This book has been a tremendous blessing to me, and I think you’ll like it too,” Mary said sweetly yet matter-of-factly as she placed it in my hands. I took the book just to be polite. Mary was a friend, after all, even if her religious views struck me as, well, a little weird! At the time, I was a 23 year-old vegan punk rocker and skateboarder, complete with wild hair and tattoos. I had no idea how big an impact that book would have on the course of my life.

The book almost went in the trash that night. Instead, it ended up on the shelf, where it sat collecting dust for many months. Then something terrible happened. At least it seemed terrible at the time. My longtime girlfriend broke up with me, sending me into an emotional nosedive. I was a wreck, and all of my friends could see it. They worried about me because I would just sit in my room moping.

Then it happened.

I was sitting in my room on a cold day in October. As a university student, I owned and read many books, and on this particular day I was listlessly staring at my book shelf. One book above all the others caught my attention. It was Mary’s book. A struggle ensued in which I wrestled with whether to get up, walk across the room and take the book from the shelf, or leave it.

And then suddenly, I did it. I walked over to the shelf and took the book from its long-standing place of rest. As I stared intently at the cover, it occurred to me that I’d never even noticed the title before––The Great Controversy. What an interesting title, I remember thinking.
I sat down and began to read.
That was 15 years ago.

Today I’ve dedicated my life to teaching others what I learned in those pages. And by far the most important thing I learned isn’t a “thing” at all!  It’s a who!  And the “who” is Jesus Christ!

I’m so glad someone shared this amazing book with me. Read it for yourself* then do the same!  

*A new adapted version of The Great Controversy, titled Love Under Fire, contains easier vocabulary than the original.  You can find it at your local Adventist Book Center or online at