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Torn by God: A Family's Struggle with Polygamy Kindle Edition
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Additionally, the novel answers some of thr questions about Mormon polygamy that help to explain the popularity of groups such as the FLDS, led most recently by federal criminal Warren Jeffs. I have read many accounts from those who have left the Short Creek community, but the explanations of the Law of Celestial Marriage and the Law of Consecration given in this novel provide a more clear foundation for understanding the beliefs and inner-workings of the group.
Told as a first-person account, this novel is an incredibly engaging story about the family and personal struggle for the main character, after her Mormon father believes that he has seen a spiritual vision leading the family back to the original rules governing polygamy as given to the Church by Joseph Smith. Beth must learn to become the rock upon which her family can lean when her father travels far away in his search for Truth, her mother becomes overcome with illness as a result of the trauma polygamy has brought to their family, and her young brother struggles to understand what is happening to his once-idyllic Mormon family.
This book was extremely well-written, a joy to read, and difficult to put down. I highly recommend it for those with an interest in religion, Mormonism, or family dramas.
Torn By God is a novel about a Mormon family torn apart as a result of Michael Sterling's apparent vision of God. Elizabeth Sterling, a twelve-year old girl, comes upon her father Michael, naked in a stream with his church vestments in his hand, during what he perceives to be a vision of God.
The story, told through the eyes of twelve-year old Elizabeth, chronicles how her father gets involved with a polygamist group of outcasts from the main stream Mormon community because they are the only ones who believe he has truly had a vision. Elizabeth's father is overpowered by Brother Reuben--a charismatic, power hungry leader of this outcast group of Mormons. Brother Reuben wants Michael to be their visionary and to marry the proper number of women, according to traditional Mormon scriptures, necessary for him to be a God in the celestial kingdom after his death.
Elizabeth and her little brother Mikey, like the boy who saw the naked emperor, recognize something warped about Brother Reuben and how his influence on their father is destroying their mother and their once happy home.
The story tells of a very personal tragedy, but it goes far deeper than that. The mask of authoritarian power that is greatly responsible for so much of the destructive elements affecting the present course of humanity is made more easily recognizable when we see it through a microscope so to speak of one family's crippling misfortune.
Zoe Murdock tells this story of love and pain with a skill and depth of feeling that makes one realize it comes from a deep place in her heart. Highly recommended.
This is a compassionate, compelling and thought-provoking story of a family that spirals into depression, desperation and illness. It is a story of loyalty, obsession, fervor, fear, and courage, but most of all love.
I could not put the book down and read it in two days.
I was unable to set this book down, and often catch myself reliving the characters experiences and reactions to situations.