From Adam S. Miller and his book ‘Original Grace’:

Not long ago, I spoke at a conference on grace that doubled as a celebration of ‘Believing Christ’s’ twenty-fifth anniversary. Preparing for the conference, I went looking for the copy of the book I bought as a missionary. I found it in my office at school. The dust jacket had faded in the strong Texas sun. I took the book home and read it with fresh eyes. This time, I read the book not only as a disciple but as a scholar, not only as a student but as a colleague. I underlined passages. I took lots of notes. I mapped out the book’s argument. I marked not only the book’s strengths but also its less-obvious limits. In response, I prepared a talk that was grateful but questioning.

For an academic, this was all standard procedure, and I didn’t give it a second thought—until I learned that Robinson was also slated to speak at this same conference. When my turn came and I stood under the bright lights of BYU’s Varsity Theater, ready to speak, I wondered if Robinson was out there in the audience. I wondered what he would think. I wondered if he would understand. I wondered if he might even agree. Robinson’s own thinking had doubtless developed over the years. Either way, I hoped he would see my talk—questions included—as my love letter intended it to be.

My father was a man of action. He was not much of a reader. He worked hard every day. When I was little, he went back to school and still worked two jobs at a time. “Work hard for what you get, find alternatives when you have roadblocks, and be honest with everyone,” he continually said. “I have always paid my own way and found alternatives to accomplish my goals,” he added. Sometimes I collected pop bottles, cut grass, worked as a janitor, county sheriff, teacher, principal, superintendent, and always followed Dad’s rule—church on Sunday.”

My father ardently believed in all seven habits of highly effective people. He made short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long term goals. He framed them on his office wall, tucked them into his scriptures, and folded miniature versions into his wallet. He carried them everywhere. After seventy-one years of trying to accomplish goals, he wrote, “I learned that I almost always had to try more than once to accomplish my goal.” Of a new four-year goal he had just set in 2018, he said: “Have not been too successful yet, but I will accomplish it.” ~Adam S. Miller, Original Grace (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2022) p.17-18   (continued)


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