In Non-Fiction Corner with Lauren: Not Original Sin, But “Original Grace”

I was so thrilled to enter Deseret Book and find a new book by one of my favorite authors, Adam Miller. I’ve always appreciated his deep, philosophical writing style, but there was something special about this book. After recently losing his father, Miller combines lessons learned from his father with what he discovered about grace in all of his studies. The author’s premise in original grace it is that instead of original sin, God gives us original grace. God doesn’t give us what we deserve, God always gives us what we need.

During his mission, Miller picked up the book Believe Christ by Stephen Robinson. Discouraged, the young missionary found comfort in Robinson’s words, which reminded him that the Lord is always there, with outstretched hand, waiting for us to take the grace he offers us. Robinson points out that words like “deserve” and “earn” do not appear in the Book of Mormon and that “all” we can do is repent. The Lord gives everyone what he needs, and since he is a perfectly loving father, we do not need to earn his love. According to Miller, “His grace is absolute.”

The author shows how our heavenly Father loves with examples of his earthly father’s love. This was, for me, by far the most striking part of the book. His father seems to be a very good example of love and gratitude, and he was an excellent teacher. I really appreciated that the author was able to use his book to pay tribute to his father and help readers reflect on the love parents have for their children that is still there. I can’t recommend this enough. If you’re going to read an Adam Miller book, let it be this one!

About the Author: Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He earned a BA in Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University and an MA and Doctor of Philosophy from Villanova University. He is the author of more than ten books, including Letters to a Young Mormon, An Early Resurrection, and Mormon: A Brief Theological Introduction. He and his wife, Gwen, have three children.

Original Grace: An Experiment in Restoration Thinking by Adam Miller, published by Deseret Book Company, 144 pages, available in ebook and hardcover.

Lauren is from Utah and has been an avid reader all her life. She graduated from BYU in history and currently teaches elementary school and works at a rare bookstore. She is also a guide at the Church History Museum. Her passions include travelling, spending time with her family, learning history and, of course, reading.

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