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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Hagey

Book Review: SEALED by Katie Langston

When you start on a journey, it's often scary, disorienting, and so confusing. When that journey is one that your soul's salvation is reliant on, the stakes get a lot higher. Everything is more important, every decision more critical, every single thought becomes a cacophany of "what ifs" rolling in your brain. Langston takes us with her on her journey and her story of loss, grief, fear and ultimately, grace in her new book SEALED. Raised a devout Mormon, she journeys far, beyond what those closest to her, thought she should, from Mormonism to instead becoming an ordained Lutheran pastor. While that sentence is short and sweet, the journey was not.

Langston takes you through a lifetime of devotion to a God who seemingly does not love her back, and those painful times are brought to life through her story. Most people would have likely given up on faith and Jesus entirely, but Langston does not. Instead, she insists on a relationship, insists on finding God through her efforts.

Her book is hard to read if you're a Latter-Day Saint, I'm sure. It's unapolgetically honest. It discusses Mormon history and leadership frankly. This isn't something most Mormons are tremendously comfortable with, and even fewer have ever done so. However, that makes it standout in my mind. SEALED refuses to lie, just like Langston herself. That theme of honesty is woven throughout, and the history of Langston's spiritual history and culture do not get a pass. I think it is refreshing to show the world that honesty.

SEALED is beautifully told. There is realness and truth written on every page. It's powerful in it's rawness. We hide behind platitudes and niceities too often in religious circles, and Langston's beautiful frankness is refreshing.

I particularly love that grace finds her, regardless of her refusal to really speak to God. It's like the NEEDTOBREATHE line, "There's a crack in the door filled with light, and it's all I need to get by." Langston lived through that crack until she finally was found. Turns out, the door was always ready to be opened, she just needed a little divine encouragement.

My thanks to Katie Langston, the author for providing me with an advanced reader copy of SEALED. All opinions expressed are my own.

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