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The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture Hardcover – July 3, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The "Mormon Moment" in America: A time to celebrate? Or a cause for concern?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints began as small band of New York farmers in 1830. And they had a mysterious tale to tell: All Christianity has been corrupted; but now an angel has appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith. There is a new religion today--based on a "restored gospel," entrusted to "the only true church."
Soon known as "Mormons," they took their message to the world. They suffered fierce persecution and saw hundreds of their fellow Saints die in their trek west. Finally, they settled in the Great Salt Lake basin and built the Mormon society of their dreams.
Now, nearly 200 years after their founding, the Latter-day Saints have become one of the great success stories in American religion. Their church is thriving, their message has spread around the world, and Mormon entertainers, authors, politicians, athletes, news commentators, management gurus, and CEOs shine in their fields. Yet they are nearly as much a mystery to Americans now as they ever were.
How did it happen and what does it mean for us today? How did a despised sect become one of the most influential religions in US society--achieving what Newsweek magazine called our present "Mormon Moment"? And how did their Church live down extreme doctrines like polygamy and ostracizing beliefs about African-Americans to reach their now astonishing heights?
Just has he has done with the stories of presidents and prime ministers in his other groundbreaking books, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield tells this Mormon tale with balance and perspective. It is a tale seldom told and rarely understood, but it is a tale we must know to understand both American society today and the shape of religion in the modern world.

From the Back Cover

What the Mormonizing of America means for the nation, the world--and for you
A century ago, there was one Mormon celebrity in the United States--a member of Congress so controversial, his confirmation hearing lasted four years. The Latter-day Saints' practice of polygamy had ended only a decade or so before. Mormons were a despised sect with almost no standing or credibility in American culture.
Today, Mormons number in the millions. Their members include some of the most prominent people in the world: Marriott family; Stephen Covey; Mitt Romney; Glen Beck; the Osmonds; Stephanie Meyer, author of the best-selling Twilight vampire novels; David Neelman, founder of JetBlue; and more than a dozen members of Congress.
In The Mormonizing of America, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield tells the story of the faith that has become one of the country's most influential religions and how it has ascended to astonishing power in American society. In his fair and thought-provoking way, he also unveils what Mormons believe and why it matters for America, the world--and for you

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Worthy Publishing; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617950785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617950780
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Mansfield is a New York Times bestselling author and a popular speaker who coaches leaders worldwide.

He first rose to global attention with his groundbreaking book "The Faith of George W. Bush," an enormous bestseller that Time magazine credited with shaping the 2004 U.S. presidential election. The book was also a source for Oliver Stone's award-winning film "W." Mansfield's "The Faith of Barack Obama" was another international bestseller. He has written celebrated biographies of Booker T. Washington, George Whitefield, Winston Churchill, Pope Benedict XVI and Abraham Lincoln, among others. Publishers Weekly has described his book, Killing Jesus, as "masterful." His recent "Mansfield's Book of Manly Men" has inspired men's events around the world. In 2014, Mansfield released The Miracle of the Kurds, an introduction to the Kurdish people that reached bookstores just as Kurdish troops were standing heroically against the evils of ISIS in the Middle East. The book was named "Book of the Year" by Rudaw, the leading Kurdish news service.

Stephen speaks widely about men, leadership, the power of heritage, and the forces that shape modern culture. He is also an in-demand leadership coach whose firm, The Mansfield Group, offices in Washington D.C. just three blocks from the White House.

Mansfield lives in Nashville and Washington, D.C. with his wife Beverly, an award-winning songwriter and producer.

For more information, log on to StephenMansfield.TV.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Hope on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've read quite a few books on Mormonism, mostly highlighting the differences that the Mormon faith has with orthodox Christianity. When I picked up this book, that's what I was prepared to read. Instead, I got something much, much better.

The author has taken the time to get to know not just Mormon doctrine, but Mormons themselves. Where he finds the faith praiseworthy, he praises. Where he finds the theology or history worthy of critique, he critiques. The book is very, very helpful in this regard. Much of the discussion between Mormons and the rest of the world has been a grand exercise in miscommunication, but Mansfield is here able to achieve a connection, and shine a light on what the LDS is, and what real challenges it faces at it takes a greater scrutinizing on the world stage.

If you're at all interested in how to discuss matters of faith and doubt with a Mormon, this is a helpful read. If you're interested in an insight into the mind and heart of a man who could be president, this is a great read. Christian, Mormon, or curious, I would recommend this book to anyone who is vaguely interested in understanding--really understanding--the Mormon people, and what is the key to their current "moment" on the world stage. Again, I've read lots of books on Mormonism, none of them I'd really recommend. This one, however, is great.

Mansfield's style is engaging, honest, informed, and powerful. I highly, highly recommend this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cory Howell on August 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
[I received a free copy of Stephen Mansfield's book The Mormonizing of America from the publisher of the book, Worthy Publishing, in return for posting this review on my blog and on]

I was interested in reading and reviewing Mansfield's book because I have long been interested in Mormonism, its history and its impact on society. I have several copies of the Book of Mormon in my collection, as well as several publications by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have talked to missionaries on my front doorstep, and although I was unimpressed by their theology, I was impressed by their sincerity and their kind nature. So the opportunity to read and review a book that handled Mormonism in a fair and balanced way was one that I jumped at. This book did not disappoint.

Mansfield makes it quite clear from the beginning that he admires Mormons for many of their qualities, but he makes it equally clear that he finds large parts of their history suspect. He covers the founding of the LDS Church in the early part of the 19th century, and presents many of the facts surrounding Joseph Smith's background in treasure hunting, divining and dowsing. He gives a brief overview of how Mormonism progressed from a reviled and persecuted sect, to the respectable, all-American image they possess today.

As I have done my fair share of reading about the Mormons, from viewpoints that have been positive, negative and neutral, there wasn't actually a whole lot in Mansfield's book that surprised me. However, I think the strength of the book lies in the balanced way in which the author approaches his subject.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Joan N. on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Mormons make up only 2% of the U. S. population yet their influence is much greater than that number would indicate. Mansfield explores why their impact on America is so great. He says they have achieved their influence on two fronts: the secular success of the "Mormon machine" (the earthly benefits of religious requirements) and the appeal to hurting people.
Mansfield describes the engine of the machine.
Number one is Progress. This life is like an obstacle course a Mormon must master to qualify for what comes in eternity. Achievements become a religious value.
Number two is Family. It is an eternal institution. Families who qualify will rule in eternity, even as the Heavenly Father rules this world with his family.
Number three is Education. Knowledge and intelligence in this life is an advantage in the world to come.
Number four is Patriotism. The U. S. has an ordained destiny. The Garden of Eden is in the U. S. and is the spot Jesus will return to earth.
The vulnerable aspect of the Mormon Church is its history. The church makes assertions about history and earthly events. They are subject to historical research, scientific and medical testing. It is not a challenge the leadership or the average Mormon is prepared for, Mansfield says.
For example, the Book of Mormon says horses were brought to the New World (America) thousands of years before Columbus arrived here in 1492, finding none. The same is said about pigs, sheep, cattle and donkeys, that they were brought here in 25000 B.C. It also says American Indians are descendants of the "lost tribes" of Israel (although DNA evidence indicates otherwise).
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Clint Walker VINE VOICE on October 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Although this review is a little later than I had hoped, I have just read a stellar book about the Mormon Faith. The book is The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield. I would strongly recommend this book for just about anyone who is curious about the LDS movement, and who wants a perspective from a person who is clearly outside the movement, but who also has great admiration for the LDS people and accomplishments.And that is really what this book is primarily about. The book may also cover issues of history and doctrine, but truly, the author is trying to write a book about how LDS has come to a "critical mass" and thus become an influence in American culture as a whole. He is, as a religious writer, trying to understand and share the Mormon story, especially as it pertains to how it risen to the level of influence it has now.

In the town I went to high school in, the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church were the largest two churches in town, and the LDS Church was by far the best attended. I grew up with coaches, friends, fellow students, and teammates that were Latter-Day Saints. I still keep in touch with a few of those acquaintences today. Whenever I have discussed religious matters with those friends, I have found that we tend to talk around each other. Often we use terms that mean different things to us, and there are several things that I would try to talk to LDS persons about, and simply run into brick walls.

Having said all this, my years in Homer, Alaska taught me to have a high level of admiration for LDS people. Often, it was the more committed LDS kids that were high achievers in school and in athletics.
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