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The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Stephen Mansfield, the acclaimed New York Times best-selling author, has highlighted the growing popularity of Mormonism—a belief system with cultic roots—and the implications of its critical rise. Mormons are moving into the spotlight in pop culture, politics, sports, and entertainment via presidential candidates like Romney and Huntsman, media personality Glenn Beck, mega-bes ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Worthy Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  275 ratings  ·  78 reviews


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David
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Title: The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture
Author: Stephen Mansfield
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Year: 2012
Pages: 288
Binding: Hardback
ISBN-10: 1617950785
ISBN-13: 978-1617950785
List Price: $22.95
Buy Now: Amazon


In approaching this review I have endeavored to be open-minded, about the author’s approach, and his knowledge of the matter at hand. Too ofte
...more
Brooke Berry
May 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
The introduction was cute and funny, almost like an LDS member poking fun at himself. I laughed and had to share with my friend a few of the funny quirks. One thing to note is that there are a few outdated ideas such as the prompting to have 13 children being common. It's way more common to have 2 or 3 these days although there are a few who have 5. The church doesn't really get involved and would definitely counsel (if asked) for a family to not have more than they can provide for.

I found this
...more
Cynthia
Sep 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
It quickly became apparent that “Pastor” Stephen Mansfield had an agenda in the writing of this supposed scholarly analysis of “How the Mormon religion became a dominant force in politics, entertainment, and pop culture.” The tone of this book throughout is decidedly designed to make the LDS Church look, at best, quixotic in its doctrines, at worst, downright devilish and abhorrent. I will address a few of the book’s specific examples.
Page 44: “Initially in Mormon history, blacks are decla
...more
Malin Friess
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints began in ther 1830's after a Prophet named Joseph Smith declared that all Christianity had been corrupted and needed to be restored to the only true church. They became known as Mormons, settled in Utah, and took their message to the world.

Few would disagree that this "American Religion" has been remarkably successful. There are nearly 7 million Mormons in America (2% of the population or the size of the city of San Francisco). Newsweek
...more
Steve
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recently I was approached by Worthy Publishing with the opportunity to be one of a select group of bloggers to review this new release by best-selling author Stephen Mansfield. Having always had a fairly positive opinion of the Church of Later Day Saints, I was a little leery at first. I didn't want to read a book that simply chose to pick apart a faith, or that paid all of its attention on some of the more peculiar practices of it's members. Truth be told, I think if you look objectively at any ...more
Troy Wallin
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting perspectives mixed with some partial truths. Tripe.
J.S.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Bashing Joseph Smith

With two Mormon candidates for US president in this election (now only one) the Mormon Church has received an unusual amount of news coverage, much of it negative. The Mormon or LDS Church is one of the fastest growing religions with over 14 million members worldwide (about half in the United States) and there are influential and successful Mormons in American politics, business, sports, entertainment, and many other areas which makes Stephen Mansfield very nervous. He wonde
...more
Mary
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Eye-opening moments

This was my first book read about Mormons and my first book read by author, Stephen Mansfield. With the current political situation in America, I was intrigued when the publisher asked me to read and review, The Mormonizing of America.

Skeptical, I approached the book with doubts, thinking it would be filled with the authors biased opinions and his version of facts. Completing the book, I was pleasantly surprised that the opposite was true. I’m not claim
...more
Ryan
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Without a doubt this is the worst book on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I have ever read. In the beginning, I was willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt with everything he was getting completely wrong about the Church theologically, doctrinally, historically, culturally, etc. Given his claims about all the supposed "research" he had done for this book, I thought maybe he was just a really bad listener. But as the errors continued to pile up at alarming rate, I ...more
David
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
As someone who doesn't know a great deal about the LDS church, I found this account of the history of the church and nature of its beliefs and practices informative. not sure i liked it enough to tweet "I recommend reading #themormonizingofAmerica" as helpfully recommended by the back page, even if I were on Twitter.

Drawbacks included:

1. To introduce discussion of some of the controversial aspects (boys of 12 can become priests, Blacks could not until the late '70's....) he uses a very stilted
...more
Georgia Herod
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Having lived in Utah for 24 years as a non-Mormon and having seen the movement of the LDS church into mainstream of religion and culture, I was eager to read Mansfield's book. A writer and speaker, Mansfield has written extensively on the role of religion in history, leadership, and modern culture. This book is divided in two parts separated by a chapter titled "Mormon Beliefs in Plain Language": a chronology of history of the religion; Mormonism moving into the culture. Joseph Smith's life and ...more
Brittany Binowski
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Neutral? No. Fair? Yes.

His argument, as stated best on page 226:

"We come home to where we began: 'There is the case to be made that the Mormon people have often been better than their leaders and better than the doctrines their leaders have given them.' It is certainly true. The faithful will object because they have been taught obeying their leaders is essential to salvation. We can let them object. What we know from Mormon history, though, is that it is the Mormon peopl
...more
Kathleen
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book started out in an interesting way. The author painted a picture of Mormon people becoming prominent in our society and he attempts to define the "why" of that situation. Then the bulk of the book deals with the history of the church which of course starts with a deceiver Joseph Smith manipulating followers with false prophecies and fraudulent activities. The resulting thesis is that the Mormon people are better than their history, better than their leaders, and better than their teachi ...more
Brett C
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mormonism
This book offers a good introduction to the Mormon faith. From the historical view, as the author narrowed his focus toward today, and the many changes that had been put in place over the years, the essence of that faith becomes just a bit vague. He also explains the big differences between Mormonism and all other Christian denominations. Particularly important are four "engines" which drive Mormons and their belief system. The belief that this life is a test and part of an eternal plan of progr ...more
Nikolas Larum
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
In 2012, prominent evangelicals endorsed Mitt Romney in his bid for the presidency. The nation has come a long way from sending troops into Utah to stop plural marriage. From the days that Mormon missionaries visited my family when we lived in Spain, I’ve been a student of the religion. Though the author doesn’t shy away from the controversial areas of Mormonism, he primarily focuses on what most Mormons find important in their faith. Highly readable and informative.
Lesley
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A super quick and easy read this book has a healthy mixture of praise and disdain for an oft misunderstood yet still secretive and ever changing religion. An easy way to learn a bit about Mormon history and how Mormon culture exists today.
Mike
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
If given the ability, I would have added 1/2 star. This book is above average.

As you might imagine, the title is both intriguing (which caused me to pick up the book) and controversial (read some other reviews). Bottom line: What do you believe about Joseph Smith and to a lesser extent Brigham Young? If you believe Smith to be a charlatan who was highly influenced by the spiritualism of his day then turned those feelings and emotions into that which influenced people who were seeking
...more
Stephanie
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mormonism
This is the least scholarly, most biased book I have read on Mormonism. (Pretty much what you'd expect with the made-up word "Mormonizing" in the title.) The whole book read more like a seminar held by your local pastor on the "Dangers of the Mormon Cult", than an actual scholarly examination on the influence of the LDS church and faith on American history and culture. The majority of this book was an oversimplified version of LDS historical origins, with a general slant towards mockery of The B ...more
John Collier
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There can be no arguing that Mormonism is, as Newsweek put it last year, “having a moment.” But why? What has led to this? Answering questions like these is the goal of the new release by Stephen Mansfield, The Mormonizing of America (2012, Worthy Publishing).

Mansfield is a former pastor. He has authored several books including: The Faith of George W. Bush, The Faith of Barack Obama, The Search for God and Guinness (reviewed here), and The Faith of the American Soldier.

In The Mormon
...more
Erica Blake
Nov 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was eager to read as the book jacket states the author makes a fair judgement. He tries to take an unbiased stance from the beginning, but this does not remain the case throughout. There are numerous facts that are incorrect or misunderstood. I was hopeful to see what others think. This seems to prove that even scholars make little effort to understand the Saints and the Doctrine before passing judgement.
Hope
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book Challenge: A Book with Pop, Sugar, or Challenge In The Title

A fascinating look into a sub-culture in the US, and how they are a part of our new national identity. This is a fairly balanced book- it doesn't really come across as blatantly pro or anti Mormon-- which felt more authentic to the narrative.
Dan
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this book while watching the Republican National Convention broadcast from Tampa, including the speech by Governor Mitt Romney accepting the GOP nomination for President. There had been much talk online about Romney's Mormon faith and whether or not he would downplay his religion in his speech.

Romney is one of the prominent Mormons mentioned in this book, along with business author the late Stephen Covey, entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond, former ambassador John Huntsman (wh
...more
Kimberly
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stephen Mansfield gives an absolutely fascinating history of the LDS Church, including the story of Joseph Smith's vision that became the founding principles of this religion, the core beliefs that began the LDS Church, and the ever-changing reasons the leaders adapt their religion.
Matthew
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting content. I appreciated the focus on what the LDS believe.
Leona
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Mormonizing of America- How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominate Force in the Politics, Entertainment, Pop and Culture
Book review The Mormonizing of America- How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominate Force in the Politics, Entertainment, Pop and Culture By Stephen Mansfield


Stephen Mansfield has written a very interesting book about the Mormons or Latter-day Saints, or LDS, as they prefer to be called. He has the story of the beginnings of this religion, which is the only relig
...more
Jennifer Hale
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastically informational.
Vera Godley
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My thoughts: First of all, I found that this was not a deep nor controversial book written as a theological expose of Mormonism. It is a clearly written and, I believe, thoroughly researched and documented write dealing with the "birth" of the Mormon religion here in America, what the Mormon writings and individuals actually say and speak of themselves, and the achievement of many who hold to the Religion of Mormonism as their faith in he areas politics, military, arts and entertainment, high bu ...more
Greg Rothenberger
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
The Restoration movement is a subject that fascinates me. I read a lot about the LDS and other groups within the movement, and I never tire of it. I should point out at the start that I'm not a member of any Restoration denomination and generally take no side on the good or bad of Mormonism. However, I do like a good story. This book, which attempts to explain the current "Mormon moment" and how it will continue and develop, is very good. It's well written, persuasively argued, and filled with i ...more
Greg Rothenberger
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
The Restoration movement is a subject that fascinates me. I read a lot about the LDS and other groups within the movement, and I never tire of it. I should point out at the start that I'm not a member of any Restoration denomination and generally take no side on the good or bad of Mormonism. However, I do like a good story. This book, which attempts to explain the current "Mormon moment" and how it will continue and develop, is very good. It's well written, persuasively argued, and filled with i ...more
Catharine
This book gets two stars for accuracy, and maybe 3 for readability. The main problem I had with this book is that the author uses known anti-Mormon literature for some of his research. I feel that if people want to tell others about the Mormons, they should ask the Mormons for information. I was happy that while telling the story of Joseph Smith, the author used Joseph's own words from Joseph Smith's History.
I could spend some time refuting some of the statements made in the book, but I'll
...more
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Stephen Mansfield is a New York Times bestselling author and a popular speaker who is becoming one of the nation’s most respected voices on religion and American culture. He is also an activist in a variety of social causes.

Stephen was born in Georgia but grew up largely in Europe due to his father’s career as an officer in the United States Army. After a youth filled with sports, trav
...more