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Got a question about Mormonism? Ask author Latayne C. Scott



Got a question about Mormonism?
Former Mormon Latayne C. Scott, author of the Zondervan book “The Mormon Mirage” and a member of the Mountainside Church of Christ in Albuquerque, N.M., will answer questions for Christian Chronicle readers.
In the latest print edition of the Chronicle, Scott gives an insider’s view of Mormonism and life in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also featured in the September issue is a Page 1 story on “Ministry in Mormon country,” reporting on Churches of Christ in Utah.
To ask a question, leave a comment on this post. Scott will respond to questions in the near future.

  • Feedback
    Wow. I reviewed her “Latter Day Cipher” (a fiction) a year or two ago on one of my blogs. Didn’t realize she was a member of a Church of Christ. I appreciate her work. (No questions here!)
    Adam Gonnerman
    August, 2 2011

    Are there any lessons we in churches of Christ can learn from Mormons about encouraging our young people to take the Biblical call to missions and evangelism more seriously?
    Ben Wiles
    August, 2 2011

    Can we all put on our critical thinking caps for a moment? Isn’t asking a former Mormon about Mormonism a little like asking Judas Iscariot about Christ? Do you believe that you can get an unbiased opinion from either this woman or Judas about their relative subjects?
    Bishop Krister Stendahl, the now deceased Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm had 3 ground rules for interfaith discussion:
    1. When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies. Otherwise, in his view, you may be bearing false witness.
    2. Don’t compare your best to their worst.
    3. Leave room for “holy envy.” (By this Stendahl meant that you should be willing to recognize elements in the other religious tradition or faith that you admire and wish could, in some way, be reflected in your own religious tradition or faith. I compliment Ben on this regard for recognizing missionary spirit of Mormonism).
    These ideals are, at their root, Christian. We should treat others the way we want to be treated, as the Master taught. I think this is one of those kinds of scenarios.
    Mark R
    August, 2 2011

    You said in your article that Mormons have doubled. Then you state that people are leaving Mormons in droves because of the internet. But they have doubled…how much is a drove? Also, please compare to Church of Christ and how many leave during the same timeframe.
    brad lee
    August, 2 2011

    Adam, how wonderful to hear from you. I didn’t remember that you were a member of the Church of Christ, either.
    (We can’t go on meeting this way… ­čÖé
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 2 2011

    Ben, you brought up a good point. When I was young, Mormon children had little banks with three compartments. One was for tithe money, one was for savings, and the third was for a mission.
    To answer your question, I think it would be wonderful for Christian parents to speak of a mission of some sort (especially a teaching/humanitarian mission) as something the parents expect the child to participate in. Additionally, I believe young people should finance those trips themselves. (I realize that some trips are beyond the financial reach of some parents/children, but most are not.) If they began saving for a mission trip or some other kind of service to others, I believe it would seem more “real” to them as they grow up.
    Some of the things that our children did that make me most proud of them are their unselfish and sacrificial acts of service to others when they were teenagers.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 2 2011

    Ouch– on the Judas comment. Mark, are you a Mormon?
    Only listen to adherents? Do you read reviews of automobiles that are the result of ´┐Żoutsiders´┐Ż like Consumer Reports, or do you just listen to the manufacturer´┐Żs sales information?
    Do you really believe that only a Scientologist, for instance, can´┐Żand will ´┐Żspeak accurately and completely about his church´┐Żs history, doctrines, and practices?
    Of course we can listen to people who have been involved in false teaching and gain insight from what they experienced. I assert quite strongly that no single person’s experience with anything is normative, so no one should take my word alone.
    Who fired the first shot in the conflict I have with Mormonism? Could it have been Joseph Smith who claimed that all Christian churches of the 1800s (and that included the Restoration Movement out of which the Churches of Christ emerged) ´┐Ż that all churches and their adherents were ´┐Żwrong´┐Ż and corrupt? That´┐Żs the exact wording of LDS ´┐Żscripture´┐Ż http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1?lang=eng I´┐Żm defending Christianity!
    When the apostle Paul (himself a ´┐Żconvert´┐Ż from an inferior religious system which he unabashedly critiqued) praised the believers of Thessalonika, he noted that they ´┐Żturned from idols to serve the living and true God´┐Ż´┐Żand it´┐Żs hard to imagine they were denied credibility when they told of that experience.
    (BTW, speaking of Jesus and how he related to false teaching, have you looked at Matthew 23 lately?)
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 2 2011

    Brad, I believe I can clear up some issues you raised. I remember thinking when I became a member of the Church of Christ in 1973, that the membership of the LDS church and the Churches of Christ were about equal, about 6 million members each, as I recall. (If you´┐Żve got access to membership figures for 1973 and would like to correct that, I´┐Żd be grateful for exact figures.)
    When the LDS church started losing members ´┐Żin droves´┐Ż was when those members were able to access proof that the LDS church had deliberately sanitized, expunged, and hidden its early history and doctrines and practices. This wasn´┐Żt the appearance of ´┐Żanti-Mormon´┐Ż writings, it was what Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and others said and did, which the church today does not teach.
    For instance, I document in The Mormon Mirage the case (as reported by a Mormon researcher) of the LDS church in Japan that lost ´┐Żsignificant human resources´┐Ż ´┐Żincluding high local officials ´┐Ż because of the Internet.
    How serious is the exodus of Mormons in the US? John Dart, in ´┐ŻCounting Mormons: study says LDS numbers inflated,´┐Ż in The Christian Century, 8/21/2007, says if LDS membership rolls were accounted like Baptists or Presbyterians they would only have about 3.2 million members in the United States and are losing members through ´┐Żdefection and apostasy´┐Ż as fast as new converts are added. Only the extraordinarily high LDS birthrate, says Dart, accounts for three-fourths of the Church´┐Żs US growth rate. In addition, a 2001 study by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) identified the LDS church´┐Żs growth rate at zero percent when it documented that approximately the same number of people left the LDS Church annually as joined it.
    I´┐Żm sorry, I don´┐Żt have attrition rates for the Churches of Christ.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 2 2011

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Could you please explain your assertion that we think the Bible is so flawed that we feel people are misled by the power of Satan if they follow it’s teachings? I testify that Mormons hold the Holy Bible as sacred scripture, both the Old and New Testaments. It is true that we believe the Bible as far as it has been translated correctly, but in no way do we consider it in the manner which you have described. Ironically, my wife was raised in The Church of Christ and left to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was their preacher who agreed that there were many contradictions in the Bible due to the many translations it has gone through. Lastly, I would leave you with the fact that Mormons are not taught to tear down others faith, but rather to build upon the faith and truths that others may already espouse. I also testify that Jesus is the Christ and the only name under heaven whereby mankind maybe saved. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.
    Chris Gagne
    August, 3 2011

    Hey Chris, and thank you for writing. Your testimony sounds just like mine used to when I was LDS!
    The Book of Mormon overtly teaches that our “incomplete” Bible causes people to sin and gives Satan power over them. It’s in 1 Nephi, and I’m providing a hyperlink to the official LDS website, lds.org. Please read the whole chapter, but here’s the verse to which I referred. In context, the “it” of the first sentence and onward refers to the Bible:
    29And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest´┐Żbecause of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God´┐Żbecause of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.
    http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/13?lang=eng I Nephi 13:29
    And of course LDS scripture says clearly that all other churches and those who profess their faith are “wrong” and “corrupt.” http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1?lang=eng
    We Christians have been trying not to take that personally for over a hundred years.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 3 2011

    Ms Scott, even better and smarter than reading Consumer Reports, is to really take it out for an honest test drive.
    I´┐Żm a an adult convert from the Lutheran (Missouri Synod) church, and have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now for 39 years.
    Before joining I had read huge amounts of anti-mormon material. I have non-Mormon friends and all of my extended family are non-members.
    I studied the Bible and I studied most of the top denominations and found they all had doctrinal conflicts with the Bible: like infant baptism; no baptism with water, no baptism by immersion; no authority given through priesthood authority; denying further revelation/prophets (what prophet said that?); Jesus said to pray to the Father in his,Jesus, name´┐Żbut many churches pray to Jesus or the Father; belief in the Trinity as in the Nicean Creed which is not in the Bible; belief in praying to Mary and various saints; belief that people who never heard of Jesus Christ will automatically go to hell (a loving God?), while ´┐Żsaved´┐Ż people who murder, for instance, will automatically go to Heaven´┐Żwhere does Judgment Day come in? Where does ´┐ŻOne Lord, one faith, and one baptism´┐Ż come in the hundreds of variations of Christianity?? Growing variations of the Bible and interpretations. It is all confusion.
    Believe what you want. I respect that. But, I found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be closer to the Holy Bible and it´┐Żs teachings than any other church.
    Dandini
    August, 3 2011

    Latayne,
    I’m so thankful that our home congregation in Tulsa, OK (Park Plaza) is making a concerted effort to involve the entire church in missions. I agree, this is something we should make a priority to involve everyone in thinking this direction.
    Great information in your articles.
    Give our love to your family,
    Keith Lancaster
    Keith Lancaster
    August, 3 2011

    Keith, I’ve seen the enormous influence that your music had on my children when they were growing up. In some ways, it was more powerful and motivating to them than many sermons.
    It’s true that the unique kind of music that you sing is naturally winsome to people who resist the Gospel message in other forms. I thank God for you and for your ministry.
    Latayne C Scott
    August, 3 2011

    No question here, but a comment that I would like to continue with what you said about Mark R’s comments. Mark, I am very disappointed with your critisism with Ms. Scott. In my humble opinion, she is a door for other Mormons that are looking for the truth. She understands where they are coming from. With knowing and understanding the truth now, she will be a great influence on that body of people.
    If this same criticism were applied to Paul back in the first century, then he should not have play even a minor role in encouraging other Christians, let alone be the powerhouse speaker who was passionate about his faith to the Pharisees (the very faith that he once believed in himself, just like Ms. Scott with Mormonism). Are you willing to actually stand in between God and her faith? (James 4:12) Let her fruit speak for itself, not her past. If we were to be judged by this measure (Matthew 7:1-2), then none of us are worth to be called Christians, and everyone’s faith is worthless.
    Andrew Norris
    August, 3 2011

    Thank you for your kindness, Andrew.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 3 2011

    I only asked because there have been numerous articles and news reports of the decline of all church goers in every faith. To say a Christian left his congregation due to “defection and apostasy” would be the same as a Mormon leaving. Would it not? I don’t have the number for any church growth or decline either, but to say “droves” while not putting it in context with other faiths, since all are declining, is showing a falsified or inflated decline. Last I read, there are over 60 million Catholics in the US. How many still adhere to their teachings? Less than that. But Catholics who do not go to church still associate with being Catholic. So if there are 3.2 milllion practicing mormons in the US, there would be More that still say they are Mormon. Like yourself. Although you say former mormon.
    Have a great week, and I hope your book has brought you some closure.
    Brad
    brad lee
    August, 3 2011

    Brad, thank you for your courteous, issue-related comment.
    Maybe I’m just short-sighted because of my own experience, but I think what´┐Żs going on with the exodus from Mormonism goes far beyond what we see in Christianity as a whole. For instance, the site postmormon.org gets over 100,000 hits a day, and exmormon.org not only averages 185,000 hits a day, it gets over 1140 POSTS a day. And almost all of them are people who have left the LDS church and say they are angry, that they feel they were duped. They´┐Żre not just changing churches, many of them are abandoning religion altogether.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 3 2011

    Ms. Scott,
    regarding numbers, if you had ever taken a college course on statistics, you know they can be used many different ways to provide many different answers.
    Someone who does not like the LDS would provide one view of the numbers, and someone who is really unbiased another view of the numbers, etc.
    I do know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Latter-day Saints/saints/aka “mormon”) builds one new chapel, somewhere in the world, every week.
    By your reckoning of your sources accuracy with numbers, that would be a lot of empty buildings.
    What is nice, though,is that they do not borrow money to build them. They pay in full for every one that is constructed. No “Crystal” Cathedrals to be paying a debt on.
    Dandini
    August, 4 2011

    “I´┐Żm sorry, I don´┐Żt have attrition rates for the Churches of Christ.”
    You are right, of course you don’t.
    HELLO! How many different Christian faiths have an accurate count?
    The real answer is, “NONE!” Most of your researchers, such as Dart, can only estimate (guestimate is more like it, just hoping to be a little accurate)
    Some churches try to use “attendance”, some try to use “baptisms”, some use a financial accounting method based on donations, and others, who knows… maybe just speculation.
    It is difficult to account for on paper. Some christians only attend on special occasions. Some make sporadic donations.
    So, again your accuracy regarding numbers, as a journalist is poorly researched at best.
    Dandini
    August, 4 2011

    Latayne,
    I am a very close friend to the Lancaster family and was introduced to your writings by Melissa. I was raised in the church of Christ, but always had a fascination and interest in what Mormonism really taught. Mainly, I think, because I had a childhood friend who was LDS. When I was young and told her I was church of Christ, she exclaimed “so am I! I go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (As an 8-year old I paid no attention to that last part) and I just couldn’t understand why my parents wouldn’t let me go to church with her family when I thought we both believed the same thing! haha! I have read both The Mormon Mirage and Latter Day Cipher and both were excellent. Thank you for the work you are doing. I am actually glad that you are getting a little reproach too, because it means that you are speaking truth! ­čÖé
    Matt 10:22 English Standard Version (´┐Ż2001)
    and you will be hated by all for my name´┐Żs sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
    Thank you for enduring for so many years and telling the truth about Mormonism. Countless souls have been saved because of you! God bless you!
    Stephanie Harding
    Stephanie Harding
    August, 4 2011

    I am LDS. I thought your evidence that Mormons believe that an ´┐Żincomplete´┐Ż Bible causes people to sin and gives Satan power over them was interesting. Of course you wouldn’t be referring to doctrinal infighting and religious conflicts over ambiguous passages in the Bible.
    For years, the Campus Crusade for Christ would stand outside LDS Institutes of Religion and pass out anti-Mormon literature. They sought to save me from my beliefs, but when I asked them about their beliefs and how to reconcile certain problems, they would either fain ignorance or try to trivialize the problems.
    So tell me, does “Salvation by Grace Only” mean that God predestines who is saved and who is damned (as the early Reformers such as Martin Luther taught), or does “Salvation by Grace Only” mean that you have free will to choose God, but that once you choose him, you are saved and that nothing else you do will “un-save you?”
    Willard C. Smith
    August, 4 2011

    I am also a former Mormon. Was a member some 30 years. I am rather put off by the Judas comment as well, since I probably have spend more time correcting the errors of critics of Mormons and Mormonism than I do speaking out against it. Like the story that once circulated about Mormons having sex inside the temple. My response was: “and I missed the party??”
    The fact is, when it comes to groups with “secrets” (sacred or otherwise) the ONLY people who can speak out are the “exes”. Current LDS persons cannot begin to talk about the temple.
    The real Judas was Joseph Smith, who betrayed the love of his wife, Emma, by finding ways to make philandering a godly act.
    V. Leah Walker
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Leah Walker
    August, 4 2011

    It certainly doesn’t take much for our LDS friends to get “angried up.” SMH. ­čÖé
    It seems to me that if attrition rates are that high, eventually the “problem” will solve itself. A lot of disillusioned folks in the meantime, I suppose.
    A while back I wrote a little post that discusses how “evangelical” the Book of Mormon actually reads. http://www.igneousquill.com/1/post/2011/05/plain-and-precious-truths.html As for church statistics, those can be pretty unreliable, but the LDS church DOES keep detailed records from all I’ve heard. Broad tendencies can be observed in any event, if providing only anecdotal evidence. Like I said, sooner or later the direction things are headed will be worked out and apparent, either way.
    Adam Gonnerman
    August, 4 2011

    Dandini,
    Well, if you won’t accept statistics from impersonal third parties such as CUNY, I’m not sure what to do with you.
    How about this treasure trove of statistics and anecdotal information? Keep scrolling down.. it’s fairly current.
    http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_mormonmembership.html
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Latayne,
    Your response to Mark R. on a former Mormon commenting on Mormonism was excellent. Who, commenting on Mormonism or any other religious group, does not approach that discussion with some form of bias. Someone show me an unbiased person about any subject! Based on that, we should never comment on anything!
    I have been interested in the history of the church and development of religions groups in Europe and the U.S. I have read about two men, who helped Joesph Smith, who were part of the Restoration Movement. Sidney Rigdon and Parley Pratt. Both were Restoration ministers that left that movement and went with Smith. They taught Smith how to preach and moved westward with the group.
    Parley Pratt was a great great grandfather of Mitt Romney who was murdered in Arkansas by the man Pratt had taken his 12th wife from.
    Do you know if this is an accurate account?
    Dan T.
    August, 4 2011

    Latayne:
    Your subject has become all-the-more contemporaneous by the fact that a Mormon is frontrunner for the Republican nomination to be President of the United States. If nominated, he will be the major-party alternative to the current Democratic occupant of the White House.
    Ordinarily, on the basis of historic patterns, many if not most white evangelicals could be expected to vote for the Republican nominee.
    What are your projections about the behaviors of those voters, however, if the Republican nominee is a Mormon? More particularly, will conservative voters in the Churches of Christ vote for the Mormon, vote for the Democrat, bolt to a third party, or stay home? How will the candidates themselves deal with this potential dilemma?
    Your views will be helpful as analysts attempt to sort out the trends for the 2012 elections.
    David Ramsey
    August, 4 2011

    Leah was so right! “The real Judas was Joseph Smith, who betrayed the love of his wife, Emma, by finding ways to make philandering a godly act.” Where else did the doctrine come from that it takes a husband to get his obedient wife into heaven? Think about that.
    I read your book and one called “No Man Knows My History” by another former-Mormon. Learning about Smith makes my hair stand on end! He was very much like the man on trial right now (Jeffs) for raping a 12-year-old and having a baby with a 14-year-old. He is claiming that his religion makes it all right. Freedom of religion is his SOLE defense. Current Mormons will not know Smith’s similar history and are told it is a sin to research it. Why do you think they are told that? The sordid information is there for all to see.
    Thanks for the work you do. Be strong and courageous!
    Gina S.
    August, 4 2011

    Thank you, Stephanie. You are a dear. I do take to heart what Jesus said about how truth is often received. But for every insulting, angry Mormon I encounter, there are hundreds who are searching for truth. So it’s worth it.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Dear Mr. Smith,
    I hope you’re not wanting to bring up the fact of the doctrinal infighting between the (conservatively-estimated number of) 60 groups all of whom claim authority from Joseph Smith and believe the Book of Mormon — and bitterly reject each other?
    About the predestination/grace issue. I hope you’re not wanting me to speak for the Churches of Christ, nor thinking I’ll resolve this centuries-old issue in a blog. But suffice it to say the two points of view you offer are not the only ones that thinking Christians, especially those of the Churches of Christ, consider.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Leah, thank you for your input. What most Christians don’t know — and many Mormons are unaware of — is that Joseph Smith married many women, some old, some definitely underage by even 19th century standards (see http://latayne.com/365-reasons/reason-175-joseph-smiths-teenaged-wives.php )
    Many people think about how difficult it must have been for women to “sign on” with Joseph Smith as plural wives. But there’s another part of the story, which I’m sure you know — eleven of his plural wives were already married to living husbands!
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Adam, you make some very good points in your blog. Thank you for pointing it out.
    Someone recently posed an interesting question. If Mormons are “Christians just like us,” what would they require that a local congregation change in order to be considered in fellowship with them?
    Hm, doctrine of God, doctrine of salvation, rejection of all leadership that’s not Mormon, new scriptures. . .
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Dan T., thank you for your gracious comment.
    About the ancestor of Mitt Romney, Parley P. Pratt:
    That story of Pratt being killed by a jealous husband whose wife Pratt stole is certainly a persistent one. I can’t verify it but you can see an early account of it here: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/bancroftshistoryofutah_chapter20.htm
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    David, you bring up some good points. I think many Republicans will see anyone who seems to live a moral lifestyle and is conservative as a welcome contrast to many in-place politicians.
    To be honest, with the economy and other features of American life so uncertain, I don’t think that Romney’s religion will be a factor.
    HOWEVER: Last night’s ABC News had a feature in which the reporter seemed to indicate some sort of showdown between Jon Huntsman, a liberal LDS, and Mitt Romney. The story’s lead was about whether or not the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. (According to standard LDS doctrine, it was.)
    What did that have to do with anything, I wondered? Then I saw it: Much of LDS patriotism has to do (as I mentioned in the interview) with a peculiar view of the “chosen” nature of the United States of America. It is true, if you get a Mormon president who believes his church’s doctrines, you get someone who may act in complete agreement with Tea Party and conservative Republicans, but may be motivated differently. So, I say, just know what you’re getting.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Gina, you are right. Many Mormons are choosing to say, “That was then, this is now.” Even when faced with evidence. That’s the only way many can handle the cognitive dissonance, and I feel deep compassion for their dilemma.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Your response is exactly what I would expect of someone playing rhetorical word games when faced with substantive problems.
    No, I was not thinking about the 60 or so different groups claiming authority from Joseph Smith. I was thinking about the THOUSANDS of different Christian denominations who, demand solo scriptura, and then clearly demonstrate that they cannot agree on critical doctrines as basic as “Salvation by Grace Only,” Predestination, and Free-Will just to mention a few.
    And this is what you are going to save Mormons into accepting? Well, maybe not, I suspect you are more interested in disillusioning Mormons than in saving them.
    Willard C. Smith
    August, 4 2011

    Mr. Smith,
    You missed the point. The Book of Mormon says that Satan has power over the readers of the Bible — and if you want to contend that he was the author of denominational differences, I don’t disagree.
    But the Book of Mormon says specifically it is because “plain and precious parts” were taken out of it. The Book of Mormon — and Mormonism in general — claims to have restored those plain and precious parts, which are Mormon doctrine, given through continuing revelation.
    So: If the Book of Mormon and continuing revelation were supposed to settle and establish true doctrine, why are there so many “Mormon” or Latter-day Saint groups that differ so widely? They didn’t settle anything!
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    I would like to caution Willard C. Smith. You comment “I suspect you are more interested in disillusioning Mormons than in saving them” could be viewed as evil surmising (1 Timothy 6:4, KJV).
    Just because elements of debate between various denominations exist is no proof that truth does not. Those debates do not validate Mormonism in any way. Virtually all variations of the historic Christian faith are at odds with certain essential elements of LDS doctrine. This is why the LDS/Mormon church has been classified as a cult… deviant religious teaching on the person and nature of the members of the godhead, to name one.
    Johnny Hinton
    August, 4 2011

    I currently am a minister for the churches of Christ in Utah. Over the last six years I have discovered these simple “unbiased” truths based on straightforward facts and my own personal experiences with those in the LDS faith:
    They are very loving, giving, friendly, and family oriented….but very guarded as well!!! I respect many aspects of their religion; and as stated in above discussion, our mission efforts pale in comparison to theirs. The area we live in is relatively low crime and a great place to raise kids.
    As with almost ALL religions, the general congregant does NOT understand the basic tenants of their own faith. When you try to discuss these tenants in light of their own scripture in a loving manner they become very guarded and sometimes hostile…(i.e. Grace, the Godhead, Levels of Heaven…)
    In most studies and discussions I have been a part of, when they come to the conclusion that the teachings of the LDS faith are inconsistent with the Bible AND their own scripture, they can not bring themselves to leave the faith… NOT because of their conclusion about what the scripture teaches, but because of the FAMILY BOND!
    I did NOT grow up in the churches of Christ but was raised as a devout Catholic. Yes Dandini, statistics can be manipulated and interpreted (especially when money is involved), but I place stock in personal experience and personal study…that is why I am no longer Catholic. I see the exact same pattern between these two faiths concerning the fact mentioned in the previous paragraph. Another pattern I witness is “faith by checklist”. When you ask a person of the LDS faith why they are saved, they will reply that they take the sacrament, serve others, participate in the Sacred Temple Ordinances, went on their mission……… and then, Jesus died for my sin. After discussing this in detail you discover that Jesus can only pay ‘so much’ and the LDS is taught they must ‘pay’ the rest through these other works of faith.
    @ WILLARD — Salvation by Grace ONLY is not found in scripture anywhere. Anybody who teaches that does not teach the truth. Eph. 2:8-9 clearly states this but we must also take the entire context of scripture to finalize that concept. But plainly stated to answer your question….. Yes, we are saved by Grace… Yes, Jesus paid the FULL price… Yes, it is our choice… Yes, we can fall from grace and their part in the tree of life can be taken away (Rev. 22:19, Heb. 6:4-8)
    Finally, there are faithful Mormons and unfaithful Mormons…there are faithful Catholics and unfaithful…there are faithful Christians and unfaithful…. and no matter the statistics or numbers or modern prophets or number of buildings and temples or whatever; these things do not prove whether they have the truth (Gal. 1). The proof comes from whether they are willing to study the scriptures and honestly evaluate where they are in the moment, ask tough questions, and decide if that lines up with the scripture given to the **** and early Christians. Most are not willing to invest that amount of time, just believe something that is told to them, and many are forbidden to do so (i.e. Don’t question the priest, Don’t read material outside of your religious group, Don’t ask tough questions period…..etc) Just to clarify and conclude… this includes those in the churches of Christ. We are losing ‘droves’ of young people because we are NOT teaching them from the scriptures….we are NOT living the faith in the home…and we are NOT answering their tough questions with scripture. Let us ALL strive for truth and honestly sit down and study together so that we are paying close attention to ourselves and our doctrine (I Tim. 4:16)…and we are CONVICTED…and lead none astray!!!!!
    John Schadegg
    August, 4 2011

    Oh, and I forgot to say… I have never heard of Latayne C. Scott before this day. But I do appreciate her loving, calm, intelligent responses to all those who have posted ­čÖé
    John Schadegg
    August, 4 2011

    If I were going to resort to rhetorical games, I would simply turn the question back on you. Does the existence of THOUSANDS of Christian denominations who cannot agree on the most basic of doctrines provide much confidence in solo scriptura? The many different offshoots of the restoration only demonstrate the same problem that has occurred with the rest of Christianity. Truth is established only through the Spirit of God. Through the Spirit of God, scripture is created, and only through the Spirit of God is scripture correctly understood. Ah, but there is the rub … there is no man-made Spirit of God detector. Even the Spirit of God detector is individually established and regulated.
    You mock the concept of “continuing revelation” as inconsistent. You have nothing better to fall back on except centuries of controversies (which you won’t address because they are harder than the task of disillusioning other Mormons)
    Another person suggested that my charge, “you were more interested in disillusioning Mormons than in saving them,” was evil. But I suspect that my charge is accurate. Several years ago, some Mormons actually tried to create some statistics on what happened to ex-Mormons who were disillusioned by ministries run by the Tanners and other groups. They determined that (at the most – and the estimate was generous) only 15% ever associated, at any time, with another religious group. 85% became atheists. I recall the results were published in “Dialogue.”
    A few years after this study was published, there was a short discussion on the internet (talk.religion.misc) where several strong-minded anti-Mormons expressed their view that it was better for an individual be “damned as an Atheist then damned as a Mormon.”
    Willard C. Smith
    August, 4 2011

    August 4, 2011
    Dear Ms Scott,
    Have read MOST of the article (material) AND, when I have more time will read IT and the comments.
    As an engineering student (1956-60) with a side interest in music; purchased a LP (via Columbia Record Club) of the Mormon Choir. While being raised in the Church of Christ; it was October 9,1960 that I was baptized. My INTEREST in music and the POOR attention given to “MUSIC” was a major factor in my DELAY. After employment in the Washington, DC area and finding Christians who SANG!!! began to take a SERIOUS look!!! (The MUSIC is a MAJOR issue even to now… when I hear the Mormons sing; and THINK… there is NO reason we cannot “sing better”… we need somebody to TRAIN us or someway give us some CLUE about music. To digress a bit FURTHER; attended a “teaching session in Lebanon, TN conducted b Keith Lancaster. While it was GOOD as far as it went; he NEVER taught the group WHAT was involved in “getting the pitch” understanding a “beat pattern” and HOW to begin SINGING, WITHOUT the songleader singing the first few notes!!! Entered comments such as this on their “evaluation form;” it’s been fifteen or so years…!!!!)
    When the “opportunity” presents itself; I listen to the Mormon Choir… “The Spoken Word” is an EXCELLENT program. Of course, there are NO doctrinal comments made. WAY back there, 1960’s the program opened with a song “Gently Raise the Sacred Strain…” while I have searched (unsuccessfully) for that “hymn” (words and music) for YEARS; IF you have access would appreciate sharing it.
    Can remember the summer of 1962, was going to China Lake, CA on a “job related” assignment. Stopped for another assignment at Dugway Proving Ground (near Salt Lake City) and toured the Temple Grounds. Can remember asking the “guide” about the passage concerning marriage… he quoted it that there wound be NO NEW MARRIAGES; implying that I was not remembering the exact quote. On returning to my hotel room; checked the reference!!! HE WAS WRONG!!!
    Am now a retired Anesthesiologist in Knoxville, TN… a “now retired” Radiologist is a Brigham Young University graduate; and, he is a “bishop” for them in this area. Since we no longer practice; I RARELY see him… BUT, will try to “look him up”!!!
    While an anesthesiology resident at the University of Virginia, there was an ENT resident; Manwareing, one day he commented that his “grandfather” (or Great grandfather???) wrote words and/or music for the “O How Lovely…” He never seemed OVERLY religious; BUT, a Urology resident WAS quite religious and commonly remarked that he appreciated “HEARING THE CHOIR”!!!
    Thanks for this information; there is MUCH more would like to share… IF you get a chance to speak/converse with Lancaster;put in a “good word” for the MTC nd ask hat he consider ADDING such selectionsas “David’s Lamentation,” “Abide with Me ‘Tis Eventide,” and “Did You Think to Pray” with an a capella opening!!! to his repertoire and teaching!!! (Would suggest he attend a Barbershop Program Workshop… when singing with them; we would HEAR the “pitch note;” find our OPENING NOTE; WATCH the conductor for the “preliminary (breath) beat and SING on the next beat!!! Perhaps he could ADD this to his sessions.
    Sincerely,
    Buford Rowe
    Buford Rowe
    August, 4 2011

    Latayne,
    I have read “Mormon Mirage” and enjoyed it. Thank you for authoring it.
    My wife and I just met a new friend here in DC. She is in the process of leaving the LDS church. I think the numbers of people leaving are (thankfully) increasing).
    We left a year ago and have NEVER been happier. We were 100% active tithe-paying temple-going members. I have been a elders quorum president, Young Men’s president more times than I can count, Institute teacher, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and Bishop. My wife served in every ward calling imaginable, including Relief Society and Young Women’s president. When we stumbled across shocking things of church history, we cried, prayed, and cried some more. Our local leaders could offer nothing but an encouragement to “choose to believe” (what does that even mean?) and an admonition that if we shared what we had learned–despite its truth–with anyone, including children or grandchildren, “action” would be taken. We resigned rather than compromise the truth.
    Please keep speaking out. The world needs to know that Mormonism is not what it pretends to be and that Joseph Smith was a con man.
    Bernie
    August, 4 2011

    After reading some of Ms. Scott’s writings, I’m questioning her accuracy and authenticity regarding LDS teachings and beliefs. Instead of simply making accusations, I decided to create a survey where I will ask the following questions to practicing mormons.
    Do you believe that God the father was once a man and grew to adulthood on another earth and achieved godhood?
    Do you believe you can become a god or goddess?
    Do you believe that the Bible is so flawed and in error that it gives Satan power over people who read and believe it?
    Do you believe that Jesus didn´┐Żt keep his promise to protect his church against the gates of hell?
    I’ll provide the results later!
    Patrick
    August, 4 2011

    Thanks, Latayne. You are an astute writer. You organize well, understand practical psychology in expressing your view, and bolster your credibility with accurate spelling and grammatically standard sentences.
    Some friends (various religions including atheists) lunch together once in a while for freewheeling discussion which inexorably turns to politics and religion. Jokes are circulating about the dilemma some voters will be rammed on if having to choose between the Moslem and the Mormon (a.k.a. the M&Ms). Nonetheless, in ordering the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama demonstrated that he is no Moslem (personally I never thought he was). Effectively then, if he is the alternative to Governor Romney, the choice has been leveled to one a member of the United Church of Christ and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Both of those groups have a tangential relationship to the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, the UCC via Abner Jones and Elias Smith and the LDS via Sidney Rigdon.
    For those and other reasons there MAY be some, albeit begrudging, attrition of individual citizens, away from their usual voting behaviors, among adherents of the Churches of Christ, as well as among conservatives and traditionalists in all religious persuasions.
    Another element, however, is that some of those same voters, while not agreeing with the doctrinal tenets of Mormonism, may identify with the moral precepts of today’s LDS Church. President Obama can perhaps blunt that appeal by continuing to quote the Bible and to front his behavior as a churchgoing family man.
    Voters nationwide in 2012 may find themselves vexed like the people of Louisiana in the 1991 gubernatorial election when faced with the “Election from Hell” – a choice between ********** and Edwin Edwards. It was said that the voters entered the voting machine to “hold their nose and pull a lever.”
    Beyond such inelegant humor, I appreciate your ability to detach from the situation and to analyze it objectively. You may be right that religion will not be a factor in the election. I only aver that even as a slight factor it may make a difference in the overall outcome.
    David Ramsey
    August, 4 2011

    Just a quick reminder about our <a href=”https://www.christianchronicle.org/blog/comment-policy/” rel=”nofollow”>comment policy:</a>
    <blockquote>The <em>Chronicle</em> blog welcomes and encourages feedback that promotes thoughtful and respectful discussion.
    To help maintain this policy, we require comment moderation by the <em>Chronicle</em> staff. Readers leaving comments must include their first and last names and provide a valid email address or a link to their blog or Web site. E-mail addresses will not be published on the blog site.
    We invite comments that focus on the contents of specific posts. We will not allow readers to attack an individual or engage in ad hominem arguments, and we reserve the right to close comments on individual posts. If a reader posts as more than one person from the same IP address, we´┐Żll block that address.</blockquote>
    I’m allowing a bit of leeway because of the nature of the subject and Latayne C. Scott’s willingness to answer questions from regular <em>Chronicle</em> readers as well as Mormons leaving comments. However, I am going to require the first and last names on future comments, and I am going to cut off discussions that reach the “ad hominem” level.
    Thank you for reading the <em>Chronicle.</em>
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    August, 4 2011

    Dear Mr. Rowe,
    You have had a very interesting life! And I see, a deep appreciation for music and its power. In fact, some of the songs you mentioned have remained my favorites through the years.
    I do know Keith Lancaster and will make sure that he hears about your suggestions. It’s been my observation that some of his battle to teach music is uphill, so to speak, because the number of people who can sight read music is decreasing. But he will tell you that people in foreign countries are drawn to music and the Gospel message it conveys.
    Thank you for your interest, and I hope you benefit from the rest of the information here in this issue of Christian Chronicle.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Wow, Bernie. You have quite a pedigree, so to speak, in the LDS Church. I’m interested in how you first began doubting the veracity of Mormonism — was it through personal associations, reading books, reading on the Internet?
    My goodness, I admire your courage.
    If I can be of help to the friend from D. C., please feel free to contact me via my Website. And of course I would enjoy corresponding with you and your wife as well.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Patrick, go for it.
    Be sure and ask (and provide in your survey) which of the people you ask are temple Mormons.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Dear David,
    I am honored by your comments! Thank you!
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    John, I deeply appreciate your ministry in Utah, and also your perceptive comments.
    I, too, feel that we are losing young people from our own churches because of a dearth of deep Bible knowledge and am concerned about it.
    Please let me know if I can be of help to you in your ministry.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Mr. Smith,
    I think we’re probably at the end of our dialogue, you and I.
    I’ve seen the same kinds of statistics you have about the enormously large percentage of Mormons who leave their church and become atheists or agnostics. I mourn that, too.
    However, I believe you’re saying that this must be laid at the feet of people like me who “disillusion” faithful Mormons.
    To the contrary, most of us who dearly loved and trusted Mormonism and then left it don’t put the blame on someone or something that destroyed our faith by telling us the truth.
    We put the blame where it rightly belongs: on a deceptive belief system and leaders who knew better, who took our trust, took the devotion that belonged to the true God, took our money, and in many cases took careers and livelihood and reputations and their very lives.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Gina and Johnny, thank for your supportiveness. I really appreciate it.
    Gina, you made an interesting point. Mormons are forbidden to read “anti-Mormon” materials because their leaders tell them such materials are full of lies. But since they can’t read them, they can’t identify which lies are at issue. So they are reduced to repeating what their leaders say but can’t substantiate it. So– and we’ve seen it here on this blog — they resort to personal slurs.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 4 2011

    Ms Scott, we are glad to see you come out with your book &amp; would like to know how we can order it. You will get a lot of criticism about your book, but keep up the good work.
    My grandmother was a devout Mormon &amp; I am happy to say that none of her children or grandchildren were/are Mormons. Many of them are members of the church of Christ and live in the bible belt.
    Two years ago I attended a management class in Glendale, CA for 4 days &amp; did not find out until the first day that the Company teaching the class was going to use the 4 days to try &amp; convert me to Scientology &amp; even sent their bible back to our hotel room for my wife to start reading. We both were shocked with their teachings.
    We obtained the book (Bethany House Publishers) “The Kingdom of the Cults” by Walter Martin who is of the Baptist faith. His book has information about Mormonism and Scientology and is very well written about these and other cults of the world.
    Our minister’s daughter recently married a young Mormon boy &amp; I had him in a Sunday School class. We hope to convert the whole family.
    Charles Dobbins
    August, 5 2011

    Dear Ms. Scott,
    I adore your courage in writing against Mormonism. I am a preacher in the church of Christ in Kalibo Aklan Philippines. I wonder how could I get your book The Mormon Mirage. I think it is a useful tool in sharing to Filipino Mormon friends your first hand experiences in that religion. I would love to have one of it, if you have complementary copy to spare I appreciate so much if you could sent me one. My address: Sammy Sinco 95 Toting Reyes St. Kalibo 5600 Aklan Philippines. More power to you Sister!!! Warmest regards and God bless.
    In HIS Service,
    Sammy Sinco
    Sammy Sinco
    August, 5 2011

    Dear Latayne,
    I admire your courage and your well-composed responses to your admirers and critics.
    I have heard that the best way to help a Mormon to question their false religion is to help them to understand the doctrine of salvation by grace rather than by works. I have also heard that some individuals that might have a very good, long-standing relationship with a Mormon may bring up the obvious inaccuracies in their belief system. These inaccuracies arise not only in the book of Mormon and the other “holy” books written by Joseph Smith, but are also common in the writings of their prophets. For example, Brigham Young did write that the moon and sun were inhabited by people (Journal of Discourses, 1870, v.13, p.271).
    Which of these two do you think work best or do you have another method that is more successful?
    I can’t remember if I have read your book, although the name is familiar to me, because I investigated Mormonism thoroughly, but many years ago. I appreciate you writing it.
    Greg Dwyer
    August, 6 2011

    Dear Charles,
    Thank you for your interest in The Mormon Mirage. Actually, even though the first edition of it came out over thirty years ago, I began work on revising it some time back. I was astonished how many changes in doctrine and practice have occurred in that time. So the edition (available in paperback, audiobook, and e-book formats) has hundreds of items of completely new information in areas such as how the Internet has changed Mormonism.
    You asked about where to get it. The book as well as my novel about Mormonism, Latter-day Cipher, are available through any bookstore (which can order if if not in stock), through all major online bookstores, from the publishers, and (if you want an autographed copy) through my website, www.Latayne.com.
    I thought your ancestral background in Mormonism is very interesting. Why did your grandmother leave Mormonism?
    Please let me know if I can be of help with your minister’s new son in law.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 6 2011

    Dear Sammy,
    Thank you for your service to the Lord. Are there a lot of Mormons in the Phillipines? Our daughter went on a mission trip there several years back and spoke of the difficult conditions there, so I will try to arrange a copy of my book to be sent to you.
    May God bless you as you labor for Him.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 6 2011

    Dear Greg,
    Thank you for your kind comments.
    The two approaches of which you spoke can be effective, I’m sure. I was one for whom the “grace” issue would have been a complete non-issue. On the other hand, the inconsistencies were what got me.
    I discovered something very interesting when I interviewed ex-Mormons for a book, Why We Left Mormonism: Eight People Tell Their Stories (Baker Book House, out of print.) Of the eight people who were faithful Mormons and left it to come to Christian faith, no two of them were first “stimulated” by the same things. For instance, one woman found a Christian pamphlet in the pocket of a coat she hadn’t worn since the year before, and read it. Another heard a program on a Christian radio station. For another, it was a friend who challenged the Mormon to verify the truth in a book the friend was reading.(In that case, the book was The Mormon Mirage.)
    The point is, every person is different. What makes sense or challenges one person is nonsensical to another. Only by getting to know the person and asking non-confrontational and loving question and listening carefully to them when they speak, can you begin to determine what areas of doctrine and practice can be fruitful for discussion.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 6 2011

    I have loved Mrs. Scotts works for many years. My ancestors were the pioneers that crossed the plains pushing handcarts in Mormon companies to reach the Salt Lake Valley. When I began my search for truth in my late teens (actually, I like to think that God brought me truth in the form of many people that He placed in front of me), I found the Mormon Mirage. I have read a lot of literature about Mormonism and have found Latayne C. Scotts work to be the most factual, focused on what a mainstream LDS person would see and know(and not one of the many offshoots of the LDS religion), truthful, and easy to understand.
    Thank you for all of your books and attempts to bring truth to a very cloudy subject. So much of what the Bible says is distorted in Mormonism–they may use many of the same words and say they are Christians, but their meanings are very different.
    Thank you for featuring her in the chronicle and helping to bring light to a subject that is very misunderstood. And thank you Mrs. Scott for your works–they helped to change my life and I have several copies of your works that I lend frequently to people God leads to me because of my history.
    Rebecca Brinkley
    August, 6 2011

    Rebecca, it is letters like yours that make the hours of research and writing worthwhile. I am so thankful that God led you out of Mormonism and that I was honored to have a part in that.
    I am interested — in view of Greg’s question above — what were the points of doctrine and/or history that got your attention?
    Also, I would love to have you write a short piece about why you remain out of Mormonism and in Christianity, for my blog, if you would be so kind.
    I’m deeply grateful for your letter.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 7 2011

    When I think of the things that really made me question my Mormon heritage and upbringing, two come to mind. There is a lot of emphasis in the LDS world on the Book of Mormon being a ´┐Żperfect´┐Ż scripture because it was perfectly preserved and translated by Joseph Smith. The Bible was true ´┐Żonly as far as it was translated correctly´┐Ż, therefore not as trustworthy as other LDS scripture (the B of M, P of GP, and D&amp;C). During my teens, a friend showed me an original copy of an 1830´┐Żs Book of Mormon. There are thousands of changes that have been made to the book originally printed compared to the version that is read today´┐Żmany of them minor, But the thing that made me think was, if Joseph Smith was truly inspired by God in his work, why would there have to be so many changes and corrections in the book? That thought made me really doubt Joseph Smith´┐Żs authenticity.
    The other fact that stood out in my mind has to do with the Book of Mormon and other LDS scripture being written in King James English. The LDS church only authorizes the use of the KJV of the Bible and I had never been exposed to anything else. When I became aware that there are many translations of the Bible´┐Żsome much easier to understand´┐ŻI wondered why a man, living in the 1800´┐Żs would write a book in King James (1600´┐Żs) English. Wouldn´┐Żt he write it in his own vernacular´┐Żand much LDS literature claims Joseph Smith to have very little education, therefore even more amazing that he was able to accomplish the feat of translating the BofM. I didn´┐Żt understand why all LDS scripture is in King James English when it is so difficult to understand in light of todays vernacular.
    I had read the Mormon Mirage and seen the Godmakers and several other books on the LDS church´┐Żseeds of doubt were planted but unfortunately, the doubt brought an apathetic view to God and religion. At that point in my life, I had stopped going to church completely although I had recently married my husband, who was raised Church of Christ. He attended church sporadically and I would occasionally go with him, but for the most part, I didn´┐Żt want to have anything to do with religion. That changed one day as I looked into the eyes of my newborn daughter and I thought, ´┐ŻOne day, she is going to ask me about God and who He is and I don´┐Żt know what to tell her.´┐Ż I decided that I needed to find out for myself who God was and look for truth but I didn´┐Żt want my family or my husband and his family to ´┐Żpersuade´┐Ż me to their thoughts. So, without telling anyone, I got 3 versions of the Bible, the KJV, NIV, and and the Living Bible and read them side by side, compared them starting in the Gospels, then Acts. As I read, I would hear myself saying things like ´┐Żthat can´┐Żt be true or right because I ´┐Żknew´┐Ż something else to be true´┐Ż. Slowly, it dawned on me that my ´┐Żbeliefs´┐Ż differed from the Bible. I started going to church with my husband more and comparing the teachings with what I was studying in my Bibles. I realized that if I accepted the Bible as the infallible word of God, my beliefs in Mormonism could not be true. It was a long and slow arduous process but I realized my love for Jesus and growing love for the Word meant a complete change in beliefs.
    I have been a Christian now for 22 years. My husband and I have 6 daughters , 3 grown and 3 still at home. I have tried repeatedly to talk to my siblings, parents, and other LDS family members about the LDS church. They consider me as temporarily strayed from the truth and hope I will come to my senses one day! As each of my younger siblings went on LDS missions, they came home and tried to work me back into the fold. I am sad to say that even though I have tried, my family doesn´┐Żt consider me credible and they have closed ears when I try and talk to them about God and the Bible. So I guess, I haven´┐Żt figured out how to convert Mormons´┐ŻI just know the thoughts I had and am thankful God put several people, books, and His Word in my way so I could eventually find Him and know Him. I have often wished for a ´┐Żformula ´┐Ż that would be effective in evangelizing those in the LDS beliefs. I don´┐Żt think there is one´┐Żbut a good place to start is with those of us who lived Mormonism to teach others and seek God and His will at every turn.
    God Bless!
    Rebecca Brinkley
    August, 8 2011

    Rebecca, you hit upon the answer. We have to use the Mormon’s texts, not ours. You said your doubts began when you were shown that the B of M was not the perfect book you had been told. That is the exact way to start convincing any Mormon. You have to introduce that seed of doubt.
    A man named Conrad Sundholm, a former Mormon, taught this method. He has a lot of materials that show Christians the inconsistencies in Mormon literature, and how to mark them and use them. He was old last time I saw him, so I don’t know if he’s still around. His website does not work. It was truth-in-love.org. Now there is another ministry that took up that name, also focused on unique approaches to Mormons. You can find it at http://tilm.org/ They have a nice 6 minute video on their home page.
    We cannot only use our own things (like our Bible), because Mormons won’t believe them. You have hit upon the answer in your own letter!
    This was written by Sundholm: http://www.amazon.com/communicate-your-Mormon-friends-comprehensive/dp/B0006QZV7U
    Also: http://www.booksprice.com/author/Sandra-Sundholm;-Conrad-Sundholm.jsp
    Here’s a good page, too, some of which does use the Bible as a resource: http://www.dokimon.net.au/TEXT/TOPICAL/lds.html
    The book “What Every Mormon (and non-Mormon) Should Know” is available on Google to read online!
    Gina S.
    August, 8 2011

    Mrs. Scott, would you please share what books it was that Bro. Elkins and Bro. Williamson gave you when you first went to Albuquerque. You mentioned them in the Christian Chronicle article about you and your conversion. Thank you, Ermalee
    Ermalee Ort
    August, 8 2011

    Rebecca,thank you so much for sharing the details of what got your attention and what finally moved you to action. As I said, everyone is different; and whereas your doubts about the Book of Mormon were mirrored by mine, I didn’t even consider the different Bible translations.
    I appreciate your courage in the face of such overwhelming pressure from relatives. I never had to deal with that except in some very minor ways.
    May God bless you for your perserverance.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 9 2011

    Gina, thank you for the information. I’m not familiar with the Sundholms’ work nor the other page you cited, but I am very familiar with and strongly recommend the Gruss and Thuet book, “What Every Mormon (and Non-Mormon) Should Know. It’s a very well documented book and covers many things I wasn’t able to cover in my book.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 9 2011

    Hi Ermalee,
    Thank you for writing to ask about those books. As best I can remember, the books I read were “The Book of Mormon?” by James D. Bales, “Latter-day Saints, Where did you get Your Authority?” by Hal Hougey, and of course the massive photo-copied work by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, “Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?” I believe there was one other book but I can’t remember the title of it.
    Years before, someone gave me a pamphlet entitled “Mormon Claims Examined,” by Larry Jonas, but it upset me so much I threw it away and tried to forget it.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 9 2011

    August 11, 2011
    Ms Scott,
    Have been following the RESPONSES from so many VARIED sources; and even sent in a response.
    One responder posed the question, “Is there anything the ‘Church of Christ’ could learn from all this”?
    Would like to make some observations… While my first ACTUAL interaction with the Mormon church would have been, 1956 range; received the LP “The Lord’s Prayer;” on joining the Columbia Record Club. IMPRESSED with several selections; then in 1960 was employed in the DC area with a Sunday morning station carrying “Music and the Spoken Word” (Evans was the last name of the speaker; I think.) He spoke SOFTLY and CONVINCINGLY; but NEVER any “doctrinal” messages; especially those about “becoming ‘SUNS’ and offspring/wives belonging to your ‘solar system’.” Over the years would purchase LP’s (now CD’s) as the music is MEANINGFUL, AND, well performed!!! Have become aware of their FAMILY values with emphasis on a MONDAY evening “worship/discussion” time. THAT seems to be quite successful; with OCCASIONAL “drop outs;” not sure of the present status of Marie Osmond; but “on the whole” they seem quite successful with their RETENTION!!!
    Several years ago; caught (and recorded) a documentary of the Choir’s visit to Eastern European countries; Germany, Austria, Checkoslovakia (before their split), and ended with Russia (Moscow). The Choir was WELL RECEIVED; with “out-takes” of the Post Russia Concert featuring “on the street people” wanting them to RETURN and share “…the SPIRIT” with them!!! (There was a segment in which the choir LEADERS treated the “political leaders” of one of the countries to a lunch/dinner with what appeared to be SERIOUS discussion regarding “missionaries” spending TIME in their country!!!
    SO, it would seem that “preparing” College students and/or others with MUSIC SKILLS (and other “artistic type skills”) would be worth he EFFORT!!! In a sense this is being done with such efforts as “Eastern European Mission” and “Let’s Start Talking;” but these are MOSTLY “church evangelistIc’ PROGRAMS. NOTHING, WRONG WITH THAT; just think we could EXPAND the topics!!!
    PERHAPS, Learn (and perform) some of their music. Came across an arrangement of “Snow Covered Russia:” and on playing it for a “Science Professor” at my under graduate school; “TEARS, came to his eyes” as he tried to EXPLAIN what the message was… I guess it would be like “being isolated in Russia” and hearing “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia”!!! Another selection that comes to mind, “Hospodi Pomilyu” (Lord Have Mercy); preparing songs/hymns such as these could AUGMENT evangelistic endeavors!!!???
    AND, this is just “my ‘tip of the iceberg’ thoughts”!!! Feel certain that EXPOSING others to this idea could result in LOTS of ideas!!!!
    Will STOP here and “listen”if you (and others) have ideas!!!
    Thanks,
    Buford Rowe
    Buford Rowe
    August, 11 2011

    Mr. Rowe, I think you’re right. I do believe that some real inroads have been made, especially in 3rd world and Communist countries, with some of our brotherhood’s college choruses and choirs as they travel.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 11 2011

    Readers, I recently came across a very interesting chart that shows just how many groups have split off from Joseph Smith’s teachings and regard themselves as the only “true” Mormons. You can access that chart here: http://latayne.com/incite-blog/reason-182-this-chart-says-it-all-about-lds-religious-division.php
    I thought it was interesting that seven of those offshoots have their own temples.
    Latayne C Scott
    August, 18 2011

    Is this scripture of any interest? 2Thess 2:9-12
    DARREL LEMON
    August, 19 2011

    I’d like to hear you out on that Scripture. Do you believe all parts of it apply to Mormonism? Thanks for your interest.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 19 2011

    You stated there seems to be less of an importance put on Bible knowldge now among the CoC congregations. I agree completely. I am actively looking for a class at our church that studies the Bible. Most seem to be “discussion” groups where we talk about how we feel. Believe me these classes are fun and I can’t wait for my turn to speak but the hunger for pure scripture is growing in me. I don’t want to hurt any of my bro.s or sis.s feelings. How should I go about trying to get a class set up for those who just want to study the word?
    Steve Stafford
    August, 26 2011

    Steve, I am much more passionate about the study of the Bible than I am about my reasons for leaving the Mormon church.
    So passionate, in fact, that I wrote my dissertation about how to study the Bible as everything in it demands: Using it to transform our thinking and intelligence, not using our intelligence to analyze it.
    If you want to know the basics of this concept, you can read it here:
    http://www.representationalresearch.com/pdfs/BasicsfromDissertation.pdf
    (Don’t worry, it’s written for “regular” people, not for academics.)
    A colleague, Dr. J. Michael Strawn, and I have written many lessons and class materials that you might be interested in. Some are here: http://www.representationalresearch.com/intro/
    All of these materials are free to download.
    I hope these help. Please email me if you have questions or need help.
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 26 2011

    Dan T., a new biography of Parley P. Pratt is now available, and I think you would find it interesting:
    Title: Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism
    Author: Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Genre: Biography
    Year Published: 2011
    Number of Pages: 592 (info on ARC)/512 (Amazon)
    Binding: Hardcover (w/ dust jacket)
    ISBN10: 0195375734
    ISBN13: 9780195375732
    Price: $34.95
    Latayne C. Scott
    August, 31 2011

    In regards to everything that has been written here, a third perspective might be of interest to everyone:
    A 51 year research by orthodox Christian scholars revealed the “flexibility” of the Bible during segments of history where changes were made. One example includes when an event was added after it happened to make it seem as if the event had been prophesied! This was from a news article available on the internet. The Bible was also politically compiled during the Council of Nicea in 325 AD which concluded without complete agreement on the identity of God. The later Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius ordered all unorthodox writings to be burned including the misunderstood spiritual teachings of Jesus and those that equalized women.
    In similitude of the alterations of the Bible, the Book of Mormon (a simple history of the “other sheep” that Christ visited in America, the “promised land”) has also been altered much like the Bible. Over 3,000 changes were done to the BoM at the 2nd printing in 1837 when extreme evil of polygamy and masonry came into the church due to the actions of “King” Joseph Smith! Joseph Smith failed to be an apostle and not a King/Prophet as warned in Mosiah regarding the life of the wicked King/President of the church Noah with his 12 high priests who “interpreted the dreams” of the sheeple. Joseph Smith also FAILED to heed God’s warning regarding Joseph’s “carnal desires” and hence his justification of polygamy to coverup his adulterous relationships with women/girls and other men’s wives. Joseph Smith can be likened to King David as both were called of God and both fell.
    Brigham Young, high degree infiltrating Mason, was even worse as he practiced and taught over the pulpil Blood Atonement aka justified murder (see Journal of Discourses).
    Today, the LDS church fulfills 1 Nephi 13 as “the MOST great and abominable church”.
    My husband had a profound NDE and I have had witnessed spiritual experiences since I was four. We are assisting with the prophesied (D&amp;C 64, 112, 124, 2 Ne 3:24, 2 Ne 28, etc.) “cleansing of the Lord’s House” which begins with the most corrupt LDS church.
    There is NO religion in Heaven, only truth! Thank you for searching for truth on the internet aka fulfillment of Isaiah’s “truth will be shouted from the rooftops”.
    Karen
    September, 4 2011

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