NEW REVIEWS: The Mormon Mirage: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today


I was impressed by The Mormon Mirage. Latayne Scott is a gifted writer with a thorough, first-hand knowledge of Mormonism. The book is filled not only with excellent information, but keen analysis. (But for more on the Book of Mormon, see my book:Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Quick Christian Guide to the Mormon Holy Book.) Moreover, she demonstrates genuine kindness and empathy toward Latter-day Saints, based on her positive experiences growing up in the LDS Church. You will not find any bitter Mormon-bashing in this book. This newest edition is up to date on all the changes in Mormonism over the last three decades. The additional material provides excellent insight into current trends and problematic issues facing the Mormon world. Ms. Scott is very tuned in to the current climate, and she addresses all of the key issues and debates. As a pastor and former Mormon myself, people often ask me to recommended books about Mormonism. This one has risen to the top of my list.  — Ross J. Anderson

Interesting insider’s view, Latayne’s generous spirit extends affection to those left behind

The Mormon Mirage presents an interesting insider’s view into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Latayne Scott outlines a comprehensive history of the Mormon Church and provides factual information behind its numerous changes and inconsistencies. The book begins with a brief history of Lataynes’s ten years as a member of the Mormon Church and describes what led to her difficult decision to leave the church she once trusted and a community she dearly loved.

The author gives a factual, unfiltered account of the life of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, as well as the “cleaned-up and unrealistic picture” of him that is presented to and accepted by the LDS people.

Latayne shares how the teachings of the Book of Mormon contradict not only the teachings of the Bible but also of itself! Throughout her book she cites Bible passages that Mormons take out of context to support the Book of Mormon and other Mormon documents. Latayne also points out the total lack of archaeological support for the Book of Mormon and lists several former LDS supporters who conclude that the Book of Mormon is a fictional product of the mind of Joseph Smith.

After reading this amazing book I gained an increased understanding of the fallacies of the Mormon Church. Latayne’s arguments are clearly laid out and her abundant sources of factual information are well documented. I highly recommend The Mormon Mirage to anyone who has even the slightest curiosity about Mormonism, is involved in Mormonism, or who has acquaintances, friends, or family members participating in it. (Barnes & Noble reader review)

When I began The Mormon Mirage by Latayne Scott I had very little knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: The Mormon Church. I thought they were fellow Christians with some odd quirks. This organizations purposely presents the public face that I had seen–one that shares the Christian’s language of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Scott’s book clears the air of that false image, relates her difficult journey, and reveals the truth. Latayne Scott tells the profound story of her spiritual devotion and life-filling involvement with the Latter Day Saints. She trusted the Mormon doctrine as a source of salvation, but finally found that there was no saving reality behind it. Step by step, the Mormon revelations and teachings are proven to be scams marketed by con artists. Through years of scholarly research and multiple readings of the Holy Bible, Scott persevered, troubled by a broken heart at the loss of a beloved community, of a way of life, and even of a false god. The layers of lies cannot be conveyed any other way than by reading The Mormon Mirage itself. Latayne actually narrates two journeys: her own and then the historic development and changes of the Mormon Church from its founding right up to the Twenty First Century. The integrity and rigor of the research and scholarship are impressive. All sources are available to be rechecked by any skeptic. Even after being subjected to lies and vilification, Latayne’s generous spirit extends affection to those left behind, still trusting the mirage. The map that guided her out of the wilderness is recommended to the reader with the intensity of a survivor: The Holy Bible does not waiver or fade in the light of archeological and linguistic research. (Barnes & Noble reader review)

One of the most complete treatments of Mormon theology that I’ve read in some time

Her book presents one of the most complete treatments of Mormon theology that I’ve read in some time.  It is thorough, historically accurate, well researched and documented with up to date evidence that substantiates even further the falseness and deceptiveness of Mormonism.  Her presentation of the errors of Mormonism is admirably balanced by her honest portrayal of not only the positive values of the Mormon Church, but in sharing her soul-wrenching resolve to leave the religion she had so loved, to embrace only Biblical truths -a heart-tugging decision that I can well identify with.  — Janis Hutchinson, author of The Mormon Missionaries

Clear, crisp writing style…Mormon Mirage is another one of those classics that will also be with us 40 years from now

The Mormon Mirage, by Latayne Scott was great the first time around and many people living in the darkness of the LDS church and its bondage found freedom through her detailed and clear explanations of that heresy.

Today, Latayne has outdone her best with this updated, revised and expanded document

It is an interesting read, with all the flavor of Latayne’s special narrative gifts. Her clear and crisp writing style reminds me of Fawn Brodie, another Ex-Mormon author who wrote the Classic, No Man Knows My History, a book that set the Mormon church on its heels over 40 years ago.

Mormon Mirage is another one of those classics that will also be with us 40 years from now.

I have personally spent 20 years as a Mormon and over 30 years researching it and writing about it after I discovered its deep treachery and deceit and found the real truth, the real Jesus.

I say, do not miss this book. As Latayne said, “No matter how you dress it up or water it down, Mormonism is not Christianity.”

I agree. It never will be and you will know why when you read The Mormon Mirage. –Ed Decker, Author The God Makers, My Kingdom Come: The Mormon Quest for Godhood. 

A mini encyclopedia of Mormon history and insights; keeps pace with the changes and advances in Mormonism

The Mormon Mirage by Latayne C. Scott is not just a book, it is most decisively a mini encyclopedia of Mormon history and insights. When LaTayne asked me to review this new edition of her massive work I thought, “why not.” The depth to which she has gone in finding historical documents is amazing. And for me, a former Mormon it was a look back into a life that I too left with “sadness”.

Latayne was once an ardent proponent of Mormonism. But a meticulous examination of Latter-day Saint (LDS) doctrines and practices convinced her that she and countless others had believed a lie. In the first edition of The Mormon Mirage, she shared her remarkable journey out of Mormonism as she uncovered shocking inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the faith she had loved and lived.

Thirty years later, Mormonism and Mormon scholarship have evolved with the times. In this third, revised and updated edition of her well-known book, Latayne keeps pace with the changes and advances in Mormonism, and reveals formidable new challenges to LDS claims and teachings.

The first major change to strike me were terms such as Internet Mormons and Chapel Mormons. It is noted that those who get information from the Internet have a different approach and understanding of the Mormon faith than those who only have an understanding from the weekly chapel services.

                  There is a wonderful chronology of events from the era of Joseph Smith to the present

                  Historical statements from the general authorities stating that they were sorry for some of the statements made regarding previous “prophesy” which were now being changed

                  Exhaustive searches by archeologists and historians for artifacts or confirmation for anything in the Book of Mormon which would confirm that the people, places, and events actually took place

                  Subtle changes such as the Native American Indian previously was to change to a white(r) skin tone if they remained true to the teachings but was changed to a pure race

                  During the recent past the scrolls which were supposed to confirm doctrine, have been shown by experts to not have anything in agreement

                  Why did large numbers of Japanese members suddenly leave, including leadership?

But above all and besides all, the fact remains that the Jesus that died on Calvary and was resurrected said that the Kingdom of God was established on the earth, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. If this is truth as written in the Bible, then the Book of Mormon and its doctrine is questioned since it states that the Kingdom that Jesus brought to the earth was taken away for over 1,700 years and was re-established under Joseph Smith. 

There are just too many notable events to list them all. This is a book not to be taken lightly, nor is it a book that bashes a religion but gives insights based on Mormon doctrine and changes throughout its history. For me, it was fascinating to find answers to things I had heard as a child but to actually read it as history was wonderful. –Susan Storm Smith


Best I’ve ever read or heard

I absolutely love your style of writing, and especially your honest articulation of your emotions. The best I’ve ever read or heard. –Bob Betts, Concerned Christians

A work in this third edition that, along with those of the Tanners and Fawn Brodie, will soon be known as a classic

      This book is a far cry from the original book of the same title many years ago.  This lady has matured in her knowledge, as the LDS Church has changed over the years, by maintaining a very scholarly interest in it.  She has presented a work in this third edition that, along with those of the Tanners and Fawn Brodie, will soon be known as a classic.

      From her very difficult and long-term emergence from Mormonism and its influences, she retains a compassion for those poor benighted souls, who are “Jack Mormons” and others who remain on the inside of an organization that is scarcely what it was forty years ago.  She explains well the changes in Mormonism of recent years that young Mormons know nothing about.  If dedicated Mormons really want truth, they must read it.

      Perhaps we finally have a book that Mormons may read because of its serious consideration of their feelings and that does not attack merely peripheral matters, nor just the foibles and contradictions by early leaders from the nineteenth century; those are not disregarded, but are not her main emphases.  Toward those who wish to be out of Mormonism, the brief section on “Issue #9: Ex-Mormons” is superb owing to information I had not seen elsewhere.

      She has a wonderful and very subtle humor that made me, like Sarah, laugh within myself and, occasionally, even chuckle out loud.  Some Mormons will surely do a little of that.  It is complex in places, but almost every page has informative material that will help to grasp the vacillations of this convoluted, wealthy corporation, that is a virtual semi-religious organization.  —Martel Pace. Assistant Professor, Faulkner University, V P Black College of Biblical Studies, Montgomery, AL. . . .Latayne Colvett Scott’s book will be a staple in my class from now on.