Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven


I started this several months ago, read the majority of it, and have yet to finish it. At this point, I'll probably start it over in a few years and hopefully be more successful in getting through it.

If you've ever wanted to know an insane amount of information regarding the history of the Mormon church, then this is the book for you. Not that it wasn't interesting, because I actually do find the Mormon faith to be incredibly fascinating, but it was just really, really heavy with detail and opinion. Then it talks heavily about the fundamentalist Mormons and that's exactly where I got lost. I am intrigued by the FLDS and polygamy, but I'd prefer to hear true accounts of this life-style, not the history of their beliefs. For me, I was hoping "Under the Banner of Heaven" would be the true story of two brother's who killed their sister-in-law and niece as an alleged atonement of their faith, because that's exactly what I thought the book sleeve said the book was about.

Anyway, all the 300+ pages I managed to read did for me was confirm what an interesting, for lack of a better word, Mormonism is. I'm not trying to offend anyone, it's just a faith that I cannot understand and I found the history of the Church to be completely far-fetched and cult-like (but then again, aren't most religions?). I literally kept asking myself, "How are there so many people who fall for this crap?" But hey, I'm Catholic and I'm sure plenty of people out there think we're all a little cuckoo for believing a virgin gave birth to a Son who saved us all from eternal damnation by sacrificing His life and rising from the dead. That's the beauty of faith, right?

So, if you want an incredibly detailed account of how Mormonism came about and the sub-groups that broke off from the Mormon church, with a few random chapters about a crime of atonement, you'll probably like this book. If you want a (disturbing) book about a crime of atonement with a dash of fundamentalist Mormonism, I highly recommend, "Prophet of Death: The Mormon Blood Atonement Killings."

Also, reviews online give this book 4/5 stars, so maybe I'm the wrong person to be reviewing this book and you can take my opinion with a grain of salt.




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2 comments:

Gucci Mama said...

I just finished this book; I read it cover to cover in like a day and a half. I am really fascinated by Mormon fundamentalism and I love boring details of history. Now I'm off to the bookstore to find the other one you recommended.

R @ TravelistaRN said...

Still want to read this!!

It's been sitting in my kindle for months but I guess I won't get a chance until winter break now.

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