Utah Spring is the story of two young people who love each other. Reared in different religious faiths, they are torn between their families and religious leaders.
Don Barlow, from a strong Mormon family, is the descendant of Utah pioneers. Family tradition dictates that he marry a girl of his own faith in a special ceremony uniting them "for time and eternity" in the Mormon Temple. Instead, he loves Nora Jean Parkin, who is not Mormon; she is a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Saints who did not travel west with Brigham Young). The differences between the two churches - and also the similarities - are brought out in striking detail, as is the dilemma of the two young people and their families.
Set against the background of scenic Utah, the scope of the novel ranges from the rugged eastern mountains, the canyons and ski resorts, to the streets of Salt Lake City, and Temple Square itself, the headquarters of the Mormon Church.
Above all, it is a story of personal growth on the part of Don and Nora Jean. Starting from opposing religious viewpoints, both with prejudices to overcome, they grow to realize their individiual uniqueness and finally accept each other with a new sensitivity and awareness, tempered with a tolerance of all people and all creeds.
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© 2012 Ensign Publishing House
Books by Elaine Stienon