Secret Ceremonies

Secret Ceremonies

by Deborah Laake


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A frank yet compassionate depiction of the culture of the Mormon Church, this compelling rite-of-passage story describes the mystery of the church's rituals and the beauty and rigor of its theology and traditions set against the backdrop of one woman's life. Laake is executive managing editor of the New Times, Inc., chain of magazines and was named Arizona Journalist of the Year in 1988.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780517146088
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/01/1993

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Secret Ceremonies: A Mormon Woman's Intimate Diary of Marriage and Beyond 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a masterful achievement of the human spirit. It is a feat of intellectual courage, a tour-de-force that shows how ideas indeed have consequences. To those interested in the larger historical view, it reinforces the notion that when Joseph Smith secretly introduced polygamy to a small inner circle -- while denying his practice to the American public, the government and even the church at large -- he planted the seeds of a duplicitous form of bigotry against women the effects of which, regretably, still linger. The book's wrenching depictions of a woman's futile struggle to reconcile her brand of faith with her inexorably human reality should be an eye-opener. However, be forewarned: if you still hold on to pie-in-the-sky Mormonism you might find this book deeply disturbing.
turtlesleap on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Disturbing account of Deborah Laake's young womanhood in the Mormon Church and her direct experience with the role of women in that church. It should be understood that this is Laake's very personal account and may be offensive to some readers.
LibrarysCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laake's story of her young adulthood as a Mormon is very easy to read although the content is somewhat disturbing. Her religious aspirations to be pleasing to God found their earthly home in bad marriages which assured her way into heaven and damning her when they failed. In spite of oaths that would require bodily harm if she shared any information about the secret ceremonies, Laake allows her readers to join her in the Temple ceremonies which bound her to her first husband in this life and the afterlife. In the introduction, the author says that many times she gave up on writing this book. Finally, I think it was cathartic for her to tell her story - the years of turmoil in the Mormon religion. I was surprised that polygamy was not the main issue here. However, it was very interesting to think that, even without the dreaded polygamy, Mormon females remain in a position of inferiority and submission.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
At last a candid book about the rigid structure of the LDS church. So refreshing to hear about a male centered religion from a woman's point of view.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This account of one woman's perceptions distorts the realities of the LDS church. From the begining of the organization of this church, LDS women have been encouraged to gain education, participate in the community, involve themselves in self improvement, and enjoy being women. This author's version of the LDS woman is demeaning. Not particularly well written, or factual.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is sad to see that someone would take other's people's cherished beliefs and twist them to make an interesting plot for their own profit. Error #1 of numerous-Mormon leaders tell young women to run away from any man who tells them God says their supposed to marry them. Error #2-Mormon temple marriages do not involve any kind of 'voodoo' or 'secret-handshakes'. Temples are considered very sacred to the Latter Day Saints and any person that would knowingly defile it has little repect for the belief. Error #3-Any man who 'rules' over his wife is an unworthy priesthood holder and will be treated as such by Latter Day Saint church leaders. Error #4-Women have been described by the Latter Day Saints church as 'the highest calling' and are given much respect. Even now the church makes a special effort to make sure that women are given the proper respect and are not treated in such a manner. The errors could be listed on and on. If you wish to read an interesting fiction story involving plots of deception and distrust, read this book but know that it is all fiction and the Mormon church is used only in the spelling of the name and it's buildings. If you wish to truly learn about the Mormon church go to a book that at least get it's facts straight, if not the church itself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came across Mormonism some twenty years ago. The two young missionaries tried to convinced about Jared and his brother came to America just after the destruction of the 'Tower of Babel'. I thought the story of Nephi and his family was wonderful, but when I came to the story of Jared's brother, I felt like a sucker. These two weel-meaning young guys told to pray to our the Heavenly Father and assured me that all my doubts will vanished. So, I asked them if my Heavenly Father did not agree with their Heavenly Father, what would happen? After two visits, they stopped coming. I was lucky in a way I guess, because I was already an adult when I came across Mormonism. Miss Laake was not, she grew up with it. I had read some writings of Al-Ghazali, I think he said,'Most of our beliefs are really indoctrination.' And he was warning the Muslims of his days and the future. I am not of the Islamic faith, but his statement can be applied also to most if not all Faiths. I wish Miss Laake a peaceful life.