Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Because of research and writing time, I don't get to read for pleasure as much as I'd like, so when I find a book that really delivers, I'm delighted. When I find a book that lifts and teaches, I'm grateful. Here are two books that have meant a great deal to me. Neither is new. Both can be found on Amazon and EBay at a fraction of their release costs. Both are filled with stories that will edify, inspire, teach and challenge your thinking. Both will increase your understanding of, and appreciation for, the Savior and His all-encompassing Atonement. Each is well worth adding to your personal library.

"Believing Christ" by Stephen Robinson, is about the greatest book I've ever read on the Atonement, not because it reveals new truths, but because it delivers simple, powerful truths in a way that helps us internalize and receive it as if it were new. Delivered through parables, Robinson is masterful at weaving analogies that make us feel we are being taught by the Master himself in our day. The simple analogies of the bicycle, the checkbook, etc, present examples we can relate to, helping us understand the Atonement from all sides. As parents, we can relate to the unflinching love of God that never ceases to reach out to rescue a lost child. But Robinson also helps us understand our role as children of God--completely indebted, utterly helpless on our own, and in need of the Lord's divine mercy. I can't even count the number of people I've referred to this book. That's how powerful it is.
"The Peacegiver" is another excellent book that teaches through stories. Unlike Stephen Robinson, who weaves stories through a doctrinal narrative, James Ferrell's "Peacegiver" is a series of stories told within the story of a husband who is about to give up on his loveless, tense marriage. In Dickens-like fashion, a beloved, dead grandfather returns to accompany his grandson through several biblical stories, guiding him in a quest to seek deeper meaning beyond the obvious principles taught there. Using the story of David and Abigail, and Jonah's mission to Nineveh, the troubled husband sees himself, his wife, and his marriage through new eyes. The truths revealed are not always pleasant as the roles reverse in the light of these new truths, making it difficult to label one partner the victim and one the victimizer.

The book comes also in a 2-book format which includes a journal. I plan to buy sets for all my children. I think this would be a marvelous gift for a young couple who may, from time to time, need to be reminded that marriage requires forgiveness on many levels.

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