Sunday, July 15, 2007

Under the Banner of Heaven

I just finished listening to the audiobook version of "Under the Banner of Heaven: A story of Violent Faith" by Jon Krakauer. It currently has 4 of 5 stars from 627 Amazon reviewers. Krakauer is famous for his earlier book titled "Into Thin Air" with his first-hand account of a Mt. Everest climbing disaster. Far from that topic, this new book is about fundamentalists in the LDS church. I'd like to think that mainstream Mormons are disturbed by some of the things described in the book, which contains a lot of coverage of Ron and Dan Lafferty's murder of their younger brother's wife and baby daughter. The book was enlightening and filled with information I had never known about the history of the Mormon church and the practices of some fundamentalist branches.

The audiobook is read by the author, and that often adds value to the material, preventing any undesireable influences in the material from vocal intonations, inflections, etc. In this case, however, the author's voice is a bit soporific. Regardless, I recommend this book to anyone interested in the lives of others. We live in a world filled with other people who were raised differently than ourselves, hold different beliefs, and aspire to different goals. I think it's important to learn as much as we can, to be open to different things, and to make the most of our time here. Note: that doesn't mean I agree with the fundamentalist views and practices described in the book. I will sleep better thinking that they are a small minority, but it does make me curious. Curious about the book's accuracy. Curious about the normal things like: who, how many, where. And curious about how we might help those who would choose to leave that system. Who would choose the brave path of exercising choice.

1 comment:

ptp61 said...

i thought this was an excellent read