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Sunday Service: Merrill Osmond, Let the Reason Be Love (2003)


Just finished Merrill Osmond’s book, Let the Reason Be Love, which is 1/3 autobiography and 2/3 preaching. Merrill was my favorite Osmond, a better singer than any of the Jacksons’ older brothers, and he’s the sort of good-hearted guy we could use more of in the world, but the book kind of makes me feel bad for him. This isn’t so much because of his struggles with manic depression, bulimia, a rival brother (Donny – he doesn’t call him a rival outright, but one can read between the lines), and “crippling perfectionism.” It’s because he presents himself as someone unable to so much as order a cheeseburger without kneeling in prayer before ordering and then closing that order with a lengthy testimony about God’s Love and the parallels of burger-making with God’s Plan of Salvation. It’s hard to envy someone who lives this way.

Speaking of cheese, things start smelling like limburger – as they always do – when he talks politics and religion at the same time. If you happen to suspect that the LDS church functions as a living tentacle of the GOP, you won’t be dissuaded by Let the Reason Be Love. Here you can read about how Merrill, working in concert with the Republican National Committee and Gordon B. Hinckley (now the President of the Church), organized a 1980 inauguration presentation featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on a million-dollar float, the driver of which Merrill bribed, against the wishes of the Inauguration Committee, to stop right in front of God’s Chosen President Himself during the proceedings. The whole presentation, of course, was made possible by a series of divine miracles supplemented by string-pulling from higher-ups in the Church. Eight years later, Merrill put on a solo show for Bush Sr.’s inauguration which was midwifed, again, by key folks at LDS HQ.

I’m disappointed Merrill didn’t write the book I wanted him to write, which was an in-depth reflection on his creative past, especially those first five classic Osmonds LPs. I’m afraid I know what Merrill would say in response to this: it’s all so insignificant in the bigger picture. My response to that: who cares about a bigger picture with no Crazy Horses?

2 Responses to “Sunday Service: Merrill Osmond, Let the Reason Be Love (2003)”

  1. jspill Says:

    cra-zy hor-ses! whaa! whaa!

  2. Rob Says:

    Kim, Hope life is good. I’m tagging you for the 8 Random Facts meme.

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