Stephen Mansfield has written a very interesting book about the Mormons or Latter-day Saints, or LDS, as they prefer to be called. He has the story of the beginnings of this religion, which is the only religion that began in America. It is never called the Mormon Church because it is too informal. (pg xvix), They always capitalize the word Church, members call themselves Saints and believe they are Christians and not a cult.
Joseph Smith began this religion in Fayette, New York in 1830 with four other men. This new church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Joseph Smith is the Elder.
I know very little of the Mormons and their religion. This book has given me some insight of what they believe and why. As a Catholic, I will say I do not believe in some of their teachings but many religions do not believe in what I am taught. The author makes it clear at the beginning he is not a Mormon but never declares his religion. He has written a book on and about a religion.
There are nearly seven million Mormons in America (2012), barely 2 percent of the United States. It's a million more people than live in the state of Washington, a million less than in the state of Virginia (page 23),
An LDS member is to tithe, attend meetings, devote time to the family and many more commitments. Families are the eternal institution. (pg 34). Many LDS historians admit that many of the Church's ceremonies were influenced by the Freemasonic worldview and rituals. (pg 109). Joseph Smith said the Bible must be translated correctly. (page 245)
As a youth, members are to expected to give two years of their life to the Church when they become missionaries and are sent to different places in the world. (page 220). Mitt Romney was almost killed in France in an auto accident during his mission.
The Book of Mormon claims to be the history of Jewish tribes in the New world. (page 139)
The Contents of The Mormonizing of America- How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominate Force in the Politics, Entertainment, Pop and Culture are:
Acknowledgements (page xi) (When Stephen Mansfield is researching)
On Saintly Language (page xix) (Use of the letters of LDS and the word "Mormon".)
Prologue: Scenes from the Land of the Saints (page 1) ( Conversations and scenes)
Introduction: Engine of the Mormon Ascent (page 23) ( The Mormon rise, spiritual, family, patriotism, education.)
Chapter 1: The Mormon View of Morminism (page 51) (Conversations, what matters to a Mormon)
A Mormon Chronology (from circa 600 BC to 1904)
Chapter 2: In Search of True Religion (page 79) This chapter has young Joseph Smith and his mother, Lucy)
Chapter 3: Joseph Smith: Prophet and Magician (page 97) (Chapter when he meets Emma Hale, Smith's first wife)
Chapter 4: The Golden Plates (page 115) (Smith describes the plates as being "six inches wide and eight inches long and not quite as thick as a common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book with three rings running through the whole" (page 122)
Chapter 5: An American Gospel (page 135) (Understanding The Book of Mormon. The first book sold for $1.25 in 1830 (page 138).
Mormon Beliefs in plain Language (page 157) (Explaining the beliefs of the Mormons)
Chapter 6: A New Breed of Men (page 163) (Revelations sent to Joseph Smith)
Chapter 7: Among a Progressing People (page 187) (In this chapter leadership is passed to Brigham Young)
Chapter 8: The Earthly Fruit of Faith (page 203) (Interviews of some members, the "natural" and "earthly" emphasis in Mormon theology, Smith tarred and a somewhat mixture in this chapter.)
Chapter 9: The Work Unfinished (page 223) (Changes in the religion)
Appendix A : Joseph Smith's Articles of Faith (page 245) (There are 13 written by Smith)
Appendix B: Surprising Quotes from Mormon Leaders (page 279) (These are from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Oliver B. Huntington, Joseph Field Smith (I am not certain if this is Joseph Smith or not- Leona)
Notes (page 257)
Bibliography (page 262)
There are two places in the book which have pictures of Smith and his mother, brother and wife for some and Orrin Hatch, Marie and Donny Osmond, Glenn Beck, George Romney, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City and more.
The book is dedicated to David Foster 1953-2012
2012 published by Worthy Publishing
ISBN- 978-1-617950-78-0 (hardcover)
ebook available at www.worthypublishing.com
The author, Stephen Mansfield may be reached at www.MansfieldGroup,com
I received a complimentary copy of The Mormonizing of America from the publisher. I wish to thank the publisher and the author for this book.
I give this book a 5 star for the research and down to earth observations. The opinions are my own.