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Suddenly Strangers [Paperback]

Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 398947  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.75"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2004
Publisher   Aventine Press
ISBN  1593301111  
EAN  9781593301118  

Availability  90 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 04:03.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
The ideal of being a rational person is to, at some point, critically examine one's own inherited beliefs. Yet, few who do take up this challenge are equipped to withstand the self-doubt and unsettling disorientation which may follow. The narrative of this book is that rare instance where two brothers of deep moral conviction and intelligence summon the energy and conviction to see this ordeal through to its conclusion. The end result unmasks insights of enduring power. This book has the appeal of a good mystery, and I had the same sense of satisfaction of a mystery being solved. -Heather Ashton-Summers Portland, Oregon

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Congrats and Advice from two who've tred a similar path. . .   Sep 9, 2007
My physicist husband (recovered ex-mormon) wanted me to commend the authors on a great book describing two people in touch with their consciences and own brainpower. We thought the book was excellent and even learned some things that we hadn't come across before. Our advice: Our life over the last 45 years or so has been a wonderful journey exploring lots to learn about in this life, so we feel strongly you authors, esp., but others as well could benefit. Shortly after marrying, (Reed was divorced when i met him) we discovered a book ESP, your 6th sense by Harold Sherman, I believe it was. That opened up interesting info. We next found Researches in Spiritualism by Sir William Crooks, an eminent scientist,late 19th century. You can probably find a copy in rare book collections, as we did. We actually photocopied all pages and made our own book. Later, Reed found the book Thinking and Destiny by Harold Percival, an excellent metaphysical consciousness treatise now being verified slowly by the newest micro/macro quantum research. Noetic Sciences founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchel inspired us next and continues to amaze us with their offerings; The Reincarnation of Edgar Cayce by Free & Wilcock is a real eye opener. Wilcock is just a brilliant scientific mind also; The Monroe Institute helped open up the vistas of famous remote viewers to us; remote viewer #001 Joe McMoneagle's books are just excellent(he worked for the military, etc); Dr. Steven Greer's latest book Hidden Truth, Forbidden Knowledge is a real eye-opener, but again the info he, Percival and Wilcock presents is now starting to be scientifically verified and is summarized well in the books The Field and The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggert. Finally Prof. James Tabor, head of a major university religion dept. in his new book The Jesus Dynasty reveals fascinating sustaining info about the gnostic traditions of historical spirituality similar to the mystery school traditions that have a basis only in the inner kingdom within of man and humanity's connection with the divine. These sources have really made our "spiritual" life come alive and are very enLIGHTening. We would really encourage any and all interested in the stories of people searching for truth like these brothers to consider these sources of wonderful knowledge. There are many others that could edify a search for universal truths like The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manley Hall, but I must stop here sometime!! With your minds freed up, you are in store for some fun explorations and we are sure now that this life is not the end and wasn't the beginning!! You can get more ideas from my other book reviews here on this site!! Thanks this site for this opportunity to share ideas.
It's never possible to exorcise Mormonism completely.  Aug 23, 2007
When someone is raised in the Church, they learn to turn their eyes away when they see something that threatens what they've been told. They are told that "The glory of God is intelligence" and that they should get an education- but that they should never, ever research the church. They are assured that church tells them everything they need to know. The church's firm position is that everything written or said that disagrees with church dogma is Anti-Mormon, inaccurate, full of lies and of the Devil.

Two Mormon brothers who were both well into the "Plan of Salvation" learned too much and fell into the very frequently and vehemently discouraged sin of research. They looked carefully and thoughtfully at historical documents which were so fundamentally at odds with what they were being taught at church that they rescinded their church memberships.

Both are educators and therefore know how to do research and to distill the results. They found that the Church was and is still built on lies, and that without research, members will never know the truth. Members are issued manuals with extremely whitewashed histories of the "prophets" and the history of the Church. They are also made to feel morally obligated not to read anything not published by the Church.

This is a heartbreaking account of the effect their discovery had on themselves, their immediate families and their very devout parents, siblings and kin. For those who have committed the unpardonable sin of research, this book is a source of support, as well as information. That is important because if you have a sinful nature- which you had to have had in order to do forbidden research- you will probably need support in order to be cured of the virus of Mormonism.

I thank Brad and Chris for their courage to step away from their support and comfort zone and be honest with themselves and their families and us because I, like them am a carrier of the Mormon virus, and it is very hard to cure. It's like an addiction, like quitting cigarettes or alcohol- you crave it, even though you know it's bad for you and everyone else.
An exceptional, well researched, and thoughtful book  Jul 4, 2007
I heavily debated whether to give this four or five stars. As a convert to the Mormon(LDS) Church, I have a rare glimpse into how the faith absolutely dominates the entire lifestyle, thoughts and attitudes of its members.

I have seen first hand how many of our church members use selective reasoning when evaluating their faith. If a casually heard "fact"supports their view, it is viewed as true regardless of whether they actually do any real research to validate it. If a casually heard "fact" does not support their view, it is viewed as false regardless of whether they actually do any real research to invalidate it.

Teachings of our church leaders state that the only reason a person would ever leave the "true" church is if they have been led away by Satan. So when one church member leaves, the remaining members feel the departing member was led away by the sin of intellect, by grave sins, or because they were simply bamboozled.

Barring major sins, the leaver leaves because their paradigm (way of seeing the church and the world) has changed so much, that they no longer see things the way that the church teaches them. That is, they seek to validate their faith through researching whether things actually happened the way church leaders and missionaries say they did. Many realize that (for right and wrong) the LDS (Mormon) church only teaches faith promoting parts of history and avoids teaching the negative bumps, bruises, and historical scars that come with people trying, at all costs, to keep a growing church from unraveling in the middle of the wild west.

Once these people feel like the church is no longer the "true" church of God, it is like a bubble bursts and their whole view of the world is laid in question. They no longer see the world through church-defined glasses and they change to either a small or large degree.

Church members who know the members who have left the church feel that Satan has a small-to-large hold of them and view them skeptically. The person who leaves the church and the people who remain church members are "suddenly...strangers".

On one hand, I loved the insight into the thought patterns of the person who leaves and that of their family. The first 14 chapters involve talking about their emotions as they encounter historical church screw-ups and how their lives with family members change (due to both valid and invalid perceptions). In this first part, the quotes backing up their issues are very well documented quotes, most of which come straight from LDS historical records.

However, I wish I could say that all parties involved should read the book. I bought it with high hopes of it being something I could share with my spouse's LDS family, since we have just left the LDS(Mormon)church (after years of dedicated service including a mission and several high level ward and stake leadership callings for both of us). However, chapter 15 and 16 dramatically change the entire tone of the book. While what is said is valid, a bit of it is substantiated by quoting opinions drawn by non-LDS authors. That is to say, that they bolster their own opinion/conclusion by quoting some one else's opinion/conclusion.

The previous chapters (and most parts of chapter15 and 16) use the church leaders' and church members' own quotes to contradict present Mormon (LDS) teachings. In short, the tone gets a bit strong and, while it is clear that they are on a crusade for revealing negative historical LDS doctrine and actions, the supporting text is not as strong as in earlier chapters. It would have been far better to leave chapters 15 and 16 in the appendix (for those who would like to read more). This would have made the book something that I could have shared with LDS members who will question the choices made by me and my spouse.

Frankly, they gently exposed enough of the church's historical and doctrinal warts in the first 14 chapters that anyone who has not completely turned their mind off will recognize that they might be on to something (and will read more). And, those who have already turned their mind off wouldn't be reached by any of their writing anyway. Chapters 15 and 16 take a book that might help LDS members understand why their friends and family have left the church (and that they aren't Satan's soldiers) and turns it into something that I could never give them. So it ends up as a book that is good for outsiders and those who have left or are readying themselves to leave. Chapters 15 & 16 end up preaching to those who already have figured it out.

In short, chapters 1-14 and the wonderful chapter 17 delivered exactly what I hoped for. It helped me realize how my spouse's family might end up reacting and helped me realize that many of us are in the same place. Left as such, it would have even helped members understand me better and might have even helped a few of them to think and examine their own beliefs. Instead the members will write it off and, thus, a large part of the contribution that the book could have made to the world may have been lost. As my excitement peaked at page 166, it lessened in 15 in 16.

Yet, as I ironically and joyfully write this on Independence Day, I still find it a wonderful book that has been extremely beneficial to me and several others. As such, it earns an exuberant 5-Star rating.
Thoughtful Treatment of a Difficult Subject  Jun 12, 2006
I was fascinated by this book, and I am really glad I read it. These two brothers were born in the LDS church; and it wasn't until they were mature adults that they decided they didn't believe in it any longer. Their main reasons for distrusting and leaving the church are 1) the distortion of Joseph Smith's and Brigham Young's practice of polygamy. They rely heavily on Compton's excellent In Sacred Lonliness, but such information was new to almost everyone until this sentinel book was published. 2) the doctrine of Blood Atonement. This is something that was widely preached by the leaders and performed in the early church--leaders now deny it ever took place. There is abundant evidence to the contrary, and the Morin brothers give the reader a good taste of it. 3) Brigham Young's Journal of Discourses. There are so many sociopathic statements in these volumes to scare just about anyone. 4) careful denials by current church leaders of past events that would paint the church in an unflattering light. 5) the book of Abraham, as "translated" by Joseph Smith.

The Morins write very compellingly about their struggle to leave a whole way of life. They convey to the reader very effectively that they did not want to leave--they were comfortable. They really felt that the only way to be honest to themselves and those around them was to get their names removed from the church membership lists. It was very gutsy of them to tell their families and friends, when it might have been easier to just try to "fade away" from activity in the church (especially for Chris, as he didn't live so near his relatives). So many of their concerns about the church and its culture were proven correct by many disgustingly self-righteous responses from those who should have promised to stand by them no matter what they believed. They emphasize that some leave the church not because they've broken a significant church rule--they just disagree or stop believing the stories.

A couple of problems, though. The endnote style is very distracting, I was mildly annoyed by all the flipping back and forth to the appendix, even though the endnotes were at times very valuable to the particular argument. It seemed a little incongruous to quote Jefferson, Emerson, and Ben Franklin--and then add their own little maxims. You write a book to quote yourself, so no other "quoting" is necessary.

The book was not as well organized as it could have been. The Morins give the story to us in the order all the significant events occurred. Unfortunately, that means they describe leaving the church and then finish the book with their paraphrasing some ghastly bits of early Mormon/Utah history.

Whatever these small faults, the book was really thought provoking for me, and I found it to be very well written and very logical in its arguments. I would recommend it to any member or former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A Gentle Transition for the Recovering Mormon  Jan 28, 2006
Brad & Chris Morin's "Suddenly Strangers" chronicles their respective experiences apostatizing from the LDS faith. The Morin brothers were bred in a strictly LDS environment and both followed the well-trod path of the highly respected, upstanding, LDS priesthood holder so their eventual realization that the LDS faith is founded on false precepts and that the "prophets, seers, and revelators" that have led -- and currently lead -- the LDS church are mere men pretending to have a direct line to God is especially disconcerting.

The authors aren't antagonistic toward the LDS church, rather, the sentiment most palpable is the sense of betrayal they both felt because the LDS church makes a deliberate effort to withhold any information that may compromise the tenuous foundation upon which the faith is erected (if the truth is in fact impenetrable, then an open scrutiny of it ought to be encouraged). In spite of this perceived betrayal, however, the authors remain compassionate relative to the virtues of the LDS church and their family members still committed to it.

The realization that Brigham Young was not the noble, reverent, & compassionate prophet of God especially bothers the Morin brothers. One such sermon that, incidentally, is also considered scripture, concerns the trivial method by which women (his wives, in particular) are suppose to bake bread: "Do not put your loaf into the oven with a fire hot enough to burn it before it is baked through, but with a slow heat, and let it remain until it is perfectly baked; and I would prefer, for my own eating, each and every loaf to be not thicker than my two hands - you tell how thick they are - and I would want the crust as thick as my hand" (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.193). Apparently, nothing is too trivial to be considered scripture.

In sum, this is a very readable book and one that every skeptical Mormon ought to own. Recommended.

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