Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield

Is America being Mormonized? What does than mean anyway? Is Mormonism a cult? Author Stephen Mansfield attempts to answer these and other questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons.

The subtitle of the book (How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture) made me do a double-take.  It had not occurred to me that Mormonism wielded such influence. But, when he started naming names, I realized he was right--Marriott, Orrin Hatch, Jon Huntsman, Harry Reid, Glenn Beck, The Osmonds, not to mention Mitt Romney.

Mansfield does a good job of reviewing the history of Mormonism. Joseph Smith is recognized as the founder who, in the 1830s,  led a group of farmers in New York to found a new religion based on the idea that all of Christianity was corrupted. From New York, the moved west to Illinois, Missouri, and finally Utah.

Mansfield mixes stories of modern-day Mormons and their interactions with non-Mormons while he educates the reader about what Mormons believe. One thing that struck me is that there is no final revelation for Mormons. Joseph Smith had revelations, but contemporary Mormons might receive revelations, too. That means their beliefs can change depending on these revelations. Church, family, success---all of these things are important to Mormons. And that's what makes their religion attractive to others.

Since we have a Mormon running for the highest office in the land, this is a good time for Americans to learn about the religion. Mansfield does not try to influence your opinion. He just gives you the information and lets you draw your own conclusions. I give it five stars.

The hardcover edition is on Amazon here. Kindle edition here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing with the request that I write a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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