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August 22, 2013

Review of Lynn Wilder’s book “Unveiling Grace”

by Dave Malnes

“These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”  (Mark 10:40b)

Two disciples revealed hearts yearning for position and power within God’s kingdom. Jesus asks them, “Can you drink the cup that I can drink?” Their request reveals a pursuit of self-righteousness or self-promotion that lies at the core of sinful flesh. To be intertwined within a culture of religious teaching that glorifies this pursuit breeds arrogance rather than humility. The grim reality is that nobody can drink from the cup of Christ based on their own merits. The walls of arrogance over humility builds a self-imposed prison that only God can rescue a soul from.

In the same way, Mormonism is a cup that I have not drank from. I can only appreciate, but not fully comprehend the immense challenge to find the true Christ while ingrained within a religion that glorifies the pursuit of man. Filled with heartache, pain, and suffering, it’s a journey that is both unique and intensely personal.

This is the captivating story of Lynn Wilder in the book, “Unveiling Grace.” Here, she describes her journey both in and out of Mormonism. In the end, it wasn’t the fact that she discovered the real Christ, but that she was lovingly pursued by a “Dancer of Grace.”

Those who read her story will become an invited guest and taken on an exclusive tour that will visit the people, the culture, and the teachings of Mormonism. They will discover how the LDS Church methodically defines a way of life that can be both comforting and unyielding for the follower. We are also given a glimpse of why the journey is so agonizing and difficult for Mormons to come to the knowledge of the true and risen Christ of the Bible.

At the cusp of the book, we find Lynn as a tenured faculty member at Brigham Young University. She, along with her successful husband, held several important positions of leadership in the Church. For thirty years, life seemed good as active and faithful Mormons. Then, grace caught up with them in the most unusual of circumstances. Her son, Micah, discovers the real Christ while serving as a Mormon missionary in Florida. The dramatic story unfolds of two faithful LDS parents trying to cope with an “apostate” son followed by their family’s agonizing journey to the Christian faith. Lynn vividly describes the emotions and the inner turmoil of her desperate attempts to make sense of her son’s conversion and how it affects her entire family. Every twist and turn is recounted with different perspectives from each family member.

Being associated with Truth in Love Ministry whose mission is to bring as many Mormons to heaven as possible, I appreciate her story. While conducting several media outreach campaigns in Utah, I have had the opportunity of meeting hundreds of Mormons. I am familiar with the teachings and the culture of the LDS Church. I have met ex-Mormons who have left the Church, and I have interactive with family members whose loved ones have joined the Church.

For those who have journeyed into Mormonism, there is usually a crisis of faith or of the heart. There are many who may have attended a church as a youth, but didn’t fully grasp the biblical teachings of Jesus Christ. When encountering a crisis of examining their faith or purpose in life, Mormon missionaries will appear with an answer that seems to make sense to them. Embraced with loving arms, souls are absorbed into the swift current of LDS life and practices. Some are brought into the church by falling in love with a Mormon girl or boy.

For those who have journeyed out of Mormonism, there is anger and bitterness toward the church. Feeling duped and embarrassed by church authorities for whom they trusted, anger and impatience towards LDS church members becomes difficult to restrain.

The beauty of “Unveiled Grace” is both in its love and sincerity. Inside, we read a portrait of love. There is love expressed toward her husband and her family. There is love instead of anger that is tenderly expressed toward her people who are still members of the Mormon Church. And, there is a love for God who first loved her.

There are times when I am distracted in the book by the many references towards powerful dreams. They distracted me away from the core message of the book which is centered on the power of God’s Word and how it unveils Jesus Christ as the “Dancer of Grace.”

In the end, Lynn paints a portrait of grace.  With each brush stroke, she unveils an amazing portrait of a whole and complete person radiating with peace, joy, and confidence in knowing that she is already perfect and worthy in Christ Jesus.

It’s love that prompted the writing of this book, plus a sense of urgency for all her people of the LDS Church to come to the knowledge of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

I recommend reading “Unveiling Grace” for those who appreciate reading stories of God’s grace, for those who desire to learn more about the culture of the LDS Church, and for searching Mormons who are questioning their faith.

Order Unveiling Grace here

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