Anna M. Webb
Deseret Book (Salt Lake City), 1994. Hardcover:
Suggested retail price: $14.95 (US)
This is a fine compilation of addresses by a modern Latter- Day Saint woman. Sister Okazaki succinctly and simply beckons all to come unto Christ in her new book, Aloha. Her personal and practical perceptions of living the gospel of Jesus Christ are appealing and enticing. The messages contained in this collection are delightful, genuine experiences of real people in real-life situations. She includes accounts ranging from first and second grade children's letters to God to accounts about her husband Ed Okazaki and Mother Theresa.
Sister Okazaki's style is clear and well thought out. Her word choice is refreshing. For example, she states, "We need to stretch toward Christ, and in doing so we will find that our capacity increases" (9). Furthermore, she declares, "We must cling to Christ with all of the energy and power of our heart, might, mind and strength" (21). In her concluding remarks she asserts, ". . . and we can build our faith in Christ until it is unshakeable and unconquerable" (228).
While I feel uneasy criticizing Sister Okazaki's work, it might be argued that her motivational rhetoric, while new and refreshing, is still speaking only to a very specific female audience. With much respect, I mean to suggest that her "general authority" status seems to restrain her from discussing other pressing matters for Mormon women today. As a final little grumble, I question the availability of her message to all. At $14.95 I worry about her good message reaching those in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and even South America. The Saints in those far away places seem to be the ones that really stand in need of hearing from one of our finest female authors.
© 1995 Anna M. Webb