Letters to a Young Mormon by Adam S. Miller is composed as a series of letters. The letters are meant for a young Mormon who is familiar with Mormon life but green in his or her faith. The author, philosophy professor Adam S. Miller, imagined himself writing these letters to his own children. In doing so, he struggled to say his own piece about what it means to be—as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—free, ambitious, repentant, faithful, informed, prayerful, selfless, hungry, chaste, and sealed.
The letters do little to benchmark a Mormon orthodoxy. That work belongs to those called to it. Here, Miller’s work is personal. He means only to address the real beauty and real costs of trying to live a Latter-day Saint life and hopes to show something of what it means to live in a way that refuses to abandon either life or Mormonism.
This second edition of Letters to a Young Mormon includes all the content of the original, well-loved book, with added chapters on the Sabbath and stewardship, as well as a new preface by the author, which provides additional framing and context for his writing.
Letters to a Young Mormon Review
Letters to a Young Mormon strikes me as a very personal little book. And it is little—just 97 pages and only 7 inches tall. Small enough to slip into a scripture bag or backpack. And it also feels very personal. The author shares with us 14 letters he has written on 14 different topics, among them, agency work, faith, the Sabbath and sex.
The letters feel very conversational in tone, written with his own children in mind, but with thoughts and ideas that will feel relevant to anyone who wonders and still has questions. There are no strict pronouncements of doctrine or expected behavior, only ponderings, personal experiences and encouragement. After reading through this book, I could see using it as a reference and companion in exploring faith, whether our own or with another.
I highly recommend this book for all youth, young adults, new and newly returned members of the faith, and their teachers. As I noted previously, it provides great insights and does it in a conversational tone, rather than feeling preachy or doctrinal.
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