Under the Banner of Heaven

Under the Banner of Heaven

A Story of Violent Faith

Downloadable Audiobook - 2003
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Jon Krakauer's literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. In UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, he shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders. At the core of his book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this b3sdivinely inspiredb4 scrime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith. Along the way, he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America's fastest-growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief. Krakauer takes readers inside isolated communities in the American West, Canada, and Mexico, where some forty-thousand Mormon Fundamentalists believe the mainstream Mormon Church went unforgivably astray when it renounced polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the leaders of these outlaw sects are zealots who answer only to God. Marrying prodigiously and with virtual impunity (the leader of the largest fundamentalist church took seventy-five "plural wives," several of whom were wed to him when they were fourteen or fifteen and he was in his eighties), fundamentalist prophets exercise absolute control over the lives of their followers, and preach that any day now the world will be swept clean in a hurricane of fire, sparing only their most obedient adherents. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism. The result is vintage Krakauer, an utterly compelling work of nonfiction that illuminates an otherwise confounding realm of human behavior.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2003
ISBN: 9780739329788
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file (12 hr., 32 min.))
Additional Contributors: Brick, Scott

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Nov 20, 2017

Other: polygamy

j
jandt_mcmurray
Nov 20, 2017

Sexual Content: incest

j
jandt_mcmurray
Nov 20, 2017

Violence: murder, physical abuse

j
jandt_mcmurray
Nov 20, 2017

Coarse Language: profanity

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Nov 20, 2017

History, religious background, murder, community --- this book has it all. Jon Krakauer explores the history & background of the Mormon faith (aka Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), more specifically the Fundamentalist LDS, by detailing the crime & subsequent trial of a modern-day FLDS family. The Lafferty brothers, Ron & Dan, along with 2 sidekicks murdered their 23 yr old sister-in-law & her 15 month old daughter because "God revealed to them that these people needed to be destroyed." While the author describes the Lafferty family & their beliefs prior to the murders, he jumps back in time to various points in the history of the Mormon church & its founder Joseph Smith & leader Brigham Young. By giving brief glimpses of the church's history, he is able to better explain how the Lafferty brothers & others come to their Fundamentalist beliefs.

I have had a deep interest in the Mormon church & its believers for several years. My grandpa & aunt did a TON of research on the church as they came in contact with Mormons believers constantly in their home state of Arizona. Since I got my hands on their research, I began picking up where they left off. I believe the author does a fair job at trying to be unbiased & simply report the facts as seen by both parties. He does, however, point out his particular beliefs in an epilogue. I think many people would find this book interesting, but I believe every Christian in particular should read this book in order to get a basic background on an ever-growing church.

Age recommendation: 14 & up (profanity, murder, polygamy, physical abuse, incest)

On a scale of 1-10 stars, I give it 9.

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Nov 20, 2017

jandt_mcmurray thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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