The Miracle of Forgiveness

By Spencer W. Kimball

Synopsis: A tour of the doctrine relating to sin, repentance, and forgiveness, written in 1969 by Elder Spencer W. Kimball while in the Quorum of the Twelve. The book draws from the scriptures, some teachings of prophets, and Spencer W. Kimball's own wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with those in transgression. This book is a classic in Latter-day Saint literature.

Strong Points: This book is broad in scope and deals with many important and interesting aspects of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. For instance, rather than just saying the oft-repeated notion that forgiveness is always available, the book discusses at length the qualifiers relating to forgiveness of sins (i.e. sins unto death, for which full forgiveness is not obtainable). It is important to acknowledge such limits. The book also denies the false doctrine of progression between kingdoms, "second chance theory," and a few other erroneous ideas. Characteristic of Spencer W. Kimball, the book is well-crafted, accurate, thorough, and very blunt.  

Weak Points: Some miscreant members of the Church would try to find excuses against this book due to the fact that it was not written while Spencer W. Kimball was President of the Church. Its principles are sound and true, however. Others take issue with things like the claim that masturbation can lead to homosexuality (p. 77-78), but I would defer to President Kimball's expertise, as he has counseled countless individuals with such issues. Others find the story of Cain appearing to David W. Patten to be a strange addition to the book (p. 127-128), which is admittedly so. I found very little in the book to be disagreeable, however, and that which was in only minor things: such as the idea that a family picnic is an inappropriate Sabbath activity (p. 46).

Interesting: 4.5/5

Must Read: 5/5

Overall: 4.8/5

Selected Quote: "Forgiveness of sins is one of the most glorious principles God ever gave to man." (p. 360).


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