Book Review – By the Power Vested in You (By: Brother G. Martin Freeman)

By the Power Vested in You is a book published by the Universal Life Church that is available for sale on their website by itself and with several “packages” of various ministerial and wedding gear. Basically, the book is “weddings for dummies” but with only 43 pages of content from the table of contents to the page before the appendix. It’s more like “performing a wedding for people who might not have any idea what a wedding even is”. That is to say, the book is a very basic one.


It is a well-written one, though, I was never left confused or feeling talked-down-to at the end of a sentence or paragraph. And the information presented about the basics of a wedding ceremony, what questions to ask the bride and groom, and the reference charts for keeping information are all a necessary foundation. It just feels a bit lacking in material. I feel that someone shooting from the hip for their first ceremony (as I basically was) could easily check off most of the boxes of the checklists from the book without thinking about it. But I might be giving people too much credit, as I have experience in many things that would relate to the job a minister has to perform, and the bride and groom had much of it organized themselves.

It is certainly nice to have the conformation of reading a book someone else wrote on the subject and being able to check off all of the boxes, and as a way to ease your mind, it would definitely get my recommendation. By that token as well it works as a pack-in item to a “wedding kit” and the price for the book on its own is reasonable (but I wouldn’t buy it on its own). The most useful parts of the book are the little bits about ceremonies in different cultures (but it’s really only enough to remind you to research more about it if you’re doing a wedding for someone to whom it would be applicable) and the appendix where you can write down the names of family members, those in the procession, and the couples answers to any questions. This is more useful the first time one is handling a large wedding party, and I think people would quickly develop their own way of keeping this information, but it is a good jumping off point.

In the end I would say that it’s a middle-of-the-road book. I did like the clear and concise language as well as the charts and checklists in the appendix, but I did not like the lack of much real information and the overuse of stock photos (I don’t think I mentioned that before, there are way, way too many). It does what it set out to do pretty well, but it’s no manual for sure.

Speak Your Mind 169 #841-845


1. What is a good age for guys to get married?

2. Do you think being a policeman or policewoman would be a good job?

3. What do you think about divorce?

4. Are you good at playing checkers?

5. Why do you think indians made their clothes out of deer skin?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. Whenever they want to and it’s legal.

2. Not really, I’m not the intimidation kind of person.

3. I don’t like it, thing people should know they will be compatible and stick with it before they get married.

4. Yeah, but nothing special.

5. Because it was what was available to them, europeans made clothes out of cow skin.

Speak Your Mind 70 #346-350


1. What did you have for dinner (supper) last night?

2. What is something that upsets you?

3. Have you ever been in a hospital for more than one day?

4. What do you think about marriage?

5. Why do you think birds in minnesota fly south for the winter?

ANSWERS By. Austin Smith

1. A hamburger.

2. Ignorant people.

3. Thankfully no.

4. The bonding of two people so that they can better serve the state and each other, yeah I like it.

5. To keep warm.


Speak Your Mind 4 #16-20


1. How old do you want to be when you get married?

2. Which would you rather drink for lunch: milk or soda?

3. Do you like to chew gum?

4. If you had a 14 year old daughter, how late would you let her stay out on a school night?

5. Do you know how to swim?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. Under 25, and obviously a few years older then I am now.

2. Depends on the lunch, mostly soda, but sometimes milk just goes better with what I’m eating.

3. Yes, wrigly’s Double-Mint.

4. As late as it takes her to realize staying out late sucks. Or ten.

5. I just found out yesterday that I know how to sink slowly.