Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three Books Look at Life as a Mormon

Judy Robertson's autobiographical account of her time as a Mormon, Out of Mormonism, opens the reader's eyes to what goes on behind the scenes in their community.

Judy and her husband were members of a Christian church, but had not attended for a long time and had gotten away from their beliefs. They were living in a new community, looking for new things when the Mormons came to their door and introduced them to what the Robertsons thought to be a life of family devotion and close relations with people in their group. People were very friendly and open until the Robertsons began to question some of the rituals and ceremonies that were a part of the Mormon belief.

Judy tells it like it was, what it felt like to become a Mormon wife. She tells of her frustration with her new family life as she tried to adapt to Mormon beliefs, and with her husband as he struggled to make a name for himself in the Mormon religion. He was a furniture maker, and tried very hard to become a noted one, but seemed to find frustration at every turn. She told about trying to please the Mormon elders and how controlling they were upon her own family.

Since I have no point of reference and knew nothing about the Mormons before I read this book, I can only rely on what I have read as others reported on the book. Some reviewers said that she gave a good description of Mormonism. The book is divided into four parts: 1. Mormonism Looks Good; 2. My Life as a Mormon Woman; 3. Light to Blinded Eyes; 4. My Life After Mormonism.

Robertson includes a glossary of terms at the end to help the reader understand this group and what they believe. The author told how she and her husband were attracted to Mormonism, the things they did while they were members, and how they were treated when they chose to leave the group because they discovered their own beliefs were very different from those espoused by the congregation.

You will probably notice that I never referred to the Mormons as a "church," but as a "group" or "community." That is because I believe a church is a group of people who profess faith in Jesus. In my opinion, Mormonism is a cult because it does not preach salvation through faith in Jesus, and only Jesus.

I downloaded this book for free on my Kindle, but it is no longer free. I checked Amazon today and the Kindle version can be purchased for just under $10.

Another book about Mormonism is a novel by Allison Pittman titled For Time and Eternity, Sister Wife. This book is the journey of Camilla Fox, a woman who lived in Iowa in the mid-1850s. She was attracted to the Mormons when she fell in love with a young man traveling through her part of country who belonged to that group. She left her family, who had taught her to love and trust in Jesus, and went with the Mormons to Utah.

This book is a novel, written much differently than the first book I reviewed. The sequel, Forsaking All Others, completes the life of Camilla Fox, a real person. This book drew me in as many novels do and I read the two books in a short time. I borrowed them from the public library in our town.

Both of these books tell us much about the Mormons. Camilla has to share her beloved husband with another wife about midway through the book, and she begins to remember the Bible as her mother taught her. She realizes that she is receiving the wrong instruction and decides to leave Mormonism. Above all, however, she does not want to leave her two daughters. She had to struggle with this for a long time before making her decision to get out of Mormonism.

The sequel, Forsaking All Others, continues Camilla's life after she broke from Mormonism. It deals with the difficulties she had in leaving, and then in rescuing her chidren. It is full of adventure and is a compelling read, showing how God led Camilla to remember Him, then to separate herself from evil. She had to work hard and depend upon God to get her children back. Her faith was made stronger as the problems came and were overcome.

If you would like to know more about Mormonism, all three of these books would give you a good start. The sequel, Forsaking All Others, can be purchased for your Kindle for $2.68, but read For Time and Eternity first. I don't think you would enjoy the second book unless you read the other one first. There is a lot of background that you need to know before you start the second one.

Allison Pittman is a well-known novelist. I have read several of her books, but I think these two about Camilla Fox might be the best ones she has written, in my opinion.


  1. Enjoyed your review of "Out of Mormonism." Judy Robertson is a good friend of mine, and a member of our writers' critique group (when she can get to town). Before she and her husband retired, they spoke at many churches across the U.S.

  2. Nice to know, Donna. Have you read this book? I downloaded it free on my Kindle.