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When Craig Harline set off on his two-year Mormon mission to Belgium in the 1970s, he had big dreams of doing miracles, converting the masses, and coming home a hero. What he found instead was a lot of rain and cold, one-sentence conversations with irritated people, and silly squabbles with fellow missionaries.

From being kicked -- literally -- out of someone's home to getting into arguments about what Godreallywanted from Donny Osmond, Harline faced a range of experiences that nothing, including his own missionary training, had prepared him for. He also found a wealth of friendships with fellow Mormons as well as unconverted locals and, along the way, gained insights that would shape the rest of his life.

Part religious history, part coming-of-age story, part witty spiritual memoir, this book takes readers beyond the stereotypical white shirts and name tags to reveal just how unpredictable, funny, and poignant the missionary life can be.

Way below the angels - Craig Harline

9780802871503
£ 7.49
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Title
Way below the angels - the pretty clearly troubled but not even close to tragic confessions of a real live Mormon missionary
Author
Craig Harline
format
Hardback
Publisher
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20140814

When Craig Harline set off on his two-year Mormon mission to Belgium in the 1970s, he had big dreams of doing miracles, converting the masses, and coming home a hero. What he found instead was a lot of rain and cold, one-sentence conversations with irritated people, and silly squabbles with fellow missionaries.

From being kicked -- literally -- out of someone's home to getting into arguments about what Godreallywanted from Donny Osmond, Harline faced a range of experiences that nothing, including his own missionary training, had prepared him for. He also found a wealth of friendships with fellow Mormons as well as unconverted locals and, along the way, gained insights that would shape the rest of his life.

Part religious history, part coming-of-age story, part witty spiritual memoir, this book takes readers beyond the stereotypical white shirts and name tags to reveal just how unpredictable, funny, and poignant the missionary life can be.

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Craig Harline is the author of Sunday: A History of theFirst Day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl andConversions: Two Family Stories from the Reformationand Modern America, which was named one of2011's Top Ten Books in Religion by PublishersWeekly. He teaches European history at BrighamYoung University. Learn more about him at craigharline.com.

Jana Riess
-- author ofFlunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath,Forgetting to Pray, andStill Loving My Neighbor
"How could a memoir that primarily deals with religion and rejection be so flippin' hilarious? Craig Harline's experiences as a Mormon missionary in Belgium in the mid-1970s are ingeniously funny, but they also point to important issues -- how religious people deal with apparent failure and navigate grown-up faith after childish certainties have proven inadequate."

Carlos Eire
-- author ofWaiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy
"An incandescent and searingly honest memoir. . . . Earthy and spiritual all at once, Harline's eloquent account of his travails brims over with good humor and transcends confessional boundaries. Taking the reader from door to door, step by redeeming step, this pilgrim's journal ultimately reveals as much about the human condition as it does about the inner workings of Mormon foreign missions."

Randall Balmer
-- author ofMine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America
"Witty, poignant, and tender. The characters are unforgettable, and Harline's rendering of his interactions with them is luminous. . . . Utterly riveting and delightful."

--Booklist
"By turns amusing and tender, an unvarnished and introspective reflection, humanizing a little-understood religion."

-- Kirkus Reviews
"Displays a fine mix of pathos and hilarity. . . . A touchingly human memoir."

--Publishers Weekly(starred review)
"Delightful. . . . Readers will laugh out loud at Harline's misadventures. But this tale is, at heart, a reflection on how life doesn't always follow the rules set out by statisticians and spiritual advisers, and how growing up away from home can be profoundly unsettling. A thoughtful, wonderful read."

J. Spencer Fluhman
-- author of"A Peculiar People": Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America
"Harline tells his tale with such candor and warmth that the words spill beyond the boundaries of his own tradition. His story's Mormon particulars will fascinate readers of various stripes, but religious readers across traditions will see themselves in this sweet -- and often comical -- human soul's reach to comprehend God's work in a broken world."

Sam Cardon
-- Emmy Award-winning composer
"Way Below the Angelsis perhaps the most authentic and honest account ever written by a practicing Mormon of the unvarnished Mormon experience. In one moment hilariously funny and in the next heartbreakingly revealing, Craig Harline's story of his journey of self-discovery is filled with insight, humor, wit, and erudition. . . . All readers will learn something, most importantly, about themselves."

Russell Arben Fox
-- By Common Consent
?A beautiful, hilarious, and haunting book. . . . The best, most thoughtful, funniest and truest recreation of missionary life -- especially the internal life of a missionary -- that I've ever read. . . . This is a great book.”

Julie Smith
-- Times and Seasons
?You can read an (excellent) book like Unbroken and think: that was amazing, and it has nothing to do with my life. But you read Way Below the Angels and think: this is me -- a kicked-over anthill on the inside, even when things are really not all that bad on the outside. . . . Harline provides an unusual kind of balm in the form of an epically raw and genuine account of his mission.”

-- Hearts and Minds
?You know this has to be a good book for the editors of one of the most storied and prestigious religious publishers in America to offer it as one of their biggest titles of the season. No, this guy doesn't conve

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Mormon missionaries - United States - Biography.|Mormon missionaries - Belgium - Biography.
Country of Publication
Michigan
Number of Pages
xiii, 267

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