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134 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest journey, a necessary book, January 15, 2012
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This review is from: An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism (Paperback)
I had this book downloaded in my Kindle for three months before I opened it, but then I couldn't put it down once I started it. I rolled my eyes when I realized I had to endure the first third of the book as Kay Burningham's personal history, before I got to the meat of it; only to find myself wanting to understand more about her life and those she has loved along the way. Kay's honesty, and forthright style, captivated my imagination and gave me greater insight into my own circumstances.

Interestingly, I graduated from BYU Law School in 1979, the same year, I learned from this book, that Kay commenced law school there. We had the same civil procedure professor, and for 30 years I could find no one at the law school to tell me what happened to cause his "disappearance" a couple of years after my graduation. Thank you, Kay, for clearing up this mystery. I laughed at your expense for several days over our professor's hubris, while mourning the pain and loss you suffered. Having said that, this anecdote serves as a small illustration of life's random, uncaring, almost perverse indifference to us. Any dignity we can cut out for ourselves seems to have to be wrestled away from the institutions that want to own us. For those of us raised as Mormons, it's the Mormon Church that wants to determine what level of dignity one may be entitled to. This book is a beautiful declaration of one person's independence, and as such, it is quite inspiring.

For anyone interested in a shorthand book on Mormon history, its foundations, the evolution of its doctrines, and the consequences thereof, this is a great book for you. I've been a missionary, bishop, and a strident student of Mormonism my whole life, and this is the only book on the subject I've taken the time to praise, and I've read all of them. No doubt this book resonates with me because of our similar legal backgrounds, and my former intense religiousity and its demise based upon a simple regimen of study and personal commitment to be responsible for my own beliefs and actions.

Still, for anyone who reads Mormon apologetics, you need to take Kay's book and compare. First, she's honest about her actions, character, mistakes, warts and all. She's about as authentic a person as you can have, at this point in her life, anyway. It's just refreshing to witness a person raised in Mormonism capable of such authenticity. I'm not there yet, and I've worked at it everyday for years. Then she just lays out the facts and her argument, without resorting to ad hominen. She does call the general authorities down at times, because it is the nature of a treatise where those in control make effort to limit access to or obfuscate the facts. When Lying for the Lord is easily documented, it is not ad hominem to provide the documentation to prove the case.

A case in point is my old Trusts professor, Dallin Oaks. There is so much to admire about this guy, but when he tries to justify a lack of candor for the good of the Church, it is as though, for that moment, he has no understanding of ethics. When he intimates that truth may not necessarily be shared so that a corporate mission may be better accomplished, failing to consider that people have a right to make their own decisions based upon total disclosure, he publicly displays a lapse of judgment and ethics that he may only be able to correct if he is called on it. Even then, his investment is so high, how could he ever see it for what it is? It would take an "exceedingly" great and humble person to so sacrifice himself in implementing his ethical duty. I have such high hopes for Elder Oaks; it's painful to have to witness his mental gymnastics. Kay does a respectful and artful job of calling him on this sort of thing, which indeed is repugnant to Anglo-American jurisprudence. When we mammals know we are right, we can harm so off-the-cuff.

I highly recommend this book to any student of Mormonism, or to anyone who may wish to take legal action against the Church for tortiously inducing people to stay in the fold by knowingly teaching an unhistorical, fantastical version of its origins.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 30, 2012 6:15:52 PM PDT
I am a female of Kay's generation. Great strides have been made within The Church in the past 30 years in an effort to acknowledge women as something more than the Biblical equivalent of a property interest. In the early, more painful and awkward phases of this evolution, these efforts were primarily based on patronizing and paternalistic encouragement, echoed by the women who had voice. Womens' conferences and statues were organized and erected in furtherance of this approach. It is, however, heartening to see that there are now modern church authorities who are no longer fearful and/or flummoxed by the "female problem" in The Church...that we are also part of humankind, neither better nor worse than male counterparts. What I value most about Kay's work is that it does tell the story of how so many of us of her generation tried for so very long to find a "fit" within The Church when the overwhelming undercurrent of every practice and teaching was of female inferiority. Thanks, Kay! It was a labor of love.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 12:29:50 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 5, 2012 6:52:35 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 11:50:34 AM PDT
A customer says:
Bonnie very good post and yes, women are just property and i believe still are as they are used for one thing and one thing only and that is to produce more little gods for their kingdom.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 11:52:57 AM PDT
A customer says:
Danielsen reading all your reviews, you are the rudest mormon I have ever met in my life. You can not face the truth about your own religion so you just attack. You need to go back to your church and talk to your prophets and see if they can retrain you. I believe that in some cases an old dog can learn a new trick. The problem is, you will never be able to make the mormon religion truth. You still have the same lying false prophets and also the pedophiles along with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 4:02:36 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 19, 2012 6:22:50 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 7:28:10 PM PDT
A customer says:
Danielsen, Lying must be your favorite word. You use it alot. There are lies but they don't come from the christians, but from the Mormon religion. As for you showing me misinformation, I will pass on you visting me and trying to prove that the Mormon belief system is "truth" since I already know it isn't because it is not supported by the Word of god. Don't worry because the truth I have comes from the one truth in the world and that is the Bible and as you can see, there is no need for prophets today since prophets were only here for a short time to guide and in contrast to the apostles, who had broad ministries, the apostles had localized ministries within local churches, as we see illustrated in such places as Acts 11:21-28 and Acts 13:1.
Scripture shows us that the prophets of the New Testament had two primary purposes
They were gifted men given to the Church and appointed by God (Eph. 4:11, 1 Cor. 12:28) for the purpose of helping to lay the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20).
They, like the apostles, received God's revelation (Eph. 3:5) and truth and proclaimed it to their churches. It is important to remember that the early Church did not have a completed Bible, so God granted this revelation for the purpose of teaching His message to the Church. The New Testament prophets also spoke forth and taught the apostles' doctrine. Everything taught by these prophets had to be consistent with the teaching of the apostles (1 Cor. 14:36-37).
So, are prophets still needed today? Looking at the two functions listed above, we can see that the office of prophet is one that is no longer necessary and has ceased within the Church because:The foundation of the Church was laid long ago And God's revealed Word was completed with the close of the New Testament. The Church's foundation does not need to be laid again and there is no need for further revelation beyond what God has provided for us in His complete Word, the Bible. We are at the end of the ages and the World will come to an end soon and there is no need for new revelation by anyone who callse themself a "prophet". Today we are blessed to have Scripture as our complete and final authority in all things (2 Tim. 3:16-17). If someone now claims to have received a "special revelation," we must test it against Scripture. If it is contrary to the Word of God, then it must be rejected. If it is consistent with Scripture, then we have to ask why an "extra" word was necessary if its truth is already contained in the Bible. So while we always need men who are willing to proclaim boldly the Word of God as contained in Scripture (as pastors, teachers, and evangelists), there is no need for the office of "prophet" as it existed in the New Testament.

As for my previous statement of Joseph Smith being a lying prophet and a pedophile, my statement still stands and scripture supports it because he has been proven over and over again to be a false prophet and he was also proven to be a pedophile too. Not only is he a false prophet but also every prophet since him has been proven to fail the test of a prophet especially since there are no prophets today and secondly because they failed the test of being prophets also. I am most amazed at grown supposedly intelligent people of the Mormon belief system falling for the biggest hoax being produced by any human being in all history. There is nothing to support anything in history taught by the Mormon religion and people are remaining in it only out of fear for their eternity. Cults use this as a control method. FEAR is a big word and a big manipulator used by cults to keep their people under their thumb.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 11:34:10 AM PST
Curious says:
A most insightful comment. I surely wish that this Christian could relay your message without enraging my Morman (yes I deem the spelling more descriptive) family members. They are of my generation one born into such a family and other formerly claiming to be a Christian but coverting for marriage purposes.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2013 12:34:20 PM PDT
Helen Mar Kimball wasn't available for comment.....
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