Book Review: Mormonism 101

Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-day-Saints by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson is a worthwhile resource for your personal library.  The book is comprehensive in its scope and this revised and expanded edition covers the newest updates to LDS doctrinal beliefs. The book is straightforward in its examination of Mormonism without slipping into attacking the Mormons themselves.

Mormonism 101When opening up the book, make sure to start wit the Preface and Introduction lest you miss some really good information.  Then you can work your way through the well-researched 18 chapters examining the LDS concept of God, concept of humankind, concept of Scripture, concept of salvation, concept of ordinances, and concept of revelation.  Each major topic has three sub-categories.

One major strength of the work is that it is full of extended quotes of official LDS beliefs.  This information is presented in such a way that the reader can have confidence that the authors of Mormonism 101 are not building a straw-man.  Just in case you the reader wants to double-check the authenticity of the quotations, there are ample endnotes pointing back to the original documents so that the studious reader can ensure that the excerpts are not proof-texts.

Given the ample quotations and dense (yet accessible) writing style, this is not the book to pick up if you want to quick introduction to Mormonism.  Instead, this book is one that adds meat to the bones of quick intro-style books.

Neither is Mormonism 101 the book to pick up if you want direct and immediate help on how to talk with your Mormon friends.  Instead, this book gives you a lot of good research information and has discussion questions at the end that you can use by yourself or with friends to consider how you would use the information in a discussion with your Mormon friends or neighbors.

That being said, the appendix to the book is a great resource in identifying common logical fallacies that you may encounter when in conversation with your LDS friend.  Also, if you have built a good rapport with someone who considers themselves an LDS and they are open to understanding why you do not believe that Mormonism is another form of Christianity, Mormonism 101 would be a great resource to give to them or use as a discussion piece as you read it together.

Overall, Mormonism 101 is a great resource for those who have a genuine care for their Mormon friends and neighbors because “a belief in a false Jesus is just as dangerous as no jesus at all because faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed” (p 50).

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Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

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