"THE MIRACULOUS POWER OF CHARITY: How the Love of the Savior Can Heal Your Life," by Douglas Dobberfuhl, Walnut Springs Press, $15.99, 198 pages (nf)
Just when parents think love has no place with belligerent children or the brashness of teenage behavior, think twice. Douglas Dobberfuhl’s book “The Miraculous Power of Charity: How the Love of the Savior can Heal Your Life” says that such instances are golden opportunities for love and healing for both parent and child.
Those tough moments are where charity should be given the most, Dobberfuhl writes. Certainly easier said than done. But how can love be given if a person feels empty or removed from giving or investing that kind of love? In "The Miraculous Power of Charity," he shares themes, stories and vivid examples of charity intersecting with both the common and intensely personal circumstances of a person's life.
The 16 chapters include topics of charity and how it relates to agency, forgiveness, anger and resentment, perfectionism and charity in childhood development and in attachments with family and God.
"The Miraculous Power of Charity" works well on multiple levels. Interspersed throughout the book are sections with Jared, who represents a collection of real-life persons and circumstances that Dobberfuhl has personally worked with. Names and events have been changed, but Jared’s personal journey of healing and transformation is the charity in action.
The book also connects both social and doctrinal concepts of charity. These include how charity can help with anger in a relationship or how charity can help heal struggling or abusive relationships.
There are also various relational perspectives — parent to child, spouse to spouse to name a few — where charity is readily applied that is well worth considering as he offers ways to improve relationships.
It is satisfying to read about emotional complexities and how charity can really heal. Dobberfuhl has presented a well-researched book where the reader can closely engage with the healing power of charity — the pure love of Christ.
Aspects of behavior are certainly highlighted — and some are not so pleasant — but after all charity, Dobberfuhl suggests, is the pursuit and purpose of healing things broken and wounded.
Brandon Schembri is a graduate from the University of Utah and lives in Salt Lake City. His email is [email protected].