Monday, July 27, 2009

Review of Eric Shuster's Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest

I would love to have read a book such as Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest by Eric Shuster during various stages of my own life. First, as a young adult inquisitive about religion to such a degree that I tried out many different churches (including Catholic) before I was twenty-one. Second, as an investigator and convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age twenty-two. Third, as a wife and mother to four children who deserved enough information about the Gospel of Jesus Christ to sustain their budding testimonies. Fourth, as a Seminary teacher actively seeking all the knowledge I could find. And fifth, as an empty nester longing to buttress family faith from a distance.

Eric Shuster’s book has enough answers to cover all the bases. It is beautifully written – concise, straightforward, personal, and heartfelt. I give it ten out of ten from every aspect, and recommend it to anyone with a sincere desire to find truth. I appreciate how Eric never knocks the Catholic Church, but explains their doctrine in a straight-forward manner that is fair and revealing, while at the same time loving. His treatment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ belief is equally evenhanded, and his testimony of the Savior comes shining through it all.

Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest is the captivating story of Mr. and Mrs. Shuster’s conversion from Catholicism to Mormonism with comparisons of 40 key doctrines between both religions that drove their life-changing decision. The book delivers a unique journey of how they were able to retain the spiritual roots from their Catholic upbringing, while enriching their lives with a harvest of peace and joy that comes from a closer relationship with Jesus Christ as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—hence the title of the book.

In Mr. Shuster’s own words, “Being raised in the rich and beautiful traditions of the Catholic Church, my wife a former Franciscan nun with a degree in Catholic theology and me an active lay minister, we were curious when introduced to the LDS faith—the supposed restored Catholic Church. At the time we wanted to learn about those who may have journeyed from Catholicism to Mormonism, while yearning for a text to help us quickly understand the doctrines of both churches for comparison and study. Not having such a work to draw from, we tarried through an extended investigation of the Church and finally entered the waters of baptism, realizing we gave up nothing and gained everything in doing so. Not long after our baptism I committed myself to producing a book that would share our story and help the searching Catholic understand what we learned during our own journey to the restored gospel: that the roots of Catholicism make for an excellent Mormon harvest.

“As the years passed, I learned that every Latter-day Saint had one or more Catholic friends in the same boat we were, who had the potential to make the same journey we did, and could benefit from reading our story and the doctrinal comparison work we labored upon. Latter-day Saints would gladly purchase such a book not only to help their Catholic friends, but for themselves to learn and understand more. While the market appears huge for this book, the love and joy I felt in my heart for each and every struggling Catholic drove me to make the book a reality.”

Mark L. McConkie, son of Elder Bruce R. McConkie and Professor of the University of Colorado, had this to say about Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest:

“This is not just the story of Eric and Marilyn Shuster’s religious journey; it is the story of the journey of all devout truth seekers. Written in a sincere and gentle style, filled with friendly humor, this book gives the details of an intimate and deeply sincere inquiry and of the answers—and new questions—to which this inquiry led. In these pages you will meet these two people, share their laughter and their tears—and perhaps a few of their conclusions. In any case, you will be enriched by your reading, and strengthened in your own quest, wherever it may take you.”

Eric Shuster is the fifth of six children born to George and Patricia Shuster. He is a graduate of Saint Lawrence Catholic College Preparatory School and has earned a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University and a Masters of Science degree from the University of Phoenix. Following a distinguished career in the technology field, Mr. Shuster founded IntelliClear in 2004—a market research and business consulting firm based in Colorado Springs. Eric is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Christian Studies (FCS), a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, teaching, and practice of Christianity (

Eric has held numerous ecclesiastical positions in stake and ward leadership, auxiliaries, and teaching. The Shusters have three children and reside in Colorado where Eric enjoys writing, community service, and hiking. He is also a musician and former recording artist.

To purchase this book, contact any area store or order online at You may also contact Bevan Olsen for booking author appearances, interviews, or to obtain further information. Bevan may be reached at; by calling 1-800-sky-book; or by mail at 2373 W. 700 S., Springville, UT 84663.

1 comment:

Abee said...

Wish I had seen this a while back when it was first posted. Would love to show it to my ex-husband who left the LDS faith and joined the Catholic Church.