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THE ESSENCE OF GREATNESS,” by Hank Smith, Covenant Communications, $11.99, 60 minutes

In educator Hank Smith’s new audio CD presentation “The Essence of Greatness,” he borrows a concept (for which he gives credit) from business researcher James Collins, the author of the book “Good to Great.” Collins explains in his book the steps of how a company can move from being just good to being great.

Smith applies this business concept to human beings trying to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. He answers the question, how can teenagers go from being just good to being great?

To underscore his good to great premise, Smith quotes the late Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who said, “Kindness is the essence of greatness.”

With a good old-fashioned message for teens that parents will wholeheartedly approve, Smith explains that how we treat each other during our time here on earth is vital: “If you are building others, you are building the kingdom of God,” he said.

A wonderful anecdote Smith shares on the CD to illustrate his point of treating each other kindly is the true story of Bishop DavidMusselman. The LDS bishop in Taylorsville, disguised himself as a homeless person and attended his Sunday services to see how people would react. He explains that some people ignored him, were kind to him and outright told him to leave. It’s a thought-provoking story that makes one wonder “What would I do?” in the same situation.

Asking the question, “How do you truly see other people?” Smith drives home the point that some of us struggle living the gospel principle that stresses the importance of taking care of our fellowman. Many of us are caught up with a focus on ourselves, and not the welfare of others, says Smith.

Appropriate for children, teens and adults, “The Essence of Greatness” is great for teaching values that inspire one to become a better person. Smith, who teaches in Brigham Young University’s Religion Department and is an Especially for Youth and BYU Education Week speaker, uses his trademark humor and captivating stories to teach principles that make people stop and think and desire to make a change.



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