Book Review: 'Alma the Younger'

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 4 2011 7:00 a.m. MST

"ALMA THE YOUNGER," by H.B. Moore, Covenant Communications, 286 pages, $16.99

Historical fiction author Heather B. Moore took on the challenge to write a book in which the protagonist was also the antagonist. "Alma the Younger," the third installment in her Book of Mormon fiction series, is the result of that challenge.

Moore, who publishes as H. B. Moore, has always been fascinated with the story of Alma the Younger from the Book of Mormon. She decided to pursue the creation of a work of historical fiction based on his early life. Her resulting tale is showered with interesting situations and deep betrayals that keep the reader riveted even though he or she may already know the outcome of the tale.

Alma the Younger, who is in his 20s, feels stifled and makes momentous decisions that tear him from his father, the high priest, as well as the church of God. Alma's poor choices lead him on a path away from his deeply religious upbringing and the simple life of his youth. He abandons his family and home in search of a life he can call his own.

However, despite his betrayal, Alma's family and friends continue to fervently pray and hope for his repentant return. They trust in the God Alma no longer believes in to soften his heart and bring him safely home.

As the leader of a group of defiant rebels, Alma tries to reconcile the respectable man he has been taught to be with the powerful leader he is capable of becoming. His actions guide not only his own life, but the lives of his friends and followers as well.

Through imaginative conjecture, Moore designs a weighted and foolish life for the young dissenter that eventually thrusts him into a head-to-head battle with the spiritual leaders in a fight for his own soul.

Writing a novelization of Alma the Younger was a bit intimidating, Moore admits. He is an incredible man and went through an amazing change of heart to become one of the most quoted prophets in the church.

Moore is hopeful that, once readers have gotten to the end of "Alma the Younger," they will be inspired to read another set of books. "After reading (my) book," Moore says, "it is my hope that readers will then turn to the scriptures and liken the lives of those who made such great sacrifices for their beliefs to their own lives."

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah.

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