A welcome and timely contribution coinciding with the Church's ongoing discussion of Sabbath day observance, Huntsman brings his trademark ecumenicism and "holy envy" to bear on a vital subject. Conscientious readers will appreciate frequent references not just to other Christian worship practices, but to our Jewish and Muslim friends as well. With characteristic erudition and down-to-earth sincerity, Huntsman's latest work will encourage and enable you to encounter God in more meaningful and rewarding ways. Highly recommended.
As stunningly displayed with the use of an iceberg on the front cover, Huntsman's newest work provides his reader with the opportunity to delve below the service with regard to the often referenced, but seldom understood, concept of worship. Those familiar with Huntsman's previous publications that have focused on better understanding the life of the Savior and the writings of the New Testament will find that, while there is a familiar voice resonating on each of the pages of this work, the focus is much more on applying concepts to one's own life rather than better understanding scripture. This is especially poignant with regard to Huntsman's employment of personal experiences from his own life and the lives of many he has had the opportunity to associate with in his extensive travels and studies.
Huntsman masterfully weaves a tapestry of understanding by looking at how Latter-day Saints worship through the lens of religious traditions that have existed for hundreds of years. The central focus of the work is to assist Latter-day Saints in their personal worship of Jesus Christ by helping them see how why they are encouraged to worship, how they worship, and ways to improve their efforts in worshiping with meaning and purpose. Additionally, this work helps Latter-day Saints see the results of improving their worship activities.
While the work itself can be used in multitudinous ways to enhance one's ability to worship the Savior as a Latter-day Saint, I appreciated the work because it helped me to see a path by which my worship could be improved. Having not only read the book, but by applying the principles it outlines, I have not only found a drastic improvement in how I worship on the Sabbath, in my home, with my family, and at the temple, but I have seen an increase in the results that such acts of worship provide. I feel that I am a better man, husband, father, and Latter-day Saint because of Huntsman's work and highly recommend it to any who are looking to make the most of their regular experiences to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
Huntsman's new book continues his trend of writing honest, scholarly work that is approachable for any lay member. The book's purpose is to encourage and help the reader enhance their own worship, devotion, and personal religious experience. Huntsman wonderfully blends Christian, Jewish, and Muslim worship traditions to help deepen the religious experience. As with his other books, he often gives examples from his personal life in how he has enriched his worship experience. "Worship" does not tell the reader how to worship; rather, it aims to educate the reader about other worship traditions to help the reader develop a deeper sense of worship themselves. If you have read Huntsman's pervious books, "Worship" will come as a ready addition. If you haven't read any of Huntsman's books, "Worship" is a great place to start. Not only will you come away with a deeper appreciation of other religious traditions, but you will also be able to enhance and evolve your own religious tradition. I highly recommend this book.
Though most members of the church are familiar with the concept of worship, for many it can be difficult to keep worship from becoming a rote practice, rather than the transformative experience that it should be. Huntsman’s latest book seeks to address this concern by providing a wealth of resources that can be employed to deepen our devotion and focus our worship. By devoting a chapter each to the subjects of prayer, ordinances, holy places, sacred time, scripture, and music, Huntsman provides a myriad of ways to help make worship more meaningful.
Though Huntsman spends most of his time focusing on how Latter-day Saints can enhance their own worship practices, the discussion is placed within a broader religious context. He draws heavily from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions to illustrate what we can learn from other faiths. For example, Huntsman borrows the Jewish concept of intentionality or “kavanah,” (“directing the heart and mind towards God”) to illustrate the importance of focusing our worship, and explains the distinction between two different types of prayer in the Muslim tradition to describe the various levels of depth that are possible when communicating with God. Huntsman occasionally draws from beyond western religion as well, such as when he references mindfulness and awareness, core concepts in eastern traditions. This comparative approach to worship is sorely needed in an age of religious pluralism and cultural globalization, and will hopefully promote a greater sense of connectedness with our brothers and sisters of other traditions.
Huntsman continues to be a trailblazer when it comes to illustrating that scholarly and faithful perspectives are not mutually exclusive. The nature of this book required Huntsman to draw from an even wider range of scholarly fields than we have seen in his previous books that focused more squarely on the Bible, and the lengthy endnotes and bibliography illustrate the amount of research that went into this work. Because he draws so heavily from scripture to illustrate examples of proper worship, there was still ample opportunity to exhibit the command of biblical scholarship that he is known for, however. And those who enjoy the other aspects of Huntsman’s writings that have also come to define his work, such as his use of anecdotes to relate personal experiences or his reference to hymns drawn from the entire Christian tradition, will not be disappointed. This book would make an excellent addition to any Latter-day Saint library.