Title: And It Came To Pass
Author: Laura Stone
Publisher: Interlude Press
Release Date: May 18, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult Romance
Page Count: 218
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Adam Young is a devout, young Mormon following the pious path set forth for him by his church and family. But when his mission trajectory sends him to Barcelona, Spain, with a handsome mission companion named Brandon Christensen, Adam discovers there may be more to life and love than he ever expected.
Adam and Brandon meet in Barcelona, Spain where they are serving as missionaries for the Church of Later Day Saints (LDS or Mormons). Young Mormon men and women serve for two years in missions all around the globe and are paired up with instructions to always have your mission companion by your side. Missionaries live by an extensive list of regulations and requirements: black pants, white shirts and ties for men, no television, all email communications are via the church and are monitored regularly, no swimming, only half-court basketball games, no games where scores are kept, men ride bikes, women get cars, living in LDS-provided apartments, weekly meetings with their team and regular meetings with the Mission President, daily personal bible study, etc.
Adam’s parents are very strict and frankly joyless and Adam has always felt lacking in his faith, as defined by both the church and his parents. Living with Brandon opens his eyes: “Was this how other people lived every day? With joy and ease and camaraderie?” But as they become good friends, Adam becomes aware of his deeper feelings for Brandon:
The hints of what may lie deep within himself terrified him. The thoughts he’d carefully kept locked away, thoughts he never entertained except in frustrating dreams that left him cold and horror-stricken upon waking; those thoughts could lead to his eternal damnation.
The author of And It Came to Pass has serious “cred” regarding LDS. Her great-great grandfather became a Mormon in the 1840’s and she grew up very devout but has since backed away from the church and “now that all three of my children have come out as LGBT, I’m grateful I did not saddle them with a faith that does not want them.” Through the book she raises questions about Mormon doctrine and wonders why a church that claims to be all about the family makes parents choose between their church and their queer children. Here’s a terrifyingly sad statistic – Utah currently has a suicide rate among teens 4 times higher than the national average.
The plot of this story held my interest every page of the way and while the book provides a great background on LDS beliefs, it didn’t feel slow or awkward. There is little on-page sex, which completely fits into how Adam and Brandon struggle with their faith as they slowly find their way to a new awareness of what it means to love:
Good things were from God and God was love. God was goodness and happiness, and he felt those things more strongly when he was with Brandon that he’d felt anything else in his entire life.
5 stars for And it Came to Pass and as Laura Stone says in the last lines of the book : To anyone struggling as an LGBTQ person in the LDS faith : You’re not alone, you’re enough just as you are, and you’re loved.
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