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Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Quick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book Paperback – April 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


Understanding the Book of Mormon packs a lot of information into its slim pages. In addition, its helpful charts, respectfully-treated insights from Mormons, and discussion questions make the information easily accessible. I also appreciated the non-confrontational tone and the author's own personal experience as he guides Christians through this book which is so emotionally-tied to most LDS believers. --Latayne C. Scott, author of The Mormon Mirage and Latter-day Cipher

From the Publisher

Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, form a growing population in both numbers and influence. Yet few people have more than a passing knowledge of the document that defines and drives this important movement--the Book of Mormon.

A former Mormon and an adult convert to Christianity, author Ross Anderson provides a clear summary of the Book of Mormon including its history, teachings, and unique features. Stories from the author and other ex-Mormons illustrate the use of Mormon scripture in the Latter-day Saint church. Anderson gives special attention to how the Book of Mormon relates to Christian beliefs about God, Jesus, and the Bible.

With discussion questions to facilitate group use and a focus on providing an accurate portrayal of Mormons beliefs, Understanding the Book of Mormon is an indispensable guide for anyone wishing to become more familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its most formative scripture.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310283213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310283218
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I currently serve as a teaching and training pastor at Alpine Church in northern Utah, after serving the last 28 years as lead pastor at Wasatch Church in Roy, Utah. Born and raised in an active Latter-day Saint family, I love Latter-day Saint culture and people. I met Jesus Christ in a life-changing way as a young adult and began a spiritual journey that led me out of the LDS Church and into a vocation of Christian ministry. As director of Utah Advance Ministries, I seek to help people who have chosen to leave Mormonism to transition into a healthy new church life and relationship with Jesus. I also seek to catalyze new churches in Utah to practice ministry in a way relevant to Utah's unique culture. I was married to Nancy for 32 years before she passed away and have two wonderful adult children, Daniel and Heather.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
I would just urge those who want to read the book to get "ammunition" against the book of Mormon to be sure to read Anderson's last chapter.
Scott Creps
Nor am I saying that people can't arrive at any conclusion which is unfavorable to the LDS Church, because people are free to interpret any evidence as they wish.
Anderson cautions that any criticism of the "Book of Mormon" will cause a Mormon to be defensive and they will likely use the "p" word (persecution).
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Aussie79 on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Firstly, as a Mormon who has read this book, I want to apologize for the Mormon who gave the book one star without even reading it, and who assumed to know Mr. Anderson's intentions and attacked his character. Such was closed minded, embarrassing to read, and reminded me of the Proverb "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." (Proverbs 18:13)

The following review is copied and condensed from an email I wrote about this book (which I admit was quite cordial to Mormons) for an acquaintance who wanted to know my thoughts:


As you would be aware, every religion has someone who has left the ranks and written a book of sorts to explain why they left and why they went to their new faith. There have been Born Again Christian pastors who have converted to Mormonism, Catholic priests who have done likewise, as well as Jews and those of other denominations who have become LDS, many of whom have written of their conversion. There have also been such conversions from any faith to any other faith you can think of - Christian to Muslim, Muslim to Christian, Jewish to Buddist etc. It is not an uncommon occurrence, therefore, because such an occurrence happens in every direction, one's own personal experience cannot be used as evidence for where the truth is, regardless of whether they say that they have at last found God in their new faith. I do not question the author's conscience or motives for leaving the LDS Church - I believe that he sincerely had doubts about the Church and acted on them. But looking at the big picture, his experience in questioning his original faith and moving to another that he finds more fulfilling is far from unique, nor does it only happen in the direction away from the LDS Church.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Russell D. Moore on April 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just finished Ross Anderson's little book Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Quick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book, just published by Zondervan, and find it both helpful and fascinating.

The book is short, 116 very small pages, and is written in a conversational style. Anderson, an evangelical pastor in Utah, lays out the contents of the Book of Mormon, compares the doctrinal content with that in other Mormon holy books, and suggests ways for Christians to dialogue with Mormons.

The most effective part of this book is its fair, honest look at the Book of Mormon, and its loving, respectful tone toward Mormons. I would word things a bit stronger than the author does in a few places, but his overall tone is a needed balance to some of our bombast when it comes to speaking Christ to our neighbors.

Anderson is an ex-Mormon, but he's an ex-Mormon who loves Christ, not an ex-Mormon who is rebelling against his family. It is obvious in the pages of this little book that Anderson loves his Mormon family members and wants other Christians to learn how to speak to folks like them, with grace and truth.

Anderson advises his fellow Christians on what Mormons hear when we say certain things to them. He tells us why, for instance, bringing up Joseph Smith's polygamy isn't the best way to get the gospel to Latter-day Saints.

This book isn't a comprehensive comparison between Christianity and Mormonism. It's not necessarilly the book to give to someone weighing becoming a Mormon, or to a Mormon contemplating Christ. But it's an excellent resource to give to a church member who is in an ongoing conversation with a Latter-day Saint friend or neighbor.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Horse on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Let us try an clear up some of the confusion regarding this particular text.

The author of Understanding the Book of Mormon, the Reverend Ross Anderson, was a Latter-day Saint in his youth, though he soon went missing. He does not explain why this happened or how he came to found the Wasatch Evangelical Free Church in Roy, Utah. Larded with references to his faithful Latter-day Saint family (pp. 7-9, 14, 47, 49, 57, 82, 86), the book contains numerous hints about his apostasy, the pain it inflicted on his family, and their kindly way of dealing with him. Anderson has not, however, tried to explain in this book his urge to attack the faith of Latter-day Saints.

Anderson is trained as a pastor; he holds both MDiv and a DMin degrees, the latter from the Salt Lake Theological Seminary. What Anderson calls A Quick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book can be seen as a product of the kind of indoctrination he received at that now-defunct institution, which appears to have had as its primary focus the training of pastors and the fashioning of programs to proselytize Latter-day Saints. Instead of witnessing to his own version of Christian faith, Anderson's book offers a sustained criticism of his former faith. By Christian he seems to mean his own understanding of what constitutes Christian faith, though he offers only hints about what that might be. He seems to have picked the Book of Mormon as a target because he senses its crucial role as both the ground for and content of the faith of Latter-day Saints (see p. 81), and also because he wrongly assumes that it is vulnerable to stock criticisms borrowed from secular and countercult critics.
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