Do you know how your religion got formed? Well, do you know how a religion gets formed? It is indeed a tough nut to crack. To answer that, Krakauer takes the route of a novel religion “Mormonism” (Latter day Saints) . He Gets to its founding times, its scriptures, its prophet, all in a backdrop of a murder and the trial that ensued.
I knew Mormonism (before the book) only as just an off-shoot of Christianity with some crazy idea of Numerous children. And also that it is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. I had been to SLC, numerous times and been to the Mormon temple. But, none of it had given me any idea of what was in store for me in this book.
Two brothers after having received revelation from God goes out to murder their infant niece, their sister-in-law and two others. They succeed in murdering the baby and the mother brutally. Why would they do such a gruesome act? The story begins and goes back to this particular case of Lafferty brothers who commit this heinous crime and admits the act at the same time being not guilty. In the times of how we marginalize a particular community over its violent faith. This book dwells on how faith does it to anybody. And what faith can accomplish! It questions the basic tenets of religion. The book then revolves around many Mormon families across North America with their polygamous ways and how they live in contemporary American society. The book more importantly is also a historical record of Mormon religion, How it was formed by Joseph Smith, How it was lead by Brigham Young and its complicated relationship with United States government over last one century.
This book is no ordinary book. It goes out to prove the age old adage that ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. With Faith as its focal point, a criminal court case which it mulls over, a dreadful act and a religion, this book weaves a tapestry of basic Human quality.
How often as it happened, that a book comes over and gives true shocking details of something which you had just superficial knowledge. This non-fiction is a page turner and will take you by surprise for sure. The best thing about the book is that it dwells on lot of issues to its core. Like, Freedom, Individual rights, Women’s rights, Faith, Religion, Psychological standing of a convict.
In a simple language, with his highly praised rhetoric- Krakauer goes head on..!
The book contains lot of quotes from various people and is also a trove of quotes from Krakauer.
Highly recommended. I had read the more famous works of Krakauer like “Into thin air” and “Into the wild”. But this one tops the list easily.
Overall 5/5 (easily)
Quotable quote: “Common sense is no match for the voice of God.”
P.S: Three years ago, I had written about religion and secularism in India and United States. I didn’t see this one anywhere then. I hadn’t even known about Mormonism back then.