Book review: 'In His Hands' is an inspiring book about Savior's love (+video)

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, June 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"IN HIS HANDS: A Mother’s Journey through the Grief of Sudden Loss” by Jenny Hess, Covenant Communications, $15.99, 192 pages (nf)

“In His Hands: A Mother’s Journey through the Grief of Sudden Loss” by Jenny Hess is an inspiring book that says people can feel our Savior’s love when they are experiencing paralyzing pain, sorrow and despair.

“In His Hands” begins by introducing the reader to the Hess family. Jenny Hess, the author, is a mother of five children. She describes her family’s vacation to Provo during their Christmas vacation. During a sledding trip, her young son Russell died after his sled ran into a tree.

Hess describes her pain at the emergency room, her sorrow when she learned her son had died, and her despair at his funeral. She documents the help she received from loving ward members in the aftermath of his death.

The beauty about this book is that it applies to everyone who is going through a difficult trial — not just mothers who have lost children. Readers of all ages can learn from Hess’ raw and personal account of losing her son.

Hess cites doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as her primary source of strength as she was mourning her son. The writing in the book is not grandiose or elegant; instead it is a straightforward account of a mother’s journey through her grief.

Because of its simplicity, reader can really learn about the Savior’s love and how he is aware of everything people are going through.

The most enlightening part of the book is when Hess describes life after the funeral. Hess explains how grief does not just disappear after a month. Hess stresses that the Savior can help you live with that grief and still be a happy person.

Jenny Hess was born in Boston. She attended California State University, Long Beach, where she met her husband, Kirk. Her story can currently be found on Mormon.org.

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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