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The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture

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  • Posted August 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Know the beliefs of our Presidential candidate

    First of all, I found that this was not a deep nor controversial book written as a theological expose of Mormonism. It is a clearly written and, I believe, thoroughly researched and documented write dealing with the "birth" of the Mormon religion here in America, what the Mormon writings and individuals actually say and speak of themselves, and the achievement of many who hold to the Religion of Mormonism as their faith in he areas politics, military, arts and entertainment, high business positions, and creation and ownership in mammoth business holdings. Stephen Mansfield has written an easy to understand book that is of timely importance to us at this juncture in American history. We have an accomplished politician, business man, family man, and leader in the Mormon church seeking the highest office in the land - that of President of the United States. Therefore, it would bode well for each of us to understand somewhat about the inner workings of this man an the things he holds dear in his heart , mind, and life. For they will affect his leadership skills and decisions if he should be chosen to lead this nation just as they have shaped his life up to this point in time. There are roughly 2% of the population of the United States who are declared Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Yet that 2% is now in position to wield influence in many areas of life on a day to day basis. They achieve because their religion calls for them to achieve. It is in their belief system. Theirs is a doctrine to be ever moving forward, progressing, and advancing in education. They are bred to manage and to lead because if they do it on this earth, they will surely do well in the afterlife on other earths. It has long been understood by anyone who has studied anything about the beginnings of this religious system, that it has been highly controversial and created strife and ultimate banishment. Their belief in polygamy (though some still practice it, the majority claim it is no longer a practice). Their belief that Africa-Americans are banned from belief - though that, too, changed. And yet, they usually produce model citizens who are productive, well-behaved, healthy, achievers. The media is proclaiming that a "Mormon Moment" has arrived. They (Mormons) have a candidate for President of the United States. They (Mormons) are receiving good, popular press on individuals who are in the spotlight - including Glen Beck, newscaster. Included in Mansfield's book. Background on Joseph Smith (LDS Church founder) giving his family background, what shaped his life, etc. How he found the Golden Plates and translated them. The evolution of Mormon religious tradition, the Book of Mormon, and credibility relating to Smith and the Book of Mormon. Their belief as to the origins of the American Indians. Pictures of key individuals and places. Controversy and violence between the LDS Church and Christian groups historically. A timeline following the birth and growth of Mormonism. I appreciate the easy to read style in which Mr. Mansfield has prepared this work. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given unreservedly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great primer for anyone who wants to lean more about the Mormons.

    Stephen Mansfield is a New York Timesbestselling author and a popular speaker who is becoming one of this generation’s most respected voices on religion and modern culture. He is also an advisor to leaders around the world, an activist in a variety of social causes and a regular commentator on the FOX and CNN news networks.

    His latest book, The Mormonization of America is a powerful “mini-history lesson” on the Mormon religion. Each page is backed by up-to-date research, personal anecdotes, and sixteen pages of photographs. Mansfield examines the influence of the LDS church–past, present, and future. He debunks common myths, expounds on the Church’s beliefs, and unveils many of the mysteries surrounding this influential religion and its loyal members.

    For instance did you know that only 2% of America is Mormon? That’s roughly the number of people who subscribe to a magazine or who are fans of a hit TV show. In the entire world, there are only about 14 million Mormons. And for most of us, I would say that the Mormons are just one of those things we all know exists, but unless we have sat down to examine it, we are not really sure what they are all about.

    First of all, they like to be called “Later day Saints” or “LDS” for short. And at the heart of your typical LDS is the idea that their faith is about the restoration of the priesthood. They literally believe that the LDS franchise is the continuation of the levitical priesthood that began with Aaron.

    Mansfield spends much of his book discussing the roots of the LDS faith with it’s founder Joseph Smith. The organization today would argue that where they are “now” supersedes where they started, but Mansfield disagrees. The Mormon group is famous for being able to re-write history to fit their needs and so taking a glance back at the “founder of the faith” is a great place to see where the bedrock of this practice stands. If you’d like an indepth read on Joseph Smith, Mansfield recommends “No Man Knows My Story” by Fawn Brodie.

    The Mormon boys will tell you that Mormonism was born because the entire church was apostate. No church or Christian was following the true teachings of Christ anymore and so Joseph Smith began to have visions and began to receive word that he would become a prophet and the patriarch a new “American” Christianity.

    I guess the Mormon church does not recognize the Christians who adopted abandoned children from the Romans, or Telemachus who was martyred when he tried to stop the Roman games. The Mormons don’t believe Celtic monks who sheltered the mentally ill or who built hospitals were faithful and they probably don’t recognize St Francis of Assisi, or Martin Luther or Isaac Watts or any one of the men and women through Christian history up until Joseph Smith was born in 1805.

    The LDS faith was given life because Joseph Smith didn’t see a righteous church in his little neck of Vermont. And more than likely Joseph Smith read a work of fiction called “The View of the Hebrews” (which came out in 1825) and he plagiarized it and published it 5 years later as a “Bible” in 1830.

    This is a great primer for anyone who wants to lean more about the Mormons.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    Eye-opening moments This was my first book read about Mormons a

    Eye-opening moments

    This was my first book read about Mormons and my first book read by author, Stephen Mansfield. With the current political situation in America, I was intrigued when the publisher asked me to read and review, The Mormonizing of America.

    Skeptical, I approached the book with doubts, thinking it would be filled with the authors biased opinions and his version of facts. Completing the book, I was pleasantly surprised that the opposite was true. I’m not claiming to believe everything I read as absolute fact; however, it became clear immediately that Mansfield wrote, The Mormonizing of America, to enlighten not to preach to his readers.

    I’m embarrassed to admit the amount of previous knowledge I had acquired in my lifetime about the Mormon religion. I knew the basics and never desired to expand my education.

    The Mormonizing of America, being filled with information and presented in a clear and concise writing style, enabled me to be receptive; hence I enjoyed the book considerably.

    The history was fascinating. What scant knowledge I earlier possessed and anything I had questioned about the Mormons, the religion, the church, and the leaders, was answered beautifully by Mansfield. I didn’t feel he was being condescending, yet quite the opposite as I continued reading. I noted passages throughout the book and enjoyed my eye-opening moments.

    The Chronology from 600 BC to 1904 was an asset, also the Beliefs in Plain Language. The Appendix A, stating Joseph Smith’s Articles of Faith, and Appendix B, noting the Surprising Quotes from Mormon Leaders were appreciated.

    Given all the information, this was just the tip of the iceberg regarding the subject of the Mormon religion. The purpose of, The Mormonizing of America, was timely, being we currently have a Mormon who is running for the presidency. This is the perfect book for readers to get a feel for the Mormon life and beliefs of Mitt Romney.

    I filled in so many blanks, from Joseph Smith and the Golden Plates, to why the Mormons are so successful today. It’s amazing to go from being persecuted to running for the office of president of the U.S.

    Mansfield explained that Mormons have outstripped their leaders and their extreme doctrines. As long as they fulfill the conditions of their faith, they will ascend in American society.

    I recommend The Mormonizing of America, by Stephen Mansfield, for readers of all ages who are curious about the Mormon history and the life of Mormons.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    "At war with the U.S. Army"? Pfft.

    The U.S. army attacked the mormons, thank you.

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