On My Bookshelf
Updated: Sep 1
Rather, in my Kindle library.
(Books in the camper... can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.)
Our family loves to read. I like to have a variety of books going at the same time... something brainless and fiction, something deep and theological, and something historical or a biography. Depending on my mood, I choose what to read and slowly but surely, I check those books off my reading list.
I wanted to share a book that I just finished reading...
Unveiling Grace by Lynn Wilder
It’s the story of a family who spent 30 years in the Mormon, or LDS, church before finding the true Jesus. Her husband was high up in the leadership of the church and she was a professor at Brigham Young University. Her children had also devoted their lives to Mormonism and her boys dutifully spent two years as Mormon missionaries.
They truly believed what they confessed as their testimony:
that the Mormon church is the only true church,
that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God,
that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the face of the earth,
that we have a living prophet today,
and that Jesus Christ is the Savior. (from pg. 161)
The author tells her story in a way that very clearly explains all the ways that Mormonism directly contradicts what the Jesus in the New Testament teaches. It is her hope that other families trapped in the Mormon church will see Truth as a result of her writing.
The book was eye-opening. She explains the temple ceremonies, requirements, priesthood, leadership structure, daily life, and oppression. She then tells the story of how every member of her family (including her adult children) were changed by the Truth.
While we were out west, we visited with Jack’s brother Paul and his family in Salt Lake City, UT. They are in the process of planting a Gospel church just north of Salt Lake City and are working to get to know their Mormon neighbors. We visited the Temple square and Jack met with some Mormon missionaries to fulfill a cross-cultural assignment for his classes at Dallas International. We came away from our week there with so many questions unanswered. I read the Mormon tracks we were given, trying to make sense of what they believe. It is so different.
The Mormon church uses so many of the same theological words that we do, but they mean different things to them. It seems so similar to Christianity to someone on the outside, but as you look closer you see how drastically different it is.
I cried at multiple points during this book because it made me to see MY Jesus from a viewpoint that I’ve never seen before. Because I grew up in a precious Christian home and sat under solid teaching since I was a baby, I believe I’ve taken Truths about my Savior for granted.
For instance, I’ve always known that Jesus paid the price for my sin and I don’t need to work to earn salvation. Of course! That’s what you learn in preschool. I’ve always known that my salvation relies on Christ alone and there’s nothing that anyone can do to snatch me from my Father’s hand or add to my salvation. Those are simple Truths, right?
But, when I view that exact Truth from the eyes of someone trapped in the Mormon system of works and temple priests and “keeping up your temple recommend so God will hear your prayers”... wow, Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice takes on a whole new weight and meaning.
The author of this book believed that her salvation rested on her own works. She relied on her husband to “call her up” into Heaven with her “temple name” so that she would live with him (and potentially his other wives) as he became a god himself. She looked forward to self-glorification as a goddess. She was taught that Jesus used to be a sinful human just like us and he worked his way to godhood. And if Jesus could do it, so could she! She believed that the only people who would burn in Hell are the Mormons who left the Mormon church. She lived in fear.
She read bits and pieces of the New Testament, but was taught that the NT was old revelation. Because we have newer revelation now (Joseph Smith), we assume that the Book of Mormon is correct and the Bible is flawed anytime they contradict. She called it a “knee-jerk reaction” to believe the Bible was wrong whenever she read something in Scripture that was contrary to the Mormon church.
Her son was saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone while on his Mormon missionary journey, of all places. He encouraged his family over and over to read the New Testament and pray for eyes to see Truth.
I wept with the author as she peeled off the weighty lies about Mormonism, the Mormon Jesus, the priesthood, and herself and began to see with unveiled eyes the beauty of grace.
What used to seem so simple to me about my relationship with God through Christ is now fresh and powerful to my heart.
I am saved by
GLORY OF GOD ALONE