Critique of ‘Under the Banner of Heaven

The portrayal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Mormon fundamentalism in Jon Krakauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” has been a sticking point for church

Now, the book has been turned into an FX on Hulu miniseries of the same name. Both tell the story of the real-life murder of Brenda Lafferty, a devout member of the church

There’s a redemption and hope in [Brenda’s] Mormonism. Her Mormonism is depicted so beautifully, so powerfully, and I think it’s worth defending

“I never felt growing up in the church like I was any less than anyone else, and Brenda sort of feels that,” she said. “And it's only when she expresses 

that and tries to live the things that she was taught that she runs into trouble.” said Lindsay Hansen Park, a historical and cultural consultant for the series.

Brenda’s self-assurance didn’t go over well with her brothers-in-law Ron and Dan Lafferty. The Lafferty brothers turned to Mormon fundamentalism

and decided Brenda and her daughter needed to be “removed.” The book faced fierce criticism for depicting the religion as one based in violence, and now

“Brenda’s experience of being a sort of liberal, more progressive Latter-day Saint marrying into an extreme family is hard for people to watch

 said Hansen Park. “Because some people, some Mormons will go their whole life and never interact with a family like the Laffertys.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Disclosure: The show is a financial sponsor of KUER.     Lindsay Hansen Park: I'm one of those folks that when I watch a period  or historical 

 I like to research what is true, what is false. But working now in this role on the show, I realize the difficulties in translating that sort of accuracy

 One of our challenges was truncating this very broad timeline of Mormon history and this very complicated sort of true crime

 case into seven episodes. It was challenging for me to be able to make those artistic concessions. People that are making that critique do not understand Mormon

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