People recommit sins far more often than they indulge in a new sin according to author Robert Reynolds of the newly released book “Unstuck: How the Savior frees us from our favorite sins.”
“You know you’re not supposed to do something,” Reynolds said to a room of BYU law students. “It’s upsetting God. It can keep you out of heaven. Yet, everyone in this room keeps doing it over and over again.”
Robert is the attorney for bands The Killers, Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons. He also manages The Killers and is the older brother of Imagine Dragons’ lead singer, Dan Reynolds.
The Sports and Entertainment Law Society invited Robert to speak at the J. Reuben Clark Law School on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. He highlighted themes and stories from his book and also spoke briefly about his professional experience.
He claimed that Latter-day Saints focus on what they themselves can do to obey and repent. They emphasize their own will-power and righteousness, but Reynolds said this line of thinking helps no one. Human effort is not enough.
“When it comes to repetitive sins, you can’t change,” Reynolds said. “If you could, you would have.”
The solution is faith and humility, according to Reynolds. Repentant sinners must have a mighty change of heart, a change he said is necessary for everyone and not just the ancient peoples in the scriptures.
He explained that faith and humility lead to miracles, including being freed from repetitive sin. Referencing Ether 12:27, Reynolds lent hope to those who want to overcome their repeated sins.
“Maybe all of the greatest strengths in scripture were once weaknesses,” Reynolds said.
He said his reasoning is that people can get “unstuck” if they faithfully and humbly turn to the Savior.
The key is a “sincere disposition,” meaning repenters need to want the change, according to Reynolds. He shared experiences with the audience to highlight the importance of desire for permanent change.
Reynolds told a story of how he came across two young, homeless women when he lived in New York. He bought them food; they told him they wanted jobs, so he found them jobs. He said they both failed to show up on their first day. The manager kindly offered them another chance, and Reynolds stressed to them the importance of showing up this time. They didn’t. Reynolds then realized they didn’t truly want to change.
He then explained a time when he knew a homeless man in Las Vegas who was addicted to heroin. The man expressed to Reynolds that he wanted to quit and clean up his life. All he needed was a hotel room for a week and money to buy medication. Reynolds said he obliged, and the man quit successfully. The man had fallen so far that he desperately wanted change according to Reynolds.
Reynolds said his hope is that “Unstuck” helps people be honest with themselves about their sins and know where to turn for help.
“If people can learn and be inspired to make real changes in their lives, that’s my desire,” Reynolds said.
He described his book as a doctrinal book written with an approachable style. He said his perspective is different from most doctrinal books because he doesn’t hold a position of religious authority. Instead, he is an entertainment lawyer who manages rock bands.
Reynolds completed his undergraduate degree at BYU and then attended the New York University Law School, after which he worked at a law firm in New York before finding The Killers and convincing them they needed a lawyer.
He then moved back to Las Vegas, his home city, and joined his family’s law firm. His career gave him the opportunity to stay involved in music, which he said is something he loves. Reynolds was once in a band with the Killers’ drummer and Neon Trees’ bass player, which is how he met both bands.