I just completed reading this book by Jon Krakauer. After hearing about all the controversy it stirred up, I expected it to be a really interesting read. However, it was kind of just, blah. It didn't really shed any new information for me on Polygamy (other than that there are many different groups of people out there living some sort of Mormon based polygamy) or on the history of the Mormons. The brief chapter on the Mountain Meadows Massacre definately made me want to read more on that so I just got the new book "Massacre at Mountain Meadows" (I will post a review when I finish it). Also, the book opened my eyes a bit to what an extreme leader Brigham Young was, really to the point of fanaticism, IMO. But other than that, nothing really new to me.
It did make me think about one thing, though. It was eye opening to read about how many people in history have claimed to have seen or talked with God and how they all claim He told them to do something or be something different from all the others. Growing up in the LDS church, I kind of thought, well Joseph Smith's vision and revelations must be true because I couldn't believe that such a fantastic story could be made up. However, in Under the Banner of Heaven, Krakauer shows just how many people in history have claimed similar occurrances and to be seers/revelators/prophets of some kind. They cannot all be correct because they have claimed/preached vastly different things. Why would they all be wrong but Joseph Smith is right? It just doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps all these people truely believed that they had seen a vision and/or talked with God but how can you possibly sort out if any of them really did?
I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.