Discussion Questions for SHATTER: Book II, The Course of Fate Trilogy
1. How did the discovery of The Chronicles lead to both a oneness and unity, and chaos and disruption?
2. Statements are made in SHATTER about an anti-religious secularist political and social climate that led to the demise of The Constitution. Do you see that in the United States and the world today? Do you think the divisiveness, contention, and tribalism that is occurring now might lead to something as radical as the dissolution of the United States? The breaking up of other countries?
3. How is President Jill Hodges like the leaders of the king men in the Book of Mormon? Zed, Mardas, and Bravo and their Omega team like the Book of Mormon Gadianton Robbers?
4. Do we have would-be king men today? Such autocrats could not gain power without large numbers of citizens supporting them. Why might people who were used to a democracy back them?
5. The Book of Mormon speaks of secret combinations that are focused on the overthrow of legitimate government. Is The Committee in SHATTER a secret combination in that mold? If so, how is it similar?
6. In the Book of Mormon, an undeniable witness was given of Christ’s birth: A night with no darkness. Why do you think it might be necessary before He comes again for there to be an irrefutable witness, like The Chronicles, to all the world that Jesus is the Christ and His gospel has been restored through Joseph Smith?
7. While virtually the entire world knew that The Chronicles were overwhelming evidence of the Book of Mormon, people’s responses ranged from conversion to disregard or rejection of that truth. Why? How can people not follow truth when they know for certain something is true? What about those who selectively follow only parts of truth? Is that being dishonest with oneself or is it defining oneself? Or both?
8. What factors do you think kept Governor Mike Novak from completely embracing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even though he knew The Chronicles confirmed the claims of The Book of Mormon? How about Ariel or his uncle, Hebel Leser, the Chief Rabbi of Israel? Why do you think it took them so long?
9. Sam Bentley justified adultery and his leaving his family and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of his perceived revelation. He appears to have recognized his errors and had deep regrets just moments before his death. Is there such a thing as genuine deathbed repentance? If so, does that make a statement about our ability to continue to change either for the good or the bad after our physical death?
10. Tish Leavitt was apparently doing all the right things, yet she experienced crushing events. So-called bad things happening to us is apparently not always a result of what we are doing. What does that say about the makeup of our mortal existence and its temporary nature? About our purpose here? About making right choices regardless of what is happening to us or around us? What do you think the Book of Mormon promise that we will prosper in the land if we are faithful means? Was Tish “prospering in the land” in spite of these extraordinary challenges? How?
11. Can you empathize with the specific personal struggles of Tish, or Ariel, or John Amos, or Sam? They were all different, but maybe in a sense the same. What can we learn from the way each one dealt with their challenges?
12. Joe White (Charlie), Jill Hodges, and Sam Bentley were each responsible for their own deaths, but how were their motives different? Given that we are eternal beings, why is suicide never a real solution to our challenges?
13. Why did Chapado follow the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the Pope didn’t? Was Chapado just a better man? Was the Pope dishonest or wrong or was he doing what he thought was best? Why or why not?
14. Mordechai and Sam felt they were being directed by God. How do we know if “the voice” we hear and follow is from God or another source or just our imagination?
15. Can you see any of the calamitous events portrayed in SHATTER happening in our future? How might they unfold?
16. What prophecies or events in the Book of Mormon or the Bible might portend the dissolution of the United States or the destruction of Jerusalem in our day?
17. What doors might be opened or closed if the United States were dissolved? If Jerusalem were destroyed?
18. Are there other observations or questions you would like to discuss?