by James Sanbourne
In a deep torch lit cavern, beneath the Mormon temple, hundreds of barefoot, white clad youths wait in line to be plunged beneath the water in a bronze tank that rests on the backs of twelve gigantic bronze oxen. Each time they are lowered backwards into the water, a member of the Mormon priesthood evokes the name of a person who is dead.
My Mormon Life is the story of a boy, raised in the Mormon faith, who examines the beliefs of the church and comes to realize that what he is being taught by the church is not consistent with what seems to be the real world. In this process he takes the reader on the grand tour of Mormon beliefs, from baptism of the dead, to polygamy and Mormon underwear, survival food, and the separate policy toward Blacks. One by one the unique beliefs of Mormons are explored by the boy’s active mind, often leading to humorous conclusions. By following these explorations the reader will find the answers they are seeking about the Mormon Church and by the end of this story understand what it means to be a Mormon.
Ultimately the Mormon faith does not hold up to the scrutiny of this young boy’s mind and this leads to powerful questions about the whole process of forcing fanatical religious beliefs on the mind of a child.
One Reviewer Notes
“This book is a rare find in that it is different than anything I have ever read. It is a fast paced journey through the developmental years of a child’s mind, a child who is forced to believe that fantasies are real. The writing is at times reminiscent of Mark Twain as the humor of the absurd is allowed to reveal itself. It is alternately very funny and very sad. Sanbourne creates a very realistic feeling for the subject by writing in the voice of a child that matures as the boy grows and the story becomes increasingly serious. In this way the reader experiences the confusion and cognitive dissonance that brainwashing imposes on the formative brain. How is the child’s mind to sort fact from fiction? How does a developing mind differentiate between Santa Clause and Noah’s Ark? Between Superman and Sampson? The boy’s mind works through much of the Mormon beliefs so that the reader becomes well acquainted with what it means to be a Mormon. As the boy grows he attempts to flee this insanity and the story becomes a riveting tale of child runaway, capture, and eventual incarceration. The denouement is a shocking expose of the Mormon racial issue. The writing is compelling and at times masterful. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the topic of religious indoctrination or the Mormon religion.” – Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars
About The Author
James Sanbourne was born a Mormon. Raised to believe literally every word of the church doctrine. Some of this doctrine is fantastical and it is difficult for a child to separate fact from fiction in this environment. This book deals with the issues surrounding this type of indoctrination and how it might affect the way a person comes to deal with the process of thinking.
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