Wednesday, April 24, 2013

LET THE REASON BE LOVE: A SONG OF FAITH by Merrill Osmond & Janice Barrett Graham

Since this book was published 10 years ago, I had to buy my copy via Amazzon last year and it was well worth the price.  Merrill writes such an honest and poignant memoir, but much different in scope than others, as Merrill sets it up in sections on different topics that deal with life and how he and we should pattern our lives.
Merrill talks about all facets of his life, from when he was a youngster, he would get picked on at school when they lived in Ogden, from the stares and tauntings he and a couple of his brthers would get from a couple of boys from the nearby school for wayward boys, then in So. Calif when they were tutored.  Merrill talks about how all these trials helped make him a bet ter and stronger person in The Gospel and to stay strong to their high moral standards we in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints adhere to.  Merrill shares his strong beliefs with us on every part of his life and how he strived his whole life to keep to the iron rod.  Merrill shares his struggles with bulimia and his image, having to always be at center stage, being the lead singer, and being told he was "Chubby."  The image seems to be everything.  I've never thought Merrill as chubby, always thought him the better looking of the singing brothers. 
Merrill finds out after years of battling terrific highs, then terrible lows, that he was suffering from manic-depression, just like my 27 year old son, who has suffered with Bi-polar since he was 15.  This might give insights into his suicidal attempt at 18. 
Merrill shares stories about their touring days, when they were going through their financial crisis and coming out of it with their heads high, by going out on tour after the cancellation of the Donny and Marie Show in the 70's.  Everyone tried to tell them that building a studio in Provo, Utah wouldn't work, but it survived for five years.
One funny story Merrill shares is a time they are on tour and the brothers are thirsty and there are glasses of what they thought was soda on their table.  When they tasted it, the taste was entrely different, it was an alcoholic beverage!!!!  I'm sure things happen like this in the business for other LDS celebs.  I had a good laugh when I read it. 
One time Pres. Reagan came to Merrill to spearhead the Inaugural festivites, even to inviting The Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform on a 100+ ft. float in front of Pres. Reagan, singing The Battle Hymn of The Republic, America The Beautiful and God Bless America.  Their were communication issues, as the weather wouldn't cooperate, so they were cancelled, then on again when the skies cleared.
Another time, Pres George W. Bush asked Merrill to spearhead a big rally in Washington and due to the President being delayed, had to do some things with the crowd until the Pres. arrived.
Merrill was the first of the singing brothers to marry at the age of 20.  One of their son's, Justin, was born with a 90% hearing loss, and just like his mom, Olive, she taught Virl & Tom, so Justin was not taught sign language and does extremely well today.
When the brothers took time away from their recording and touring to direct and produce The Donny and Marie Show, Merrill did a lot of writing, directing and producing.
Living by the principles of Our Heavenly Father and Our Savior Jesus Christ have cemented Merrill for life and beyond.  He has my utmost admiration, as do all The Osmonds. Please do yourself a big favor and read this amazing book.

I bought my copy from amazon.
Publisher: Tidal Wave Books
Date Published: 2003
ISBN: 0-9724770-0-4

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