Item description for Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe by Isaiah Bennett...
Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe offers an unprecedented look at the Mormon religion. It is the first book offering an in-depth and objective critique of Mormonism from a Catholic perspective. Isaiah Bennett conducts a thorough, frank, and charitable investigation of Mormonism, its history and the doctrines its leaders don't want told to the public. He highlights the religion's contradictory doctrines and explains how it "packages" itself to appear Christian. Isaiah Bennett is a former Catholic priest who converted to Mormonism and then reconverted to Catholicism once he discovered the errors and contradictions in Mormonism. Now he is dedicated to defending the Catholic faith and explaining the truth about Mormonism so other Catholics won't make the mistake he made.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Inside Mormonism?
Catholic Dec 20, 2007
Aren't there several accounts of Catholic Popes who were murdered by their own people, who after being murdered, individuals who were involved in the crime took it upon themselves to call themselves "Pope".
Benedict VI (973 - 974): Not much is known about Pope Benedict VI except that he came to a violent end. When his protector, Emperor Otto the Great, died, the Roman citizens rebelled against Benedict and he was strangled by a priest on the orders of Crescentius, a brother of the late Pope John XIII and the son of the Theodora. Boniface Franco, a deacon who helped Crescentius, was made pope and called himself Boniface VII. Boniface, however, had to flee Rome because the people were so outraged that a pope had been strangled to death in such a manner.
What about so called Popes who are supposedly "Called of God" who've been "womanizers" and rapists?
John XII (955 - 964): Just 18 years old when he was elected pope, John was a notorious womanizer and the papal palace came to be described as a brothel during his reign. It is perhaps fitting that he died of injuries sustained when he was caught in bed by the husband of one of his mistresses. Some legends say that he died of a stroke while in the act.
HOW CAN THERE BE ANY GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY IN A RELIGION FO FRAUGHT WITH THE VERY HIGHEST OF LEADERS KILLING IN ORDER TO GAIN THAT LEADERSHIP? HOW CAN A PERSON CLAIM TO BE CALLED OF GOD WHEN HE BLATANTLY BREAKS A VERY CLEAR COMMANDMENT GIVEN BY THE GOD THEY SAY CALLED THEM?
It makes no sense to me how a religion that changes over time to fit the time can truely claim to be God's church? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. MAN cannot change TRUTH! No matter how many studies they do. TRUTH is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The Mormon Faith is the same as taught by Christ himself. Did Christ have popes? I don't recall ever reading the word "Pope" in the bible. Did Christ hold one man accountable for another man's wrong choice? So why baptise an innocent child who's done no wrong so as to rectify a so-called "original sin" based on ADAM and EVE'S choice?
The purest form of a Christ-centered religion, is just THAT, CENTERED on CHRIST.....remember Him? He's the one who rebuked people for selling wares in His sacred Temple... He's the one who had such exquisite self control (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc) as to be able to RISE from THE DEAD.... He's the one who would look into the eyes of a woman who'd committed a sexual sin and see her as divine and forgive her.... He's the one who had the children brought to him even when his adult followers would've turned them away, viewing them as a waste of His time....He's the one who has a more profound and eternal understanding of the elements of nature that he could WALK ON WATER! And OVERCOME the absolute most difficult malady a mortal body can face, that of DEATH!!
Who are we, simple and minute mortals that we are, to second guess HIS VERY teachings? HIS VERY LAWS?
How can a religion (Catholic) claim to be from Christ himself, if those who were in the highest authority in that religion GOT THERE THROUGH MURDER, who RAPED women WHILE in that highest position? God cannot provide inspiration to vessels that aren't in line with His teachings.
And I mean his ETERNAL teachings, things that DON'T EVER change. LAWS that no matter how many people vote on changing them would STILL ring true. Such as HONESTY, FIDELITY, CHARITY, COMPASSION, HOPE, PURE LOVE.
Talk about a religion filled with lies....I mean Catholic.
Accurate Nov 15, 2006
Prior to my conversion to the Catholic faith I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 20 years. I have read this book and found it to accurately portray LDS doctrine and history. It does quite a good job of contrasting the LDS and Catholic faith and Mr. Bennett is quite charitible in his writing towards his LDS brothers and sisters. I recommend this book if you would like to know more about the differences between the LDS and Catholic faiths.
Anti-Mormon myopia Oct 24, 2006
I live in "Catholic Country" (i.e., The Republic of Ireland) and even study theology in a predominately Catholic University (The Pontifical University in Maynooth), so I am especially interested in what Catholics have to say about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even have enjoyed discussing "Mormonism" with many friends who are devout Catholics. I am sure that they would be disappointed in the arguments offered in this text.
Isaiah Bennet, a former Mormon of 18 months, has written a text that is based on the arguments of the Tanners in their magnum opus, "Mormonism - shadow or reality?" - arguments which have been outdated for some time now.
TIme will not permit me to detail every mistake in this book, so I will focus on a few arguments forwarded against the Book of Mormon.
Bennet claims that the Book of Mormon's use of "adieu" and "Alpha and Omega," French and Greek terms, respectively, represent a blunder in the volume. However, this ignores the fact that the Book of Mormon claims to be a translation. It therefore stands to reason that the language into which the Book of Mormon is rendered is not the language from which, accorsing to its claims, it was translated. Indeed, a purpose of a translation is to convey meaning, not words. It therefore is acceptable that the Book of Mormon uses words that would have been in the vocabularly of Joseph Smith and 19th century Americans. Furthermore, WEbster's 1828 dictionary reveals "adieu," used in Jacob 7, to be a loan word, from French, in the English language.
The argument if further weakened in light of the fact that Old Testament *translations* of the Bible use anglicised Greek words, such as Moses, Jacob, Joseph, SOlomon, David, Eve, and Job. These names are actually, in Hebrew, Moseh, Yakob, Yoseph, Shlomo, Dawid, Chawwah, and `Eyob. However, there is no real problem, as the Old Testament in English, as with the Book of Mormon, are *translations* from a Semitic language into English.
Another argument is that the Book of Mormon contradicts polygamy (polygyny) (Jacob 2 vs. D&C 132). Again, this represents ignorance of both the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.
However, he ignores Jacob 2:30 which reads (square brackets added), "For I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command people [i.e., to engage in polygamy]; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things [i.e., monogamy]."
From this verse, we read that the norm is monogamy, while polygamy is unacceptable unless the Lord commands it, as He did in section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants and the early Mormon practice of such, as he did in the Mosiac Law.
Moreover, Alma, in the Book of Mormon, is said to have blessed Amulek's "women" in Alma 10:11. In Hebrew, `ishah denotes both "women" and "wives," so in the Book of Mormon text itself, we have an example, albeit, subtle, form of acceptable polygamy within its very pages.
Bennet also charges that Mormons claim, with no true evidence, that the hill in New York is not really the hill CUmorah of the Book of Mormon. However, this, too, is false.
While some have accepted such to be the case, the internal geography of the Book of Mormon refutes such. The Book of Mormon makes clear that the demise of both the Jaredites and the Nephites took place near the narrow neck of land. Yet New York is thousands of miles away from any plausible configuration that could be described as this narrow neck of land. Thus the scripture itself rules out the idea that the Nephites perished near Palmyra, and that the hill in New York was not known as Cumorah until 1835, becoming a namesake. Furthermore, Mormon 6:6 claims that the records Mormon had, except the plates he gave his son, Moroni, which would be the source of the Book of Mormon, were buried in Cumorah, revealing that the final resting place of the Book of Mormon plates is notthe same hill as the Cumorah of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon's internal geography, material culture, and so forth, gives 15 main characterisitcs of either the Hill Cumorah or the surrounding area:
· Cities in the vicinity of the hill
· Towers or steeped pyramids for religious purposes
· Efficient agriculture
· Formal political states
· Organised religion
· Idolatry at certain times
· Craft specilisation
· Weaponry in the immediate vicinity of the Hill
With the exception of crafts and trade, of which there were but little, the vicinity of Palmyra vicinity does not match up to the criteria above. Indeed, most serious Book of Mormon scholars have shown that all Book of Mormon events fit the milleau of Mesoamerica, namely southern Mexico, Northern Guatamala, and some models, Belize. Contra some popular belief, however, most models have little, if any, overlap with Maya areas. The hill that best matches the Book of Mormon's Hill Cumorah is Cerro Vigia in Southern Mexico, fitting all the criteria above. Indeed, even weaponry has been found around the general vicinity of the hill. Full archaeological digs there still has to be undertaken, and one must keep in mind the difficulties pertinent to archaeological searches in Mesoamerica, and the inherent difficulties attendant to the fact that Mesoamerican cultures built on top of the ruins of conquered nations and destroyed all their records. Notwithstanding, the relationship between the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica reveals great promise, with patience being the key.
This, too, should put the lie to the claim that Mormons claim that the drumlin in New York is not the Hill Cumorah of the Book of Mormon with little evidence to back such a cliam up.
Much more could be said about the misrepresentations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contained in this text, but time will not permit me to deal with all of them. However, the above should be enough to show that Bennett knows little, if anything, about the Book of Mormon. Indeed, such a weak text was rather surprising, seeing that Catholic Answers have published more-than-decent texts on religious topics in the past, such as "Catholicism and Fundamentalism."
I welcome sincere feedback at Robert.S.Boylan@nuim.ie
Would the real Mr. Bennett please stand up? Apr 26, 2006
Mr. Bennett's conversion story, told at numerous LDS fireside, recounts how he was a Catholic apologist intent on discrediting the Mormon Church by studying what he called "anti-Mormon" literature. Dissatisfied with these works which he considered lacking in credibility because they were an "outsider's" view, he investigated the Mormon Church directly and, as he claims, became converted. Now, re-converted back to the Catholic Church, he has written a work that touts an insider's credibility the prior works he criticized lacked. However, in light of Mr. Bennett's past and his admitted desire to discredit Mormonism at the outset, one must ask "would the real Mr. Bennett please stand up?"
In his highly popular LDS firesides, Mr. Bennett stated he took interest in Mormonism because he considered all other offshoots of Christianity as mere apostates, whereas the Mormon Church's restorationist claims were a credible claim against the authority of the Catholic church. In his own words, either the Catholic church or the Mormon church were true. Is Mr. Bennett weak minded and incapable of coming to a conclusion, or was his conversion a mere ploy to feign credibility in order to sell books?
Mr. Bennett's "Inside Mormonism", cites works by the very critics of the Mormon church he himself found wanting in credibility, and is merely a rehashing of the same arguments and mischaracterizations of the past with the only difference of his work carrying a supposed inside view. If Mr. Bennett indeed joined the Mormon church in a ploy to gain credibility with a predetermined intent to return to his Catholic roots, he can hardly be considered an insider or credible. Should this work be relied upon to understand Mormonism? Certainly not. It is no more objective than are any of the works he himself considered biased and which he now quotes abundantly in his own book. As Mr. Bennett said many times in his fireside, "If you want to learn about another faith, do not go to it's critics, but to to those who faithfully teach it," Mr. Bennett's advice seems apropos in this case as well. Is this work helpful for Catholics who want ammunition to discredit Mormons to those of their own faith? By design I believe it is, although it does so based on gross misrepresentations and a disingenuous view.
If you choose to read this book, read it with the understanding that the perspective of the author was almost certainly preconceived based on an agenda that was set when he left his Catholic faith to sojourn for 2 years amongst those whom he had spent years seeking to discredit. Unfortunately in doing so he discredits himself to anyone but those of his original, then former, now restored faith. As a former Catholic myself and convert to the Mormon church, I was saddened to learn that Mr. Bennett takes belief in God so lightly that he can change religions so easily. Mr. Bennett has been either disingenuous to both Catholics and Mormons in his conversion to and from both faiths, or he is of a weak mind incapable of settling decisively on so important a matter. Either way, his works become suspect on their face and his credibility can be found seriously wanting.
Mr. Bennett quickly shows a lack of real scholarship! Apr 18, 2006
this site.com has a few page examples of this book on the web. To be honest, these are the only pages of this book that I have read. However, they are enough to easily see the legitimacy of Mr. Bennett's authorship. Plain and simply put, "He hasn't any!" Many of the other reviews indicate how well documented and footnoted this book is. I'm sure that he has read the other sources (or at least portions of them) and quoted them accurately. Unfortunately, the accuracy of these sources is highly disputed. For example, one of his footnotes references a book by Jerald & Sandra Tanner. Their publications have been shown time and again to simply be anti-Mormon propaganda and full of twisted doctrine, half-truths or outright lies concerning the Mormon Church. To use any of their books, documents or publications as an accurate reference is useless. Another reference by Marquardt & Walters indicates certain timelines of the pre-LDS Church days. Unfortunately, their timelines don't always add up. From their book, it's evident they always tried to find information to back up their claims. When they couldn't they `fudged' the dates a little to make everything work out. I find it very interesting that he is using these well-known erroneous sources as references. During his `Mormon period,' I heard him speak several years ago. During the talk, he said himself that his research into anti-Mormon literature often demonstrated a `round robin' approach to scholarship. That one anti-Mormon would quote a second; a second would quote a third and so on. Eventually the first one starts to quote his own statement as written in someone else's book. Now Mr. Bennett wants the reader to accept these same questionable sources as acceptable, reputable scholarly sources? I think he needs to do a little more genuine research, on his own, before he writes any type of book of this nature. Within only 3-4 pages we see that his sources are faulty. If his sources are in error, then anything he writes from them will be wrong as well. For a man who had been so involved in the Mormon Church, he missed some key issues. Such as pg. 25, he discusses that, "no one had actually seen the plates... " He did mention that a group of 3 men and another group of 8 men, "saw them with eyes of faith" He goes on to say, "Some said they `hefted' the plates, though they were wrapped in cloth at the time." Again, by only the 4th page, he has completely misrepresented an important event. If you look in the first page of any Book of Mormon, there is a record written by both groups that clearly indicate that they did indeed touch, handle and examine the plates in person without any need for `eyes of faith.' On this incorrectly presented key experience, notice that the author does not give any reference as to where he obtained his version! If Mr. Bennett can't even get a simple story like that event straight within the first few pages, how can anyone believe anything else he writes later? The bottom line to all of this: I wouldn't bother reading this. In spite of having been a `Mormon,' Isaiah Bennett hasn't done a very accurate job of research or representation on the Mormon Church. (He doesn't even bother to inform the reader that the real name of the church is not Mormon, but is actually, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.")