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All Things New

Robert MacFarlane has written that “language does not just register experience, it produces it.” Our religious language in particular informs and shapes our understanding of God, our sense of self, and the way we make sense of our challenging path back to loving Heavenly Parents. Unfortunately, to an extent we may not realize, our religious vocabulary has been shaped by prior generations whose creeds, in Joseph Smith’s words, have “filled the world with confusion.”

“I make all things new,” proclaimed the Lord. Regrettably, many are still mired in the past, in ways we have not recognized. In this book, Fiona and Terryl Givens trace the roots of our religious vocabulary, explore how a flawed inheritance compounds the wounds and challenges of a life devoted to discipleship, and suggest ways of reformulating our language in more healthy ways — all in the hope that, as B. H. Roberts urged, we may all “cooperate in the works of the Spirit” to find “a truer expression” of a gospel restored.

What people are saying

“A work of restoration itself, this book refocuses, refines, and heals Latter-day Saint understanding of the condition of the human soul. Through a succinct review of the Christian doctrinal legacy, the Givenses orient readers and prepare us to understand their assessments on how Latter-day Saint doctrine is distinct and why that matters. Written with the beauty, intelligence, and literary allusion that grace the Givenses’ other books, All Things New is a feast to satisfy today’s spiritual hungers.”
–Kate Holbrook, Managing Historian, Church History Department

“All Things New is a game changer. Terryl and Fiona first trace how unhealthy ideas found their way into our religious vocabulary, and then offer us a more joyful, spiritually healthy way to view and internalize the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can’t wait to share this with family and friends.”
–Steve Young, Founder of Forever Young Foundation, NFL Hall of Famer

“It’s long past time for us to think more deeply, bravely, and creatively about what love, grace, sin, and justice mean in light of the Restoration. And, equally, it’s long past time for us to break with the traditional Christian grammars of original sin and retributive justice as we do so. All Things New is important work of just this kind.”
— Adam S. Miller, author of Letters to a Young Mormon and An Early Resurrection

“After reading this remarkable new work by Terryl and Fiona Givens I am chronicling my faith journey as “before” All Things New and “after” All Things New.  I’ll never think of “sin, salvation, and everything  in between” in the same way.  It’s a gift my soul has been longing for.”
— Michael McLean, songwriter, movie producer

“We are thrilled to see thinkers  of Fiona and Terryl Givens stature address these themes with such power and clarity.  A careful reading of this book will joyously re-define how you perceive the Restored Gospel.”
— Richard and Linda Eyre, #1 New York Times bestselling authors

“Fiona and Terryl Givens have provided all of us a clarifying and powerful way to raise our understanding of the truths of the Restoration, and the spiritual light that has been present between the time of Jesus’ original church and that of the Latter-days.  Imbuing familiar words with glorious new understanding allows us to see ever more clearly the transformative power of Christ’s pure love, and to increase our gratitude for the urgent desire of our Heavenly Parents to include each of us in Their work and glory.”
— Tom Christofferson, author of That We May Be One

“I believe that we are on a bridge to a new dimension of the restoration, and Terryl and Fiona Givens have articulated the principles of that deepening restoration. These are transformational ideas and TASTE good. As Joseph Smith said: “This is good doctrine. It tastes good.” This is a book I will re-read often. It is one I will share—especially with those who have somehow forgotten what “restoration” means, and how ceaseless it is.”
— Margaret Young, author, producer of Heart of Africa

About the authors

Fiona and Terryl Givens have co-authored three other books: The God Who WeepsThe Christ Who Heals, and The Crucible of Doubt. A New York native, Terryl Givens did his graduate work in intellectual history (Cornell) and comparative literature (UNC Chapel Hill). Now Neal A. Maxwell Senior Researcher at the Maxwell Institute, he is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Literature at the University of Richmond, where he held the Jabez Bostwick Chair. Givens’s work has been called “provocative reading” by The New York Times and includes some twenty titles, including a two-volume history of Mormon thought: Wrestling the Angel, and Feeding the Flock, a history of the idea of premortal existence, When Souls Had Wings, and works on the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. Born in East Africa and educated in Catholic boarding schools, Fiona Givens did her graduate work in European history, has taught French and German, and was a lobbyist and communications director for a non-profit. Currently a Visiting Researcher at the Maxwell Institute, she has published in Journal of Mormon HistoryDialogueExponent IILDS Living, and with Routledge Press. She is a frequent speaker at firesides and women’s conferences.