** This review was originally published on October 24, 2005 on a previous blog. **
One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church
This is the first book I've read about the Mormon Church and it was a wonderful introduction. Mr. Abanes does not provide an unbiased approach, but it does seem to be well-researched, with tons of notes and sources. (He also provides a list of other recommended reading and websites.) I'm sure those of the Mormon faith would argue Mr. Abanes is twisting the teachings to serve his own ends. No doubt he does, but there seem to be plenty of twisting before he gets to it. There are also some significant events in recent American history that cannot be fabricated (or erased, as they'd sometimes like to do).
I'll let you read the book because I could not possibly do it justice to summarize, but I will say I was saddened to learn of the faith that has captured so many unsuspecting people. I think everyone should read this book as protection against becoming Mormon and as a spur to pray for those that are trapped within the false teachings of the Latter Day Saints. It's a bit long, but reads very easily with most of the heavy substantiation in the end notes. I even found the appendices fascinating.
Just in case anyone finds this while searching for resources in leaving the Mormon Church, Mr. Abanes recommends a few sites like this one.
Special thanks to J and H for recommending this book.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. 7:15-20 KJV