Under the Banner of Heaven

Finished “Under the Banner of Heaven”. I was glad to see that Krakauer pointed out that the teachings of the Mormon faith are in some ways responsible for the way the Elizabeth Smart abduction unfolded. Any normal kid would have screamed and run away.

The Mormon teaching that there are old guys with white beards who are prophets (or worse yet, Gods) is the only reason Elizabeth would have connected to the crazy ideas that “Emmanuel” aka Brian David Mitchell fed her. That’s the precise point that I made in various discussions I had with people before she was found.

Having said that, this book is disappointing. I would have hoped for a fuller accounting of the psychological reasons for, or at least hypothesis as to why a major religion such as Mormonism would have adopted polygamy. The book covers a lot of gritty detail of polygamous life in the fundamental communities, but fails to discuss how polygamy worked in the mainstream Mormon culture of the mid-to-late-1800’s. He also wastes time discussing the Meadows Mountain Massacre and other minor events that relate to the polygamy issue only indirectly. And where is the discussion of other polygamous societies? I think that Krakauer did a lot of reporting and writing, but not enough thinking.

One Response to “Under the Banner of Heaven”

  1. The work and the glory Says:

    Mormons believe that authentic Christianity vanished a century after Jesus and was restored only through Joseph Smith. Considered a prophet by Mormons, Smith revised— and in his view corrected— large sections of the Bible in the 19th century. The Mormon scriptures include the Old and New Testaments, but also include books containing Smith’s revelations.

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