A Controversial Book That Should Not Be Controversial

October 5, 2006

Many times over the years that I have been sharing my testimony online I have run across active members of the Church, or at least those who say they are active members, who have a very low opinion of The Miracle of Forgiveness by President Spencer W. Kimball. “He wasn’t President of the Church when he wrote it,” they protest. “Before he died he regretted ever having written that book,” I have been told by others. Then why then do I love that book more than any other gospel text outside of the standard works? Much and perhaps most of the genuine repenting I have done since joining the Church in 1963 has been inspired and motivated by reading that book multiple times, each time more carefully than the last. If I were to nominate a book to be included in the standard works in some future dispensation, I would nominate this book by Spencer W. Kimball ahead of anything ever written by James E. Talmage, Joseph Fielding Smith or Bruce R. McConkie. Outside of the standard works themselves, for me it has been the most useful advice on putting the gospel into actual practice that I have ever read. Is it really that controversial? It should not be. If it is controversial, it is controversial only in the sense that the truth almost always is.

Today I was browsing the books that are available from Church Distribution on the Official Church Website. It is a very short list. And guess what? The Miracle of Forgiveness is there. Apparently there are prophets in high places who do not think it is controversial. Some of them undoubtedly have received the same inspiration that I have about this book. If The Miracle of Forgiveness is a controversial book in some circles even among the active membership, it is because there are people who do not like to repent of their sins and have not yet decided that they are going to do so anyway.

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