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The Mormon Mirage: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today
In the first edition of The Mormon Mirage, Latayne C. Scott shared her remarkable journey out of Mormonism as she uncovered shocking inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the faith she had loved and lived. Thirty years later, Mormonism and Mormon scholarship have evolved with the times. In this third, revised and updated edition of her well-known book, Scott keeps pace with changes and advances in Mormonism, and reveals formidable new challenges to its claims and teachings. The Mormon Mirage provides fascinating, carefully documented insights into • DNA research’s withering implications for the Book of Mormon • the impact of new “revelations” on Latter-day Saint (LDS) race relations • new findings about Mormon history • increasing publicity about LDS splinter groups, particularly polygamous ones • recent disavowals of long-held doctrines by church leadership • the rise of Mormon apologetics on the Internet More than a riveting, insider’s scrutiny of the Mormon faith, this book is a testimony to the trustworthiness of Scripture and the grace of Jesus Christ.
This third edition of Latayne C. Scott’s book updates the material on Mormonism to 2008. It was originally published as a response to her leaving Mormonism in 1973 and the second edition came out in 1984. She is of Baptist background but became a Mormon when she was twelve and believed and loved it through her teenage years and into university studies at Brigham Young University. This book’s subtitle reflects that there have been a lot of changes in Mormonism in the last decades, especially since the 1990’s.This book is comprised of two parts. The first part deals with the history and doctrines of the LDS and consumes most of the book. The second part looks at nine issues and challenges facing Mormonism in the twenty-first century. It actually covers more than nine issues because some are combined under one heading such as gender which covers Mormon positions on both women and homosexuality. The background information on Mormonism is quite complete, with many references for those who wish to be exhaustive. Scott is clear throughout in showing how Mormon doctrine relates to orthodox Christian theology and how the two departed from one another in the lives and practice of early Mormon leaders, particularly Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. She also summaries the beliefs of many of the Mormon splinter groups.The second part which lists the various issues that Mormonism is currently dealing with is quite helpful because one wants to know what Mormonism is actually doing today as well as what it has been doing in history. Scott is very helpful throughout the book in distinguishing between official Mormon doctrine and actual practice and folk belief. Apparently Mormonism has become less authoritative in its proclamations in recent decades. Scott explains that this is due to opposition from both within and without and because of accommodation to changing times. My only concern with this section is that she shows that the Mormon leadership is “out of touch” with society on some controversial issues such as gender and approval of homosexuality. These issues are fracturing many Christian denominations and therefore not something that traditional Christianity can criticise in Mormonism. Most Evangelicals would approve of the Mormon stance on the issue of homosexual marriage although they would base this on biblical exegesis, not revelation by Joseph Smith or any other latter-day prophet.I would highly recommend this book to those who know someone within the Mormon system or those who want to understand the importance of authoritative scripture for the Christian church. Although Scott does not set out to intentionally underscore the importance of biblical faith and proper exegesis and hermeneutical methods the evidence of what happens when those are not employed is very apparent. Her conclusion is also helpful in that she summarises the main points of disagreement between Mormonism and Evangelicalism and shows how the Mormon approach to the subject of truth differs radically from that of mainstream Christianity.read more
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