Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction (Google eBook)
Oxford University Press, Mar 25, 2008 - Religion - 144 pages
Beginning with a handful of members in 1830, the church that Joseph Smith founded has grown into a world-wide organization with over 12 million adherents, playing prominent roles in politics, sports, entertainment, and business. Yet they are an oddity. They are considered wholesome, conservative, and friendly on one hand, and clannish, weird, and self-righteous on the other. Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction explains who Mormons are: what they believe and how they live their lives. Written by Richard Lyman Bushman, an eminent historian and practicing Mormon, this compact, informative volume ranges from the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the contentious issues of contemporary Mormonism. Bushman argues that Joseph Smith still serves as the Mormons' Moses. Their everyday religious lives are still rooted in his conceptions of true Christianity. They seek revelation to solve life's problems just as he did. They believe the authority to seal families together for eternity was restored through him. They understand their lives as part of a spiritual journey that started in a "council in heaven" before the world began just as he taught. Bushman's account also describes the tensions and sorrows of Mormon life. How are Mormons to hold on to their children in a world of declining moral standards and rampant disbelief? How do rational, educated Mormons stand up to criticisms of their faith? How do single Mormons fare in a church that emphasizes family life? The book also examines polygamy, the various Mormon scriptures, and the renegade fundamentalists who tarnish the LDS image when in fact they're not members. In a time when Mormons such as Mitt Romney and Harry Reid are playing prominent roles in American society, this engaging introduction enables readers to judge for themselves how Mormon teachings shape the character of believers.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #183)User Review - BoBandy - Goodreads
Decent introduction. The author occasionally slips up an allows his enthusiasm for his faith to intrude on the "objective" exploration of Mormonism, but otherwise it is quite adequate. Interesting ... Read full review
Review: Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #183)User Review - BHodges - Goodreads
I almost forgot to add this one, read it a few weeks ago. A brilliant and concise overview of Mormonism from then to now. He tackles all sorts of issues but the overall narrative sweep makes it easy to mentally organize. Read full review
What sets Mormons apart?
How Joseph Smiths revelations set the pattern for every Mormon to seek inspiration
How the organization of the City of Zion constituted Mormons as a people as well as a church
How the Mormon priesthood is both hierarchical and democratic
How Mormons understand the meaning of life
How old ideals and new struggles formed Mormon identity
How Mormons left their homeland and fought to retain their distinctiveness