Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mormon Mentions: Rae Carson

If you're not sure what a Mormon is, let alone a Mormon Mention, allow me to explain:  My name is Susan and I'm a Mormon (you've seen the commercials, right?).  As a member of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or LDS Church), I'm naturally concerned with how my religion is portrayed in the media.  Because this blog is about books, every time I see a reference to Mormonism in a book written by someone who is not a member of my church, I highlight it here.  Then, I offer my opinion—my insider's view—of what the author is saying.  It's my chance to correct misconceptions, expound on principles of the Gospel, and even to laugh at my (sometimes) crazy Mormon culture.

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Most Western or Western-ish novels mention Mormon pioneers, as they played an indelible part in the settlement of the western United States.  So, it's no big surprise that these iconic travelers make an appearance in Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson.  

Warning:  The following may be a little spoiler-y.  Proceed with caution!

Toward the end of the novel, Leah and company approach Independence Rock, a large, granite monolith in Wyoming.  Many real travelers carved their names in the rock.  Some of these inscriptions can still be seen today.  While discussing the rock, Jefferson says:

"The Mormons came this way.  And folks going to Oregon.  People have been passing by this rock for a long time." (quote at Location 4077 in e-ARC).

Independence Rock was often mentioned in journals kept by Mormon pioneers.  My own ancestors passed by it.  Although I've never visited the site, I'd love to someday.

*Book cover from Barnes & Noble; Independence Rock image from Wikipedia

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