The stories in this anthology move from the ordinary traumas of death, but grow steadily more horrifying. The final stories are so awful that I still...moreThe stories in this anthology move from the ordinary traumas of death, but grow steadily more horrifying. The final stories are so awful that I still think of them, ten years after reading this book.
I feel so torn about this one. On the one hand, it's the first 'anti-Mormon' book I've encountered in which a genuine love for Mormonism and the LDS p...moreI feel so torn about this one. On the one hand, it's the first 'anti-Mormon' book I've encountered in which a genuine love for Mormonism and the LDS people shines through. But that's not the only thing that shines through. Scott converted from devout Mormonism to equally devout Bible-belt Christianity, and the book is positively riddled with statements that boil down to "OH NOES! All these Mormons will BURN IN HELL FOREVER if I do not convert them one and all!!!"
There was a time when this book would have really resonated with me, when I, too, wept and prayed for my poor, lost Mormon brethren. It is terrifying to believe that the majority of the world will burn for all eternity if they do not, at some point in their lives, confess Jesus Christ as savior and lord. A bittersweet kind of terror, because with it comes the "Christian-man's burden" to lovingly cajole, browbeat, and otherwise herd the poor lost souls toward 'Jesus.'
As it stands now, though, I identify much more with her much-despised 'postmodern Christians' who view spiritual truth as relative and personal. (Yes, I do believe in 'real' truth. Some things happen. Others do not. But spirituality takes many forms that are beneficial, and not harmful.)
What I really appreciated about this book is the fact that Scott has taken the trouble to keep herself up to date. She does not only talk about the Mormonism of her day, when the LDS church taught that all Native Americans and Pacific Islanders were descended from the Lamanites described in the Book of Mormon, that blacks were inherently spiritually inferior, that Joseph Smith was a real, literal translator.
Since all these major doctrinal points that Mormons used to believe have been pretty well disproven, Mormonism has morphed in recent decades, changing its beliefs and even the text of its scripture to fit what is now known. Lamanites are now "among" the ancestors of the Native Americans, blacks are fine, Joseph Smith's 'translations' were inspired imaginings that he got from looking at papyri. (This despite the fact that he also created his own made-up alphabet for his imaginary version of Egyptian, told people he was a translator, and gave speeches using his made-up version of Egyptian. To me, this proves that he thought of himself, or desired himself to be thought of, as a real, literal translator in the common sense.) Scott addresses these and other LDS attempts to muddy the waters and/or offer convincing to those who wish to be convinced clearly and concisely.
She also includes a lot of wonderful LDS flavor: means of determining whether you are facing an evil spirit, the fear of water, and the deep sense of love and loss that she still feels for having lost her spiritual family.(less)