Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness

Olman may 2014

Reading a book is like an interaction with a person. I have been around my wife for 33 years and have grown steadily in depth of respect and fondness. I never tire of being around her.

Others, I am okay with a single visit.

Such is the case of The Miracle of Forgiveness. It has been on the shelf for a while, awaiting a reading. The occasion came this week, and I have just a moment ago finished reading it through in a single sitting.

Mr Kimball seems a charming and positive man. It was his privilege to have circled the globe numerous times, keeping a log of his interactions with devotees. To be specific, the log was apparently of those private conversations with devotees who had sinned, stimulating him apparently to either click the record button on his machine or to pick up a pen and start writing the delicious details with one raised eyebrow and happy affirming grunts.

His many many interactions with the defiled are wise, insightful, brutal, and always the right thing to say. Not a single mistake on his part made it into the book, and the results always had a happy ending, after the wreckage and tears of course. There must be wreckage and tears first, he reminds us not just once.

This book is a hamartiology, if you don't know. A theology of sin and what to do with it.

Sin, it appears, is everything one does outside of a temple or ward building, whether in thought or by hand. The list of naughty things people do is not exhausted until page 147, which makes for a fantastic list of things for the impure to do, if one needs a handy checklist in one volume. The copyright is 1969, so Park City is absent from the list of Telestial diversions. Perhaps it appears in later editions.

The Big Goal is a Celestial Bedroom scene with one's many wives(Section 132 is the most-referenced standard work throughout, many times over), complete with tall-stemmed glasses, a couch and Barry White moaning in the background. Sin is the fly in the ointment which makes that whole satin happy dream go poof and you're left standing in Rock Springs trying to hit an 8 iron onto a green made of sand. Into the wind. In August.

So sin must be assaulted with the vigor of a coyote trying to free himself from a leg snare. Forget work, sleep, recreation, non-marital relationships, or relaxation of any kind; you have sin and it can and must be gotten rid of before you croak. This is no curve-graded test that makes allowance for the mediocre; this is zero-tolerance pass-fail stuff where 100% is the lowest allowable score. Which leads one to anticipate a majority of the eternal Gold Card holders will be engineers.

Do you think that because you are a baptized member who misses Sacrament only on Super Bowl Sabbath and there was that one time you shopped at Smiths on a Sunday because you were out of diapers? Uf, no. Here are your Lower Kingdom clothes, and that train with the gang graffiti on it will take you there.

The Prophet happily manages to avoid a single mention of Jesus on the cross as a solution for sin. There is, instead, a gauntlet of prolonged agony of purest regret, confession to church authorities, furrowed brows, harrumphing, excommunication, lengthy remedial exercises and finally re-baptism, followed by the joys of tithing, attendance, callings and endurance until the end. And don't ever let us catch you sinning again, or we'll really make it rough on you.

There are two sins which will prevent one from La Lounge Celeste: murder and singleness. Even adultery can be forgiven, for the fantastically low price of whatever free time one has for the rest of his life. Maybe. We'll let you know.

Your past sins never actually go away, mind you. One arduously repents, and they get stuck in the sin bin, all to come tumbling out again smelling of guilt the next time the miscreant shows his weakness and errs. The weak sin, the strong do not sin, you see. See the strong give the weak wedgies and noogies in the Golden Halls, forever.

The book takes an exhale-inducing turn from lip curling contempt toward patronizing crumb-dropping on p. 339, with the chapter heading God Will Forgive. A woman who had years before stained herself and her husband with the Big A accosted Bro Kimball in the temple hall, and asked anxiously if he remembered her, which he could not(in his last decade he did not remember his own name, btw). They had apparently gone to him and confessed their infidelity. So she went away cheerfully testifying that if he could not remember her face, Heavenly Father surely could not remember that she had abused her wedding vows. Oooookay.

Turning each page brought more rejoicing. And now I am ecstatic to be done with it.

The book is a classic. It belongs on a shelf in an exclusive club, alongside the Book of Mormon and A Marvelous Work And A Wonder.

I will forever give it the respect it deserves.

It is a privilege to have scribbled this little review for you, and I hope that I have not been a spoiler in telling you how it might end.

And now, I must go through a repentance process for having shot the first half of the day reading the thing.

seeking peace
Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness

Your writing talent and speed must rival your reading/comprehending speed--both are very impressive. Thank you for the review so others will not have to drink the poison.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
No mention of mutual masturbation leading to homosexuality? :)

An excellent review.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness

Can you do more book reviews? This book is unpleasantly stained into my memory having been my MIL's banner of righteousness into the war on my husband and I when we were dating. I remember her fervently quoting it to me calling DH and I into repentance.

Your review makes me feel a little less alone and know that I am a much better human being than that piece of $h!+ book says.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
It is such a pleasure to see that book skewered so artfully.

The Miracle of Forgiveness was my ticket out of the church. One chapter and the light went on and I hit the ground running. What a shame Spencer W. died before I could properly thank him taking his writings to such extremes that they showed themselves to be nothing more than the vile poison of a very sick man.

Unfortunately I know so many who were damaged by it, really damaged. I was very lucky indeed that it had the opposite effect on me.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
Most excellent review! This book was instrumental in teaching me that Mormon god hates my guts and that it will be a miracle if I am forgiven. Glad to see how much you enjoyed it as well.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
He forgets the sin of mental masterbation. The one thing you must do to belive this crap.


Masterful review, wonderfully cheeky tone!!! 


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
This was the primary book of reference in my freshman seminary class growing up in rural Utah, early 70s. I don't know how many of my friends it screwed up, but it messed with my mind big time. I absolutely hate this book and the pompous ass Seminary teacher who gleefully taught from it. F*ck you both.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
Great Review! Reminds me of another review by our Lord Raptor:

An Excerpt:

"The natural man is an enemy of god." Is a scripture that is quoted occasionally in the book. It is your job overcome that "naturalness" in order to become Super-Natural as god is. And unfortunately for us, humping is the most natural thing we can do. Unless, of course, it's same sex humping which is a "sin against nature." God, hates the natural man and the homosexual even though you'd think he'd appreciate the "unnaturalness" of it. But that's you using your "crafty logic" you goddamn sinner. Trust me. Sex is exactly like Karate. We learn it so that we never use it except for when appropriate. In the bedroom with our lawful spouses.


The title should be "It's a Miracle Jesus Even Likes You"
Christianity sells you the solution (10% of your gross income) for a problem you didn't even know you had (your sinful fallen state). SKW's book is all about selling you on the idea of your wretched, disgusting nature.


Re: Your Servant's Review of Miracle of Forgiveness
Please post your review of the book on Amazon at your earliest convenience!


Thank You
You are all very kind in your responses.

Regarding the suggestion of posting an Amazon review, I'll not be able to do that. Anonymity is essential. We must continue to live here in UT CO in peace, with the intent of serving these unique people in love.


Excellent Review
I had the pleasure of being sent home from a bishop's interview when I was bout 14 or 15 with a copy of the book. I can still remember my big sister howling with laughter when she saw I was being forced to confess and do penance. She then started guessing which sin I was guilty of. Was even worse when Iread the parts I was directed to read. I didn't care much for the Church then and this did not help. Since I was apparently a child of the devil I resolved to never go to Seminary and to skip all church meetings as often as I could. That did not work out very well.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"