If you like true crime shows, you’re certainly not short of content; In recent years there seems to have been an endless stream of new true crime dramas and documentaries. The latest on the scene are the Netflix documentaries sins of our mother – which, however, has more to offer than just being a fascinating story. It follows, like some other recent true crime shows, a crime that emerged from the LDS Church. Not only is sins of our mother shocking, but it shows another, strange angle of LDS thought.
Those less familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS Church, have likely heard about it over the past year. Conversations about the church have surfaced much more frequently due to two popular shows that follow church-related crimes. Another popular Netflix docuseries, Keep sweet: pray and obey, prosecuting FLDS crimes committed under cult leader Warren Jeffs. This series showed how belief in the church allowed people to become involved in Jeffs’ cult and put their children at risk.
Just a few months before the premiere of stay sweet was the launch of FX on Hulu Under the banner of heaven, a drama based on the true story of a double homicide among adherents of the Church. These two shows told true stories about LDS characters in two completely different ways. While most of us don’t know much about this group, there are many ways to learn more, with the increase in content being made about it keeping viewers interested. Now, just a few months later, sins of our mother has arrived on the scene and her perspective on the LDS Church is once again very different.
What is the story of “Sins of Our Mother”?
This series follows the story of Lori Vallow and the disappearance of her two children in 2020. As she grew up, Vallow’s family belonged to and believed in the LDS Church, and Vallow became especially immersed in her as she grew older. Over time, she became fascinated with the books and teachings of fellow LDS author and believer Chad Daybell. Eventually becoming personally and eventually romantically involved with Daybell, Vallow began to believe in his absurd teachings and insane interpretations of the church. By the end of the docuseries, it appears that the couple’s beliefs led to five murders. Daybell believed that he had been born again many times and that there were light people walking the earth ruled by Jesus and “dark” people walking the earth ruled by Satan. Daybell even created a complex ranking system to mark the extent to which each was ruled by Satan. Daybell and Vallow believed it was their duty to kill anyone they deemed “dark” before the end of the world quickly approached. It is also important to note that Vallow believed she was the born-again wife of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.
With the recent influx of content about the LDS Church, it’s likely that viewers are more interested than ever in the strange mystery behind this religious group. Like the others, sins of our mother also deals with crimes arising out of a misunderstanding of the LDS Church. While this series, like the others, is bizarre and disturbing, its account of a very niche and strange LDS Church outcome brings a new twist to this group that many viewers are dying to learn more about.
To point out that the crimes in sins of our mother are a direct result of the LDS Church as well Keep sweet: pray and obey and Under the banner of heaven would be a misrepresentation, as it is clear that Chad Daybell’s bizarre fan fiction spin-offs of the Church’s faith paved the way for the murders that took place. Still, it’s interesting how these three series all have a similar fire that started with the very same spark: the LDS Church. What happens in between makes all these stories different. Yet in each of these true stories, susceptible people are influenced by the teachings of the Church, become too immersed, and tragedy ultimately strikes. Each of these shows shows another new way that this kind of pious thinking can get so out of control.
“The Sins of Our Mother” is more than just a case of religion gone wrong
It’s difficult not to add sins of our mother to this list and think of it as yet another story of how those who are devoted to righteousness seem to be the furthest removed from morality. There’s a moment in sins of our mother this stands out to draw attention to it: when Vallow’s only living son, Colby Ryan, calls his mother while she’s in police custody over the disappearance of her children. He challenges them to think of Jesus and reconnect to the root of their godly faith. He tries to get her to explain how she could think what she did was right, but she’s too wrapped up in her paranoid delusions to see the truth.
The irony painfully present in each of these shows is that people who become enmeshed in the LDS Church, in their desperate attempts to cling to being “good,” run into the very whom they believed to be so dead. The idea of people killing others because they believe their victims are followers of Satan seems like they don’t even understand the first word about the Bible and what it says. But to look at sins of our mother is to gain an understanding of how the people who are most prone to detaching from reality are the very ones who hold these kinds of beliefs. Keep sweet: pray and obey, Under the banner of heavenand sins of our mother They may be very different stories on the surface, but together they tell the story of how people fall victim to the promise of having their fears allayed and turn to the very dark side they are said to be fighting so hard.
sins of our mother is now available to stream on Netflix.
https://collider.com/sins-of-our-mother-another-side-of-true-crime/ Sins of Our Mother Shows Yet Another Side of LDS True Crime