[A] delightful and insightful story...Through it all, Harrington continues to search for his own personal spiritual truth--and somehow manages not to lose his keen sense of humor along the way.
-Liz Soares, author, All for Maine:
The Story of Gov. Percival P. Baxter
A great read...Everyone knows someone who has searched [for truth] that has taken many years, and we never think it is the end...just a work in progress.
-Becky Thomas, Mormon Times Columnist
This true account illustrates how people from two different worlds can find common ground and build on a foundation of mutual respect. An enjoyable read.
-Tristi Pinkston, author of Agent in Old Lace
Having been a missionary, I know how hard it is to speak to stranger's about your beliefs. I got many doors slammed in my face. In this quick and engaging read, Dan Harrington provides a fascinating look into his experience of meeting with the LDS Missionaries. The writing is light and interesting and the experiences are inspiring without being preachy. An excellent read that supports understanding and open-mindedness.
-Michael Young, author of The Canticle Kingdom
Who’s At The Door? is a classic “Stranger Comes to Town” master plot. In this case the “Stranger” is the full time missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dan is the hero of his own story and as is always the case, the “Stranger” enters the scene and provides a disruption, which is the basis of this page-turning memoir.
To start out, I have a couple of confessions to make. 1- I have never read a memoir before, 2- Because I am such a slow reader, I really don’t read all that often. When I say I’m slow, I mean I’m REALLY slow so for me reading is a huge commitment of time. With those two confessions made, I must tell you that I read Who’s At the Door? in one afternoon. I stretched out on the couch with the fire roaring in front of me and I lost myself in the story. Since I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, I intended to read a chapter or two to get a feel for it, but just as in good fiction, each chapter had a hook that compelled me to keep reading.
As a private person myself, I find it fascinating how Dan is able to open up and share so much of his personal thoughts and feelings with the reader. There are moments of deep thought and doctrinal searching but also many moments of fun and humor as he describes the process of getting to know and become friends with various sets of missionaries. When the missionaries first show up at his door, Dan describes the excitement he feels for having the chance to teach these hay-seed Elders a thing or two about the world. He plans to awe them with the modern contraptions like…the microwave oven and microwave popcorn. He’s sure they’ve never seen anything so wonderful in their lives. Dan quickly learns that he has some misconceptions about the Elders and the entire LDS church.
Who’s At The Door? challenges members of other faiths to evaluate their misconceptions of the Mormon Church. It also challenges members of the church to look at the culture and doctrines of the church through fresh eyes, viewing it as an investigator or returning member might. If we do -this we may find ways to connect with people in a meaningful way and advance our own goals in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When a “Stranger” comes into our life, do we treat them with mistrust and fear, or are we open to learn from their unique perspectives and life history? Dan’s book is not a conversion story or even a recommendation that people investigate or join the LDS church. It is simply one man’s experience as he broadens his horizons to understand a people and a faith he previously did not know. He sought knowledge directly from the people and scriptures of the LDS faith, which is a good example to all of us. He accepted the “Strangers” into his home and grew from the experience.
In case you couldn’t tell, I recommend this book. The writing style is easy and the story is compelling.
-Steve Westover, author of Defense Tactics
"Who's at the Door?" by Dan Harrington isn't your usual conversion story, nor is it a doctrinal thesis, although doctrine does creep in here and there in an unobtrusive yet well-researched manner. For sure, the book is about one man's (Dan's) experience with the missionaries, but told in such a unique and fascinating way that it drew me right in and I found myself eagerly turning the pages with almost the same anxiety I feel when reading a suspense novel! Does Dan eventually join the LDS Church? You'll have to get the book to find out.
In an article by Beth Staples in Maine's Capital Weekly, she writes, "Taboos around discussing religion, said Harrington, and dismissing other faiths out of hand have led to an illiterate society with regard to religion. 'We're not supposed to talk about it except at home where it's safe,' he said."
Dan has now deleted the taboo and opened up the subject of Mormonism for fair an honest review. How refreshing to read a candid man's outspoken appraisal after he's obviously done his homework. I give "Who's at the Door: A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries" ten out of ten and highly recommend it for your reading pleasure--whether you're LDS, contemplating becoming LDS, or neither of these.
-Anne Bradshaw, author of True Miracles with Geneaology: Help from Beyond the Veil
I have to say I found Who’s at the Door? by Dan Harrington very interesting. This is a memoir about Dan’s time coming to know the Mormon missionaries and the messages they share. I truly enjoyed his perspective and seeing things from an “outsider’s” point of view. I’m grateful for people like Dan Harrington who have a healthy craving for spirituality as well as an even healthier esteem for religions and their benefits to all walks of life. Who’s at the Door? was well-done, respectful and spiritually uplifting.
I pray every missionary can have a “Dan” experience. There are people out there who are ready to hear the gospel for many different reasons. Not all of those people will end up in the waters of baptism. There are even more people out there who have no interest in learning about our religion and some of them aren’t very nice about it. I hope there are enough good people that our young men meet along the way that treat them with respect, friendship and love even when they are agreeing to disagree.
Who’s at the Door? makes a quick Sunday afternoon read and great food for thought in a Family Home Evening. It’s an interesting look at how what we say and do as we share our beliefs with others affects both ourselves and our friends. We tend to fall into two categories where missionary work is concerned. We’re either very skittish about the whole thing or completely zealous about it. This is a great way to find a happy medium and remember the most important part of missionary work—love, friendship and acceptance for those we talk to.
Who’s at the Door? is one of those books that had me thinking about who I knew that I could recommend it to the minute I finished. That earned it a few extra bonus points as well. Anything I didn’t particularly like? No, surprisingly it didn’t have many whiny complaints from me. I actually would have liked it to be a little longer and go more into some of Dan’s experiences sharing his interest and concerns about the church with others as well as what he learned investigating other churches along the way.
Thank you, Dan, for sharing your insights and beautiful spirituality with the world.
-Alison Palmer, author of The Prodigal Son