Friday, May 1, 2009

The Mormon Mirage

The Mormon Mirage by Latayne C. Scott is not just a book, it is most decisively a mini encyclopedia of Mormon history and insights. When LaTayne asked me to review this new edition of her massive work I thought, "why not." The depth to which she has gone in finding historical documents is amazing. And for me, a former Mormon it was a look back into a life that I too left with "sadness".

Latayne was once an ardent proponent of Mormonism. But a meticulous examination of Latter-day Saint (LDS) doctrines and practices convinced her that she and countless others had believed a lie. In the first edition of The Mormon Mirage, she shared her remarkable journey out of Mormonism as she uncovered shocking inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the faith she had loved and lived.

Thirty years later, Mormonism and Mormon scholarship have evolved with the times. In this third, revised and updated edition of her well-known book, Latayne keeps pace with the changes and advances in Mormonism, and reveals formidable new challenges to LDS claims and teachngs.

The first major change to strike me were terms such as Internet Mormons and Chapel Mormons. It is noted that those who get information from the Internet have a different approach and understanding of the Mormon faith than those who only have an understanding from the weekly chapel services.
  • There is a wonderful chronology of events from the era of Joseph Smith to the present
  • Historical statements from the general authorities stating that they were sorry for some of the statements made regarding previous "prophesy" which were now being changed
  • Exhaustive searches by archeologists and historians for artifacts or confirmation for anything in the Book of Mormon which would confirm that the people, places, and events actually took place
  • Subtle changes such as the Native American Indian previously was to change to a white(r) skin tone if they remained true to the teachings but was changed to a pure race
  • During the recent past the scrolls which were supposed to confirm doctrine, have been shown by experts to not have anything in agreement
  • Why did large numbers of Japanese members suddenly leave, including leadership?
But above all and besides all, the fact remains that the Jesus that died on Calvary and was resurrected said that the Kingdom of God was established on the earth, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. If this is truth as written in the Bible, then the Book of Mormon and its doctrine is questioned since it states that the Kingdom that Jesus brought to the earth was taken away for over 1,700 years and was re-established under Joseph Smith.

There are just too many notable events to list them all. This is a book not to be taken lightly, nor is it a book that bashes a religion but gives insights based on Mormon doctrine and changes throughout its history. For me, it was fascinating to find answers to things I had heard as a child but to actually read it as history was wonderful.

Author's Bio:
Latayne C. Scott was a happy and faithful Mormon for ten years, attending Brigham Young University on a writing scholarship and working as a staff member for two of BYU's weekly magazines. She is the author of thirteen published books, including The Mormon Mirge, Why We Left Mormonism, and After Mormonism, What? Her recently published first fiction work, Latter-day Cipher is a hit on She has also published rticles and poems in secular magazines and in major Christian magaizines, and is the recipient of Pepperdine University's "Distinguished Christian Service Award" for her writing. Latayne is a representational thinker and a full-time writer, living in New Mexico with her husband of thirty-five years, and has two married children. Her Web sites are and


Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I enjoyed reading your blog today. I am new to the land of blog, but have found it so true that everyone has a story. I am enjoying reading those stories.
Hope you will stop by and see me. The May give-away has started and this month there will be 10 winners.

smithsk said...

Thanks for sharing part of your past, Susan, and this book review. Both sides of my family have married LDS members. On the surface, they are wonderful people, whose religion is doing good. I have read Ed Deckor's books - Saints Alive, which was really eye opening. LDS offers everything - everything but salvation.