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Under the Banner of Heaven
It's a horrible injustice to the Mormon faith that the book does not distinguish between the fundamentalist and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This kind of debauchery causes prejudice and hatred of others. I'm sad others will believe what the author says about the "mormon" (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) faith. The actions of two fanatical, misguided, evil people do not represent the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If one thinks he/she knew nothing about the "Mormons" before reading this book, he/she can be assured that he/she still knows nothing about the "Mormon" beliefs.
Not that great
Completely one sided and doesn't really distinguish the difference between the real mormons and the crazy polygamists that aren't mormons at all. I'm friends with alot of mormons and have even been to their services and I feel that their should be a greater distinction between the two. Its not fair that one group gets a bad reputation because of other peoples actions.
Too much history
Thought the book explained the Mormon History very well, but I thought this took away from the actual story of the Lafferty Brothers. The first 110 pages seemed like they came right out of history book. It really took away my interest from the book quickly. The book also repeats itself in the near closing chapters. However, the author did a great job portraying the chacters Ron and Dan Lafferty, which made for a scary element of the book.
I thought this book was very interesting and read it almost in one sitting. I was a little distressed that the author felt the need to respond at length to a critic in the end. Very readable. I bought it for friends just so could talk about it with someone.
After reading the book, Under the Banner of Heaven, I was relieved to see how people who take the name of God for their own glory pay the price for them. This was a true account of what polygamy is really like even with Brigham Young who had 9 wives divorce him out of 52.
In 1969 I refused to blindly obey a "blood oath" to keep secrets and to consecrate to an Idol (LDS church) which claimed to be of God. The prominent leader was so startled he asked me why. I recited Exodus 20:4-5 (one of the 10 Commandments) and stated I would have nothing to do with this ritual of consecrating everything to the church instead of to God.
In 1989 another leader of this organization asked me to be a judge of others (a Bishop) and I quoted these same verses because I was living in the same community as the Lafferty Brothers, Highland, Utah. He then publically proclaimed that all is not well in "zion".
This book helps many understand how "letter of the law" these type of men are and how they justify their perverted actions, through blood atonement. This practice stopped a couple of thousand years ago (along with slavery), so I appreciate how direct and truthful this author is and how the sins eventually fall upon those who justify anything they want to claim.
Utah has the one of the highest rates of depression, rape, child abuse & murder of women in the nation according to the US Census 2003. These false beliefs in polygamy (even in the LDS church) is why. The mentality is that the women are possessions - good for breeding & sex. The men lust after polygamy to be lived in the future just like the moslems and that is their glory in heaven to populate their worlds.
This is an excellent book for all Mormon's & Gentiles to understand a corrupt belief system that regards polygamy as God-like. It portrayed the reality of very sick controlling men and victim women & children. This is a secretive, corrupt belief that needs to be exposed. I'm glad this book was written. It's a must read & extremely interesting!
Conversely, the Book of Mormon states emphaticially that "David & Solomon had many wives and concubines & this is an abomination unto me, saith the Lord"Jacob 2 23:24 & Jacob 2 chapter 3 tells WHY the Nephites (Native American relatives) were destroyed; POLYGAMY.
Another great book, "God's Brothel" by Andrea Moore-Emmett tells the depravity of polygamous relationships; child abuse, sex abuse, incest, etc. all in the name of God. Why? Because the LDS church still do polygamous celestial sealings in the temples, suppress the women- not equal to men and believe polygamy will be lived again & also in heaven. The belief is the cause of the corruption. Tapestry Against Polygamy - ran by women who left polygamy.
The depravity of religious fundamentalism is totally exposed in Krakauer"s book. His book reveals what the Middle Ages must have been like under the rule of the Catholic Church.
The author has writting skills, I admit. But the book only highlights the negatives in the Mormon religion. It is biased and one sided. But, if you are strictly anti mormon, this book will add fuel to the fire.