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Book review: 'Parables for Today' has great messages

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Jan. 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

"PARABLES FOR TODAY," edited by Kenny Kemp, published by Sweetwater Books, $11.99, 133 pages (f)

“Parables For Today” is an admirable book that portrays important gospel messages through modern-day parables.

The short stories in the book are told by a variety of authors such as David Farland, Marilyn Brown and Kenny Kemp.

The book begins with a story titled “The Cherry Tree” by Lynn F. Price. The story is about a husband and wife who take care of an old cherry tree. The tree becomes split in three places during a snowstorm and the husband is eager to replace the tree. However, the wife is determined to fix the tree, and she does exactly that.

Another notable story is titled “Frugality and Dissipation” by Carol Gibson. The story is about a man named Evans who works for a large accounting firm. Evans is a determined man who works hard. When he notices an alarming trend in the market, he tries to warn his boss. His boss does not listen. Eventually the accounting company goes bankrupt.

The underlying messages of these stories are ultimately up to the reader to figure out. As with all parables, there are multiple meanings and viewpoints to the stories. Readers will notice that some of the stories are easier to understand when compared to other stories.

“Parables for Today” is a humbling book because the reader really has to think about the greater meaning of the stories. The stories will have to be read over and over until readers receive the insight they are looking for.

“Parables for Today” also teaches readers that valuable lessons can be found all around us. The readers just have to learn how to look for them.

A notable piece in the book is called “Rescued.” It is a story that is formatted as a poem. The poem has a different dynamic than the other stories in the book.

All in all, “Parables for Today” is a wonderful tool for teachers and those who are preparing talks. Most importantly, the book provides invaluable lessons for those of all ages.

Shelby Scoffield has a bachelor's in English from Brigham Young University and a master's in rhetoric and composition from Stanislaus State University. She is currently working on her teaching credentials so she can teach high school English.

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