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(Reposted from June 2011 in response to a question. Be sure and check out parts 1 and 2)

Writings that are directly challenging to conventional thought

The whole”anti” accusation is a tough one to deal with. It gets thrown around a lot in Mormon-land. What makes a book or an author “Anti-Mormon” or “Anti-Christian”?

Most of my Mormon family and acquaintances would throw anything into that category if it contains “faith-damaging” information. Yet, some of the most faith-damaging information is contained in official LDS publications.  By using that definition, almost anything spoken by a church leader more than 30 years ago qualifies. In fact, some of the most damaging things I’ve heard or read were spoken or written by the living, modern day church leadership less than 30 years ago.

Boyd K Packer’s talks were the first chips in my firm testimony. Here are a few doozies:

But I think it was The Language of Prayer talk by Dallin Oaks that had my jaw on the floor as I realized for the first time that a leader could be just plain wrong. Then Divine Love delivered by Russell Nelson helped me realize that I didn’t WANT to worship a God whose love was so conditional.

Here’s a few more random LDS  prophet treasures which include some ridiculous claims and advice for your reading pleasure:

  1. Identity, Priority, and Blessings, Russell Nelson
  2. Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse, Richard G. Scott
  3. Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers Russell Ballard
  4. Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson
  5. Help Me In Mine Unbelief, James Faust
  6. Race Problems – As They Affect the Church, Mark E Peterson
  7. Pre-existence: For What Purpose?, Alvin R. Dyer
  8. Cleansing the Inner Vessel, Boyd Packer

As much as these talks paint the LDS faith in a silly light, I don’t think anyone would call them “anti.” My definition of “anti” is a little different. I believe it deals with intent and inaccuracy.

I know several historical and doctrinal criticisms of the Catholic church but believing them or even sharing them doesn’t make me “Anti-Catholic.” On my mission I regularly shared some of these facts.  Without considering intent, an LDS missionary is essentially “anti” towards every other religion when he or she shares the doctrine of the Apostasy. So, a person can’t be automatically called “anti” when he or she is promoting a version of reality without hate and without animosity. Just because something pisses you off does not make it inaccurate or “anti.”

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” – Aldous Huxley

If I want to take down the Catholic, Mormon or Christian faith and will employ ANY means of factual and imaginary tales to do so, that’s what I consider “anti”. There has to be room for even an atheist to sincerely discuss religion without believers crying persecution.

So, the following books listed are more direct discussions of Religion, Christianity and Mormonism than part 1. The first section lists LDS books and those by LDS authors who claim to remain believers; Or they were at least very faithful at the time they were written. Nevertheless, the facts and the discussions within are far from faithful to the official party line.

And lastly, I’ve listed books that are more direct challenges to the LDS Doctrine and History or Christianity by outsiders that some will consider “anti”. I don’t. Again, I don’t necessarily agree with everything written in every book here. I’d encourage anyone to research and confirm facts all on their own. I did.

The gospel of Jesus Christ clearly says to us as far as the world of truth and fact is concerned, there’s nothing out there to be afraid of. The Latter- day Saint leans into learning with a gusto, or should. -Elder Neal A. Maxwell

If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed. -J. Reuben Clark

Faithful LDS/Christian Books

  1. The Book of Mormon & The Pearl of Great Price
  2. Studies of the Book of Mormon, BH Roberts
  3. Journal of Discourses
  4. History of the Church
  5. The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel
  6. In Sacred Loneliness, Todd Compton
  7. An American Prophet’s Record, Scott Faulring
  8. An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins,  Grant Palmer
  9. The Mormon Hierarchy – Origins of Power,  D. Michael Quinn
  10. The Mormon Hierarchy – Extensions of Power,  D. Michael Quinn
  11. The Sanctity of Dissent, Paul James Toscano
  12. A Peculiar People, Mormons and Same-Sex Orientation, Ron Schow, Wayne Schow & Marybeth Raynes

 LDS/Christian Books by former  members or outsiders

  1. By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus, by Charles M. Larson
  2. Losing a Lost Tribe, Simon Southerton
  3. Under the Banner of Heaven,  Jon Krakauer
  4. Farewell to Eden, by Duwayne Anderson
  5. Leaving the Fold, by James W. Ure
  6. Stranger at the Gate, Mel White
  7. Why I Am Not a Christian, Bertrand Russell
  8. Combatting Cult Mind Control, Steven Hassan