Review of “Loved into the Light: Shining God’s Light on Mormonism”
Mormons believe they are Christians. Yet, many of them have never really heard the real truth of God’s Word. The teachings of Mormonism utilizes the same words, but with a far different understanding than the teachings of orthodox Christianity. In a man-centered religion like Mormonism, Christ takes a back seat in their theology and instead, the efforts of man to be like a god is both celebrated and pursued. For these reasons, sharing God’s Word with a Mormon is challenging enough, but the journey out of Mormonism and into the true light of the gospel can be even more daunting.
This journey from Mormonism to the real truth of God’s Word and what Christ has already done for us is found in the book, “Loved into the Light: Shining God’s Light on Mormonism” by La Vonne Earl.
As a nineteen year old, La Vonne was visited by two lady Mormon missionaries. She converted and was baptized as a Mormon and even married a Mormon man. She spent the next eighteen years of her life devoted to the LDS Church and valiantly fought the continuous battle of trying to be good enough to earn salvation. She tried with all her might to obey all the rules of how to be a good Mormon until her family started to fall apart because of the mountain of stresses and guilt associated with trying to put up a good front. Before succumbing and allowing her family to fall apart, she turned to God for help. A nearby Christian church provided exactly what she needed; love, acceptance and the truth to set her free from the bondage of the false teachings of Mormonism.
For many ex-Mormons, the journey to the Christian faith is a long and painful process. There is the pain of leaving and disappointing long-time LDS friends and family. There is the sheer disappointment of feeling lied to by those in authority whom you deeply trusted. Finally, there is the process of growing in the faith which is accepting a truth that seems too good to be true. Free forgiveness? Grace is not earned? All of these blessing can be received right now from faith alone? This is the journey for an ex-Mormon that is filled with many bumps and deep ruts.
A Christian can have the privilege of walking along side the ex-Mormon and helping them in their new faith by loving them, praying for them, and re-confirming the fact that we can trust God’s Word to be true. The painful process includes unloading the baggage of false teachings that have kept them in bondage. Sometimes, it’s one piece of baggage at a time. Usually, a big obstacle for ex-Mormons is learning how to exercise their new freedom in Christ. This is really challenging for them and a main theme in La Vonne’s book.
Typically, we have found that many ex-Mormons will struggle with authority in the church and trying to understand different teachings between Christian denominations and why denominations even exist. It will be important to point out that La Vonne takes a strong position on her beliefs against denominations and on baptism as being a symbolic act of faith. With that being said, we can appreciate her comparisons to what Mormonism teaches about being the true church and their vastly different interpretation of baptism. She also tackles subjects like, “Can we trust God’s Word? What makes a true prophet? Freedom versus control.”
What I appreciate the most about La Vonne’s book is her heart’s desire to reach out to those who have been imprisoned by the false teachings of religions like Mormonism and any church that focuses on works-righteousness. If a person wants to capture a flavor of what it’s like to trying to be a faithful Mormon, or the difficult journey of coming out of Mormonism, or simply appreciate her journey in finding freedom in Christ alone, then this would be a good read. Her challenge to other churches and Christians is a good one. A Christian can be that person to provide love, acceptance and point to the truth that can only be found in Christ and what he has already done for us. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Through Christ, we can truly be set free.