Under the Banner of Heaven


Dear friends, 

As you can see from the title, I had the opportunity to binge-watched a true-crime fiction tv-show last night called, “Under the Banner of Heaven”. This series tells the story of a Mormon detective, Jebediah Pyre, and his Paiute partner, Bill Taba, who are investigating a double murder case relating to a Mormon family, the Laffertys, who have transgressed from the current Mormon prophet to the fundamentalist teachings. 

Which takes me back to another documentary that not a while ago must have topped the charts on Netflix, “Keep Sweet Pray and Obey”, about the infamous religious community the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In particular, the series documents how Warren Jeff, the prophet of the FLDS, have been abusing his power to build an industry of child-marriages while satisfying his own selfish needs to have underage wife among his many wives. 

The Mormon church have evolved to adapt to government and federal laws, and have banned plural marriage more than a century ago. The fundamentalists however, have illegally practiced plural marriage under the leadership of false prophets like Warren Jeff.

In the story of Jeb Pyre, the murders became a starting point of unravelling the story of how the Laffertys brothers turned from the modern teachings of the Book of Mormon, to dig deeper into the origin story of the LDS and back to the fundamental teachings of Joseph Smith (the original prophet). Until they use those teachings, and “personal revelations” to justify killing Brenda Lafferty and her baby daughter. 

Not only do we explore men’s transgression from being pious and religious to abusing power to satisfy their own selfish needs in the history of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (the second prophet), but also in the story of the six Lafferty brothers. 

I have to give proper credits for the screenwriters and directors who have made told this intricate story very beautifully. Honestly, it is very hard to unravel both timelines at the same time, in parallel, sequence after sequence, while connecting what is essential and relevant in both stories. I am very impressed with the series and would definitely recommend it to my friends. Especially, if they have seen the documentary about Warren Jeff. 

Plus, Andrew Garfield portrays the within-self conflict and trials of faith very well. 

More soon, 



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