Top critical review
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Short and readable, but should still be shorter
on May 27, 2014
"Your Endowment" covers the basics of LDS temple ordinances in light of Old Testament traditions and modern revelation. The author aims both to introduce prospective templegoers to the temple ordinance and enhance the understanding of those who have already been. Given the reverent manner required to approach these subjects, the author does an admirable job and largely succeeds. The first several chapters are strong and tightly written. They will not likely present the Latter-day Saint reader with any new information, but the information is organized in such a way to help the reader apply them to understanding the temple ordinance. The content is well-sourced and light on speculation. These first chapters are lucid and insightful.
Unfortunately, chapters 6 and 7 tend to lack the focus of the earlier chapters. These chapters include extended personal anecdotes, mini-sermons on tithing and the Word of Wisdom - valuable topics, to be sure, but distracting to the stated purpose of the book. The section on worthiness particularly reads like an EFY talk, complete with sports analogies. In any other context these anecdotes may be entertaining, and the author is clearly a talented communicator, but the change in tone is unexpected and inappropriate.
Fortunately, the author rights his course in the final chapters, discussing symbols and additional Old Testament parallels with the same tight prose and focus as the earlier chapters. The book ends with a worthy summary of the key principles taught.
All in all, this book is a straightforward and concise introduction to the principles of the temple. It is less involved than other, longer works such as Boyd K. Packer's Holy Temple but provides more detail than one can reasonably piece together from conference talks and lesson manuals. Unfortunately, some weak material in the middle chapters disrupts the flow of the book. These chapters need to be revised, reworked, or removed altogether. An improved and more focused edition would easily garner four stars.