— Tito Momen
One of the most fascinating classes I took in college was a comparative religion class. This was arguably my introduction to Islam. I had run into some Muslims while on my mission in Russia, but my understanding of their religion was superficial at best. It was in my world religions (I think that was its actual name) class that I learned more about the religion that claims more adherents than any other on our planet. Since then, my travels as well as the events that have often taken center stage in the news have increased my knowledge of this fascinating religion. As a staunch member of my own church, I find conversion stories to be miraculous, inspiring, and simply interesting. Islam is known — rightly or wrongly is up for debate — for being extremely harsh in dealing with those who turn against it. Conversions from the strong traditions of Islam to the all-encompassing doctrines of Mormonism are especially interesting from this standpoint.
The book was, as I expected, incredibly interesting. I know relatively little about the part of the world in which these events were set, so learning about them was neat. Momen’s conversion story was, of course, incredible and displayed an incredible about of faith and humility. His is one of those stories that makes a person think something like, “If this guy could go through all that he did, of course I can get through my middling problems.” It’s an inspiring story that held my attention throughout the book. The only thing I think could’ve been improved on was that his life story was told in decent detail, but maybe there could’ve been a little more detail given to his conversion to Mormonism. I realize that it’s a deeply personal thing and that the impressions, thoughts, and feelings we have as we seek answers to our earnest prayers are personal and hard to describe. Still, they are real, and there are events and thoughts associated with them that would be of interest. It would firmly be rated PG-13 were it a movie, but it all accurately depicts life in North Africa and the Middle East. I’d recommend the book as one of general human interest and religious interest that I really enjoyed.
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