by Latayne Scott, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1994, 160 pages, $7.99
One part of the Does God Exist? program that takes up a significant part of our time and energy involves the debunking of destructive groups and their teachings. We are forced to deal with UFOs, the Occult, cults, and extremists of all kinds because they destroy faith or are a substitute for faith in God. There are some very large and well-funded groups that propagate a great deal of religious teaching of everything from scientific materialism to exorcisms. One of these groups is the Mormon church.
In the 25 years or so that we have been reviewing books in this journal, we have reviewed several books dealing with Mormonism. In 1979, we reviewed a book called The Mormon Mirage published by Zondervan and in 1990, we reviewed a book titled Why We Left Mormonism published by Baker Books. The first book was an expos of Mormonism, and the second book contained the testimonies of eight people who had left the Mormon church, telling what they experienced while they were members and what it was that caused them to leave. After Mormonism What? is written by Latayne Scott, the same author as both of these previously reviewed books, and is published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI.
This is a book that deals with the void that is left in a person's life when they leave a religion like Mormonism. Although the book deals specifically with a person who has had the indoctrination of the Mormon system, I believe that most of the concepts are things that all of us have misconceptions about if we have come from a cult-type of religious indoctrination. Scott begins by describing the gap produced when a Mormon leaves that church. This is followed by a discussion of the Mormon world view and then by a discussion of ways of knowing things called "epistemologies." This is approached secularly and then biblically by Scott. The last section of the book deals with religious concepts--the godhead, the church, salvation, etc. The author deals with the problem of following Scripture and integrating it with obedience and trust when one has been burned by a religious involvement in the past. This section is broken into lessons and is generalized to other cult-like religious groups.
This is a very specialized type of book. Scott has written it
to help people who are working with Mormons who are leaving the
Mormon church, and she has given some useful and well-organized
material. You may want her book on leaving the Mormon church
if you do not have it. We recommend this book to those interested
in any cult-like group and especially to anyone interested in
the Mormon church.