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Perfect Paperback – November 18, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (November 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0557091306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0557091300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,628,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bob Drake VINE VOICE on July 28, 2011
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Having read and reviewed No Going Back which was the sad story of a gay Mormon teen who, as related by the author, a BYU grad and married father of three, made the mistake of coming out, despite the fact that he walked the straight and narrow with the help of his mom, best friend, and stake bishop. He is refused his Eagle Scout rank, is ostracized by his stake (church), and leaves town to start over (despite the title). That book is suicide material.

This book, on the other hand, is the Mormon version of Dan Savage's It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. The author not only survived, narrowly, but chronicles his rise and fall and resurrection.

What is amazing is the degree of commitment the author and narrator had to the LDS faith seemingly from birth. There was a lot of background on the LDS priesthood, rules, and regulations in No Going Back. There are even more here, complete with references as footnotes. All religions have their beliefs. Perhaps because the LDS faith is a more recently arrival than others, the relationship between priesthood, temple weddings and godhood may leave a non-Mormon shaking his head, but nevertheless, the author was clearly strapped into a pretty tight box by the time he realized that he was gay, and that no amount of prayer was going to change that. And he notes how he, too, was shaken by the inconsistencies between what he preached as a missionary and the more obscure LDS tomes that he read as he looked for a solution to his gay problem. How he survived is a wonder. But he did!
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Wow, what a story of courage and triumph. This is the story of a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, wondering what he was doing wrong. I think most people would identify with the struggles of this remarkable man, and he lends a voice to the millions of people who feel the same way but could never come out and speak it. This book is intimate, it reads like a diary and in it the author discloses much more than just his thoughts and feelings, but also his deepest secrets. If you are looking for a really engaging and gripping ride, you need to read PERFECT!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marty Beaudet on December 28, 2011
I just finished reading "Perfect." An awesome book. Such stories aren't new to me, of course, having been an Executive Director of Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons. Not to mention my personal experience with the issue the book tackles. Many excerpts from Joe's diary could have been lifted verbatim from my own.

Although the story is familiar, Joe's telling of it hits all the right spots, eliciting an emotional reaction without becoming maudlin. It is also instructional to anyone who has not shared similar experiences. All persons of faith, especially Mormons, would benefit from reading this book. Any feeling person cannot help but be moved by it. It should be required reading for LDS leaders at every level.

Readers of my novel "By A Thread" will recognize in its protagonist many of the real-life struggles that Joe describes, though the fictional ones have been encapsulated in a much briefer narrative as adjuncts to the plot. The thoughts and emotions ring true, but for the full story of what it's like to be gay and Mormon, read Dallin's "Perfect."
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Mormonism of the pagan Latter-day Saints variety (quite different from the gentler Christian R.L.D.S. Mormonism of what now is called the Community of Christ) is relentless and unforgiving. If the member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sexually and otherwise normal, and too calm of temperament to fret over his own peccadillos with undue seriousness, the harsh moralistic perfectionism of the cult is bearable; if not, e.g. if he (or she) is gay, L.D.S. Mormonism, for the gay member who is earnest about his faith and behaviour, can be a nerve-shredding ordeal. That arduous sort of tribulation is what Joseph Dallin recounts in his memoir, "Perfect: the Journey of a Gay Mormon".

It is not that Christianity is lacking in moral fiber -- not at all -- but genuine Christianity puts forward "Grace" more strongly, or as strongly, as it does "Law", in the various balancing acts of "Law and Gospel", or, formulated in more Catholic terms, "Sin and Grace". Forgiveness is at the centre of the Christian message, as Joe Dallin so movingly witnessed at a festive Catholic Mass which he recollects; it is, by contrast, all but unattainable for the L.D.S. Mormon who has a serious flaw (as the L.D.S. cult views it) such as homosexuality. I am so, so happy that I and my entire imediate family exited Mormonism before I got very far into puberty at all! (Eventually, all of my large extended family on my mother`s side, except for one great-aunt, originally from Utah, left L.D.S. Mormonism to become Christians.) That delectable stage of life, puberty, for Joseph Dallin, was the beginning of his personal Hell. He took L.D.S. Mormonism much too seriously for his own good.
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