Rethinking Sin, Salvation and Everything In Between

All Things New

Recently I’ve been reading the book titled “All Things New, Rethinking Sin, Salvation and Everything In Between” by Fiona and Terryl Givens. Reading this book has changed the way I think about several gospel concepts, and I am very excited to share what I am learning. 

Several of my Instagram friends started talking about this book “All Things New”, and I resisted getting on the bandwagon until one day Fiona Givens spoke to the LDS Life Coaches group I below to. I was so excited by what she had to say that I bought the audio book and listened to it.  Then I wanted to be able to underline phrases and concepts, so I bought the paperback book too!  The book is now underlined in many colors and dogeared. 

The book is divided into two parts. The first part is a history of Christianity with a focus on the nature of God. The Givens write about how the view of Christianity changed from the early church through the teachings of Luther, Calvin and Augustine, and how the modern restoration fits in. They discuss how the way we view God, has changed over time, from a loving God to an angry, punitive God, and how these views damage our relationship with Him.

The second part of the book looks at our language and how the distortions that have crept in over time have damaged our language and understanding of basic gospel concepts.

Because I have understood several concepts so differently, I’ve returned again and again to read the chapters on Sin, Repentance, Forgiveness, Salvation and Obedience. I’ve also researched these 5 words in the Gospel Library app, looking in the gospel topics section, topical guide, and the Bible dictionary.  I’ve even read recent General Conference talks with this book playing in the back of my mind. I love finding teachings in General Conference talks that support these thoughts. In Elder Christofferson’s talk, “Our Relationship with God”, he said that repentance, obedience, and sacrifice matter because “they are the means by which we collaborate with Him in our own transformation from natural [wo]man to saint.” I love the idea of collaborating with Christ to become a saint.

One of the things that I found so interesting was reframing the concept of “Sin”. When I grew up, I thought sin was terrible and felt I had to be perfect all the time. I didn’t want to do anything that might create sin, and when I did sin, I couldn’t face my own weaknesses or shortcomings. In reality, I was trying to be “my own Savior” by being “good” all the time.  I was also rationalizing things that I did as not really sinful, because sin was horrifying. This way of thinking caused pressure on me all the time to always do things the “right” way. It didn’t really bring me closer to Christ, it actually kept me away from Him. 

The example the Given’s used to reframe the concept of “sin” was from the new world as Christ did ministering and healing, not preaching, rebuking or judging. They suggest looking at “sin” as being wounded, and wounded so deeply that we are separated from God and that we need to be “healed” of our “wounds” to return to God.

I started asking myself how I had been wounded this week or how I might have been the one to wound others. At church, I approach Sacrament time by thinking about wounds and how God was able to help me heal from my wounds and minister to others that are wounded. I really resonated with this teaching and I found that thinking this way helped me be more willing to see my own hurts and how I hurt others. I really felt changed and I saw myself having more love and compassion for myself and for others. I am seeing things in a more optimistic way and I am more willing to change myself rather than hide away from sin.

So I offer an enthusiastic two thumbs up for this book. I think that it is especially appropriate for mixed-faith families, as I have witnessed people who I love that have been wounded by their association with the church. Seeing them as wounded changes how I view them and our relationship. Now I just want to be better at loving them.

If you read this book, I would love to hear how you felt about the concepts. I would also be interested in hearing about any of your favorite books that have helped you with your mixed-faith family.

Peace in Uncertain Times

Sidewalk Chalk

This morning I made time for my morning routine which includes a morning devotional, and during my devotional time I prayed, I sat in quiet contemplation, I listened to music, I wrote in my revelation journal and started my “Awesome Wonder” Multiply Goodness study guide.

I started this day with worry and anxiety that there won’t be enough. Not enough time, toilet paper, food, medical care or money.  After the devotional time I felt peace. I worship a God who fights my battles, who holds me and everyone I love in the hollow of His hand, I trust Him.

Feeling peace helps me be more present with what I am doing. I worked during the hours I had scheduled to work, I drew on the sidewalk with chalk, played Sorry (and lost) and listened to my grandson’s audio book during the afternoon school time.  I had time to put teddy bears in windows so that neighborhood kids can go on a “bear hunt” walk and I still had time to make sour cream enchiladas for dinner, work on marketing for my business and fold and put away some laundry.

The uncertainty that we are all currently facing can rob us of peace if we let it. We can see fear and pain all around us or we can choose to do the things that we know will comfort us and help us find peace. 

As a life coach I can help you recognize the thoughts and feelings that you want to live with, the ones that make your life better, even in uncertain times. I can help you see those thoughts and feelings that aren’t helpful for you, the ones that might be causing unnecessary worry and frustration.  I can teach you how to do more of what works for you and less of what doesn’t.

I am offering a FREE 30 minute coaching session to help anyone who is uncertain, afraid or is spending more time worrying than they want to.  We will be able to identify your predominate feelings, find the thoughts that are creating those feelings and offer some alternatives that will make you feel better.  This is a great way to get a little break from this virus crisis we are experiencing.  If you have never worked with a coach before, there has never been a better time to try it out. 

Schedule a 30 Minute Appointment