Don F. Pickett explores correlations between nature and the nature of God in this theological treatise based on the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Pickett’s experience as a modern-day shepherd frames his discussion of the nature of God and how it takes a quiet mind to notice that “things both temporal and spiritual were created…to bear record of our Creator.” Throughout the Bible, he notes, God often chose the lowliest of society—mere shepherds—to play major roles: “He chose the young shepherd David as the king of Israel.” He appeared to “the shepherd Moses in the burning bush,” and He chose to reveal the birth of Jesus to “shepherds in the field.”
Brimming with scientific examples, Pickett’s narrative highlights lessons that nature teaches a shepherd. For example, in discussing why difficult times arise, Pickett notes that “gold…goes through a ‘refiner’s fire’…to burn out all the impurities”; similarly, the Creator tries his people to “purge them as gold.”
Pickett poses that “nature’s lessons remind people…that every action has consequences. It takes undistracted, “humble, down-to-earth [shepherd-like] people [to] be refined by those lessons others often reject,” he adds.
The author opens every chapter with a poem, some of which are awkward in rhythm and rhyme. His omniscient viewpoint also creates problems. The author states the thoughts and feelings of “a shepherd,” inferring that all shepherds think and feel alike, e.g.: “A humble shepherd sees the earth as a marvelously planned composition of divine intelligence and wisdom.” This a nice conceit, but surely overly broad.
Additionally, much of the language is technical, often giving the book a textbook feel. Slightly more time is spent explaining the science behind the nature discussed than how these lessons may be applied to one’s life.
As a result, rather than resonating with general readers, Lessons of Nature would fit best into religious educational studies and homeschool curriculum.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.