Fiona Givens‘ and Terryl Givens‘ most recent book, The Christ Who Heals: How God Restored the Truth That Saves Us, is remarkable. But it’s not because very many of the ideas they present are unheard of, undiscussed, or absolutely foreign to Latter-day Saints. Instead, the triumph of this book is in its distillation from many ancient and modern sources of a vision of Christ and the other members of the Godhead (Heavenly Mother and the extended Divine Council) that is gorgeous, ennobling of humankind, empowering for us in this earthly sphere, and reveals Gods who are in solidarity with us in our pains and suffering and whose only project (“work and glory”) is to patiently teach us, model for us the scope of a truly abundant type of life, and help us discern what is keeping us from seeing, understanding, and choosing steps that will help us move forward toward it.
The ideas and vision that is in this book is my (host Dan Wotherspoon) favorite depiction of the Plan of Salvation (Happiness) and Christ’s Atoning work. In engenders deeper love within me for my Heavenly Parents, Savior/Healer, and Holy Companion/Paraclete/Comforter and all beings who are venturing along a Godward path—which, ultimately, is or will be everyone (with only very few exceptions). And this is so, especially as we see in it that at every step we are collaborators with the Gods in their project. And even if the depictions of Gods’ work and glory in this book aren’t exactly on the nose, or even if the whole Christian drama is purely a mythic presentation that fails to correspond with anything in the eternal realm, this vision of the Gods and Heavens are ones that I hope are true. Yet even if not, I am inspired in wonderful ways to want to deepen my relationship with my fellow human beings and to immerse myself even more deeply into the energies I’ve felt as I have tasted experiences that seem far deeper to me than anything my senses could generate or brain could present to me.
I hope you’ll listen to this podcast and consider Christ anew—or if not exactly anew as much here will be familiar to you, at least to consider what it means in your life to sense the presence at every step of a loving God, who even if you feel alone in your struggles and pain, is with you every step, and sees you and all that is blocking you from a fuller understanding. What would it be like to be “healed”?