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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest by Eric Shuster

Title: Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest

Author: Eric Shuster

Publisher: Cedar Fort (CFI)

Published Date: April 2009
ISBN#: 978-1-59955-257-6
Genre: Non-Fiction
Paperback: 261 pages

When I first agreed to read and review Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest I assumed it would be like most other review books. I would settle in for a day or two and finish it cover to cover in a matter of hours.

I was wrong.

The book that came to me new and pristine now shows obvious evidence of use. The corners of the cover curl a bit, the spine is wearing a little on the edges, and every few pages or so there is an underlined paragraph or a star marking some point I want to find again easily.

The author, Eric Shuster, begins Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest telling the reader of his background in the Catholic Church. His wife, Marilyn, also shares her history with the Catholic Church, including her time spent preparing to become a Franciscan nun. Various events in both of their lives led them to become involved with the youth where they met and fell in love.

Soon after their marriage, Eric and Marilyn moved into a home next to a family that were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They didn't know this at first, as the family never pushed their beliefs on them. As Eric and Marilyn were able to get to know them better, they found this family to be a great example of what they wanted for their own family. A memorable experience with a certain Latter-Day Saint craftsman also helped bring about their investigation into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Eventually, Eric and Marilyn started taking the missionary discussions. With their involved and active background in the Catholic Church, each aspect of the gospel taught to them by the missionaries was weighed and compared to Catholic doctrine. Through extensive study, prayer and discussion, Eric and Marilyn agreed to be baptized.

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest is a comparison of 40 doctrines between the Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In each chapter, Eric presents a doctrine or principle based on the one before it, relying heavily on the Scriptures and words of the Prophets and Apostles for his sources. Every section has the same basic layout: an introduction to the subject, Catholic doctrine, Latter-Day Saint doctrine, and finally the author's thoughts and commentary.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for my entire life, all of these doctrines were familiar to me to some degree. In several sections, however, I learned of certain details I had been unaware of before reading this book. I turned several times to the scriptural references Eric provided and made notes to learn more about these doctrines in my own studies.

The chapter titled "Life After Death" is where I did most of my marking in the book. Those 34 pages contain a large amount of information on the Latter-Day Saint doctrine of what follows this earthly life. To quote the author in this section:

"The gospel of Jesus Christ imparts to all of God's children everything we need to know and understand to receive the blessing of the celestial kingdom. By learning and following the principles of the gospel, we can know our Heavenly Father, develop a personal relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ, and learn to live the life that God our father desires us to live- the life that will lead us back to him."

Another chapter, "Angels and Satan," is also full of good information. I underlined one paragraph to remind me of the reality of Satan and his followers:

"Without a mortal body, these spirits retain their knowledge of their premortal life and suffer constantly from the knowledge of their loss, which they know is hopelessly eternal. Thus, with Satan as their leader, they seek to destroy the plan of our Heavenly Father by persuading us to continually break the commandments of God and to do evil."

Eric and Marilyn's love of our Savior, as well as their desire to become close to Him and to our Heavenly Father, is very apparent throughout the book. He freely shares areas of the gospel that brought them pause during their investigation of the LDS Church, as well their efforts to be open-minded, do the research, pray, and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost in order to find their answers. The author strives to present each doctrine in a fair and honest light, and I feel his efforts were successful.

Other than the Scriptures, I found Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest to be the most substantial 261 pages I have read in quite some time.

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest is a must-read for those who are interested in the differences in doctrine between the Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. LDS readers who would like to learn more about Latter-Day Saint doctrine will find this book of particular interest as well.

My Rating: 5 stars (5/5)

Would I:
  • read it again? I plan to refer back to this book often.
  • recommend it? Yes.
  • read more by this author? I would. I hope to, in fact.

FTC FYI: I received a review copy from the author, which had no effect on my review.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks for noticing my typo Shanda!! Great review, it looks like a great read.