Book Review: The Peacegiver

April 1, 2015


The Peacegiver
James L. Ferrell
240 pages
Hard copy edition

From the Publisher:
How is Christ the answer to a strained relationship with child, parent or sibling? What if I am being mistreated what does the atonement say about that? How can I discover the desire to repent when I don’t feel the need to repent? These are the challenging questions of daily life, the questions to which the gospel must provide an answer if it is to have living, cleansing, redeeming power. The Peacegiver is a book about the answers to these questions. In both content and form it is unlike other books about the atonement, for it unfolds as compelling story in which the characters learn about the Atonement as they struggle over the problems in their lives problems we each share. The book therefore allows us not only to learn about the Atonement but also to have an experience with it. My peace I give unto you, the Savior declared. The Peacegiver explores in a deeply personal way what we must do to receive the peace he stands willing to give.

I’ve lost track how long this book has been sitting in a stack of books on my shelf, maybe a year – at least a couple months? I have always wanted to read it, but never made the time. When we cleaned out my late mother in law’s sewing room this was a book I received.  I noticed she had dog-eared a couple pages, so I knew it was a book she had read and enjoyed. I thought with Easter approaching this would be a good time to take a look at this book.

Wow!  This is not your typical book about the Atonement.  This book is a fictional book about the Atonement,  told as a story or a long parable. I was not expecting a story – but I did really enjoy it and it gave me so much to think about.  Every time I got to a page that was marked by my mother in law I really stopped and thought about why she felt that page was so important.  She always had good advice.  I wish she could tell me why she loved this book so much.

The story is written similar to Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.  Rick, the main character in the story, is visited by his deceased Grandfather as they visit scripture stories about Abigail, Jonah and Nineveh and the Garden of Gethsemane.  I really enjoyed seeing these stories in a different light and learned so much from the way that they were explained.

I read this book fairly quick, but I think I really should have not read it that way.  I think this a book that you need to sit down and read when you have quiet surroundings and time to really read and ponder. I found myself already wanting to reread sections of it and really study them. I found myself asking myself the questions that his Grandfather was asking Rick.  I was surprised at some of my answers.  This made me think about relationships in my life and how I approach them.

I’ll be honest, I had (still have) a stack of books on my book shelf that are waiting for me to read. This one sat there a long time.  I had a couple other books I actually already picked out to read for Easter week this week, but this one just kept coming back to me.  I really think it has helped me.  It has given me a lot to think about and a lot to ponder.  I think if you are struggling with a relationship, or want to understand the Atonement, this is a good book to start with. I know because of the Atonement I can sit and visit with my mother in law again someday.  We’ll have to sit down and chat about this book.  I’m glad I picked it up and read it. I am looking forward to reading and studying it further in the future.

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