• Stretching the Heavens

  • The Life of Eugene England and the Crisis of Modern Mormonism
  • By: Terryl L. Givens
  • Narrated by: Fiona Givens
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Eugene England (1933–2001) — one of the most influential and controversial intellectuals in modern Mormonism — lived in the crossfire between religious tradition and reform. This first serious biography, by leading historian Terryl L. Givens, shimmers with the personal tensions felt deeply by England during the turmoil of the late 20th century. Drawing on unprecedented access to England's personal papers, Givens paints a multifaceted portrait of a devout Latter-day Saint whose precarious position on the edge of church hierarchy was instrumental to his ability to shape the study of modern Mormonism.

A professor of literature at Brigham Young University, England also taught in the Church Educational System. And yet from the '60s on, he set church leaders' teeth on edge as he protested the Vietnam War, decried institutional racism and sexism, and supported Poland's Solidarity movement — all at a time when Latter-day Saints were ultra-patriotic and banned Black ordination. England could also be intemperate, proud of his own rectitude, and neglectful of political realities and relationships, and he was eventually forced from his academic position. His last days, as he suffered from brain cancer, were marked by a spiritual agony that church leaders were unable to help him resolve.

©2021 Terryl L. Givens (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Stretching the Heavens

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a biography of Eugene England painstakingly documented

This is a well written book that presents the conflicted life of a great person—-brilliant and caring and productive.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

NOT QUITE AS RIVETING AS I HOPED

I'm a fan of the Givens writings and have heard a lot about Eugene England while still not knowing a whole lot about him. The story of his life was not quite the page turner I had hoped it would be, but I am glad I read it. I thought Givens did a fantastic job at telling the story of conflicts and controversy without being preachy or pushy one way or the other. Great job at giving both sides and letting us decide our own thoughts.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful and mournful

I really enjoyed this beautifully performed accounting of one of Mormonisms bright lights. England recognized pitfalls in the social practice of the faith and hoped to reform and enlighten the church but was blocked and suppressed by less insightful elements in the hierarchy. It makes me wonder how many other visionary leaders might have blossomed in the faith over the years if they had only been allowed to flourish. I mourn for their silence. Excellent writing and narration. Strongly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not for the faint of heart - but excellent!

I found myself frustrated in the beginning and middle of the book with Eugene England and his seeming inability to see or his dishonesty toward council and criticism. Reading the entire book left me feeling that he was sincere and faith promoting in his desires and approaches. I feel a kinship with his love for and testimony of the Book of Mormon and God’s prophets, seers, and revelators, and his frustration toward the inadequacies of authoritarian administrative policies and cultural fractions within the church. Not knowing much about Eugene England beforehand I felt that Givens did a remarkable job with the biography.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Eugene England's legacy is so relevant to today

Eugene England was ahead of his time! What he wrestled with is what the LDS church is grappling with today.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thank the Heavens for Eugene England

I am beyond greatful to the Givens for their voices regarding the restoration. i grew up in the 60-80s as a youth and feel damaged some from the classical hard lined teachings that one may obtain forgiveness, but still dammed forever to a lower kingdom. Having served twice as a Bishop, i feel deep that God is forgiving and looks to comfort and heal us as we experiene the good and evil of the world and Heavenly parents that are not going to leave us who so desperately want to be good, but strugle with normal life. i love the Givens with all my heart!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for RMartin
  • RMartin
  • 01-11-22

Nothing but the best..as expected from the Givens'

Another excellent book from Terryl Givens, with Fiona's silkly tones adding to the joy of listening. What makes this a biography par excellence is that is deftly combines key information about the nature and character of Eugene England along with a commentary and critique of the past and present atmosphere and culture of Church education and wider church culture. In short, it manages to illuminate the issues presented without detracting from the focus on the subject himself.

Brilliant, thought provoking and exceedingly well structured. I never thought I would enjoy a biography.. I was very wrong!