Unveiling Grace

August 27, 2013

A number of years ago I had the privilege of meeting 5 young men who make up the Band, Adams Road when they ministered at a local church. I was genuinely surprised at the story of each of the band members as I know how indoctrinated return missionaries for the Mormon religion become. The Fact that Micah, who formed the band, was able to have his eyes opened to the saving grace of the Jesus of the Bible while on his Mormon mission is a true act of God. As I learned more about the band and the family of the band and learned that Matt and Micah’s Mother was a former BYU professor who had also left the church I became more and more interested in their story. I know a number of people who have left the Mormon religion and we all seem to have a different story, so I am always intrigued by others stories of how God has pulled them out of Mormonism.

When I found out that Micah’s mother, former BYU professor Lynn Wilder was writing a book called Unveiling Grace about her experiences I was very excited and  anxiously awaited its release. I very much enjoyed the documentary of the same name that had interviews with the band members and other members of the Wilder family, however the documentary left me with many unanswered questions and wanting more. I purchased the kindle edition of Unveiling Grace the second day it was available and despite a very busy schedule the next few days was able to finish the book less than 72 hours after downloading it.

I was very surprised at one reviewer on amazon who claimed to know Lynn and to be a former member of Mormonism when they claimed the book was boring and filled with bitterness, when I found just the opposite to be the case.  I have a sneaking suspicion they are not really ex-Mormon as claimed.  I could not put the book down and was genuinely impressed with what I felt was a lack of bitterness despite what the family went through in their collective exodus from the religion.

Even though God started to open my eyes to what I call red flags very early in my life, and my own exodus happened at a relatively young age, I still harbored a fair amount of bitterness over being lied to and hurts that were inflicted on me by Mormonism for some time. As such I was impressed at what I saw to be a refreshing lack of bitterness and genuine continued love of Mormons in Lynn’s book.

I was born to a Mormon family and raised in a small town about 85 miles from Salt Lake City that was at least 95% Mormon when I grew up there. I considered the strange culture that pervades that area to be normal until I had a roommate from Colorado when I attended a college in Utah for two years and he commented on the strange culture. I did not realize just how strange it is until I transferred to the only University in Wyoming at that time and got away from the strange culture I had grown up in. I love the opening of chapter 8 when Lynn states;

 

You’re not in Kansas, anymore, Dorothy. I’d lived my life in the Midwest but traveled extensively inside the U.S. and outside. I’d seen a myriad of captivating cultures — but nothing like the Mormon culture in Utah. Families, church families, and whole communities were so close-knit! Breaking in took knowing the cultural code and a crowbar.¹

 

By the time I attended the college in Utah I was well out of Mormonism as far as my beliefs, and while the college was not Mormon owned the student body and faculty were overwhelmingly Mormon. I was already experiencing the rejection that comes with being different in Utah. My own experience with the Mormon Culture make’s the lack of bitterness in Lynn’s book quite amazing.

I also feel Lynn did an excellent job of spelling out quite a few of the problems with Mormonism and wholeheartedly agree with another amazon reviewer that proclaimed Unveiling Grace a book that every Mormon needs to read and would continue on to say most people in general need to read this book. Unfortunately there are so many people even when confronted with the overwhelming evidence of the problems with Mormonism who just clam up and close their eyes and ears to the truth. There are, however, a growing number of people who understand that no matter how many good works they perform they are still sinners and there is something missing from their lives.  I pray that this book will have in immense impact on the Mormon community.

I love the exhortation first by the Pastor to Micah and then later by Micah to members of his mission and family to just read the New Testament, and would expand on that to just read the Bible. We live in a time of unprecedented access to the bible and yet also a time of unprecedented biblical illiteracy, especially among people claiming to be Christians.  I was included in that group for a lot of years of being a believer but was challenged in a number of ways to read the Bible. I know of nothing that has as large of return in investment as reading the Bible. It is a life changing event.

Kudos to Lynn Wilder on a well written and engaging book and I wholeheartedly recommend this book!

 

¹Wilder, Lynn K. (2013-08-20). Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church (Kindle Locations 1208-1211). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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