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The Keystone of Mormonism Hardcover – July 23, 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Keystone Books Inc; First Edition edition (July 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972881301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972881302
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,601,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Duwayne Anderson on November 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Arza's is yet another story of a faithful lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) who decides to investigate the claims of the Book of Mormon and research church history only to discover all sorts of problems, inconsistencies, and deception. And, like others, Arza went on to write a book about what he found and ended up getting excommunicated. Such is the all-to-common fate of intelligent and honest members of the church who look too deeply at the shadowy history of Mormonism.

"The Keystone of Mormonism" is ostensibly a book about the Book of Mormon, which was written by the church's founder, Joseph Smith, and is presented by the church as literal scriptural history of ancient America. Arza's taken the title of his book from a comment by Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon Church) to the effect that the Book of Mormon is ".... The most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion..."

While the first part of Arza's book is about the Book of Mormon, and its many well-known and serious problems with science, the second half is a treatise on LDS doctrine and some of the darker episodes in LDS history. Woven throughout Arza's book is his clear and unmistakable conclusion that Smith was a con artist, adulterer, and a shrewd and calculating cult leader devoid of common standards of morality and decency. This, of course, is the polar opposite of how Mormons view their leader. The difference being largely due to the way in which Mormons are raised on a diet of official historical fiction/fantasy, while Arza's conclusions are drawn from his extensive examination of historical documents and even-handed application of standards for moral decency.

For devout Mormons, Arza's book will hardly be convincing.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved reading this book. I started on a Saturday morning and could not put it down. I was locked in, and read it straight through over a weekend. As a lifetime active member of the LDS Church, this book moved me deeply to my very core in every way: emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. I learned more about the Book of Mormon and Church history from Professor Evans than I had anywhere else before. This book is a treasure chest of essential information from official LDS Church sources for anyone who takes study of the Book of Mormon seriously.
Evans' many years of impeccable research for this book is very evident in his unwaveringly honest and well organized approach. His sources are verbatim quotations from official LDS Church publications so they are unimpeachable. As a result, The Keystone of Mormonism is one of the most important analysis of the Book of Mormon and relevant LDS history written to date. It is highly recommended for the both the LDS reader and those interested in understanding the history of Mormonism. The author is a lifetime member of the LDS church, a former missionary, church leader, and former college professor. Evans' teaching expertise is evident in his writing. His personal style will engage the average reader, yet all his references are meticulously footnoted in the back of the book to satisfy the interests of the most ardent scholar.
The Keystone of Mormonism is a highly factual historical analysis of official LDS records but it is far from a dry historical read. What makes these facts so spellbinding and valuable to the reader is that Evans relates his historical discoveries in a voice that reveals his most personal inner reactions on his unfolding journey of discovery into official Church documented history. Ultimately his research reveals much more that is unsettling about Mormonism than he had counted on discovering and the challenge it presents to Evans faith will be echoed in the heart of every honest LDS reader.
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By A Customer on September 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a Utah physician, raised in and around Mormonism my entire life, I had a hard time putting this one down. I have given out multiple copies of this book over the last week! The Keystone of Mormonism is an excellent reference work for those wanting a well researched, well written book on the Book of Mormon and early Mormon leaders and 'prophets'. This author does a great job not only exposing the truth as well as documenting his statements. Particularly moving are his struggles through disillusionment, psychological pain, and disappointment. A must read and sure to be talked about for years to come!
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Format: Hardcover
It is a quick and easy book to read. It covers many aspects of the belief system and identifies the source documents where the original information can be found. It does not go into the scholarly information in the way Quinn or Brodie would address the subjects, but provides an overview of some of the major problems found in the Mormon Church.

The author goes beyond most books of this type and explores the sociological and control aspects of the Mormon Church. He shows how the Mormon Church manipulates and controls its members using many of the same techniques as the founders. He also discusses the egocentric nature of the early leaders and ethnocentric beliefs found in the Mormon Church. He demonstrates the level of lying and hiding the truth which was prevalent in the early Mormon Church. This lying and hiding the truth about the history and doctrine is still a common characteristic in the Mormon Church.

Criticism has been given in light of the "Trail of Lehi" and "In the Footsteps of Lehi." The "Trail/Footsteps of Lehi" book, lectures and tours have been discredited by the Mormon Church's own apologists, the FARMS organization. This includes the river, alters, names, locations and other information included in the book.
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