Em's Reviews > Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
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's review
Oct 24, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2010, biography
Recommended to Em by: Mike
Recommended for: Angi, Shal
Read from October 15 to 24, 2010 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** *************************************SPOILERS*********************************************

Another great book from Jon Krakauer. Amazing writer and a well researched topic. This book has become highly critized by members of the LDS Church and many without either reading the whole book or just going off false judgements of those whom haven't read the book at all.

Jon Krakauer spent three years reasearching this book. He sited interviews and texts written by members of the LDS church and by nonmembers. This helps the book by showing both sides of the religious context of the book. This book covers two stories: 1) the murders committed by Ron and Dan Lafferty and 2)the evolution and origin of the LDS church.

In order to understand how the Lafferty brothers thought process became so obscure one must understand their religious background.

For me this book not only uncovered the sickness that infected the Lafferty brothers but as a member of the LDS church with some knowledge of the true history, my eyes were opened and I have been able to do my own research on the religious beliefs I was brought up and raised with.

The begining of the LDS church and the ceasing of polygamy is an important historical event. An event that pushes two brothers in murdering their sister in law and neice in the name of "God". Cruel and horrible murders that neither brother has remorse for. The both sit in prision at the point of the mountain. One appealling his death penality the other in deep religious meditation with another former member of the LDS Church (Mark Hoffman) who committed forgery crimes to try to bring down the LDS Church. Both brothers raised LDS broke away from the church to become Fundamentalist. The Fundamentalist Church broke away from the LDS church in order to continue to practice polygomy. With the Fundamentalists many believe that they are prophets of God. This belief became strong to the Lafferty brother. To the point that they believed "God" told them to murder.

The oppression that is highly dominant in the Fundamentalist churhc, it is extrememly sad for the woman and girls that grow up in this society. Krakauer does an excellant job by interviews with women who have been strong enough to leave the Fundamentalist church in order to gain freedom. It brought me to the realization that even the LDS church has an element of oppression. It teaches and encourages the members to have continual learning and encourages college degrees. However, the oppression comes from the "power" that the male members have over the female members. Maybe it is just a religious oppression since so many religions oppress the women.

Krakauer is a great writer. He presented a well researched about the Lafferty brothers, LDS Chruch beginnings and the Fundamemtalist Church. Krakauer gives a great ending to the story with his personal insight and opinion. Which is one reason I have enjoyed all his books is his personal opinions. He is very clear throughout the entire book that the LDS Church and the Fundamentalist chruch are two seperate chruches. One breaking away from the other.

I would highly recommend reading this book if not only to find out about the murders but to learn about the history of the LDS Church and the Fundamentalist church.

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Reading Progress

10/15/2010 page 5
10/18/2010 page 116
29.0% "I found this interesting statement: "Krakauer's portrayal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is utterly at odds with what I - and millions like me - have come to know of the church, it's goodness and the decency if it's people. This book is an attempt to tell the story of the so-called fundamentalist or polygamous groups in Utah, and to tie their beliefs to the doctrines and the history of The....."
10/24/2010 page 400
100.0% "Excellent"
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