Robert Reynolds would tell you he's the last person who should be writing a book about overcoming sin through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The Las Vegas lawyer is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he manages recording artists such as Brandon Flowers of The Killers and represents various clients in the entertainment industry, including authors, actors, UFC fighters, musicians and bands such as Imagine Dragons.
"I'm a nobody," Reynolds said in an interview. "The idea of publishing a gospel doctrine book when you aren't a general authority seems kind of impossible."
Yet that's exactly what he did with "Unstuck: How the Savior Frees Us from Our Favorite Sins" (Deseret Book, $14.99), a paperback that recently landed on Deseret Book shelves.
The idea that sparked this book came years ago when Reynolds was serving as a Mormon missionary in South Carolina. One day, a bishop of 14 years told Reynolds a secret.
"He said we all narrow our sins down to the few we enjoy," Reynolds said. "That hit me like a ton of bricks."
In time, Reynolds came to understand that each person, whether they'll admit it or not, has weaknesses and commits a few sins repeatedly. To change requires divine assistance, he said.
"The cycle of sin continues. We don't have the ability to change on our own. We think we can't change," Reynolds said. "We need the Lord to grant us a mighty change of heart. How we get out or 'Unstuck' is what the book is all about."
Reynolds continued to ponder the concept until recently when he found himself in a meeting with Sheri Dew, CEO and president of Deseret Book, and Robert Millet, an author of many gospel-related books and the former dean of religious education at Brigham Young University. When Dew asked if Reynolds liked to write, he told her about his idea, which he had only started to organize on paper. Reynolds said she encouraged him to keep going with it, and he eventually submitted a manuscript, not believing publication was realistic. They liked it.
"They both read it and gave me great feedback. Millet marked it up with comments and thoughts, which was maybe one of the highlights of my life because I grew up reading his books," Reynolds said. "It was a very organic process. Nothing was forced or difficult (about getting the book published)."
Reynolds outlined the book into three parts: first, sin and weakness; second, how to obtain a mighty change of heart; and third, how to maintain that mighty change. Each section is full of references to scriptures, personal experiences, anecdotes and analogies.
Having grown up in Las Vegas (frequently referred to as Sin City) and often seeing temptations around every street corner, Reynolds found the idea of writing a book about overcoming sin appealing. The more he learned and shared with family and friends, the more confident he was that he was providing new and relevant insight. While the process was both humbling and challenging, it's a topic he felt should be addressed, Reynolds said.
The author emphasized that "Unstuck" is not biography or expose on any of his clients, although he does include one anecdote involving Flowers, which was shared with his permission. For Reynolds, the highlight of the project is knowing the message has helped someone.
"It’s a doctrinal book that includes some stories that impacted me. I really want people who find themselves frustrated with repetitive sin, which is everyone, whether they know it or not, to feel impacted, to recognize the truth of the Atonement and how grace, faith and humility work. I hope they are honest with themselves and feel changes that bring them more peace and joy in this life," Reynolds said. "That's why I did it."
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