Under the Banner of Heaven. Jon Krakauer. PROLOGUE. Almost everyone in Utah County has heard of the. Lafferty boys. That's mostly a function of the lurid. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Under the Banner of Heaven | About the Book Jon Krakauer's literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives. A REVIEW OF UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN: A STORY OF VIOLENT FAITH by Richard E. Turley, Jr. EDITOR'S OVER VIEW. In July , popular author.

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“Scrupulously reported and written with Krakauer's usual exacting flair, Under the Banner of Heaven is both illuminating and thrilling. It is also the creepiest book. Editorial Reviews. ilalsmaknersound.ml Review. In , Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were. Read Under the Banner of Heaven PDF - A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer Doubleday | Jon Krakauer's literary reputation rests on ins.

The LDS Church acquired the trappings of a conventional faith so successfully that it is now widely considered to be the quintessential American religion. Mormon Fundamentalists, however, believe that acceptance into the American mainstream came at way too high a price.

They contend that the Mormon leaders made an unforgivable compromise by capitulating to the U. They insist that the church sold them out--that the LDS leadership abandoned one of the religion's most crucial theological tenets for the sake of political expediency.

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These present-day polygamists therefore consider themselves to be the keepers of the flame--the only true and righteous Mormons. In forsaking Section the sacred principle of plural marriage--the LDS Church has gone badly astray, they warn.

Fundamentalist prophets bellow from their pulpits that the modern church has become "the wickedest whore of all the earth.

Their second-most-popular citation is likely Section 85, in which it was revealed to Joseph that "I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong. Extreme and bizarre religious ideas are so commonplace in American history that it is difficult to speak of them as fringe at all. To speak of a fringe implies a mainstream, but in terms of numbers, perhaps the largest component of the religious spectrum in contemporary America remains what it has been since colonial times: The doomsday theme has never been far from the center of American religious thought.

The nation has always had believers who responded to this threat by a determination to flee from the wrath to come, to separate themselves from the City of Destruction, even if that meant putting themselves at odds with the law and with their communities or families. We can throughout American history find select and separatist groups who looked to a prophetic individual claiming divine revelation, in a setting that repudiated conventional assumptions about property, family life, and sexuality.

They were marginal groups, peculiar people, people set apart from the world: Philip Jenkins, Mystics and Messiahs.

Snaking diagonally across the top of Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a stupendous, mile rent in the planet's hide that functions as a formidable natural barrier, effectively cutting off the northwestern corner from the rest of the state. This isolated wedge of backcountry--almost as big as New Jersey, yet traversed by a single paved highway--is known as the Arizona Strip, and it has one of the lowest population densities in the forty-eight conterminous states.

There is, however, one relatively large municipality here. Colorado City, home to some nine thousand souls, is more than five times as populous as any other town in the district. Motorists driving west on Highway across the parched barrens of the Uinkaret Plateau are apt to be surprised when, twenty-eight miles past Fredonia population 1,, the second-largest town on the Strip , Colorado City suddenly materializes in the middle of nowhere: All but a handful of the town's residents are Mormon Fundamentalists.

They live in this patch of desert in the hope of being left alone to follow the sacred principle of plural marriage without interference from government authorities or the LDS Church.

Religion and Politics

Straddling the Utah-Arizona border, Colorado City is home to at least three Mormon Fundamentalist sects, including the world's largest: More commonly known as the United Effort Plan, or UEP, it requires its members live in strict accordance with the commandments of a frail, ninety-two-year-old tax accountant-turned-prophet named Rulon T.

Although his feeble bearing would seem to make him poorly cast for the role, the residents of Colorado City believe that Uncle Rulon is the "one mighty and strong" whose coming was prophesied by Joseph in Not only was DeLoy born and raised in this faith, but his forebears were some of the religion's most illustrious figures: At the moment, DeLoy is driving his thirdhand Chevy van on a dirt road on the outskirts of town. One of his two wives and eight of his seventeen children are riding in the back.

Suddenly he hits the brakes, and the van lurches to a stop on the shoulder. Hauled it out of town and dumped it. Members of the religion, he explains, are forbidden to watch television or read magazines or newspapers. The temptations of the outside world loom large, however, and some members of the faith inevitably succumb. People will sneak into St.

George or Cedar City and download themselves a dish, put it up where it can't easily be seen, and secretly watch TV during every free moment.

Then one Sunday Uncle Rulon will give one of his sermons about the evils of television. He'll announce that he knows exactly who has one, and warn that everyone who does is putting their eternal souls in serious jeopardy.

For two or three years afterward there won't be any televisions in town, but then, gradually, the dishes start secretly going up again, until the next crackdown. People try to do the right thing, but they're only human.

Uncle Rulon's word carries the weight of law. The mayor and every other city employee answers to him, as do the entire police force and the superintendent of public schools. Even animals are subject to his whim. Two years ago a Rottweiler killed a child in town. An edict went out that dogs would no longer be allowed within the city limits.

A posse of young men was dispatched to round up all the canines, after which the unsuspecting pets were taken into a dry wash and shot.

What does the book reveal about fanatics such as Ron and Dan Lafferty? What does it reveal about brutality and faith and the connections between them?

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Summary & Study Guide

Why does Krakauer move back and forth between Mormon history and contemporary events? What are the connections between the beliefs and practices of Joseph Smith and his followers in the nineteenth century and the behavior of people like Dan and Ron Lafferty, Brian David Mitchell, and others in the twentieth?

How does polygamy affect young girls? Is it, as Leavitt claims, pedophilia plain and simple? Joseph Smith claimed that the doctrine of polygamy was divinely inspired. No doubt, bin Laden would say much the same of Lafferty. How are Dan Lafferty and Osama bin Laden alike? In what ways are all religious fundamentalists alike? Krakauer asks: What would the legal ramifications be of such a shift in thought?

Is this a fair and accurate statement? What historical examples support it? What improvements in humane feeling and social justice has the Mormon church opposed?

Much of Under the Banner of Heaven explores the tensions between freedom of religion and governmental authority. How should these tensions be resolved? What other similarities exist between the Mormon and Islamic faiths? How should Joseph Smith be understood: Is Krakauer himself a trustworthy guide to the events he describes in Under the Banner of Heaven?

Are his writing and his judgments fair and reasonable? What makes them so? What patterns emerge from looking at Mormon history? What do events like the Mountain Meadow massacre and the violence between Mormons and gentiles in Missouri and Illinois suggest about the nature of Mormonism?

Again, I think all religions are crap, but Mormonism was basically a nutty story pulled out of Joseph Smith's ass less than year's ago. Krakauer does a great job of weaving the story of the beginnings of the LDS church with modern day stories of fundamentalism.

It's easy to see why there are fundamentalist LDS sects today when you follow the history of the religion. I think what makes it so scary for me is the devotion to Smith and his ridiculous story told in the Book of Mormon that flies in the face of fact and common sense. Though the Mormon story is not much stranger than other major religious stories, it certainly is a stretch even by the standards of faith.

But the book is not really about the mainstream LDS church and I certainly don't mean to ridicule these people at least not any more than other religious people who deny history and scientific fact -- the book really shows us about what happens when people follow a religion to its "logical" conclusion in an extreme sense.

The fundamentalists differ from the mainstream in that they are so devout they take every word as truth and that means damn everyone else in the world -- literally. What makes the LDS fundamentalists so interesting to me is their devotion to one particular tenent of the religion -- plural marriage.

The fundamentalists are so caught up in their "right" to have multiple wives that they are willing to die and kill for it. I personally think if you want more than one wife and you can get several women to agree -- good for you.

Have a freakin orgy if you want. And that would be fine if not for one thing -- the men in this community do this by force and do it with underage women and in some cases their own daughters. That's criminal.

Living so close to Colorado City means I get plenty of news about what's going on up there, and lately we've read a lot about Warren Jeffs who in my mind is a dangerous criminal. But at least now I have some context for why he and the other fundamentalists are how they are.

Frankly, I think it's less about religion than it is about power and greed. Anyway, what an amazing book.One of his two wives and eight of his seventeen children are riding in the back.

Part 4, Chapters 24 - Its popularity is also reflected at social events—even social events with other scholars of religion. They insist that the church sold them out--that the LDS leadership abandoned one of the religion's most crucial theological tenets for the sake of political expediency. Krakauer tells a better, more gripping story because he writes by a different set of rules that values thesis over fact.

Skip to main content. Both men's extremism reached new heights when they became members of the School of the Prophets, founded and led by Robert C.