07 October 2005

David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism

I recently finished reading David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory Prince and I loved it. I read it because of Julie's review a few month ago. I only skimmed the review then, but I went back to read the entire thing tonight and I think she gets it exactly right.

As she says (and the author in the introduction says) this book isn't for everyone. The book does talk about some uncomfortable things. However, in my opinion it is a bit limiting to only talk about a person's trials that come from bad things happening to you. Bad things happen to everyone, and you really don't have a lot of control over what does happen to you.

But it is entirely different to talk about trials that occur because of your own weaknesses. We all have lots of weaknesses, and it is helpful for me to see how others deal (or don't deal) with their weaknesses and the results. I don't glory in the fact that others aren't perfect, but I do take heart that some of the things I struggle with aren't specific to me.

This book increased my appreciation for a living prophet and I am glad I read it. Even though there were some uncomfortable parts, and parts where I didn't agree with the conclusions or assertions of the author, it was worthwhile.

And, for what it's worth, there was absolutely no discussion of sacred matters, like the temple. A non-member would probably have been confused by some parts in the temple chapter and no effort was made to explain what some of the quotations were referring to.

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