All writers dream of what will happen when they publish their first book. They likely hope their story will resonate with readers and fly off the shelves. Or perhaps they fantasize about how this first book will open doors for more publications. Author Morgan Jones may have had those dreams, but she also held to another hope while working on All In: Exploring What It Means to Be All In the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Referring to her time as an unmarried Latter-day Saint, Jones said in a recent interview with BYUtv: “I would like someday to have something to show my kids and [say], ‘This is what I did with this period of life when things were not playing out the way that I expected, but I tried to make the most of it. Here’s what I have to show for it, and here’s how it changed me.” She continued, “If for no other reason, I think that [would] make [writing this book] worth it.”
The book is a collection of excerpts from the popular LDS Living podcast All In, which topped eight million downloads last year. Jones used her own writing to weave excerpts from many of the episodes together by theme for each chapter. One of the chapters is called “All In as a Single Adult.” In the BYUtv interview, Jones shared that being a single adult in the Church for longer than she expected was difficult, but also an important refining experience.
“I think that being lonely causes you to turn to God in [a] way that you don’t other times. And that’s been one thing I’ve been super grateful for in my life,” she said. “I don’t know had I not had the experience of coming home to an empty apartment and spending a lot of time by myself [that] I ever would have turned to God the way that I’ve had to. He has been my best friend and been the person that has been there for me every single time that I needed help. … There’s this reliance that you feel and a gratitude that causes you to want to live your life for Him because He’s never let you down.”
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At the end of every episode of All In, Jones asks her guests, “What does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?” And after three years of asking that question, Jones’s own answer has evolved.
“When we first started, I had this a very pop-culture idea of what it meant to be all in. … I came into this thinking, ‘Oh, it just means to be committed, to be totally in to doing something.’ But it’s started to be much deeper than that to me,” she says. “I think being all in means that you recognize that in the end, there’s no greater blessing that we can have than forming a covenant relationship with God. Because we know that He has already gone all in with us—that’s what He did when He gave us His Son. It’s just up to us to choose to be all in back. And when we do, there is so much power.”
Watch the full interview at BYUtv.
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