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

4.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  704 Ratings  ·  103 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.
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published (first published September 15th 1989)
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Feb 27, 2008 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2011 Camala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 31, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
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
Aug 25, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 13, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds-nonfiction
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
Mar 04, 2012 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
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
Aug 03, 2015 Kris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
I feel guilty giving this book only three stars. I read the other reviews and they were all 5 stars with rave reviews...maybe the other readers are just smarter than I am, because I had a hard time "getting" this book. I didn't feel like it was too deep and yet after finishing the book, I felt like I didn't understand grace any better than I had before reading it. I actually felt more discouraged about how hard life is supposed to be, so that we can know the bitter and thus prize the sweet. I th ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Stewart rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 14, 2009 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
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.
Mar 26, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful look at the Atonement applied in our daily lives. A great piece of my study of the Atonement.
Aug 23, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, lds-books
An incredibly wonderful read. It answers a lot of questions, and broadens the understanding of suffering here on earth, the Saviour's role, and our own in relation to the Atonement and eternal life.

I would recommend this book to all my family and friends.
Jennifer Clawson
This is one of the best LDS books I've read. It is well written, engaging, and filled with both doctrine and real examples. It is the best book I've read on how we can apply the atonement to our lives. This is on my list of life changing books.

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
Nov 28, 2011 Haley Pierson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 13, 2011 Christiane marked it as to-read
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.
Listened to this multiple times while I was patrolling as a police officer. Gave me great comfort and peace after Alexa broke my heart.
May 14, 2015 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot express succinctly enough how enlightening this book was. Although it is impossible to fathom every aspect of the atonement, reading this book gave me a deeper appreciation for my Savior and what He did for all mankind. Life is hard. Sometimes we feel alone, lost, misunderstood, useless...but one of the most touching and hopeful quotes from this book says, "The times of feeling lost are not always times when we have wandered from the straight and narrow path. Not at all. We may be preci ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Michele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2013
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
Feb 11, 2015 McKenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
I really like the insights into justice, mercy, and the nature of humans (essentially good, essentially evil, etc.). While of course the general concepts are nothing knew, I really liked the angle he brought to the subject. I got some good insights out of the book and I'm sure will eventually reread it.
Jul 02, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best gospel-themed/doctrinal books that I have ever read. Hafen put in writing some thoughts I've had on my own, as well as expanded those thoughts to some I had not yet considered in the same way. He explains how some of us (us as in members of the church) sometimes misunderstand such an essential part of the gospel as the atonement, yet how we can better apply the atonement in the journey of our experiences, not just our outright sins. He also talks a lot about how the journey of Ad ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2014 Anneliese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing description of the Atonement and how to apply it.
Kerstin Marie
Sep 08, 2014 Kerstin Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Deep, great book. I learned a lot.
Jun 02, 2015 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, religious
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
Aug 04, 2011 Rhonda Sarantis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 10, 2011 Judi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 24, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gospel-themes
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!
Nov 28, 2009 Emilyprice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
" 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!
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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...

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