Mormons in Transition. 2nd edition.

By Leslie Reynolds
Grand Rapids : Baker (1998). Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Grisanti
10.2 (Fall 1999) : 316-316

The author of this volume grew up in the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS), left when she was sixteen, returning to the church three m ore times before becoming a Christian at the age of fifty. She wrote this book to help four groups of people: Christians interested in understanding Mormonism, Christians desiring to witness to Mormons, former Mormons who are making the transition into Christian churches, and questioning or disaffected Mormons. The contents draw on interviews conducted by the author with three categories of people: former Mormons who are now Christians (13), traditional Christian pastors (5), and Mormons who are not fully-believing, active members (7).

After a helpful (though brief) chapter comparing traditional Christianity with Mormon beliefs, the author devotes three chapters to issues within the Mormon church that vex or frustrate its followers, causing some of them to leave the LDS church. One chapter surveys some of the non-Christian alternatives chosen by those who leave Mormonism (e.g., New Age beliefs, agnosticism, etc.). The next three chapters detail the testimonies of those that have left Mormonism for Christianity and trace some of the major challenges they faced in making that transition. The final chapter seeks to provide Christians with some guidelines to help their efforts at evangelizing Mormons. The book concludes with four appendixes, endnotes, a helpful glossary of key terms used in Mormonism, and a brief bibliography.

This volume helped the reviewer to understand Mormonism (not just its beliefs but its world view) better. It also gave the reviewer a better understanding of the challenges of witnessing to Mormons. In light of the invasive impact Mormonism has on the families of its adherents, evangelizing Mormons offers unique challenges. Finally, the world view shift that accompanies anyone’s experience in coming to Christ emphasizes the need for discipling the new believers and grounding them in the truths of God’s Word (to help them sort out God’s truth from the mixture of truth and error they had learned).