Are his personal failings affecting the Russian people that he's trying to save? In Mormonism, there is no "wiggle room" for people of other faiths or beliefs. If you're not Mormon, you will not be allowed to Heaven, plain and simple. So the goal of all missionaries is to spread the word and convert everyone that they meet, to build up a Heaven worthy of God. Plus, in modern Mormonism the disciples are brought up to love everyone and care about the salvation of everyone; their "mission" is to convert the world.
So when people are not interested in hearing the message, the blame lies on the missionary - your faith must not be absolute or else other people could sense it in you and would willingly come and be baptized. That is heady information to be giving to young people mostly boys, although "sisters" do serve missions as well and an awful lot of pressure.
Young's memoirs reflect what that pressure is like. To feel like you are failing not only your church and your family, but God himself. With every person who rejects them, the blame is internalized. Add to that the stringent "sales quotas" that each missionary must obtain, it's an amazingly harsh and almost cruel system. Although Young does not disparage the church, he admits to having questions about teachings and doubts that the church is "the true church" and struggles with those pressures in a way that nearly leads to suicide and intentional poisoning which is not uncommon for missionaries.
This book is powerfully written and is neither trying to be divisive about religion nor is just a testimony. I think it is important for people to understand the pressures that a missionary undergoes, even if you're not of the Mormon faith. Maybe it will make you kinder to the person who knocks on your door - a young person from a foreign country who is doing their best. And if you are from a Mormon background, maybe you can better help prepare your missionaries and ensuring that they are truly ready for this kind of "test" before it damages their self-esteem and belief system.
Oct 27, Robin rated it it was ok Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was emphaticly and brutally honest. I'd say it depicts what might be considered the dark side of missionary work. And I think every Mormon missionary must experience some of this darkness at some point. Though I also think it would be fair to say his types of experiences are not the norm.
Most people tend to dwell on the positives; the uplifting experiences after they get home from their missions. To hear Young tell his story, you'd think he didn't have any, the focus is so keenly targ This book was emphaticly and brutally honest. To hear Young tell his story, you'd think he didn't have any, the focus is so keenly targeted to the difficult times. He talks a bit about the book The Sun Also Rises, and how he was so disappointed at the apparent lack of resolution at the end.
It makes me wonder if he intentionally created the same sort of ending in his own account. He got the conviction he sought. He returned home with honor.
Harvest: Memoir of a Mormon Missionary - Kindle edition by Jacob Young. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Harvest: Memoir of a Mormon Missionary [Jacob Young] on domaine-solitude.com *FREE * shipping on qualifying offers. This is an amazing memoir, the most realistic.
But does that mean he was planted firmly on the "yes" path? In spite of getting the conviction he needed to continue the work, it sounds like he still loathed having to teach and was still weighed down with doubt. The book puts so much focus on these issues and then never resolves them. Maybe he still carries his doubts to this day and that's why he gives us no closure. It was not a bad book by any means. It's most redeeming factor is the honesty with which he writes. But that is also why I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a good missionary story.
This is more of a you're-discouraged-and-need-to-know-it's-okay-to-be-completely-on-the-edge-sometimes sort of book. Nov 10, Katya rated it it was amazing. This book blew me away! The author's life is nothing like my own but his words transported me to a gloomy Russian winter, to anonymous door after anonymous door, to new face after new face. Although all his efforts were made under the banner of religion, I feel like his story wasn't so unfamiliar.
All of us have been rejected at times, all of us have lost our motivation some days. Reading this was part gleefully-guilty reading "I glad it's not me! It was also fascinating to get his take on the Russian people.
I hope Jacob Young continues to write because he's created an absolutely stunning tale in this book! Mar 26, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: An interesting insight into a rite-of-passage. Honest, not trite, subtle, not fanatically pro-religion nor bitterly against. The author has a very nice writing style - it's written under a pseudonym and unclear whether he is a professional writer or not, but he certainly should be.
It appears that it might have been self-published - if so, it's a shame that it won't get wider distribution because it is certainly worthy of it. Sep 06, JeanLeslie Baker rated it really liked it. An ex-Mormon, I downloaded this book of curiosity, intending to skim through it then immediately archive it. However it held my interest and I read the entire book only skipped over the passages quoting scripture that every Mormon or ex knows by heart.
Despite some editing problems, it's very well-written, in a fluid style full of honesty and humanity. I sincerely hope it sees wider distribution than it's currently getting and that the author continues to write. Feb 09, Kim rated it really liked it. I am a devout Catholic but always interested in reading about others' faith, and Harvest delivered. The author, a young man on his Mission in Russia, chronicled his doubts, anger, faith and journey in a relatable way while also sharing how Mormonism came to be and its basic beliefs.
This is the story of a young Mormon man on his mission to Russia.
To hear Young tell his story, you'd think he didn't have any, the focus is so keenly targeted to the difficult times. Amy rated it really liked it Jan 24, Fortunately, it was neither. What it does instead is to show us with heart-wrenching honesty what it is like to serve a Mormon mission. But does that mean he was planted firmly on the "yes" path? I would certainly recommend it.
It is very interesting. I can't tell how accurate or not it is, but it is one person's account, and he writes an engaging account. If I could, I think I'd give this a 3. May 06, Bernadette rated it it was ok. I thought this would be more interesting than it was Wildmaven rated it it was amazing Mar 28, Skylar rated it it was amazing Feb 28, You have a right to your feelings without shame, and if it isn't for you then it its't.
Unlike what the church would have you believe it is rarely "The best two years" of their lives. I left the church many years ago, but my Grandson went off to college in a small town in Utah and was persuaded by roommates and parents of his friends to join the LDS church and go on a mission. He is now serving a mission and I really wanted to know what he is experiencing. This is the first time I have really heard from a return missionary about the day to day life of a person living in the mission field. It was very informative and not biased toward going on a mission or not.
The young man has doubts about his faith and this calling and also a belief in what he is doing. I would recommend this to anyone who wonders about the practice of sending such young men and women out into the world to proselytize for their church or for those about to undertake a mission. It gives a good understanding of the world of a Mormon missionary. I was afraid that this book would either attempt to convert me or that it would be written by someone with an axe to grind. Fortunately, it was neither.
It appeared to be an objective and factual account of a young man's personal experience.
I felt privileged that he shared this story with me, the reader. The book is laugh-out-loud funny in places, sometimes sad, and often perplexing. But it's all told in such a way that the reader is swept along always wanting to know what happened next. I really enjoyed this book and have since recommended it to others - they enjoyed it too. It's a good read.
It's a pity that the author was obliged to use a pen name, otherwise I would be already looking for his next work. I read this book strictly out of curiosity. I agree with the other reviewers that it comes across as honest, realistic, and doesn't vilify or verify the Mormon faith. However, I left the book feeling so unsettled. At the end I kept looking for more pages on my Kindle.
Does he leave the faith? The book doesn't say. I understand that the point of the book was to share his experience on the mission, but still, it was like stepping into a cold shower for me. I even contemplated writing the author to ask what his ultimate decision was, but didn't want to come across as a stalker With that said, I'm still absolutely glad I read it. Since it is written more or less anonymously, it is unclear whether or not "Young" is a professional writer - he should be.
This book is very readable, polished, and does not have any of the black-and-white views that often ruin literature about religion. It is unclear whether or not Semevent is a vanity press, but this book is certainly worthy of being published by a major firm. Honest, an insightful and interesting read about a rite of passage that most of us have seen from the outside - what would drive someone to go knock on doors trying to spread a religion, to be, in essence, a door to door salesman or telemarketer for their church?
It shows the human side of what most of us consider a nuisance.
As a member of the church who didn't serve a mission I was unaware of the daily struggles both emotionally and spiritually. My oldest is of mission age and does not feel ready to serve. I now have a better understanding of her fears and feelings of inadequacy about serving, but does anyone ever truly feel ready? I believe that you need to be serving for the right reasons and when adversity comes you need to be prepared to deal with it.
The author expressed his feelings and personal turmoil in a way that was very relatable. I was saddened to read about his struggles and hope that he has moved past them.
I don't know if I would recommend this book to youth who are close to the age of serving, it might scare them from wanting to serve. It definitely was an eye opener as to the personal struggles a missionary can face if not prepared and serving for the right reasons. I gave it five stars for the writing and personal journey this young man endured. I bought this book specifically to do some research for a fictional piece I am working on involving Mormon missionaries I also lived in Utah for quite a while, and had many LDS friends and acquaintances.
I want to be fair and balanced with my own work, and I found Young's account to be very authentic, honest and objective. As others have mentioned, this book, while quite well-written, seems to be self-published. A good edit would improve readability; however, the problems are slight and not a significant detractor.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be an LDS missionary, this book will give you some terrific insight. See all 21 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on February 2, Published on September 30, Published on June 2, Published on November 27, Published on October 30, Published on September 20, Published on July 8, Published on June 17, Published on March 29,