Monday, August 26, 2013

Unveiling Grace by Lynn Wilder

When young marrieds, Mormon missionaries came to the Wilder home. Michael and Lynn did not know the Bible well enough to even know what questions to ask. Mormons know how to do relationships well, Lynn says, and that was effective in drawing them in. They came to Mormon faith in 1977.

Lynn shares the culture and society of a Mormon community, such as people having status based on their church calling. They experienced the attitude of being second class Mormons since they were not born into the church. She talks about her reaction to male blacks no longer being excluded from the priesthood in 1978 due to a revelation from a changing God. She records her dismay at finding out the reality of modern polygamy. She writes about her teaching position at BYU and how she and her husband were dedicated to their Mormon faith.

Lynn then reveals how she began seeing discrepancies in Mormon faith and practice. Events began to crack the Mormon facade, especially involving their sons. One son, while on his mission, challenged them to read the New Testament. He had found a Savior different from that of Mormonism. The truth began to build to the point they knew they must leave Mormonism.

Wilder shares the difficulty of sorting out the lies, absorbing the truth, and finding solid ground. It took her nearly five years. She also writes about the difficulty of leaving the church, the church that had been their life and their culture for thirty years.

What comes across clearly is that Mormons do not follow the same Jesus that Christians do, as the most recent LDS prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley stated. (315) Wilder writes, “So what Mormon scripture says and what the Bible says are polar opposites.” (315) She outlines many significant inconsistencies and problems with the Mormon faith in her last chapter.

This is a very “chatty” book in that Lynn tells scores of stories about her own experiences and those of her children. While this may not be the most succinct book on a family leaving Mormonism, it does tell the complete story, event by event.

This book is significant because the Wilders were very active LDS and Lynn was tenured faculty at BYU. They know the doctrine and church culture well. Theirs was a profound change in belief.

Resources are listed at the end of the book, as is a comparison of biblical and Mormon doctrine.

Lynn K. Wilder has a doctorate in education. She was a public school teacher for 20 years and a professor for more than ten. Once a tenured faculty at Mormon Church owned Brigham Young University, she resigned from BYU and then from the LDS Church in 2008. She currently teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University, speaks, writes, and enjoys time with her 7 grandchildren. You can find out more about the Wilder's current ministry at www.unveilingmormonism.com. You can watch interviews of Michael and Lynn Wilder, their sons, and others at http://www.unveilinggrace.com/about.htm, the website for the movie. Watch a trailer and find out more about the book at http://www.unveilinggracethebook.com/.

Zondervan, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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