Friday, November 26, 2010

The Keystone of Mormonism by Arza Evans

I received this book free thanks to the author Mr. Evans at the Ex-Mormon Foundation Conference in October.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. He mainly focuses on the Book of Mormon since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually does claim that it is the keystone of their religion. But he does go into other details of Church history.

He has some great chapters on the many reasons why the Book of Mormon is not historical and many of the contradictions theologically that it contains as well. He focuses a lot on logic and reason and using one's brain. That I definitely enjoyed. The only trouble I had was his special pleading and confirmation biases to the Bible and Jesus. It was hard to follow what audience he was trying to reach...he even threw out some anti-atheist paragraphs...suggesting that Brigham Young and Joseph Smith could have possibly been atheist and that's why they were so cruel and heartless when it came to control and domination. But then at the end he talks about the many non-believing friends he I was a bit confused. He also had a few editing errors, but I chalk that up to him self-publishing.

He writes that he, in part, wrote it for true-believing family and friends...this definitely had a less objective feel to it. You can really tell he felt duped and horrified by what Joseph Smith and then Brigham Young I can see not many TBM's reading too far into it.

But I liked how concise the information was and that the book was pretty short and sweet overall. He has some good information in there but a lot of personal biases, but he doesn't deny that either. It's a good reference to have in the Mormon history library. Thank you, Mr. Evans, for your book!


Becky said...

The Keystone of Mormonism is the first kind of "anti" book I ever read and I just ate it up. Every page I read, I would highlight stuff and I would say "yes, I know. I totally agree." Or "wow, I didn't realize that." I don't know what it would be like reading it AFTER all the other books I have read. I love it though. Probably my favorite because it was "my first."

Maureen said...

I hadn't heard of it. 'Mormon Enigma' was my first read (does that count as anti?) and I feel the same as Becky - that it is special because it was the first one to spill the beans for me. Then I think I read 'No Man Knows My History', boy was that fun. I am trying to make my way through 'Rough Stone Rolling' now, a little trickier since the author is a believer! Interesting nonetheless. Pisses me off a bit w/ the lack of info on polygamy, he downplays it waaaaay to much.

Anonymous said...

I was checking out your blog, and I thought you might like this. My songwriting partner spoke and played a couple of songs he's written about Mormonism at the General Ex-Mormon confereence last fall.

Arza's a cool guy. I met him last week at my first post-mormon meeting. Thanks for the thoughts on the book.

christina osborn