We live in an age of polemics. Choices are presented as mutually exclusive and we are given little time to listen. You are either secular or religious. You either believe in the exclusive truth of your own religion or you believe that truth is everywhere, or nowhere. The battle over truth rages on.
But what if truth were a child?
With how much more care and humility would we speak and act if truth was not the result of some war of wills, but a flesh-and-bone living child, a living soul? Something that couldn’t be owned or divided up into broken pieces but was instead something we must learn to gather and keep together with love? In these thirteen essays, George B. Handley charitably invites us to put away the false “traditions of the fathers” while seeking to “lay hold of every good thing” wherever it may be found in the world (D&C 93:39; Moroni 7:19).
If Truth Were a Child exemplifies how education in the Humanities can enrich our pursuit of truth and increase our faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s the latest offering in the Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith book series.
About the Author
George B. Handley teaches interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University, where he also serves as the associate director of the Faculty Center. He received his BA from Stanford University and his MA and PhD in comparative literature at UC Berkeley. His scholarly publications and creative writing focus on the intersection between religion, literature, and the environment. His most recent books include the memoir Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River, a collection of essays entitled Learning to Like Life: A Tribute to Lowell Bennion, and the novel American Fork.
“George Handley, one of the Latter-day Saint tradition’s most gifted writers, desires to build a culture worthy of its revealed truths—and this work is a step in that direction. It is a searchingly honest examination of the disciple’s quest, viewed through his own yearnings and failures—and small victories—along the way. A provocative call to the heart and mind alike.”
—Terryl Givens, coauthor (with Fiona Givens) of The God Who Weeps and The Christ Who Heals
“In our rancorous era of polarization, If Truth Were a Child arrives as a breath of fresh air. George Handley calls us to a better version of ourselves, one characterized by capacious curiosity, serious moral engagement, compassionate critique, and most of all reconciling love. This is a wise and generous book that presents a model of being deeply Latter-day Saint in a pluralistic world, a vision that is both humanely religious and religiously humane.”
—Patrick Q. Mason, author of Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt
“Drawing incisive connections between various aspects of Latter-day Saint life and thought that initially strike his reader as counterintuitive, Handley helpfully illuminates how Latter-day Saints today might live and believe with greater compassion, charity, and insight.“
—Deidre Nicole Green, author of Works of Love in a World of Violence