I had the rare and amazing opportunity to interview author Robert L. Millet about his newest book Coming to Know Christ in his BYU office last month. In his latest work published July 12, 0212 by Deseret Book, Millet explores what it means to worship.
Tell us what you were hoping to accomplish with Coming to Know Christ and a little about the book:
“As a priesthood leader I saw a lot of anxiety and depression from members of the church who are fixated and focused on right behavior… on the exterior- what shows. Those who worry too much about externals or external measure of righteousness serve a mission, get married and then ask what now? They see these actions as ends instead of means to an end to come to know Christ. So much more than that we need to come to know God and ask “how’s my character doing? To what extent am I embodying Christlike virtues?” Much of the book deals with these questions: what is worship? Am I coming to know the Lord? It is addressing the Old Testament dilemma found in Matthew 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you.”
I’ve thought a lot about the billboard “Jesus is the answer” What are the questions that Jesus is the answer to? There’s a chapter that addresses that as well as the concept of having accomplished a great deal but not having a transformation of the soul.”
Brother Millet left me pondering my own life and character. His book makes reference to several hymns which influence his life. Since his father was a DJ, so a young Millet spent many hours in the studio with him and was exposed to many types of music. One of his favorite hymns is #221 “Dear To The Heart of The Shepard” about those who wander. Interestingly enough, this is the topic of one of his books When a Child Wanders and he’s currently working on a project for what to do when a parent wanders in response to an email he received from one of his readers. Brother Millet often chooses inspiration for future projects by wandering bookstores (which are his favorite place to be) and asking “what is missing?” “What needs to be written?” He also uses past talks which he saves and files away for future use. Among his favorite new books is The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Our Hearts and Homes by James E. Ferrell.
This authors advice to those going through the process of getting published is to allow the editors to do their jobs realizing that many things may need to be changed. When he is finished writing a manuscript he completely walks way for a while and then revisits it with a fresh eye. Brother Millet expressed appreciation for a wonderful editor who is not afraid to speak her mind and offer advice about how to better his written work.
Brother Millet’s motto in life is printed and displayed in his office…the quote, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words” which is commonly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. His hero, his father was an exemplary teacher . “He always made everyone about themselves, he had a way with people. More important than the lesson he taught was the way the people being addressed came away feeling.”
I personally came away feeling edified and uplifted after talking to Professor Millet and know he is walking in his Father’s footsteps. I am grateful for opportunity Deseret Book afforded me to meet and interview him. I finished Coming To Know Christ last night. I would recommend it to all as a guidebook with thoughtful chapters about in refining ones character. He teaches us to do more than profess we are followers of Christ in word. Each of us must show we are Christian in our deeds, in who we are at our core. Brother Millet leaves a reader to ask “what about my character?” “Do I know Him?” and most importantly “does He know me?”
Book Summary from Deseretbook.com: Becoming more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—spiritually more attentive, personally more sensitive, more tender, more gracious—ought to be the desire of every Latter-day Saint. But how can we accomplish that?
In this thoughtful volume and with his warm, accessible style, author Robert L. Millet shares poignant stories and fresh scriptural and doctrinal insights to help us feel our Savior’s love and realize that He stands ready to assist us in coming to know Him.
Brother Millet’s heartwarming reflections on what it means to worship Christ and to trust in Him and in His grace renew in us a desire to stay focused on our Savior through all the ups and downs of daily life. Insights into how much Christ loves us and how He can lift us up to where He is strengthen our commitments to Him.
Throughout, Brother Millet conveys his deep witness of the essential truth that eternal life consists of knowing God and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Coming to Know Christ invites us to experience what it means to know our Lord—not just know about Him but how to come to know Him, our Savior and our Redeemer.
About the Author: Robert L. Millet is Abraham O. Smoot University Professor and professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. He taught with LDS Seminaries and Institutes before joining the BYU faculty in 1983.
Brother Millet has served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a bishop, stake president, temple worker, and member of the Church Materials Evaluation Committee. He is a popular speaker and prolific writer whose recent books include talking with God, Men of Valor, Men of Influence, Are We There Yet? and When a Child Wanders. He is a coauthor of the landmark volume LDS Beliefs: A Doctrinal Reference with Camille Fronk Olson, Andrew C. Skinner, and Brent L. Top.
Brother Millet and his wife, Shauna, reside in Orem, Utah. They are the parents of six children and grandparents of ten.
The Giveaway: We have two hardback copies of Coming To Know Christ to giveaway to our U.S. readers courtesy of Deseret Book. To enter to win, simply leave a comment in this post. We will announce the two winners to be randomly drawn from the comments on July 30, 2012.