Reviewed by Teri Graff, Staff Writer

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest by Eric Shuster. Published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

Reading of the many similarities between the Catholic faith and the Latter-day Saint beliefs, it was surprising to me just how many there were, totally aside from the equal number of opposites. Having known many devout members of the Catholic church, it was simply an “agree to disagree” relationship and religion was strictly a “no-no” topic and so we were able to have wonderful friendships without this big difference of beliefs to mar the friendships. Now, after reading this book, I still have to honor those agreements but now I understand just where they are coming from with regard to my church and its beliefs. It makes it a little easier for me to understand their reluctance to even discuss religion in any way with me.

As I read of the conversion story of Eric and Marilyn Shuster, it was exciting to follow their acceptance of church doctrine, sometimes with many reservations and questions before acceptance, but with a wholehearted desire to study and learn. It was amazing to “watch” as they overcame doubts and their realization that the many things they were learning were already beliefs they had come to on their own within the Catholic faith, of the many things that “felt” right, as though they had known these things before. They truly learned “through the spirit” that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the true restored gospel on the earth at this time. Even though I personally was adopted into a Mormon family, it wasn’t until I was an adult with children of my own that I truly was converted and so the story as I read along really resonated with my own “conversion” and the many obstacles I had to overcome along the way.

I particularly enjoyed the discussions of the differences between the two belief systems and, in many cases, I realized I truly believed the teachings of my church where, before, I had merely gone along and accepted what others stated without really examining how I truly felt or believed. Reading the scriptures had never really been a daily habit, just reading along in class at church. Now after reading this book, I try to read and study on a daily basis as never before and I find it not only peaceful but at times exciting as I learn new concepts and applications to use in my own life.