Normally when I sit down to write a review, I’m grumpy because I have too much information to squish in while still keeping the thing at a reasonable length. Today, I’m feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate faced with the task of conveying to you how much I loved this book. Maybe I will just say that this is the single best book of Mormon Studies that I have ever read. I’m going to try for some snap shots but I’ll apologize in advance for my inability to do justice to this book. Just, please, read it.
(1) I have been having something akin to a faith crisis for the last few months and the introduction to this book made it go away.
(2) I hate it when people write sort of general-ish, personal reflection-ish books on Mormonism. This is not that. Except that it is. Except that it is brilliant. And marvelously well-written.
(3) I never re-read books, unless I have the flu, and then it is mindless fluff. But I plan on re-reading this at least 3-4 times. It is short, but there is so much here.
(4) This is the book to give your thinky non-member friends. It won’t introduce them to the surface structure of Mormonism (Nephi, Word of Wisdom, etc.) but it will make the deep structure of Mormonism intelligible–and appealing–to someone who has no interest in “proving” the gospel from proof-texted Bible verses but rather from a consideration of philosophical issues and life challenges.
(5) Sometimes I read something (a talk, a comment online, etc.) and I’m weighed down by the thought that that came out of my religious tradition. This book: I read it and thought, yes: those are my people. This is the best face of what I believe.
Well. I have not done this book justice.
Just, please, read it.
Note: Review copy provided by publisher.
Cross-posted from Times & Seasons