A Reason for Faith was written to do just as the title implies, provide reasons for faith by offering faithful answers to sincere questions. Before the Internet, historical and doctrinal questions not addressed in LDS Church curriculum were mostly found in the scholarly articles of academic journals. This is no longer the case. These topics are now widely debated and discussed online and in other forums. And when members of the LDS Church come across information that is unfamiliar, they may feel surprise, fear, betrayal, or even anger. Laura Harris Hales has assembled a group of respected LDS scholars to offer help in A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History. Together these authors have spent an average of 25 years researching these topics. Their depth of knowledge and faith enables them to share reliable details, perspective, and context to both LDS doctrine and Church history. The information in these essays can begin an exciting process of discovery for readers as they learn from a source they can trust. Each chapter is engaging and thought-provoking, providing an invaluable resource for both the merely curious and the seriously concerned.
"Joseph Smith and Money Digging"
"Remembering the First Vision"
"Translating the Book of Mormon"
"Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon"
"The Testimonies of the Book of Mormon Witnesses"
"The Restoration of the Priesthood"
"Isaiah in the Book of Mormon"
"The Explanation-Defying Book of Abraham"
"Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates"
"The Practice of Polygamy"
"Joseph Smith's Practice of Plural Marriage"
"Freemasonry and the Latter-day Saint Temple Endowment Ceremony"
"Race, the Priesthood, and Temples"
"Finding Lehi in America through DNA Analysis"
"Latter-day Saint Women in the Twenty-First Century"
"Homosexuality and the Gospel"
"Science and Religion: Friends or Foes?"
|Published||Deseret Book and RSC BYU 2016|
This book was phenomenal. The research behind it seems extensive and the experts who write each chapter are top notch. This book doesn't sugar-coat things but rather provides a lot of clarity and context around the things that might otherwise seem 'strange' or 'off' at first glance in church history or policy.
How do you condense subject matter that normally recquires years of study and multiple paradigm shifts for some people to grasp into a relatively small book that the average casual reader can understand and enjoy?
I don't know but Laura Hales and her crew have done it. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
I agree with DarlaG the Church has extremely poor in not seeing what most people could see that the 'political' apologists were far ahead of the Church as we kept our heads well in the cultural sand of 'ignoring difficult issues', coupled with the continued inability to have no format in our church lessons in addressing any of the issues listed. This lack of involvement continues to destroys people's faith including my precious son and his complete family of 6.
It has been the churches academics that has tried to save us and clarify and unravel our history particularly with very good series of essays in this collection. We need more and more of this since church magzines are simply more sacrament talks.
Laura keep up the good work and please make the essays as tough as possible we need the truth.....the whole truth ...and nothing but the truth!
In a time where negativism and controversies swirl around the church on social media and the internet, this book is a wonderful resource for believing members of the church. If you want to find a quick response for an argumentative situation or a book to hand to someone to provide "proof," this won't fit the bill. This book provides essays addressing these issues by members of the church who are experts in their field. You will never find social media providing the amount of footnotes, references, or links to professional articles that you will see in this book. I found it to be a balanced discussion of the topics and shared great information. I have encountered many different "arguments" against the church, whether historical, social, or scientific. My testimony of the gospel hasn't swayed even though I haven't always known how to respond. This book provides perspective on the topics and discusses what we know and what we don't. A real discussion on a topic can't be whittled down to Twitter post or a 10 second soundbite, unlike what today's media would like you to believe. After reading this book, I walked away with a deeper understand of the issues, an appreciation of the struggle of the past and present, new perspectives, and increased faith.
I loved this book. It helped calm my fears about many topics that have troubled me for quite some time. The explanations are well researched, not sugar coated, and helped me view troubling topics through a new lens of understanding. I’d recommend it to anyone, and only wish it had been written sooner.
Kindle Edition (edit)
Review A Must Read for All LDS
Kudos to Laura Hales for undertaking this vital project! In recent years I have begun to read many books, articles, and the like that seek to expand the underdeveloped field of LDS apologetics. The mainstream Christians began developing and fine-tuning their "Arguments in Defense of..." centuries ago, but the LDS branch of the Christian faith, young though it may be, has been sorely lacking in this area. By not making fact-based apologetic discussions a serious piece of Sunday School, Seminary, Institute, Devotionals, and even General Conference, the faith that many hold so dear has been losing adherents, largely because of a better organized, better prepared opposition. This has got to change, and change quickly. Books like Hales' represent a step in the right direction.
Section by section the contributors to Hales' project present clear, concise, well-researched, and thoroughly readable theses on a wide variety of vital contemporary topics. The writers do not shy away from difficult subjects, and they are quick to give readers the assertions and arguments of dissidents and critics, as well as those of the apologetic community, which helps greatly in understanding why some of these topics are or have been controversial. In such a presentation, the curious and concerned are invited to choose for themselves which side of the argument they find most compelling. I didn't feel much, if any, information was deemed too "vexatious" to divulge, and the range of topics covered was quite adequate, though two or three more books on additional issues could easily be written- and I encourage Hales to do so!
'A Reason for Faith' is the perfect book for the difficult times LDS members find themselves in. It handles what was previously "taboo" or "controversial" for church members in a concise, clear way. The essays provided many answers to subjects I previously had been afraid to research (Kinderhook Plates, rumors about Joseph Smith). This doesn't mean that the book answered every single question I had, but it provided general, official answers for every topic. If you or someone you know is looking for answers on controversial or difficult topics and don't know where to look, this book is an excellent place to start. I'd strongly recommend this for all age groups and for someone that likes a little bit of LDS Church history.
This is an exceptionally good book. It provides up-to-date, accurate information about a number of difficult issues relating to the LDS church. For example, it treats the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith's plural marriage, and issues with the Book of Abraham, among many other topics. One of the things that I appreciated about the book is that the various authors were very candid about what we do and don't know. They showed that one can have faith without having every difficult issue fully resolved. At the same time, they were very clear about what we do know and demonstrated how this knowledge can strengthen our faith. Highly recommended!