Skip to comments.Brother Brigham forces the LDS reader to ponder some uncomfortable thoughts
Posted on 04/23/2010 9:33:26 AM PDT by Colofornian
One of the quirkiest, and enjoyable edgy Mormon fiction out there remains Brother Brigham, (2007, Zarahemla Books) Its a pity that probably only a few hundred people have read the novel. Utah Author D. Michael Martindales bizarre, at times sexy tale prompts the attentive LDS reader to really wonder if theyre faith is as strong as they might like to think it is.
Brother Brigham, set in Salt Lake County, involves Cory Horace C.H. Young, descendent of Brigham Young, married in the temple to Danielle. A BYU marriage dropout with dreams of being a violinist, he works in a bookstore and lives in a tiny duplex with his wife and two sons, Petey and Glenn. At the bookstore theres a cute bohemian girl named Sheila who dabbles in satanism.
One day, out of the blue, Brigham Young appears to C.H. and tells him that the LDS Church has slipped into apostasy and that he, C.H., has been called of God to restore the Gospel. Brigham informs C.H. that polygamy must also be restored. Brigham leads C.H. to hidden away money in the desert west of Salt Lake City. The angel, using the same type of language as the Prophet Joseph Smith records in Mormon accounts, pushes C.H. to get things rolling. C.H. reluctantly agrees. He manages to convince his skeptical wife, and then follows the angels commandment to marry Satan-dabbler Sheila, who perhaps not surprisingly given her personality, accepts C.H.s offer. Things start to spiral out of control when Brigham commands C.H. to take an underage ward teen, Cyndy, as a second plural wife.
Brother Brigham is a lighter novel than may appear from the brief partial synopsis. C.H. is very reluctant to take on what hes been commanded to do despite promises from Brigham that he will be successful. Theres a lot of sex in Martindales prose. This will never be a novel found on the virgin shelves of Deseret Book. One funny, sexy sequence involves C.H. and Sheilas wedding night where, at least for the groom, plural love turns into solo lust.
I wont give away the ending of Brother Brigham, although a turn in the plot and the climax are quite clever. Mormon lore abounds in Brother Brigham. A promise in C.H.s patriarchal blessing seems to hint at what will occur to him. When Brigham appears to C.H., he follows Mormon lore by asking the angel to shake hands with him. The plot also includes references to the Book of Mormon and wrestling with demons and raging theological debates Parley P. Pratt-style.
Brother Brigham is not a book critical of the LDS faith, but its very plot forces the honest Mormon reader to confront two uncomfortable thoughts. How many of us, if we had lived in the time of Joseph Smith, would have believed a 14-year-old boy had been visted by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? And, a question perhaps even more difficult to answer, is: Had we been members of the early LDS Church, how many of us would have agreed to ditch our matrimonial covenants and pursue wives half our age? Would we have thought that was of God, or a product of lust?
These are not questions that todays Mormons ponder often. In fact, most of us have become quite comfortable scorning fundamentalist polygamist Mormons for their sinful lifestyles.
Brother Brigham, besides being a great read, reminds us that were pretty lucky to be Mormons in 2010, where C.Hs experiences remain something that were not likely to have to deal with.
God has never encouraged people to divorce.
Such thoughts show the sin beneath Mormonism.
Hmm...sounds like a 19th century story line...
...Brigham replaces an unnamed "personage"...
...$ instead of "gold plates"...
..."angel, using same type of language as the prophet" replaces gold plates using same type of language as KJV Bible (even though supposedly KJV published thousands of years after some of the BoM gold plate writings)...
underage ward teen...well, that was a direct import...Smith's first plural wife was an underage ward teen living at their house. Even Lds apologists say Smith was sleeping with her by 1831.
Typical anti-Mormon TWIST.
Who said to “ditch matrimonal covenants” means divorce. I am sure it was quite uncomfortable for many of them in the early days to have to change from the covenant of having the one wife to having more (which would probably and hopefully include the original) as it had been done before in bibical times.
What a faith test that would have to be.
I envy them not.
God has never encouraged people to divorce.
“ditch our matrimonial covenants” means to commit adultery...
Polygtamy is bigamy...adultery...
Who’s uncomfortable? I’m not.
I thought you always preached that mormons don't believe in the trinity and that they only believe that Jesus is God? Then how could a 14-year-old boy be "visted by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ"? I think you accidently exposed a constradiction in your zealotry. Doh!
Oh my! SOMEbody was exposed and it wasn’t Colofornian.
999, Do you know what the trinity is? Are there two personages in the Holy Trinity?
Try and act surprised.
The old "better to remain silent..." meme comes to mind...
I thought you always preached that mormons don't believe in the trinity and that they only believe that Jesus is God?
He shows just how confused he is regarding Mormons. What Mormons believe is that are three separate but equal Gods that make-up the godhead.....there is the flesh and bone God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who somehow became a God without ever getting a body of flesh and bone. Mormons do NOT believe in the Trinity and Colofornian has NEVER preached that Mormons believe Jesus is God - they certainly do NOT.
Like I said:
We now officially know the score on this one and can act accordingly.
The first wife becomes a ‘plural wife’, the FIRST plural wife, as soon as the second wife is enjoied. When a third wife is married into the circle, she is the third plural wife since the first wife has been relegated to first/only one on a list.
And yet, you are so much more sophisticated that you believe the entire world was populated by two people. And you believe that a guy literally parted the Red Sea or that a baby was born from a virgin. Or maybe you believe we came from monkeys? In the big picture, God visiting a boy ain't very extreme, but the sack you have to make fun of it because it is far fetched, is priceless.
The other day I asked what your your backgound with mormonism is http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2495971/posts?page=166#166 . I didn’t accuse you of being a Mormon only of having some sort of association with it - most people have some sort of background regarding Mormonism - they’ve run into missionaries, have family members or friends or work associates that are LDS . Now I know you were never a Mormon or close to a Mormon, you have no understanding of it. You don’t have a clue about their beliefs OR Christianity. I still wonder what your motivation is in inserting yourself into the discussion of Christian dogma. It looks like you are simply a disruptor.
At least you’ve exposed yourself here.
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