The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life's Experiences
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The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life's Experiences

4.5 of 5 stars 4.50  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This book considers the role of the Lord's saving grace in the mortal experience. Comprising collected essays, Bruce Hafen writes of the important doctrine of the Atonement. A bestseller in hardback, The Broken Heart will encourage, uplift, and inspire.
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published September 15th 1989 by Shadow Mountain
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Josh
So when I saw this book on my bookshelf I said,

A. What is this book doing here.
B. This book looks boring as sin. (The cover was horrible)
C. I'm never going to read it.
D. Why am I spending so much time making a list about this book?

But then, just to spite myself I began reading it. And was sorely disappointed in my initial prejudice. This was a practical book on the powers of the atonement, which is something I've been wanting to learn more about. It is not nebulous and motivational as much as b...more
Camala
One of the very best books I have ever read. Read it and am turning around and rereading it. May continue to reread it for years. Love it.
Melanie
Don't love writing reviews, but loved this book! It really elucidates the necessity for and relevance of the atonement in the trenches of day-to-day life, essential for all as opposed to just the vilest of sinners, and offers applications with real-life examples. This book was so dog-eared by the time I finished! Two brief points from the book, among many, that really resonated with me:

1. We all feel estranged or separated from God at times in our lives; it may be as a result of sin, but many ti...more
Laura
Several years ago I came across a talk entitled "Beauty for Ashes" by Elder Bruce C. Hafen. That talk changed forever my understanding of the Atonement. So, I was pleased when I came across this book in a bookstore one day and I bought it. So, so, glad I did! Elder Hafen in this book expounds on the true meaning and application of the Atonement for our every day lives. Using concepts he touched upon in the aforementioned talk he succeeds in bringing new insight and understanding on the Atonement...more
Nancy
An interesting read on the Atonement. I gained some new insights on this most important of all subjects. Definitely worth the read for anyone seeking greater understanding of how to apply the atonement in their everyday life. A few places were a little difficult for me to take in all at once, so I had to go back and reread them to make sure I got the message I was supposed to receive. Not a book I could just race through. Some parts really made me think. The thoughts here made me stop and do a l...more
Kyle
Excellent discourse on the atonement of Christ. Elder Hafen writes in a rich and educated simplicity. In 200 pages he quoted several scriptures and explained our need for the atonement clearly and concisely. Many times in the past I have thought or wondered about the topics he discusses in this book and it was nice to gain more perspective. I recommend it to every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as anyone who does not understand what the Church believes about th...more
Stewart
Another great book about the Atonement! His insights and comments really made me stop and think, and then think some more. It took me quite a while to read this as I keep rereading sections and doing my own research about thoughts brought up. This is a must read for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the Atonement. Amazing book.
Jenna
This book makes the Atonement apply to everyone's life in some way or another. It made me understand it in a unique and powerful way. Even though I don't feel like I have terrible sins to repent of, or a broken heart that needs mending, I recognized the need for the Atonement in my life. Elder Hafen is a powerful writer.
Jennifer Griffith
This, along with Stephen Robinson's great Believing Christ, gives a comprehensive explanation of how we can access the blessings of Christ's love in our lives, how we can feel it more, and why we shouldn't be afraid to seek it. Invaluable.
Haley Pierson
What a great book, deep, I had to read certain parts a few times to make sure I got it all. He does a great job of using stories and examples to illustrate points to help you understand the principles. I really enjoyed the book.
Christiane
Mar 13, 2011 Christiane marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This year's Easter book for our family. We get one every year and this year, we're challenging ourselves to understand the Atonement as well as Elder Hafen explains it.
Kimball
Listened to this multiple times while I was patrolling as a police officer. Gave me great comfort and peace after Alexa broke my heart.
Heather
This book helped me think about how I need the Savior's Atonement in my life. It made me want to study and understand it much better. "The Broken Heart has a double meaning: first, the breaking of Christ's heart at the moment of his death on the cross, when he voluntarily gave up his life in the final act of the Atonement's drama; second, the broken heart and contrite spirit the Savior asks each of us to place before him on the altar of sacrifice (p. 27)."

I was surprised by an opening statement...more
Michele
pg 11: "Could it be that the great 'at-one-ment' of Christ could put back together the broken parts and give beauty to the ashes of experience such as this?"

Love this idea that the bad things that happen to you, can come together to have some meaning and possibly even become beautiful.

pg 29: "The Atonement not only pays for our sins, it heals our wounds- the self-inflicted ones and those inflicted from sources beyond our control. The Atonement also completes the process of our learning by perfe...more
Alison
This was a truly remarkable read. It unlocked pieces of my mind and heart about the relationship between grace and works in so many enlightening ways. So faith promoting and took my level of understanding of the Atonement to a place of clarity like nothing else has before, making my personal ability to apply the principles of repentance in a more effective way, and really understanding what it means to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Obliterated any narrow view I had of the purpose, r...more
Jacob
This is a very good discussion of Jesus Christ's atonement and the role it can actively play in our lives, especially in a few areas we may not have thought like pain and disappointment. I was glad to see some ideas that reflect my own and have them expanded and related to other ideas in ways I hadn't considered. Some chapters, like the one on hope, were disappointing in their failure to communicate a deep understanding. Still, this is very readable for such an intellectual discussion, and I wil...more
Rhonda Sarantis
Undoubtedly, one of the best books I have ever read. I received this book about 20 years ago from a friend for Easter, and remember loving it. I don't know why I picked it up from the bookshelves a couple months ago and started reading it again. But what a blessing! The book elevates our understanding of the atonement to a whole new level. Please read!
Judi
I learned so much from reading this! I love anything Hafen writes. "The Savior has strength to compensate not only for our sins but also for our inadequacies; not only for our mistakes but also for our sins committed in ignorance, our errors of judgment, and our unavoidable imperfections." So, since I am certainly not perfect, its a "good news" read!
Pauline Evans
Took me a while to get through this book as the language was sometimes difficult and I needed to re-read sections to fully take it in. However I found it inspiring and helpful in understanding the atonement especially in dealing with grief. I copied down many quotes into a notebook which I know will come in handy in the future or to use in church talks.
Rebecca
Bruce Hafen is a great writer. He gives clear explanations and teaches great gospel truths. The subject matter is exactly what the title describes - how to apply the atonement in our life. He has written other books that are along this same theme - The Believing Heart and The Belonging Heart. I have yet to read them. So many books to read!
Emilyprice
" The great Mediator asks for our repentance not because we must 'repay' him in exchange for him paying our debt to justice,but because repentance initiates a developmental process that, with the Savior's help leads us along the path to a saintly character." pg 149

I want/need to read this one again!
Brittany
Yet another great book in this trilogy. I love how easy these books are to read, and yet they really get to the heart of the matter, teach you things, and make you think. I'll definitely be reading the last book in the trilogy once I finish the book I'm on next. A great study of the Atonement!
Chelsea
I read a lot of books, but I can say that only a handful have changed my life in any way. This book is one of them. Elder Hafen gives a great description of the Savior's Atonement and how it can be applied to life's experiences that leave us feeling down-trodden, grief stricken and inadequate.
Crystal Souter
Absolutely amazing. The cover totally did not suck me in but the second I started reading it-I could not put it down. I want to read it over again. There's so many great points about the Atonement that I never understood before. I feel like it's changed my relationship with the Savior.
Wachlin007 Hotmail
This book is full of hope. It talks about how we all fall short of perfection. Sometimes this frustrates us and we don't even feel like trying to improve. This book shows how we can accept ourselves and others as we are, while continually trying to improve ourselves.
Bruce Olschewski
I love this book. It is a study of the Atonement. It really encouraged me to think about how I am under-utilizing the Atonement in my life. It also answered many questions I had about the great plan and how mortality works within that plan.

It is a wonderful read.
Stephanie
What stood out to me the most and stuck with me the most was the idea that the Savior ultimately died of a broken heart. If he died of a broken heart, then he must know the pain that comes from it. This idea helps me to trust Him to help heal my broken heart.
Erin
The topic of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a topic that one can never know enough about. There is always something new to learn. This was a very good book. It is short and in no way comprehensive, but a good start. Easy to read and understand.
Suzanne
One of the best books I've ever read on the Atonement. It really helped me understand the Savior's Atonement better. It meant a lot to me during a hard time in my life. In the years since, I've thought back on the insights I learned again and again.
Ethan
This is the best book (outside of the scriptures) that I have read on applying the atonement in your life, and that the atonement is much more broad and all encompassing in our lives than we normally think.

Meg's and I are reading it together right now.
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Bruce C. Hafen has been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since 1996, having served recently as Area President of the Australia/New Zealand area. Earlier he was president of Ricks College, Dean of the BYU Law School, and the number two administrator (Provost) at BYU. Elder Hafen is known to Deseret Book readers for his frequent Ensign articles and his bestselling trilogy on the Atonement...more
More about Bruce C. Hafen...
A Disciple's Life: The Biography of Neal A. Maxwell Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love The Believing Heart: Nourishing The Seed Of Faith Spiritually Anchored in Unsettled Times The Belonging Heart: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family

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