51 pages 1 hour read

Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2003

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Index of Terms


In the Mormon faith (or any religion), an apostate is someone who renounces the faith. The term is often used to describe any non-Mormon or person who leaves the Mormon church. In some instances, the term is used derogatorily to challenge a person’s belief system.

Blood Atonement

Blood atonement is a purported principle of the Mormon Church according to which some sins can be atoned for only by the ritual murder of the guilty party. It is no longer practiced or endorsed by the LDS. Blood atonement was intended to operate as a type of capital punishment. It is the theological basis of Ron and Dan Lafferty’s crimes.

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon was written and published by Joseph Smith based upon golden tablets that were, according to tradition, revealed to Smith by the angel Moroni. The Book of Mormon tells the stories of the Lamanites, believed by Mormons to be modern-day Native Americans, and Nephites, the Mormon people.