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Request for balanced, non-proselytizing but LDS-affirming "Intro to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism)" book recommendations


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On 3/15/2022 at 11:34 AM, the narrator said:

Very much this. It should be required reading for missionaries before going out into the field.

Thanks again, Narrator... the ONLY reason I decided not to go with this book is that I felt the title is unfortunately a bit too... Amero-centric...(?).  I wish the author would update it to The Mormon People: The Making of a Global Faith.

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On 3/15/2022 at 8:40 AM, pogi said:

I wouldn't see anything wrong with including a Book of Mormon and Bible in the Library...along with the Koran, The Vedas, and Buddhist texts.

I love the idea of most libraries containing scriptural texts from major religions (in fact, that's the case at our local library at my Unitarian Universalist congregation, today).  But that's not quite the scope of the type of library we have at work.

BTW, for any interested in a REALLY great book about religions, I HIGHLY recommend How to Be A Perfect Stranger (6th Edition): The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook... SUPER helpful, informative, respectful, and insightful! (And it includes a very accurate section on Latter-day Saints/Mormons).

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2 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

 

Thanks to both of you, Caspianrex and Buckeye!  After looking into the many suggestions made in the thread (and thanks again to everyone who contributed), I ended up going with both of your suggestions--"Mormons--An Open Book" and "Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction."  Both fit the bill of everything I was looking for in an LDS-affirming book that is a respectful, non-pushy intro for non- and never-members in a corporate setting. Incidentally, I'd never heard of either, so I appreciate your contributions!

All the best,

Daniel2

Happy to be of assistance! I think both of those books will suit your needs very well.

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3 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Thanks again, Narrator... the ONLY reason I decided not to go with this book is that I felt the title is unfortunately a bit too... Amero-centric...(?).  I wish the author would update it to The Mormon People: The Making of a Global Faith.

Well, the book has it's title because Mormonism is very much an American born and bred religious tradition, and Bowman shows just how much it's American-ness shaped what it is. Sure, it is global in the sense that it's membership covers much of the globe, but even outside of the US (largely due to Correlation, which Bowman has done extensive research on) it is still very very American, and there is very little international influence on the Church's culture, theology, structure, etc.

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If you do think of putting a Bible, I highly recommend the CSB version of a few years ago. It is the Christian Standard Bible by Holman Press. I know many of those who worked on it. They all are fine Evangelicals and the best Biblicians we have! How is that for a term? I just made it up!

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12 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

 

Thanks to both of you, Caspianrex and Buckeye!  After looking into the many suggestions made in the thread (and thanks again to everyone who contributed), I ended up going with both of your suggestions--"Mormons--An Open Book" and "Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction."  Both fit the bill of everything I was looking for in an LDS-affirming book that is a respectful, non-pushy intro for non- and never-members in a corporate setting. Incidentally, I'd never heard of either, so I appreciate your contributions!

All the best,

Daniel2

Awesome. My ncaa bracket got destroyed this weekend so I needed a win. Seriously, who the heck is Saint Peter’s?  

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On 3/21/2022 at 8:54 AM, the narrator said:

Well, the book has it's title because Mormonism is very much an American born and bred religious tradition, and Bowman shows just how much it's American-ness shaped what it is. Sure, it is global in the sense that it's membership covers much of the globe, but even outside of the US (largely due to Correlation, which Bowman has done extensive research on) it is still very very American, and there is very little international influence on the Church's culture, theology, structure, etc.

As one raised in the Faith and steeped in it's beliefs, history, and formation, I understand and agree that Mormonism is very much an American-born-and-bred religious tradition, and I have no doubts that it was easy for Bowman to show how "American-ness" shaped it (one of the core traditions is that it would have been impossible for the Restoration to have occurred anywhere else but in the Religiously-free and divinely-inspired United Stated of America, after all).  I also see how the argument can be made that there is very little international influence on the church's culture, theology, and structure.

That said, in my experience, while most Latter-day Saints could/would concede the above may be true, in recent decades The Church itself seems to me to be trying to shed it's reputation as a Utah-centric or even Amer-centric institution and re-brand itself as a global Faith for everyone, not just those influenced by the West.  If you asked a sampling of Latter-day Saint Leaders or even general members if they preferred "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: an American Faith" or "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A Global Faith" as a title meant to introduce non-members to their church, my guess is that the vast majority of both leaders and members would prefer the latter... (heck, you may have noted that I even substituted "The Mormon People:" for "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" in the question above, since the term "Mormonism" has fallen out of favor with Latter-day Saints, after Nelson's admonition to use the full name of the Faith).

So while a book can certainly be accurate in drawing the parallels of how Americanly-influenced The LDS Church is, in an effort to be true to the spirit of how most devout Latter-day Saints would prefer non-members' first introduction to their Faith, I chose other options.  Still sounds like a great book to read, though, and imagine it's very insightful!

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