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Living in a Confessing Way: James L. Ferrell speaks at Spirit in the Law Fireside
James L. Ferrell, the author of bestselling book, The Peacegiver, discussed the “eternal” difference between guilt and innocence as he spoke at the Spirit in the Law Fireside this Sunday, September 20, 2010 in the Moot Court room at the J. Reuben Clark Law School.
“Freedom depends on a finding of innocence, doesn’t it?” Ferrell asked. “A finding of innocence gives you freedom in life. But in the eternities, it’s the exact opposite. Freedom depends on a confession of guilt.”
Ferrell explained that contemporary society vilifies guilt when it really should be seen as a positive thing.
“My deep belief is that guilt is a gift from God,” Ferrell said. “It’s one of the most beautiful things we’ve been given and it has a bad name in our modern culture. We are all desperately trying to run from feeling guilty, when what we really need to do is run toward the light and be humbled even more.”
Therefore, Ferrell suggested, our guilt solidifies our freedom as it brings us closer to the Savior.
“We’re bit by our own guilt,” he said. “Then we’re required by the law to look to Him and be healed.”
Ferrell stressed that we should all live in a “confessing kind of way,” where we more readily admit our shortcomings and more sincerely commit to change.
“What if we talked and commented in more of a confessing kind of way?” Ferrell asked. “What if I was a spouse in more of a confessing kind of way? Wouldn’t that truly be divine?”
Annalyn Harper (2L) applied this way of living and what she learned to the law.
“As law students, as we’re working to learn, understand and apply the law, it’s important for us to recognize that we really are all guilty and we really do need our Savior,” Harper said. “It’s not up to us to judge the guilt or innocence of others.”
Amanda Frost (1L) echoed Harper’s thoughts.
“We can’t judge others lives based on our own standards,” Frost said.
In conclusion, Ferrell described how we can live in a “confessing kind of way” every day.
“This is the combination,” Ferrell said. “This is what I hear the Savior teaching us and the way in which he invites us to live. Regarding myself, I am confessing my faults. Regarding others, I am looking for any kind of virtue they might have, anything to praise. It doesn’t say they have to have every virtue – they just need one. That is the magic way to live.”
Posted: September 28, 2010