What's new: 'The Silence of God,' by Gale Sears

Published: Thursday, Aug. 12 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

"The Silence of God," by Gale Sears, Deseret Book, $24.99, 376 pages.

Johan and Alma Lindlof and their eight children were the first members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia. Their story of faith during the Bolshevik Revolution is brought to life in the historical novel "The Silence of God."

Granted, several of the characters surrounding the family are fictional as Gale Sears gives readers a front row seat to the uproar of revolution (think of LDS Church history and "The Work and the Glory" series). One of those characters is a neighbor and friend to the Lindlof family who has a hard time understanding the family's faith in God.

We learn of the miracles around Johan and Alma's baptism, the dedicatory prayers in Russia and life at the Lindlof home, along with their struggles during the revolution while many churches were being converted to offices. The Lindlofs are met with suspicion because of his occupation as a merchant and because they don't publicly align themselves with the Russian Orthodox Church or any of the political factions.

Sears does give explanatory notes at the end of each chapter that help to clarify fact from fiction and give background on many of the political groups and other historical figures. The notes also include a few other historical tidbits that have present-day relevance.

When Christianity was first introduced nearly a millennia before the revolution by Prince Vladimir, the Church of the Tithes was established in Kiev on a mount that was sacred to a pagan god, according to the notes in the first chapter. It's in the last note of the last chapter when she points out that the LDS temple site in the Ukraine is only six miles from where the Church of the Tithes was established.

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