Twigs of a Family Tree is a story about faith. The four chapters of this book, written by four different individuals, are connected through the bonds of spiritual ties. They make up a spiritual family, having learned of or taught the Baha'i Faith to each other. Three of the chapters are about discovering the Bahá’í Faith and connecting to Bahá’u’lláh, and learning how to make the Bahá’í Faith the central guide in one’s life. The first chapter, by Collestan, takes us in an unbroken line back to the days of Bahá'u'lláh. The chapter by Wilder begins with learning of the Faith, but also delves deeply into the personal difficulties she faced while she struggled to understand and follow Bahá’í laws. This is a moving, personal memoir of an individual who honestly discusses the long, arduous path of personal and spiritual growth. She also discusses the important role the recovery community played in her ability to overcome addiction. Simon’s chapter covers topics such as teaching the Faith, obedience, spiritual growth, race unity, and more. The final chapter shows the importance of the Insitute Process today, and how it is an integral part of learning about and becoming part of the Baha'i community today. This book is for anyone who knows the path is not always straight and smooth. It is meant to encourage and inspire, and to assure others that they are not alone in their questions and spiritual tests.
"For those who see the unity of humankind, much is required in breaking out of old paradigms. These are stories of exceptional people who transcended their early programming, and moved to a community of wholeness and acceptance of the complexity of 'humans being' … one that provides a spiritual framework of meaning, belonging, and higher power. Well done!" - Jean Mavrelis
"Twigs of a Family Tree is part teaching story, part history, part love story, and part adventure … told with skill, kindliness, and a wisdom born of experience. A mighty fine job."
"A true story of search and becoming, Twigs of a Family Tree presents four unique voices describing the distinctive threads woven into a single living tapestry. These uplifting stories of faith found and unity forged offer hope to our fragmented world." - Dale Lehman
If you have ever wrestled with the BIG questions of life--spiritual, social, and personal--you will find substantial food for thought in Twigs of a Family Tree. Primary author Lucki Melander Wilder rattles the gates of heaven with her tough questions, and rattles readers' assumptions with the unique insights and answers she articulates while sharing her personal 'story of becoming.' You'll also find geek fun, wry humor, and creative use of language along the way. The authors dare you to trot out the 'forbidden topics' of politics, religion, race, and sex, and tame them by removing the stigma and misunderstandings that give them their power. -Claire F. Kuhl
As an ever-curious reader, I greatly appreciated this book and the effort the authors put into it. It even stimulated my own memories of dear people that I have known, people I miss. This kind of book provides a link from absent friends to the rising generation. As a long-time teacher, I was also able to share the authors' description of inter-racial relations to help a student prepare his own life story to present for social studies. I'll continue to use it as a teaching tool when opportunity presents. - Robert Hurley