At our Oct 29th meeting we discussed the book ‘Under the Banner of Heaven‘ by John Krakauer. The book describes the brutal murder of a young woman and her infant child by Dan and Ron Laferty. From this starting point the book goes on to examine and explain the history of the LDS church and the various fundamentalist, polygamous sects that exist today. I found it to be a well written history of the faith providing insight into the mysticism on which its founded. From there, the author goes on to explain the development and movement toward the mainstream to become the fastest growing religion in the world today. But, from these beginnings you can see how a fundamentalist movement, rooted in the past, can and does exists today.
There were several areas we discussed from the book. The first of which was “Was Krakour bashing the Mormon faith?”. Personally, I have a tendency to feel that he was. However, the consensus of the group was split on this point.
The question was raised about the nature of plural marriage as a tenet of the Mormon church. Several years after the establishment of the faith, Joseph Smith came out to describe polygamy as ‘The most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on earth‘. So the question then from the group was it Joseph Smith’s intent to provide a means to grow the church through polygamy, or a more basic human desire on his part. Again, I felt that it was a combination of both ideas that led him to this covenant.
Thanks to Craig and Marcy for hosting the evening. Chili and cornbread for dinner was just right.
Next month’s meeting is being moved to the second week in December due to the holidays. We are going to be at Jacks house to discuss Bill O’Reilly’s book ‘Killing Jesus’.
See you all then and have a great Thanksgiving.