Item description for One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church by Richard Abanes...
Founded in 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was initially perceived as a movement of polygamous, radical zealots; now in parts of the U.S. it has become synonymous with the establishment. In reevaluating its preoccupation with issues of church and state, Abanes uncovers the political agenda at Mormonism's core: the transformation of the world into a theocratic kingdom under Mormon authority. This illustrated edition has been revised and offers a new postscript by the author.
Citations And Professional Reviews One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church by Richard Abanes has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 91
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 120
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Bestselling author Richard Abanes is a nationally known religion journalist who has authored sixteen books, including The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter and the Bible. Richard has also worked as a professional singer, dancer, and actor on Broadway and in television/films, and he specializes in the area of pop culture and the entertainment industry. He is currently working on his first novel.
Richard Abanes currently resides in Rancho Santa Margarita, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church?
Shows Differences Between Mormon and Christian Doctrine Jul 19, 2008
Richard Abanes has written the definitive account on the history of Mormonism from its founding in upstate New York in the 1820s through the turn of the twenty-first century. "One Nation Under Gods" is written as history, but reads more like an action-packed novel.
The book reveals the devastating truth about Mormonism and Joseph Smith. Irrefutable evidence is presented that Smith engaged in the occult practice of money digging/glass looking, for which he was convicted of a misdemeanor in March 1826. The Book of Mormon as it was originally composed in 1830 contained numerous errors. "One Nation Under Gods" describes in detail the trouble Mormons had living in harmony with other settlers in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois before finally moving to Utah. Also very well documented is the fact that in the nineteenth century, Mormonism was a very violent religion. Most stunning, perhaps, is a letter by Mormon scholar Thomas Stuart Ferguson that admits that Mormonism is not true.
Throughout this historical account, Abanes describes the numerous doctrinal differences between Mormonism and Christianity. Mormonism was founded because Smith believed that all denominations of Christianity were false, and in its beginning Mormonism was explicitly a non-Christian religion; today, however, Mormonism has been repackaged as Christian. This book is vital for those who wish to be well-versed concerning the American religious scene today.
Informative but slanted Jul 1, 2008
An easy-to-read tome of information, but not the most balanced, and certainly not the most objective. Especially disappointing is a later chapter which "shows" how Mormonism is not Christian, by presenting a chart that compares "proper" (ie. Fundamentalist Protestant) Christian beliefs with Mormon ones. An unfortunately antagonistic addition to an otherwise scholarly and informative work.
Plus ça change... May 20, 2008
I became acquainted with the early history of Mormonism through a brief article in a historical magazine that I read years ago. I thought then that any Mormon who knew even a little of Joseph Smith and the origin of their religion would find it impossible to believe, but since that obviously isn't true, I decided to read a little more on the topic. This book is a great introduction. It is very readable, full of evidence to back up its statements, and unflinching in its recounting of the formation of the Mormon Church.
But what's really interesting about the book is the comparisons it doesn't make. It's easy to snicker at the Mormons' mindless obedience even when their founder's prophecies didn't come to pass, and new visions seemed to pop up at very convenient times. But people of any religion should think this through to its conclusion. Were Joseph Smith's revelations any more "convenient" than Peter's vision that kosher laws no longer applied (in the context of a fight over whether Gentiles wishing to become Christian would have to convert to Judaism first), or Muhammad's that Muslims should pray toward Mecca rather than Jerusalem (in the face of unacceptance by Jews)? Were his tales in *The Book of Mormon* any taller than the Bible's of prophets getting swallowed by whales or virgin births, or the Koran's of Muhammad's night flight to Jerusalem on a winged horse? Were the atrocities perpetrated by the Mormons any more atrocious than the Inquisition or 9/11?
Mormonism may be a pack of wild yarns and self-serving religious power-mongering, but is any other religion any better? If you're going to knock down the house of cards that is Mormonism, you should also take a look at the house you've been living in. Doesn't seem like religion has changed much in the past few thousand years, does it?
My only other comment is that the book is marred by just enough typos and grammatical errors to be a bit irritating. These should have been taken care of during the editing process, and I hope they will be in the next edition. This is why I only gave it four stars. But that aside, I recommend it wholeheartedly. Hopefully it will put into motion some serious questioning even after you've read the last page.
If the LDS faith is true.... Feb 2, 2008
Can the LDS faith withstand well-documented historical scrutiny?
If the LDS / Mormon faith is true, then it should be able to withstand the scrutiny that books like this provide. But most Mormons are afraid to open a book like this. They are told by their church that they should not read such "propaganda." Notice the other reviewers who call it that. They don't actually refute the facts in the book that make the Mormon faith look bad; they simply label it as "propaganda" and refuse to engage on the merits of the evidence.
Example: I've read Gerald and Sandra Tanners' work, and it is meticulously documented using ONLY MORMON / LDS sources! They photocopy original Mormon journals, and use lengthy passages from the Book of Mormon, the Journal of Discourses, the Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants, and the Bible. It is not just "Propaganda," but evidence that demands a verdict.
Mormons can't stand to have their faith shown up as a fraud, so they just call such evidence "propaganda." Then they turn the argument around and try to take the focus off the facts, by accusing other people of "bashing their religion." Never mind the fact that the Mormon faith teaches that all the Christian churches are an "abomination" in God's sight, and that only Mormons can go to the Celestial Kingdom and become a god someday. Who's bashing whom?
I've never met so many people with their fingers stuck firmly in their ears. Truly tragic. They are afraid to examine anything that might shake their faith...and their leaders usually order them not to! If your faith is the truth, then it should be able to withstand scrutiny and answer these allegations.
A Spellbinding Book Oct 26, 2007
Seldom does a day go by where I don't see or run into a pair of lily-white, ultra-confident, and wholly ungrounded members (read: early-twenties elders) of the LDS pedalling their bicycles and pedaling their religion, and this is because I reside in Taipei, Taiwan. In this part of the world, I can tell you, the Mormons are out in full force. Indeed, they have nearly 100 centers throughout this country and make something like 50 converts a month, incredible when you consider Taiwan is only the size of Holland (or Tennessee), and that it is Chinese.
I had always assumed that Mormons were simply an austere order of Christians, but after a conversation with a pair of them one day I wondered if that could be so. No Christians that I knew of were required to wear magical underpants. I decided to conduct an investigation. I informed the "elders" that I would like to attend a few services, which I did. What I saw shocked me. Then I read ONE NATION UNDER GODS: A HISTORY OF THE MORMON CHURCH and I was shocked some more; for 650 pages, to be precise. Meanwhile I kept up the charade; yes, I was on the verge of joining, I said, but I had bought a book that seemed to counter much of what I had been told. Also, the core belief - that god was a polygamous space diety named Elohim who resided near the planet Kolob with his wife (Heavenly Mother) engaging in space sex with the spiritual offspring (i.e. humans) scattered throughout the universe - had been conveniently ommitted from any explanation, the Mormons got nervous. "Are you or are you not Christians?" I persisted, but they wouldn't answer. They had been discovered. You can discover them too in Richard Abanes' mesmerizing history. Incidentally, I ended up writing about the Taiwanese Mormons in my own book and oddly enough the "elders" I see everyday never even say hello anymore. Pity. I was really hoping to catch a glimpse of their underwear.