This page will contain some of the books I've read, and links to purchase them if you're interested in further-educating yourself. I will add to it slowly and over time, and it will take me a while to go backward over all those I've read, so don't expect too much along the lines of reviews at first! By the way, if you know of any books that are worth my recommending, please let me know so I can look into them!
Standing For Something More: the Excommunication of Lyndon Lamborn, by Lyndon Lamborn
Having read, as a disaffected member, about a million books for and
against the faith, this book has hit the top of my list as a reference
guide for the epistemoloy of the LDS church. It is brilliantly and
honestly executed, and Lamborn is comprehensive both in his review of
facts and his delving into the psyche of the indoctrinated.
Lamborn, born into the church, has a scientific mind...which is a serious detriment to a Mormon. Obedience is key, of course; thinking is only allowed when the thinker reaches the conclusion the church desires. Lamborn discovered, as a priesthood instructor, some of the church's historical "skeletons" and doctrinal inconsistencies, and began incorporating them into his lessons. No big surprise, most of his class members had no clue about Joseph Smith's myriad wives...or that many of them were still married to their original husbands when he married (and consummated the marriages with) them. One can imagine that sharing truth didn't go over well, and to this day you can youtube "Lyndon Lamborn excommunication" and listen to the recorded audio of his "court of love" when his stake president excommunicated him for apostasy.
Having faced such idiocy, Lamborn is open about his views of the church and its cultist attitudes, laying out in wonderful specificity how the church works its cultish magic. It proved a window into my own psyche, provided ample discussion material for me and my husband and me and my psychologist, and gripped me in a way other former-LDS works haven't. I finished the entire book in less than 48 hours.
I do not
hesitate to HIGHLY recommend it to other disaffected members seeking
enlightenment into their own psyches, or to those who have left other
faiths of intense indoctrination. It is truly a revelation, and I still
regularly refer to it. Thank you, Mr. Lamborn. You'll never know the
hope for sanity you've given me.
You can buy the print book on amazon here for between $10 & $15, or here on kindle for only $2.95. PS: He has 39 reviews on amazon, and almost every single one is five stars!
No Man Knows My History, by Fawn Brodie
My journey began here, with Ms. Brodie's seminal work No Man Knows My History, about the life and times of Joseph Smith. (Ms. Brodie took a reflective comment made by Smith during a discourse - “You don't know me; you never knew my heart. No
man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I
don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not
experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself. I never
did harm any man since I was born in the world. My voice is always for
peace.”- as a challenge and wrote his biography.)
The work itself is masterful. Brodie is incredibly well-researched, and obviously in earnest. She is most-often criticized for bits of speculation, minor assumptions, and editorializing, but I found it was fairly easy to separate fact from opinion, and thoroughly enjoyed her presentation of facts and findings I could otherwise never have accessed, thanks to Salt Lake's control over church archives. (Reminds me a bit of Vatican control of Catholic archives...only more strict.)
The book begins by setting up the historical, religious, and political situation at the time, then narrows its view to the Smith family, Joseph as a member of it, and where Joseph goes from there. While I did not agree with every postulate over what Smith was thinking, Brodie made some incredibly strong points and presented a view into Smith that, in my experience, is entirely left out of the teachings of the church. For instance, until Brodie, I had NEVER KNOWN that Smith had ever actually
taken more than one wife. (I'm not alone. At least half of the general
membership has never had Smith's "obedience" to polygamy made known to
them...and that is strongly preferred by the leadership.)
This is a great foundational read for those who are just now testing the faith and want to see the quotes, legal documents, and photos firsthand. My journey, again, started here, and for me that was a great decision: I moved from Joseph back east to Brigham in the UT territory to the modern-day church, and it made linear sense in my mind as I slowly discovered the depth of the rabbit hole.
I have not found the book in ereader formats, but my first go around with it, I checked it out of the public library. You can get a copy here on amazon for between $10 & $15. It's a biography, which means it's dry; trust your intellect to wade through it, because it's worth knowing.
Welcome to My Continuing Online Journey!
Perhaps you've read my book by now, or maybe you've only heard of it and were curious about me, or maybe you're even just surfing the web and happened on one of my posts, but please take your time and wander around. I've got enough to say, I'll be posting for some years yet! Lots of resources, personal entries, and discussion to be had; please contribute (respectfully) to it without fear of being lambasted. (Read: all comments will be moderated for relevance and basic appropriateness.) Finally, if you are here because you have heard my story or one like it and are willing to lend your support to us indoctrinated folk entering the real world, Thank You. With love, Regina