LEAVING THE SAINTS: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

Martha Nibley Beck, Author . Crown $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-609-60991-0

Beck follows her bestselling spiritual memoir Expecting Adam with this shocking accusation of sexual abuse and betrayal. The book is full of Beck's laugh-out-loud hyperbolic wit and exquisitely written insights, but it also has a hard, angry edge. She asserts that after returning to Utah in the early 1990s, she began to recall horrific memories of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her father, well-known Mormon intellectual Hugh Nibley. Although all her immediate family members vehemently deny her claims (and one has already published the positive full-length biography Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life ), some readers will find that Beck builds a compelling case. She questions the legitimacy of Nibley's prolific apologetic writing and attributes his abuse in part to the pressures he was under to defend the faith even at the expense of truthful scholarship. Although marred by shallow, formulaic anti-Mormon criticisms and an exaggerated description of the LDS Church that will sound foreign to Mormons outside the insular culture of Utah, the book also describes how institutionalized religion can do terrible wrong to some adherents while still being a force of good for others. It will devastate faithful Mormons, satisfy disenchanted ex-Mormons and offer hope to those who believe they have suffered from ecclesiastical abuse. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/17/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-7499-5091-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-1780-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7393-1779-2
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