Robert L. Millet, Salt Lake City, Utah: Shadow Mountain, 1998, 6×9″ softbound, 222 pages.
Are there things you’d like to know about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
This book addresses these and many other questions: The Latter-day Saints are obviously not Catholic. Are they Protestant?
Much has been said about the Latter-day Saints not being Christian. Are they?
Do the Latter-day Saints worship Joseph Smith?
How do Mormons feel about other churches?
How can the Latter-day Saints justify having additional books of scripture?
Why are there no crosses in LDS Churches?
Don’t the Latter-day Saints believe they will be saved by their works and not by the grace of Christ?
If God was once a man, as Latter-day Saints believe, how can he be “from eternity to eternity?”
If God has a body, as the Mormons teach, is he not then limited in some way?
Isn’t it true that Latter-day Saints are not concerned with salvation, only with what they call exaltation?
Do they believe people must be “born again?”
Do Latter-day Saints really believe that men and women can become gods?
Why do the Latter-day Saints send their missionaries out into the world, especially into Christian nations?
What does the LDS Church hope to accomplish in the religious world?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded on April 6, 1830, with six official members. Sociologists of religion project that membership in the year 2080 could be somewhere between 60 million and 265 million. Such continuing growth cannot be entirely explained by pointing to “the goodlife” practiced by the members of the Church. In fact, their theology is what often strikes a responsive chord in the minds and hearts of interested people. Further, Latter-day Saints believe strongly that their style of life grows out of their theology; we cannot really understand why they do what they do until we understand what they believe.
This book therefore emphasizes what most people know least about the Mormons–their doctrine and their theology. Millions have heard about their health code, about polygamy, about Brigham Young and the exodus across the plains, about their generally conservative political posture, about their welfare program, and even about their athletes and entertainers. But few know about: the LDS concept of God; their teachings about Jesus; the LDS view of the canon of scripture; Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible; LDS teachings about the premortal nature of men and women; the Mormon view of grace and works; the purpose of LDS temples; or the LDS view of life after death.
Robert L. Millet, professor of religion and for many years dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, discusses these and many other matters, with an emphasis on fundamental doctrines and practices. Dr. Millet writes, “Many in the religious world have taken the time to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or as it is more popularly known, Mormonism. Sadly, the polarization of people by available literature on Joseph Smith and the LDS faith–whether antagonistic or apologetic–has prevented many who have sincere interest in the Latter-day Saint experience from receiving a balanced presentation. One need not become either a convert to or a crusader for Mormonism to understand the phenomenon or the people. This book is written not to convert but to aid in understanding. And if anything is needed in this complex and confusing world, it is understanding.”
Whether one chooses to pursue a study of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints out of sheer curiosity or more academically from a sociological, historical, anthropological, or theological point of view, there is a great deal to investigate. The movement that began as a frontier faith will undoubtedly continue in a healthy and unhindered fashion to influence the religious world.