Mormonism has a long history in my life. I have relatives who are Mormon and live in an area that is heavily populated by Mormons. In addition, my junior high and high school classes were full of Mormons. I have a lot of experience talking with and being friends with Mormons. A new book, Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way Out of the Mormon Church by former tenured professor at BYU Dr. Lynn K. Wilder, has come out giving a rare insider look at how Latter-Day Saints are “wooing America” with their religion, lifestyle and culture. This book contains the story of how an entire family, deeply embedded within Mormonism, found their way out and what they can tell others about Mormon doctrine and practice.
One of the most impressive parts of this book and there are many is the raw honesty of the author. Lynn doesn’t hold anything back in her story but rather shares her heart and story of how she came out of Mormonism. Along the way, the reader learns about what goes on in Mormon temples, services, as well as other information concerning Mormonism itself. Being that I’ve read quite a few books on Mormonism over the years, what I found most interesting is how relational Mormons are. While I wasn’t surprised given my experience over the years with Mormons, what I found most interesting was how they use their relationships for the sake of advancing their mission of expanding the Mormon faith.
As I reflected on this book after I finished it, one particular thing stands out concerning what Mormons do exceptionally well. Lynn and her husband were searching for a church and Mormons came knocking. I learned from reading Lynn’s story that what kept the Wilders in the Mormon Church were the relationships they built. During this time of interacting with the Wilders who were interested in Mormonism but still had questions, the Mormons realized that just sending people to their house wouldn’t work. Rather than continuing with that approach, the Mormons sent a fellow professor of Lynn’s who was a Mormon to befriend Lynn and her husband. Lynn recognized the importance of this for their continuance with Mormonism and shortly after this their whole family was baptized into the Mormon Church. After thirty years in the Mormon Church their son Micah went on a mission trip and starting reading the New Testament. As he read the New Testament through the eyes of a child, his girlfriend also began to read it. While Micah was doing very well on his mission, what he realized is that there were a lot of differences between what the Bible taught and what Mormonism taught. Micah challenged his family to read the New Testament through the eyes of a child. As each family member read the New Testament, God used the Word to open their eyes to the differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity. While this is only a summary and not the whole story of how the Lord worked in their lives, as I noted earlier, what impressed me was the emphasis of relationships among those in the Mormon faith. I was convicted by how I often lack this relational orientation and wondered if Christians weren’t more family oriented and relational if we couldn’t take the same approach the Mormons do that of bringing families into our homes to come alongside them to not only point them to the Truth of Jesus, but also to show them God’s love and grace.
The narrative in Unveiling Grace is compelling, convicting, and true. The differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity are many and stark. Written from an author who spent thirty years in various callings in the Mormon Church and even as a tenured Professor at Brigham Young University, Unveiling Grace will be a book that will rip to shreds your preconceptions about Mormonism and open your eyes to what Mormons believe and how that belief informs their lives. Whether you are just mildly curious about Mormonism or you are regularly ministering to Mormons, I encourage every Christian to read this book as it will open your eyes to the mission field that is Mormonism and drive you to study it further. Unveiling Grace will be eye-opening for those who know nothing about Mormonism. This very well-written and engaging book will leave you at the edge of your seat wanting to know about what is going to happen next and more importantly, it will leave you wanting to read and study the Bible all the more.
Author: Lynn Wilder
Publisher: Zondervan (2013)
I received this for free from Zondervan for this 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.” –