Mormons in Transition by Leslie Reynolds – book review
from a ‘disengaged’ Mormon:
I just got a copy of the book Mormons in Transition (2nd ed.) by Leslie Reynolds. It was a little disappointing.
It is a slim volume (154 pages), and I was able to read it in less than an hour. Reynolds is a former Mormon and a psychotherapist. She also describes herself as a “Christian.” Although I gather she does not belong to any particular church at the present time.
She alleges that this book was written to help Mormons as they made their transition out of Mormonism, and it is not supposed to be a tract for “Christianity.” Yet, I found an undertone of evangelical Christianity throughout the book.
It is not a well-written book, and seems to lack focus, IMO. Also, it is based on a sample that is way too small. She apparently only interviewed 13 people for this book, in addition to five non-Mormon pastors who work with former Mormons. I didn’t find it particularly useful, and wouldn’t particularly recommend that a person purchase it. It’s not so long that it can’t be read in a brief period of time, so if it is available in a library then it might be of some interest.
Personally, I think that there is need for a book to help people as they make their transition from traditional Mormonism to something else. Some of us may stay on in the Church, while others become agnostic or atheistic, and yet others opt for membership in other churches. I think that there is a need for more information for those who are contemplating leaving, or changing their status within the Church, that isn’t quite so intent on selling traditional Christianity as an alternative. Personally, I would like to read the stories of a greater sample than Reynolds chose.
On a related issue: I think that there is also a need to “get our story out.” That is to say, there are a lot of people hanging around the Church who share the same sentiments as I. However, either they aren’t online yet, or don’t know of the existence of these resources. Therefore, they feel that they are unique. They also feel guilty about their discontent.
I think that they need to know that they are not alone, that it is alright to have doubts, and that there is life after Mormonism.
I have been tempted to write a letter to Mike Wallace, of Sixty Minutes, and tell him that there is *another* Mormon story to be told. But, I’m not sure that I know what to say. I may be just a little too enthusiastic about my newly-found status as a disengaged Mormon.