Even the bleakest, most winding road can lead to the strait and narrow path. For Ed Willis, life was one harsh blow after another. Born into generational poverty within a system that was not designed for the success of Black men, most of his options led to dead ends. But in between jail time, drug addiction, unemployment, the struggles of racism, and family strife, there were brief flashes when the light of Christ touched Ed's heart, instilling in him a desire to know and to be more. He sought meaning and self-worth wherever he could find it—including, for a time, as a member of the Black Panther Party fighting for freedom, racial equality, and underprivileged children in California's Bay Area. But what began as a sincere effort toward a worthy cause would ultimately lead to further involvement with drugs, violence, and relationships in turmoil. Ed desperately needed something better.
For the month of June, the LDS Living Book Club will be reading Panther to Priesthood by Eddie Leroy Willis. In this raw, gritty memoir, Willis shares how a lifetime of hardship was, in its own way, preparing him to receive the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through his unique voice and willingness to share with sometimes painful vulnerability, you will witness the power of the light of Christ to shine into even the darkest of corner. Gain valuable perspective to increase in empathy, challenge preconceptions, and overcome the odds through the Savior’s mercy and grace as you read the story of one man's redemption and witness the lengths to which God will go to save each of His children.
What This Month Holds
- An easy-to-follow reading schedule
- Excerpts from the book shared on LDSLiving.com
- Poignant quotes and discussion of the topics addressed in the book
► You may also like: Panther to priesthood: A Black Latter-day Saint’s experience with racism and belief
About LDS Living Book Club
Each month we choose a new book to read together. Joining is easy! Simply follow @ldslivingbookclub on Instagram for reading reminders and insights.