Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fascination Street

I cannot explain it, but I am fascinated with the history of the Mormon Church. Er, what I mean is the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints. Sorry. Some people are obsessed with the Manson family (and who can blame them). Others with Elvis or Paris Hilton or Stephen Hawking. You know what your dirty and guilty pleasures are.

Mine is Mormonism. Maybe it is because I once lived with someone who started his own religion. Or maybe it is a Central New York thing (you know this is where Mormonism was founded)?

Regardless of the reason, I'm now riveted by the trial of fundamentalist Warren Jeffs for child rape. What will happen? Will the jury find him guilty? Will the polygamist movement go underground? How will it affect Mitt's run for the Presidency (Why is NO ONE talking about the fact that this candidate is an elder in a group of crazy people!!!!)? Who will play Jeff's in the Made For TV Movie? And is it in production yet? I know that when it DOES come out, I'll watch it with gross fascination. Until then, I need to settle for stories in The Boston Globe that I read online at home, while sitting in my bathrobe, without even one husband to share my outrage with. Sigh.

1 comment:

Tracy Hall Jr said...

I always love it when someone wants to figure out my religion. Kindly accept a couple of suggestions:

I'm afraid Krakauer's book got you off to a bad start. In a review for the Boston Globe, Terryl Givens writes,

"Insofar as Krakauer recounts Mormonism's past, he does it poorly, using outdated sources and discredited reports to portray a Joseph Smith and a Mormonism reminiscent of 19th-century caricatures. His picture of contemporary Mormonism is also seriously misinformed, leaving us with far more overlap between Mormons and renegade polygamists than really exists, and grave misperceptions."

May I suggest a much better book: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman, a respected scholar and a faithful Latter-day Saint.

Also read anything written by Jan Shipps, the acclaimed non-Mormon scholar of LDS history.

Of course, if you really want to figure out what makes Mormonism tick, you have to read The Book of Mormon! I love this book and would be delighted to respond to any questions you might have as you read it.

Best wishes,