Mormon America: The Power and the Promise

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9780060663711: Mormon America: The Power and the Promise

In this candid examination of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of America's leading religion journalists covers everyaspect of this little-understood community of faith whose family values, business success, and evangelistic missions have helped it become one of the world's fastest growing religions.

Esteemed Time and Associated Press reporter Richard N. Ostling and fellow journalist Joan K. Ostling navigate the Mormon Church's complex origins and inner workings. They explore the dramatic changes in its policies on polygamy, its conviction in its manifest destiny as the true religion of America, its vocal dissenters, and the ways in which the church handles its vast financial, media, and educational resources.

Richard and Joan Ostling give readers a comprehensive and insightful look into this intriguing religion, complete with the church's history, beliefs, culture, and plans for the future. They shed light on the church's phenomenal success and the strong appeal of its teachings, and provide previously unreported details about its financial investments, worldwide missions, and internal politics.

In Mormon America, Richard Ostling picks up where his widely read 1997 Time magazine cover story, "Mormons, Inc.," left off, by illuminating the church's continuing surge in power and popularity. The Ostlings assemble through their reportage the complete story behind the most prosperous religious group in contemporary America.

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Review:

Mormon America: The Power and The Promise by Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling, grew out of a 1997 Time magazine cover story called "Mormon's Inc." One of the reporters on that story, Richard Ostling, became so fascinated by Mormonism that he set out to write "a candid but non-polemical" overview of the Church, beginning with its founding by Joseph Smith Jr. in 1830 and continuing to the present day. The resulting book is a marvel of clarity, organization, and analysis.

For statistical reasons alone, the Mormon Church demands a reader's attention: in just 170 years, the Church has grown from six members to more than 10 million; if current rates of growth continue, membership could hit 265 million by 2080, which would make it the most important world religion to emerge since the rise of Islam. Mormon America clarifies the reasons for the religion's rapid growth: "It was from the beginning optimistic and upbeat, a reaction against the establishment New England Calvinism.... It was a religious version of the American dream: Everyman presented with unlimited potential." The book also investigates the Mormons' immense wealth (relative to size, this is "America's richest church, with an estimated $30 billion in assets and something like $6 billion in annual income, mostly from members' tithes.") It anatomizes the minutiae of Church governance (Mormonism is ruled by a self-perpetuating, all-male hierarchy, headed by a "President, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator"), details the many rules that govern the Mormon lifestyle (famously, they avoid caffeine and alcohol; the Church's mandates extend even to the proper technique for "dispos[ing] of worn-out holy underwear"), and summarizes the Mormon scriptures. Mormon America is a compulsively readable book, not only for its insightful analysis and wealth of factual information, but also, and most importantly, because it respects its subject rigorously. "This is a real faith," the Ostlings write, "and must be understood in those terms, without caricature." --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Richard N. Ostling, a religion writer for the Associated Press, was formerly senior correspondent for Time magazine, where he wrote twenty-three cover stories and was the religion writer for many years. He has also covered religion for the CBS Radio Network and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS-TV.

Joan K. Ostling, a freelance writer and editor, was formerly a writer and editor for the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D.C., a reporter for the Press Publications newspaper chain in Chicago, and an English and journalism professor.

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Book Description HarperOne, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: In this candid examination of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of America's leading religion journalists covers everyaspect of this little-understood community of faith whose family values, business success, and evangelistic missions have helped it become one of the world's fastest growing religions. Esteemed "Time and Associated Press reporter Richard N. Ostling and fellow journalist Joan K. Ostling navigate the Mormon Church's complex origins and inner workings. They explore the dramatic changes in its policies on polygamy, its conviction in its manifest destiny as the true religion of America, its vocal dissenters, and the ways in which the church handles its vast financial, media, and educational resources. Richard and Joan Ostling give readers a comprehensive and insightful look into this intriguing religion, complete with the church's history, beliefs, culture, and plans for the future. They shed light on the church's phenomenal success and the strong appeal of its teachings, and provide previously unreported details about its financial investments, worldwide missions, and internal politics. "In Mormon America, Richard Ostling picks up where his widely read 1997 Time magazine cover story, "Mormons, Inc., " left off, by illuminating the church's continuing surge in power and popularity. The Ostlings assemble through their reportage the complete story behind the most prosperous religious group in contemp. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060663715

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