New author addresses forgiveness

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    By WILLIAM BENAC

    “Forgiveness: The Healing Gift We Give Ourselves” highlights in its pages a sometimes forgotten aspect of forgiveness — that the act of forgiving benefits the forgiver.

    Author Cheryl Carson quotes President Gordon B. Hinkley, who said, “There is a mighty power of healing in Christ, and … if we are to be his true servants, we must not only exercise that healing power in behalf of others, but, perhaps more importantly, inwardly.”

    To support many of her ideas, Carson uses many lessons on forgiveness learned as she fought through the tough times of her life.

    “Forgiveness is an act of self-love rather than simply an altruistic, saintly thing to do,” she writes.

    The book tries to argue readers into pursuing the benefits of forgiveness.

    For the most part, she writes of forgiveness in general ways applicable to many situations, though she also addresses specific major betrayals for which one must forgive others, such as abuse or violent crime.

    At times, the book gives counsel that seems a bit strange. To the question of how a person can learn to forgive those who hurt him or her, she quotes a radio personality:

    “Feel sorrow for them. They are depriving themselves of many great blessings.” Such advice it seems, would lead a person to a holier-than-thou attitude rather than a purer forgiveness.

    Many more reliable quotes are included from prophets, modern and ancient. The majority of concepts seem quite sound and worth remembering.

    “Forgiveness: The Healing Gift We Give Ourselves” reads like a personal journey. Sometimes this organic feel comes at the expense of organization that would feel more fitting for an instructional book.

    Interested readers can find Carson’s book at the BYU Bookstore for $8.95.

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