From its clean-cut bicycling missionaries and imposing Salt Lake Temple to its cryptic rituals and closed-door secrecy, the Mormon Church (aka The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is both intriguing and mystifying. Despite whatever popular appeal this religious movement has, it is no stranger to controversy. Individual “revelations” from God, the murder of its founder, regional expulsion, polygamy, and peculiar doctrine have put Mormons on the periphery.
This Bible study examines the group’s origins (Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, Brigham Young, and others); the discrepancy between Mormon beliefs and orthodox Christian teaching; the meaning of its rituals (baptism of the dead, endowments for the living and dead, temple garments, celestial marriage); and the prominence of the temple. Former Mormons share how their decision to exit the group was a bewildering and disillusioning experience. Once out, many found themselves cut off and ostracized by their families, ready to abandon religious faith altogether. Insider narratives and expert commentary add depth and authenticity to this revealing study