You know how I like to read a book's blurbs? Well this book, which comes out August 20th, is so fresh it says "Please save two pages for endorsements at the front of the book." It's labeled an advance reading copy! I notice Wilder and her husband also have an eBook already out. She eventually mentions it in her epilogue and describes it as a "two-hour read."
Wilder grew up in a Christian home. She and her then-new husband were converted to Mormonism by those door-to-door missionaries in the late 1970s. Would you believe one of Wilder's four children converted to Christianity before Wilder and her husband? And this while serving the traditional two-year mission trip that Mormon men make. Talk about courage. Wilder does a very good job but I'd almost like to read this son's perspective.
Wilder likens Mormons to the two elderly women in the play "Arsenic and Old Lace." (Wilder's daughter appeared in the play while in high school.) The two pleasant women give men poisoned wine, thinking they're doing the men a favor by ending what the women perceive to be a lonely, miserable existence. Wilder says, "The deaths resulted from the gentlemen's innocence, their lack of knowledge. They drank something they thought was good for them, but it was laced with poison. The people who offered it were so nice."
I recently picked up from the public library a new book about Scientology. Sorry but Wilder's story reminds me a little of that. Let's just say the practices and origins of both faiths are bizarre. I'm learning a lot, in a "safe" way. And I want to learn more!
Speaking of safe, this book is safe for Catholics. It is evident, though, that Wilder hasn't reached the "fullness of faith" - She says things like "...I was beginning to realize that because of Christ, we no longer need to work for our salvation, because Christ has secured that for us by his blood.... I was beginning to understand that I was saved through grace. Period."
You know a book's good when you have to tell someone about it, right? That was me on the day I started it. I had to tell the friend that told me about her church's library. I told her I had read conversion stories, but never one that didn't end at Catholicism! Maybe this one will yet....
I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com (http://BookSneezeÂ®.com> book review bloggers program.
This book is a first person account of a woman who was a member of the Mormon church for over 20 years and eventually left the church as a result of reading the New Testament. Eventually her entire family leaves the Mormon church and become Christians. This is their story.
Reading this book was very eye-opening to say the least! First of all, it was very well written so it was easy to follow. But secondly, it was absolutely fascinating to hear firsthand about this hidden world of Mormonism revealed. Over and over again I was shocked as to the control and manipulation of the leaders of this cult.
At the end of the book is a very helpful appendix which supplies a list of Christian ministries to Mormons, a glossary, and a very helpful table of comparisons between the Scripture and Mormon teachings.
Honestly, I had a hard time putting the book down as I was anxious to see this family freed from the deception in which they were enslaved. If you have a connection with anybody from this cult, this book is a must-read!
This book has been reviewed as a part of the Book Sneeze Blogger review program. Thanks to Zondervan Publishers who provided a copy for review. I was not required to write a positive review.
"Unveiling Grace" is the story of how Lynn Wilder's family joined the Mormon Church and, many years later, left the Mormon Church. It's primarily the story of her life, and it's an easy, interesting read that kept my attention.
She assumed the reader had some familiarity with the Mormon Church and used "Mormon jargon," but she also gave short explanations of the Mormon terms when new terms came up. Later in the book, she gave more details about Mormon beliefs and about what the jargon meant.
This book primarily focused on what life as a dedicated Mormon is like and what caused one family to leave the Mormon Church after years of devoted service. There is a lot of information about Mormon beliefs, but this is not primarily an apologetics book.
I found the book very interesting, and I feel that I better understand some things about my Mormon aunt and uncle. I'd highly recommend this book, especially to those who want to better understand the viewpoint that Mormons are coming from.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.
Unveiling Grace was a very intriguing book to read. I was first interested in it because I went to school with quite a few Mormon kids, worked for a small, Mormon-owned company, and have also had a several studies with some Mormon missionaries. I felt like I was fairly familiar with Mormon doctrine and was interested to read about a family who had been faithful Mormons for so long (30 years) leaving the LDS church.
Being able to read about the Wilder's family journey into the LDS church was interesting, but I do feel like it may have been worded in places like they were already seeing that they needed to get out. This was probably due to the fact that this book was written after they left the LDS church, but in the middle of the story it almost seemed to me to undermine the credibility of what was a truly devoted Mormon family. (I see the same issue with the subtitle of the book.)
Other than that one minor issue, I felt the book was interesting and easy to read, but more importantly it was truly eye-opening to the real doctrines and practices of the LDS church. The author is respectful when she discusses Mormonism, but still brings the truth to light in an open, honest way. There were things I don't recall ever hearing about their beliefs - major beliefs - and that was not for a lack of trying on my part. I had studied quite a bit about the LDS church so that I could better study with and relate to Mormons, but that study didn't reveal how they talk about a different God than I know as a Christian. A different Jesus. You wouldn't think that things would be so different on a basic level when they read the Bible, but it is.
I think this book would be helpful for many groups of people: current Mormons (if they would read it), anyone who knows someone from the LDS church, and especially those who are looking into joining the LDS church. I highly recommend reading it.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneezeÂ®. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.
Personal and Personable Look Inside Mormon Culture
July 9, 2013
Lynn Wilder's Unveiling Grace is a mother's memoir of success and influence inside the Mormon church and Christ's calling of her family out of it. Wilder, a one-time professor at Brigham Young University, and her husband spent more than thirty years inside Mormonism, having and raising children, converting their relatives, and working inside of super-secretive Mormon temples. Working their way toward holiness and eventual Godhood, the Wilders were relatively comfortable with their lives and were convinced that Joseph Smith was a true prophet_until their son, thousands of miles away on a Mormon mission, called home to say that Jesus now had too great a claim on his life for him to continue believing and following the Mormon church. The story leading up to and following that pivotal moment is an eye-opening look into the everyday culture of the largest pseudo-religion in the country, and an encouraging account of how Jesus Christ saved one family from it a member at a time.
Vastly informative about Mormon life and culture, Unveiling Grace has the distinction of being a great deal more than a handbook for debunking Mormonismâ€”those typical texts with lists of doctrinal weakness cross-listed against effective techniques for shutting their mouths before you shut your door. It is the personal and personable account of what real Mormons think, feel, and doâ€”the hopes that motivate them, the lies they are told, and the experiences that finally lead them to question their way of life. This is the type of work that fuels real evangelism, rather than the argumentative pugilism of mere apologetics.
Unfortunately, the book's strength (its personal and personable tone) is also a significant weakness. The book reads like a memoir, but more than that it reads like the memoir of an Evangelical wife and mother, with a very feminine perception, idiom, and tone. These elements, though not faulty in their own right, make the work less engaging to female readers of different temperaments and to male readers general, unintentionally narrowing its ideal audience. Nevertheless, the appendices comparing basic Christian beliefs to those of Mormonism, and defining commonly used theological terms as Mormons understand and use them were add significant value to the book. All in all, though, the book is a rare and important look at the inner workings of a secretive group through the eyes of people with extensive access, and a message of hope to those praying and laboring for the salvation of their Mormon neighbors.