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Monday, October 05, 2020

Mormon Mentions: Jon Erwin and William Doyle

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.

(Note:  In 2018, Russell M. Nelson—president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsmade an impassioned plea to members of the Church and to the media to always use the full and correct name of the Church instead of referring to it by its various nicknames.  This led to the renaming of many Church entities, including its famous choir, which is now The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.  Thus, I'm trying to think of a new name for my "Mormon Mentions" feature.  Any ideas?) 


In Beyond Valor, the authors discuss how various Medal of Honor recipients react to the award, which often honors actions taken on the worst day of their lives.  On Page 96, it says:

"Some recipients have battled depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and periods of great despair and failure in civilian life.  Pvt. Thomas C. Neibaur of Idaho was the first Mormon to receive the Medal of Honor, which recognized his actions in France on October 16, 1918.  In 1939, discouraged by misfortune and unable to feed his family, Neibaur mailed his Medal of Honor and other decorations to Congress, stating, "I cannot eat them."  Within three years, both he and his wife died, and their four sons were sent to an orphanage in Michigan."

I'm not sure what to say about this except what a terribly sad story.  I did find this article about Neibaur, which gives more details about his life and military service.  


  1. "Saints Shoutout"?

    Here's an interesting link with more info about Thomas:

  2. What a sad story that is...even worse, it's not all that much better for troubled veterans now than it was even way back then.

    1. So very sad :( These heroes should be able to get the help they need.

  3. So sad. I agree with Sam, it is still so hard for Veterans to live and prosper. There is still so many issues of PTSD and war wounds that cause major depression. So sad.

    1. Very sad. It's so hard on the veteran and his/her family as well.

  4. The thing is, non-member authors probably don't know the full name of the church or its importance to the members, so they're going to mention "Mormons." Your title fits what happens, but then gives you the opportunity to clarify.

    1. That's why I chose to use the word "Mormon" in the first place. I agree - I'm not using it in a derogatory way, just in a way that I hope grabs people's attention so that I can elaborate on whatever an author has written about us. Maybe I'll just keep it as "Mormon Mentions."

  5. Member mention?? Too vague ?

    1. I thought of that one, but yeah ... too vague. I thought of "Saints in Stories," but that sounds Catholic. "Latter-Day Saints in Stories" is too clunky ... agh!

  6. Very interesting post and question. I was aware of the full name of the church but not much aware of the issues surrounding the use of Mormon as a term. I think your title works because it is highlighting the use of Mormon as a term, but if you are uncomfortable with it now, I am sure you will find something appropriate.

    1. The term "Mormon" has been widely used until just a couple years ago when President Nelson made the plea for it to be discontinued. Church leaders and Church members have been trying hard to make the change, but change takes time. I personally don't have a problem with the term "Mormon," but I do want to be sensitive. I like "Mormon Mentions" - I'll keep it unless I can think of anything better.

  7. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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