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Under the Banner of Heaven

A Story of Violent Faith

by Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2003, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 400 pages

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There are currently 45 reader reviews for Under the Banner of Heaven
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Georgia

Under the Banner of Heaven
Jon Krakauer's book was exciting and hard to put down. Coming from a Mormon background drew me in because I appreciated another perspective on the Church that I had not focused on before. Our family was active in my growing up years and no longer are any of us involved in the Mormon church. The polygamists that believe in the FLDS church are following a way of life that was practiced ages ago in the Bible and to them it seems logical and correct. The lifestyle is workable if it has complete agreement from the women. Without that, it is dead. But when the Lafferty brothers come forward and say they have a revelation that affirms they need to "remove" the non believers, they have gone too far -- and they make for a very interesting read!
Pat

Interesting Reviews
I suspect the reviewers who gave this book a "1" are fundamentalist Mormons. One of which does not even understand that the concept of fundamentalism can apply to any religion. Excellent, insightful read.
Maralie

Stunning and Frightening
An engaging and well-written historical analysis of the Mormon Church and its tenets as well as an exploration of religious fanaticism generally. I heard about the book from a friend and not being a fan of "adventure' writing, might not have read it otherwise.
Amazing that people the likes of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are still held in such high esteem in the modern LDS. That in and of itself should make any would-be follower question the wisdom of hooking their cart to such a wagon. If the lack of regard for the equality of women, African Americans and unthinking worship of old, white men doesn't.
It was a significant book in 2003 and even more so now as we approach another presidential election. If the nice guy next door can suddenly receive a message from God that he must accept without question and murder two innocent people, what about the guy or gal with the nuclear launch codes?
Matthew (SML)

Awesome
Down right scary in places, but puts what you have always been thinking about organized religion into print. A heroic effort to open your mind to most anything. Very well written.
Ann

Riveting
Telling the chilling story of the Lafferty brothers and the murderous slaughter of their sister-in-law, Krakauer goes beyond the crime to investigate the the Mormon founder, Joseph Smith and the emergence of this new American religion. It would not have been possible to explain the fanatical beliefs of the brothers without doing so. The result is a fascinating investigation by Krakauer into the history of the movement and the offshoot that has become the polygamous FLDS sect, so much in the news right now. It is noteworthy that statehood for Utah depended on the end of polygamy as a tenet (unless God orders it!!) It is no wonder that some adherents considered it apostasy at the time Perhaps their motives may have more to do with enjoying this life rather than insuring the next. It is interesting to note that men find ways to dominate women under the cloak of religion and not just in the mid east.
Former Utahn

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.
Karen Davis

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.
Herbert Howe

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.

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