Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Letters to a Young Mormon

I wanted to say thank you to those who wrote such sweet, supportive comments here yesterday. I felt very safe and loved. Thank you for your respect. I feel privileged that you'd spend even a few of your moments here on my blog. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And now!...A SHORT BOOK REVIEW:

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I was sent this book by the great Blair Hodges late last year. I read it in maybe two days and then urged my husband to read it as soon as possible so we could discuss.

But he hasn't.

I found it on his side of the bed where I put it last. (And modeled it down below)(Do I make a good book model?)(You like it don't you?)

So, will you read it so we can discuss?

It's a compilation of letters written by Adam S. Miller to his children about Mormonism. There are twelve letters with twelve subjects ranging from science to sin. It's philosophical, generous and tastes like C. S. Lewis. Although the intended audience is youth, I felt it was pretty advanced in theory--and perhaps better read by parents of youth. However, I wouldn't think twice about giving this book to the teenagers in my life for discussion and debate. I do think it's more elevated than most of the church-related materials they are given presently. And for some, that's a good thing.

On Faith:

"Faith isn't a way of going to sleep. It's the work of waking up. And, in order to wake up, you'll need both great faith and great doubt. In itself, doubt is neither good or bad. Its value depends on what you do with it."

On Sin:

"Shame and guilt are life's way of protesting against the constriction of the too-tight story you're busy telling about it."

On Hunger:

"Living the gospel means learning how to live. It means learning to eat and sleep. Plant yourself in your hunger and let your life grow out of it."

After almost every chapter I had a deep urge to cry at the beauty of what I read. It's a great feast for thinkers. It eases my anxiety that the marriage of intellect and belief in my head will never be reconciled. This book was like a mediator between the two. And when my intellect and my beliefs get along I feel deep joy.

And the chapter on sex is phenomenal. It's remarkable. Indelible.

The book is published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and you can get it here. Put it on your shelf next to The God Who Weeps. That's a great start to a solid collection.

Can't wait to hear what you think...

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(Purple glasses.)