Sunday, July 9, 2017

On books for questioning Mormons

I’ve been a member of the LDS church for my entire life. But I haven’t always been completely sold on the idea of being Mormon. It’s normal (and healthy) to periodically question things before you fully commit yourself and that’s what I did. Eventually, I decided that the LDS church worked for me and I’ve been a more committed member since that decision.
There was a time, before I decided, when I wondered where I could get more information on the church. I wasn’t interested in reading a bunch of anti-Mormon literature (everything I’d read of that was angry and bitter and not what I was looking for), but I didn’t know where to turn for answers to my questions.
It’s been several years since my struggle and in that time, I’ve read a lot and heard a lot and asked a lot of questions. Here, I’ve compiled a list of books that I could’ve used when I was questioning things. Hopefully they can answer your questions and help explain a few things.
  • More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910 by Kathryn M. Daynes - I read this as part of a Mormon Women’s History class and it hit me hard. This book explains early Mormon polygamy in a very academic and objective way instead of trying to explain it away (like a lot of Sunday School teachers will try to do). The author dispels myths, gives tangible facts and numbers, and makes the setting of the early LDS church much more clear. For anyone who has questions about early church history, this book can help a lot.
  • Letters to a Young Mormon by Adam S. Miller - In a series of essays, Miller expounds on his views on various aspects of the LDS church and religion in general. These essays are directed at LDS youth, though anyone can benefit from his well-written thoughts and opinions. I recommend this for anyone who is having a crisis of faith.
  • Woman at Church by Neylan McBaine - While this book won’t dispel all your doubts or answer all your question, McBaine offers guidance about how to ask for change to practices within the LDS church. This book, full of information about why Mormons are struggling with gender issues in the church and how to help fix it, can be an excellent resource for anyone looking to change some church traditions to be more inclusive of women.

What books have helped you get through difficult times? Do you have thoughts about any of the books listed above?

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