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Born and raised a devout Mormon in Utah, Katie Langston chronicles her unexpected conversion to orthodox Christianity with candor and theological depth. Her remarkable debut memoir explores themes of religious fundamentalism, mental illness, and family belonging—culminating in her surprising and liberating encounters with the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
Katie Langston is an unlikely convert to Christianity.
She grew up in a devout, conservative Mormon family in Utah, served a proselytizing mission to Bulgaria when she was 21, married for “time and all eternity” in the Mormon temple when she was 23. From the outside, she had a typical Mormon life. Inside, she was coming apart at the seams.
From childhood, she battled “The Questions”—obsessive-compulsive disorder, though she didn’t have a diagnosis for it until much later—and lived inside a complex maze of anxiety and fear. This was compounded by Mormonism’s emphasis on “worthiness,” a designation of acceptability in Mormon practice, that brought her to the edge of despair as a young mother.
Then, almost by accident, she had an encounter with the grace of Jesus Christ—and her world changed.
In candid but not sensationalized ways, Langston explores little-understood Mormon practices and teachings while grappling with universal human questions such as the nature of faith, the complexity of family, the process of healing, and what it means to truly belong.
Katie Langston is a doubter by nature and a believer by grace. She is the director of digital strategy for Luther Seminary’s innovation team, where she oversees digital projects aimed at cultivating vibrant Christian spirituality in a postmodern, post-Christian cultural context. She writes and speaks to Christian audiences about Mormonism, and to Mormon audiences about Christianity, and is a popular blogger, podcast guest, and preacher. A pastoral intern preparing for ordination the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Katie lives in the greater Twin Cities area with her husband, two daughters, and dog Buffy (named, of course, after the Vampire Slayer). Sealed is her first book.
“Affirming the simultaneous gifts of tradition and of transformation, Langston’s memoir is a thought-provoking read for those who want to understand the complex, evolving, and perpetually moving journey that is the life of faith. It is an important contribution to understanding America’s dynamic spiritual landscape.” —Ryan Panzer, author of Grace and Gigabytes: Being Church in a Tech-Shaped Culture
“An instant classic that plumbs the depths of the Mormon experience, while offering a moving vision of God’s grace.” —Stephen Carter, editor of Sunstone Magazine
“This is a beautiful memoir—both for its honest vulnerability and theological profundity. I’m not sure what I loved most: the intimate particularity of Langston’s story, or the remarkable clarity with which she articulates the sweeping inclusivity of the grace of God.” —Debbie Blue, author of Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to the Birds of the Bible
“Langston’s powerful and deeply theological memoir… will resonate with anyone who has never quite belonged and longs for what she has found on the other side: the grace of a loving God for whom she was already, always, more than enough.” —Jana Riess, author of The Next Mormons and Flunking Sainthood
“Langston is a dazzling writer with an ear that is perfectly tuned to the Gospel’s chords.” —Michael Chan, author of Exploring the Bible and host of the Gospel Beautiful podcast
“Katie Langston is coming for your very soul: with fearless honesty, vulnerability, and a full-bodied faith. As her ancestors were, she is a rebel too—a Mormon girl out to find Jesus in a way that makes sense to her troubled heart. Let her story inspire you to live your purpose.” —Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith
“Katie Langston uses exquisite, edge-of-the-sword honesty and elevated prose in Sealed, a lovely memoir that chronicles her difficult struggle to find peace with God. It was agonizingly painful to read of her experiences as a young girl, lost in her mind with endless questions about her worthiness—and I exulted in the respite she found in the love that can succor us all. It opened my eyes in new ways, and I saw so much of my own journey in it. Sharing stories is a divine gesture.” —Phyllis Barber, author of How I Got Cultured