This review is part of a Blog Tour book promotion. I agreed to review an interesting book by Latayne Scott. The original book was written to explain why she left the Mormon Church in the 1950’s. This new, third edition, includes updated information and also internet annotations.
The Mormon Mirage is an interesting look behind the scenes of Mormonism written, as Scott remarks, “for ‘regular people,’ not scholars.” In this, she succeeds admirably. Anyone seeking to understand how the Mormon Church was formed and what their beliefs are will find this a valuable reference. Throughout her work, Scott quotes the Holy Bible to refute Mormon teaching and doctrine.
Scott highlights the differences between the definitions of theological concepts as understood by Christian writers and worshipers and the Mormon community. Such things as the Holy Spirit and salvation mean entirely different things to the two belief systems. She explains why these differences, in defining basic ideology, makes it difficult if not impossible for Christian and Mormon believers to reach any agreement. While it may appear that the same language is spoken, each side is hearing a different meaning.
Scott has added two additional chapters to this third edition of the work. In these she explores the “Issues and Challenges Facing Mormonism in the 21st Century.” New archeological, DNA, and other scientific evidence have attacked and undermined some of the core beliefs of the Mormon Church. Scott lists nine important issues ranging from the influence of the internet to polygamy that she suggests undermine even further the basis of Mormonism, even for current Mormon believers.
She adds that she can understand the confusion of the many former Mormons struggling with faith and with those confronted with disillusionment about their beliefs. “I was there. I believed,” she repeats. Because Scott was active in the Mormon Church, she can indeed speak to the doubts and fears of Mormon and ex-Mormon believers. This same knowledge helps her to explain Mormonism to interested Christian and even non-Christian inquirers.