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Mormon Culture And Religion In Toward Happier Choices

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Toward Happier Choices by Michael Oborn is a quasi-memoir. He jots down a series of thoughts and after-thoughts of his life and former life as a man born in Mormon culture to a man who simply learns to loosen the ties of religion and become a free thinker. His insight and how he brilliantly words out his thoughts and emotions captivated me. He brilliantly repeats the idea that religion or fundamentalist beliefs do not allow you to think for yourself but there is a chosen man of God who should do so, if not, prayer and reading the book of Mormon, in this case, should suffice.

It was the birth of his son that catapulted him into full morphism. With everything at stake, he had to lose it all and what great sin that was to his Mormon community and church. However, his values and vices are well explained and one understands and resonates with them. I was able to sympathize with his experiences and also fully agree that he has to make the choice of leaving the Mormon culture after he had questions that the religion itself could not answer. For instance, he never knew a person of color could be the same blood type as with a white person until he saw someone being saved by the blood of a person of color. To his inquisitiveness he asks the fundamental question, how is this so when we were taught that when Cain killed Abel, he was cursed with the mark of black? This is just a tiny example of religious superiority, racial-religious division and other pressing issues that religious culture totally turns a blind eye on. There are simply not enough answers in religion for life’s pressing questions.

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His journey towards self-healing took a long winding road where he met amazing people along the way until now, being in love with Gina Sue. His essay on their love almost has a poetic feel. It is easy to imagine whilst he speaks of this. The book is split into three sections: “Short Stories,” “Potpourri,” and “Exceptional People.” I have aforementioned most of the first section. The second section is a collection of random beliefs, thoughts, and poetic vices. “Exceptional People” includes five essays about individuals who have greatly influenced Micheal Oborn’s life. It was somewhat hard for me to relate to Jack’s life although sad that he died, Jack’s essay had no persona and no intimacy. I felt lost every now and then because the essay was not written in a gripping and engaging way. I felt like the author’s ideas were forced onto the readers, lacking clear substance. However I was touched by Gina Sues part and how, overall, the author carries exceptional heart and love with him and passes it on to his community. He is well grounded and considers life beautifully regardless of all that he had been through either by default or otherwise.

I loved his use of vocabulary throughout the book. however, the book had many grammar errors and incorrect sentencing. The second section of the book was loosely packed, but it being poetic made me enjoy it- I love poetry and the overall freedom of arrangement it comes with when it comes to writing. If I could I would give the book 2.5 out of 4 mainly due to the errors and how lifeless Jack’s essay was. It stands at a 3 out of 4. The recollections are in total conversational, engaging and charming. The book can be enjoyed by readers who seek new perspectives on life. It can also be enjoyed by people who seek to also know or question Mormon religion. If you do not have a streak of poetry and are not entertained by people diverging out of their comfort zones because of your own imposing beliefs and being a true fundamentalist, the book is not for you. If you are in the process of breaking free from a fundamentalist culture, this book may represent hope for you and will cheer you on.

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Mormon Culture And Religion In Toward Happier Choices. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
“Mormon Culture And Religion In Toward Happier Choices.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Mormon Culture And Religion In Toward Happier Choices. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2023].
Mormon Culture And Religion In Toward Happier Choices [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from:
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