The Failed Life of a Mormon Missionary

  • by Jaron Summers
  • Narrated by Jack Wynters
  • 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jerry Wonder is the hero of this hilarious coming-of-age novel. A 19-year-old Mormon missionary, Jerry leaves South Dakota to save souls in New Zealand for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Elder Wonder's path is fraught with challenge. He misses his girlfriend, Susan, who tried valiantly to seduce him before he left, but to his regret, he remained strong for both of them. Now, he worries he will lose her in his two-year absence. And he is flawed.
Against the strictures of the LDS church, he is a compulsive masturbator, or in Mormon parlance, a "self-pollinator". Jerry makes a solemn covenant with his Father in Heaven that each time he self-pollinates, he will find a soul for Jesus. After one month, he owes his Father in Heaven 40 converts. Elder Jerry Wonder also has difficulty developing his testimony - i.e. one's absolute belief in the absolute truth of the LDS faith.
Complicating his life is Elder Freight, a 20-year-old missionary who teaches him the finer points of converting heathens - when he is not breaking their bones. But he does bond with Brother Ormsby, a Maori who urges him to persist despite his doubts. When Elder Freight takes his life, Jerry is devastated, and he delves into the dark history of the church, learning that the founding polygamist prophets were often conmen, fortune hunters, or even murderers.
Salvation of a sort comes when Susan flies to his side. They will be expelled from the church and disgrace their families. But first, Jerry has to protect the mission president and his wife from church officials in Utah, something he manages with characteristic ingenuity. Within its comic frame, the novel is informative about the Mormon church. It also shows how older men try to stifle and control young men.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hilarious depiction of Mormon missionary life!

Accurate on All Mormon beliefs and doctrines presented. I throughly enjoyed it and laughed the entire time. The narration could not be better! I recommend it highly!
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- cwillardsmoot

An easy read

I enjoyed this book; not exceptional but an easy "read". The story reveals the hypocrisy present in the Mormon religion (or any other for that matter) without being offensive to members of that religion....a fine balancing act. The performance is good but the reader uses English accents instead of sounding like a real Kiwi. Nevertheless, I think I would recommend it.
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- Robert Lofstedt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-24-2016
  • Publisher: Jaron Summers