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An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown Paperback – 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"Insightful" --Gracia Jones, St. George Daily Spectrum

From the Publisher

"While I believe all that God has revealed, I am not quite sure I understand what he has revealed, and the fact that God has promised further revelation is to me a challenge to keep an open mind and be prepared to follow wherever my search for truth may lead ... And while all Mormons should respect , support, and heed the teachings of the authorities of the church, no one should accept a statement and base his or her testimony upon it, no matter who makes it ..." Hugh B. Brown
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Signature Books; 1st edition (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560851236
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560851233
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Hugh B. Brown was a member of the First Presidency of the LDS church during the 1960's under President David O. McKay. This was an explosive time for the church and the world but President Prown was a steadying hand. His warmth and depth of thought come across well in this memoir which was assembled after his death by his grandson, Edwin D. Firmage. President Brown said, "One of the most important things in the world is freedom of the mind; from this all other freedoms spring. Such thinking is necessarily dangerous, for one cannot think right without running the risk of thinking wrong, but generally more thinking is the antidote for the evils that spring from wrong thinking." His legacy of tolerance and charity is important, and is brought to vivid life in this book.
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An Abundant Life is both a pleasent, nostalgic read, and a profoundly insightful book. The life of Hugh B. Brown is one of remarkable faith and dedication, not to mention sacrifice, to the Church to which he belonged. But it was the mind and spirit of the man that drew people to him, and that spirit would be welcome in today's church. The final chapter of the Memoirs, entitled "A Final Testimony" is a most beautiful statement regarding the importance of individual members using the power of their minds in discerning truth for themselves, rather than relying on the words of their leaders. Further, his was a mission of compassion, not personal agrandizement. He measured the merits of both his politics and his religion on how well they treated the poor. If all members of the church thought as he did, there indeed would be room for everyone...
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Up until a few months ago I knew very little about Hugh B. Brown. I knew the name, but only because of a few quotes peppered throughout Sunday School manuals. This is probably the case for most sub-40 year-old Latter-day Saints. That obscurity is truly a shame for I think this humble servant would have been more at home in 2009 than in 1969.

My interest in this memoir came about through reading David O. Mckay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Greg Prince. That truly outstanding book paints a detailed backdrop for the world in which Hugh B. Brown existed. President Brown was a pioneer in so many ways. Two pioneering positions were an unwavering desire to lift the priesthood ban and emeritus status for General Authorities. Both were realized only after his passing, and the latter was only partially enacted. It is important to note that on the subject of the priesthood ban being lifted there were likely others that shared his opinion (e.g. Spencer W. Kimball). Yet it seems apparent that nobody was quite as vocal as President Brown.

I would highly recommend that the reader finish the David O. Mckay biography before reading An Abundant Life. Not that the two can't stand independent of one another, but because doing so will give you yet another insight into President Brown's character. In An Abundant Life, President Brown makes references to people and events that were difficult and controversial. Yet he never personally attacks anyone. Rather he shows tremendous compassion, willingness to forgive, and a comprehension that both sides shoulder blame. The DOM biography tells those stories from a more detached, historical perspective.

For me personally, the most impactful part of this book was President Brown's unwavering commitment to truth - wherever it led him.
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Brown is one of my heroes in Mormonism - a deep thinker, not afraid to challenge tradition, and tolerate of those who are different. This collection of memoires is short, but sweet. Anyone who's a Mormon Democrat, liberal, square peg in a church of round holes, or outside-of-the-box type will find his perspectives refreshing. The final anachronistic sections in this collection are full of statements and assertions of compassion and open-mindedness that are gems.
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It is of a life not studied or remembered by many. It is well written with his own words for a source.
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