer to Heavenly Father and to true joy. This book could remake the modern world, if enough eyes and hearts took it in.

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