Coke Newell's "Latter Days"

If you don't believe that Mormonism is making an aggressive attempt to win converts, read this book, written by the top PR man in the Mormon church. The entire theme of this book can be described thusly: "This is what we believe, and this is our history, isn't it great?" Newell assures us that we are getting "clean water" from him, but to use the same image, he forgets to tell you that the water went through the reclamation plant first.

Don't expect any acknowledgement of the exegetical problems associated with Mormon use of the Bible; don't expect any of the darker problems to be dealt with. Do expect a hammer-pounding emphasis on how badly Mormons were persecuted for their beliefs; do expect also, surprisingly, a frank admission of some of those doctrines that are normally not mentioned when the missionaries come by (like the Kolob story, multiple gods, and the Michael=Adam formula).

And therein lies the usefulness of this book: It is an excellent, albeit one-sided and besparkled, delineation of Mormon ideas, theology, and history. Take it as a declaration of intent for future attempts to convince prospective converts...and be aware of the material it contains if you care to enter counter-Mormon apologetics seriously.

-JPH