Chris Heimerdinger, widely known for his Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites” series, has recently released a new book entitled Muckwhip’s Guide to Capturing the Latter-Day Saint Soul. In the same vein as C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters”, Muckwhip’s Guide to Capturing the Latter-Day Saint Soul is a collection of e-mails sent from Muckwhip (the Viceroy of Vice) to his new apprentice. We read the messages of the mentor to the apprentice, teaching him how to tempt, distract, and in any other way lead his charge (a boy named Stuart Hansen) away from the straight and narrow. Focusing on three different phases of his life, we read about specific ways in which the advisory will attack his spirit as a youth, a missionary, and as a young husband and father. Geared specifically towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Muckwhip’s Guide (in addition to being highly entertaining and witty) makes us look at the world around us and at ourselves with new eyes, and we can’t help but ask ourselves “how am I being targeted by the enemy?
It’s funny how intellectually you know that no one is perfect and that everyone has things that they struggle with, but when you are battling your own “inner demons” the thought that anyone can know or understand what you are going through is laughable. There have been several times (and just recently in fact) that I would be struggling with a problem and be ashamed to reach out for help because I would think that anyone I talked to would judge me and my family. Once I was finally desperate enough to do so I was surprised and thrilled find that my misery was in good company, that nearly all of my friends or sisters would have dealt with whatever I was struggling with and could offer helpful suggestions or, at the very least, sympathy.
Reading Muckwhip’s Guide was a very similar experience. Over and over again I recognized the things that Muckwhip talked about. While the target in this book is male, I still was able to remember times when I struggled in similar ways as Stuart did as a youth. I recognized the struggles he had in his marriage and thought, “I thought it was just us!” For example, years ago Matt and I had more than one contentious conversation centered around his career. He wanted to pursue one career path, I wanted him to go in a different direction. At the time it never occurred to me that Satan was trying to drive a wedge between us. After months of arguing we ended up asking the Lord what He wanted us to do… turns out both options were wrong :)
Muckwhip’s Guide to Capturing the Latter-Day Saint Soul is a very entertaining and enlightening book full of insight as to how the adversary tries to manipulate us. I highly recommend it for people young and old… after all, Satan never stops trying.