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Book Review: 'Who's at the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries'

Published: Sunday, April 3 2011 7:00 a.m. MDT

"Who's at the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries," by Dan Harrington, Cedar Fort, $12.99, 151 pages

Freelance journalist and author Dan Harrington shares his time spent as an investigator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his experiences with the missionaries who taught him in his first book, "Who's at the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries.”

Harrington, looking to make a name for himself with the local paper in his hometown of Augusta, Maine, invited the missionaries to his apartment with the intention of writing a feature article about them. After receiving permission from the mission president, Harrington proceeded to uncover the lives of Elder Childs and Elder Luke, the missionaries serving in his area at the time.

Harrington was surprised to discover that the elders did not fit his preconceived notions. He became friends with them and found himself fascinated by the sacrifices of not only Childs and Luke but also the rest of the elders he interacted with over a two-year period.

He became intrigued by the doctrine taught and seriously considered conversion.

Harrington's story about the elders and the teaching process, as seen through the eyes of an investigator, provides a fresh perspective and strays from typical conversion stories fans of the LDS genre may be accustomed to. Harrington’s struggle with weighing his beliefs — he was raised a Catholic — against the new doctrine he was learning in the Book of Mormon and through the missionary discussions brings a personal element to the book.

The story is well-paced and is a quick read at 151 pages.

Jarrod M. Hiatt lives in Davis County, Utah, with his wife and three children. He graduated from Weber State University with a degree in journalism.

Email: jarrodhiatt@gmail.com

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