"IMPRACTICAL GRACE: A Story of Christ Bringing Peace into Unlikely Hearts," by John Bushman, Cedar Fort, $13.99, 192 pages (nf)
John Bushman brings to life the healing power of the Savior’s kindness and mercy in his new book “Impractical Grace.”
This doctrinal outline of the often misunderstood concept of grace is folded around a fictional tale of a new bishop striving help three struggling ward members repair their lives.
Ken, Erica and Anna are each burdened by horrific trials. Dying love, childhood abuse and tragic death plague their lives, and the sickness seems to keep spreading. The burdens they carry feel crushing, and each one has reached a breaking point. Something has to change.
After prayerfully searching for a way to help, Bishop Stuart North calls all three ward members into his office. Although their situations are vastly different, Bishop North understands through grace each life can be transformed. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can offer comfort to even the most broken heart.
At first, the three are not convinced anything can improve the tarnished features of their lives. But through the guidance of their bishop, they accept the challenge of mending tattered relationships and frayed souls. Although the path is difficult, the love and peace of the Savior leads each individual to forgiveness and healing.
This book is a motivational Sunday School lesson in story form. Bushman shares dozens of scriptures and quotes from modern prophets and apostles to teach the principles his story contains. Through object lessons and even simple illustrations, Bushman creates a venue for quiet understanding.
With examples of forgiveness, mercy and kindness even in the face of the most difficult hardships, readers will doubtless relate to examples in the book. The love and suffering of the Savior is shown as a vibrant and personal, almost exclusively individual, thing.
By including grace, being good to another regardless of whether they have earned kindness, the characters in the book change their lives and set a model to follow.
Bushman’s lessons are simple but beautiful.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.