Terryl and Fiona Givens

“The Restoration scriptures encourage us as individuals and as a Church community to seek after good everywhere and make it a part of our religion. ‘The grand fundamental principle of Mormonism is to receive truth let it come from where it may.’ As the prophet Joseph Smith stated: If the Methodists, Presbyterians, or others have any truth, then we should embrace it. One must ‘get all the good in the world’ if one wants to ‘come our a pure Mormon.'”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  "The Christ Who Heals"

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“The Book of Mormon affirms more simply: ‘Men are, that they might have joy.’ Plato was closer to the gospel on this point than the larger portion of Christian theologians: ‘He who framed this whole universe was good, and one who is good can never become jealous of anything. And so, being free of jealousy, he wanted everything to become as much like himself as was possible.’ Not for his glory or happiness, but for theirs.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  "The Christ Who Heals"

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“The experience of sin is not an unalterable state we inhabit; it is a felt disharmony. The unhappiness of sin is nothing more than our spirit rebelling against a condition alien to its true nature. We have fallen out of alignment with God. The separation from God is not punishment inflicted by God, but the consequence of an existential reality of our own making.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  The God Who Weeps

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“Life is assumed to be about the fundamental, clear-cut choice between good and evil. Mormonism sees no such simple dichotomy in the primeval options. Yes, obedience and safety and security in God’s presence are presented as one of the choices, But Mormonism is more sympathetic to Eve’s perception of the alternative; the beauty of the fruit, its goodness as food, its desirability ‘to make one wise.’ Not coincidentally, ancient philosophers like Plato considered the triad of ideas – Beauty, Goodness, Truth – to be the highest manifestation of divine virtue. In the Mormon narrative, therefore, the circumstances that define the reality of the human predicament are not a blatant choice between Good and Evil but a wrenching decision to be made between competing sets of Good. The philosopher Hegel believed that this scenario, replicated in myriad artistic narratives, expressed the inescapably tragic nature of the universe. There are very few simple choices. No blueprint gives us easy answers. Life’s most wrenching choices are not between right and wrong but between competing demands on our time, our resources, our love and loyalty.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  The Crucible of Doubt

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“God would not have commanded us to forgive seventy times seven if he were not prepared to extend the same mathematical generosity.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  The God Who Weeps

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“To be open to truth, we must invest in the effort to free ourselves from our own conditioning and expectations. This means we have to pursue any earnest investigation by asking what the philosopher Hans Georg Ger calls the ‘genuine question. And that is a question that involves openness and risk. As he explains, ‘our own prejudice is properly brought into play by being put at risk.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  The Crucible of Doubt

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“As Latter-day Saints, we know we do not earn heaven; we co-create heaven, and we do so by participating in the celestial relationships that are its essence (and which temple ordinances eternalize).”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  "The Christ Who Heals"

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Nikolai Berdyaev taught the same principle:

“A false interpretation of ‘good works’ leads to a complete perversion of Christianity. ‘Good works’ are regarded not as an expression of love for God and man, not as a manifestation of the gracious source that gives life to others, but as a means of salvation and justification for oneself, as a way of realizing the abstract idea of the Good and receiving a reward in the future life. ‘Good works,’ done not for the good of others, but for the good of one’s own soul, are not good at all. Where there is no love, there is no goodness. Love does not require or expect any reward, it is reward in itself, it is a ray of paradise illuminating and transfiguring reality.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  "The Christ Who Heals"

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“That is why true religion is inseparable from suffering. It tells us the truth about our condition without flinching, offers no cheap solutions, and consoles none of the costly price.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  The Crucible of Doubt

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“Like children, we adults also want our most pressing questions answered, not multiplied. So it is not surprising that we look to religion, the great comforter, to ‘resolve us of all ambiguities,’ in the words of Dr. Faustus. But perhaps providing conclusive answers to all of our questions is not the point of true religion.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  The Crucible of Doubt

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