It is important to nail my colours to the mast before I write the body of this review. I’m not a religious person. In fact, I go beyond being an atheist, and deep into being anti-theist.
I don’t come to this book to try and justify my faith over and above another. I arrive at its pages keen to hear the experiences of someone who was raised in Mormonism and who, after many years left the faith in disgust.
Kay Burningham tells of her disillusionment in a book of two parts. The first part is an autobiography covering a life steeped in the religion. Everything from home life to education was enveloped in Mormonism including studying law at the Mormon University. But the story is tinged with anger and despair as a series of adult relationships prove to be disastrous, primarily because the people involved are damaged by their backgrounds.
The second part is a history of the religion itself. It is a damning story, highlighting the obvious fraudulent life of Joseph Smith. The list of obviously self serving ‘revelations’ that Smith had, and the fact that there were people prepared to believe and to follow is amazing. Successors to Smith, especially Brigham Young have their story told, and, incredibly they come over as even odious than Joseph Smith himself.
An interesting read, detailed without being laboured. It also pointed me to another book, Wife 19 by one of the unfortunate polygamous wives of Brigham Young. The review of that book will appear later!