Mutton’s Decadence: “The Last Prophet” Malachi 4:5 Elijah
by Mickey R. Mullen
FolioAvenue Publishing Service

"…It will be hard to understand, but the sins or decadence that I committed, God forgave, and that is all one needs in this life."

A rough, stormy life leads to many unanticipated rewards in this honest, plainspoken memoir. Mullen, the “Mutton” of the book’s title, grew up poor in the last years of the Great Depression and in a family that struggled daily to survive. His father was a self-taught preacher who later became a philanderer and alcoholic; his mother, with one leg weakened from polio, was a self-sacrificing farm wife who did everything she could to feed her children. In one of the many houses the author remembers, they lived in an unfinished basement, warming themselves on cold nights by holding heated rocks. Mullen’s dictatorial father once beat the boy so severely with branches that it left permanent scars. The family moved often, making Mullen reluctant to cultivate friends or have a girlfriend. After eight years in the U.S. military, he learned carpentry skills in college and excelled at house building and selling. In 1968, he had a remarkable, seemingly miraculous Christian conversion. In later years, he reunited with and helped support his family members and now identifies with the prophet Elijah.

The reader will understand from Mullen’s sincerely recounted life story that he has overcome both physical and mental abuse and will see in his recollections of the “decadence” of childhood and young adulthood an innocence that would seem to render him blameless. Receiving and seeking little guidance, he had sudden, undeniable religious experiences and insights that changed him permanently, and he writes about these without the limitations of any particular sect or doctrine, solely based on his comprehension of scripture and personal vision. His book gives a vivid and, at times, distressing portrait of life for poor, rural Americans in the post-war years, chronicling both history and spirituality with an authenticity that should make it attractive to a thoughtful readership.

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