This was a very scary book. Written by Jon Krakauer, the author of Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, this books explores the history, and violence, of the Mormon faith. Due to the subject material, it was a little slow at times – I found my attention wandering and occasionally had to make myself reread passages.
Religion is a touchy subject, especially when you are discussing the darker aspects of faith, such as what is considered ‘God sanctioned violence’. I am aware that all religions have a history of ‘killing in the name of the Lord’. It’s just that for most (Western) religions, that history is far in the past, whereas Mormonism is relatively young, ‘American born’ faith. This is a subject that I honestly don’t want to get into, so there’s not much to say.
I read this book because it was recommended to me, and because I believe that it’s important for me to educate myself before forming opinions about matters that I know nothing about. This book has left me with some very strong opinions. One of them is that I really don’t want Mormons knocking on my door (not that I did before, but now I really don’t).
Like you, I love learning and I believe it’s important to have a strong, well-rounded knowledge of things in order to talk intelligently about them – particularly about matters of historical fact. Reading this post intrigued me since I also have an academic interest in Mormonism. But also, I came away more impressed with you than before when you mentioned the reason why you wanted to read the book. It’s an admirable reason and I respect that greatly.
Personally, I take reading or any method of self-education as a natural virtue everyone should engage. But general observations here and there make it clear not everybody values this as much as others. So it was refreshing to read what you said.
I’m glad I was drawn to your posts today! Thank you! 🙂
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