Book review: 'The Gospel of Second Chances' shows how the Atonement provides hope and understanding

By Wendy Jessen

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 2 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

"THE GOSPEL OF SECOND CHANCES," by Lloyd D. Newell, Deseret Book, $18.99, 134 pages (nf)

Everyone has made a mistake or perhaps done something they regret and wish they could amend. However, many people doubt that such things can be rectified. But, what if there was a Magic Eraser for life?

Lloyd D. Newell asserts in his book, "The Gospel of Second Chances," that there is indeed an eraser for life. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Brigham Young University professor and announcer for the weekly Music and the Spoken Word program, Newell cites scriptural and present-day accounts of wrongs made right through second chances.

Newell explains: "This book is about hope in Jesus Christ, about why we have every reason to believe that we can change and start anew. I believe it is a message we all need, no matter who we are, what we have or have not done, or what stage of life we may be in."

Throughout the book, Newell utilizes scriptures, stories, quotes and other doctrine to teach the reader to have hope in second chances through the Atonement — for themselves and for others as well. He expresses the fact that this is a gospel of hope, and that regardless of wrongs that have been committed, there is always a second — or third or fourth — chance.

Additionally, he explains that everyone needs a second chance and must allow it for themselves and for others. "When we fail to take a second chance — for any reason — the underlying reason is a lack of understanding of the Redeemer's Atonement," Newell teaches.

Finally, he addresses how to stay changed by making the second chance last. Newell also clarifies that change and conversion may not be a one-time event, but rather many experiences combined. The end result, he says, is that "we will become all that he intends for us to become."

"The Gospel of Second Chances" is a book for anyone seeking to better understand the Atonement and gain hope that they really can repent — regardless of what they have done — heal and have a fresh start.

Wendy Jessen is a Southern Utah University graduate and a stay-at-home mother of six. Her email is wendyjessen26@gmail.com and she blogs at mormonmomofsix.blogspot.com.

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