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Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Quick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book Audible – Unabridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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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:

Context:

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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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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Format: Paperback
Ross Anderson is a former Mormon, and is also the author of the book, Understanding Your Mormon Neighbor: A Quick Christian Guide for Relating to Latter-Day Saints.

He wrote in the Preface to this 2009 book, "This book has been written both to explain and to evaluate the Book of Mormon from the perspective of the historical Christian faith. My intention is to interact with Mormonism in a spirit of kindness and civility."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"For Latter-day Saints, the method and pace of dictation is strong evidence that Joseph Smith could not have composed the Book of Mormon himself. The story is intricate, with intersecting plot lines and hundreds of different character and place names. Yet it displays unity of purpose and themes... Smith, an uneducated farm boy, dictated the story page after page, without stumbling into contradictions or errors. This could only have been done, Mormons believe, by the power of God." (Pg. 34)
"In later years, Martin Harris claimed that he saw the plates through 'the eyes of faith.' ... David Whitmer referred to the experience as a vision. Thus it is probable that the three witnesses never saw real gold plates with their physical eyes... Unlike the three, the eight witnesses ... said they actually touched the plates... (but) John Whitmer, said that he saw the plates by a supernatural power. Martin Harris claimed that none of the eight witnesses actually saw or handled the gold plates except in a vision." (Pg. 36)
"LDS scholars have responded with a number of theories to explain why the writing on the scrolls does not match the text of the Book of Abraham.
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