Hi all this is just to let you know about a book that has recently been released that I have enjoyed reading very much. It is by Ex Mormon Christian La Vonne Earl and looks at various aspects of Mormonism from her very experienced perspective in both world-views, as a counsellor she also brings a very unique perspective compared to many and looks at issues that I have personally not seen raised in this level of depth.
Issues such as Temple Garments, Adam and Eve, church callings, identity, Batptism, the Temple and the bondage of having to live by a mass of rules are all covered with compassion and understanding of the issues that many Mormons will face whether they admit it or not. All of this is backed up by the life experiences of the author or others.
In the Chapter Your Calling and Outreach, she says this:
While in the Mormon Church, I served in the nursery. I had three small children and dreaded Sundays for the amount of work that I would be ‘called’ to give. I was stressed, tired and my family felt it. I wanted a break, but felt incredibly guilty for even considering such a thing. Finally, after my 13 month of service. I could not take it any-more; I went to my bishop to ask to be released and told him I needed time off.
But instead of gratitude for all the time I did serve, I was reprimanded and told that many Mormon pioneers were willing to push a handcart and I could not hold to my calling. What position was he in that he could tell me what I needed in my life? Wasn’t the body of Christ supposed to help (1 Corinthians 12:25)? I left that day feeling very inadequate, under appreciated and sad. There is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and it is important that we be in a position to serve and have a desire to serve.
In sharp contrast, when I attended the Christian church, I felt ready and had the desire to serve the children along with my young son. I only served one day and was given so much gratitude and appreciation that it furthered my desire to serve even more. This is exactly the way God would want us to treat one another.”
This catches the heart of a lot of this book, interestingly a study I recently here shows Utah (which is a 68% Mormon State) to have the highest level of depression in the US and the 7th highest rate of suicide over other States in the US, Mormons may give the outward sign that all is happy and wonderful but the facts are showing different.
For people who have come out of Mormonism or are still in it and know of the constant expectations and wonder if God is really at the heart of that I think this book will do you a lot of good. La Vonne certainly doesn’t claim to be perfect and there is a lot of honesty in this book which I think will speak to many and while she does touch on many of the key Doctrinal areas such as the Nature of God and historical issues within Mormonism such as Polygamy its clear her number 1 priority is people and how they are affected by current day Mormonism.
Something I am realising more and more is that the real difference between Mormonism and Christianity is that Mormonism says you need to sound and look perfect so that the world will see how great we are. You can see this from the constant attention given to any humanitarian work that they do, and all of the smiley faces on the I am a Mormon campaign, however this does not change peoples often lost and hurting state within and it is merely buried in religion and expectations.
Biblically we see the reality of our human nature and the need to be changed from within, so that the outward might be real and flow from that even if it doesn’t come so quickly as often we take time to heal and change. I think the author here basically spends a whole book exploring this issue and it is fascinating.
This book is available at these links.
You may also contact the author for wholesale prices.
Also if anyone is in the area of Plaza Bible Church in Orange, California, La Vonne will be sharing her story there on August 14th at 7pm. For more info her ministry website is http://yourkingdominheritance.com/