Last Friday, as I was cleaning a bookshelf in my room, I came across a copy of The Miracle of Forgiveness.
My mind was brought back to the day when my teenaged self sat across a desk from my bishop; he handed me the book while saying, “I think you should read this.” The book felt as heavy as a Bible to me, and I remember feeling the seriousness of the situation, and thinking that I might have to regard this book as sacredly as scripture for my life at that time.
My specific personal memories of the book end there, however, with the exception of my struggle to read it, and the feelings I have associated with it, which are, essentially this: I will never be good enough. Perfection is required, and I am incapable of achieving that, so my efforts and desires are hopeless. There is no hope for a sinner like me.
Fast-forwarding to present-time, I smiled at how far I’d come: I now know more than to guess that there is no hope. I wondered why I even still had the book in my possession, followed by becoming worried that one of my kids would find it, read it, and feel the same hopelessness I felt as a teenager.
As a mom, I felt frightened that my kids would find and read a book which had been handed to me by a former bishop, even though I can’t remember anything specific about the content of this book. Could I be correct in my line of thinking?
I decided to ask Twitter:
“Cleaning & just found ‘The Miracle of Forgiveness.’ What should I do with it?”
Here are the responses I received:
- “burn it. Like scorched earth.”
- “BURN IT.”
- “hang it in the bathroom and use the pages in place of tp. Big savings!’
- “put it back and we’ll pretend it never happened.”
- “never read it.”
- “I recently told my bishop that that book had false doctrine. He didn’t seem pleased.”
- “My parents read it aloud to the family for FHE over the course of many months. It was brutal. BRUTAL.” “My dad would get mad if we laughed at it. ”
- “I’ve never read it but curious to the reaction it’s getting!”
- “give it a decent burial.”
- “I had a bishop at BYU while I was single tell me to get rid of it. #bestinterviewever”
- “Yeah, I’ve been advised not to read it. Apparently it’s not on the missionary reading list anymore either.”
- “Women who wear shorts are sinners”
- “What’s so bad about the book? It’s about forgiveness. And miracles. Right?” “Oh never mind, I just read this [link to mormonwiki article].”
To be honest, I thought I’d skim the book, give a synopsis or examples to share here in this post . . . but I simply can’t bring myself to do it. I feel fine about not ever reading that book again.
Do you have experience with this book? Has it made a change in your life? What do YOU think I should do with the copy that I found?