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Book Review: 'I'm A Mormon, Now What?'

Published: Tuesday, July 12 2011 7:00 a.m. MDT

"I'M A MORMON — NOW WHAT?" by Carmen Davis, Cedar Fort, $9.99, 116 pages (nf)

Becoming a member of the LDS Church brings challenges beyond accepting new doctrines. Converts enter a world with its own language and culture.

Carmen Davis' book “I'm A Mormon — Now What?” attempts to answer these challenges by explaining church organization, traditions and expectations in the simplest way possible.

A road-trip motif guides converts through eight chapters of advice and encouragement. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of the LDS lifestyle and covers topics such as sacrament meeting etiquette, service and refreshments. Following the final chapter, Davis includes an appendix of common LDS terms with short definitions and commentary.

As new members and missionaries know, joining the LDS faith can require drastic life changes. Converts may soon find themselves in an environment that can seem difficult to navigate. Sometimes they are unable to fall back on former habits for comfort.

Davis recognizes this, and her book does an admirable job of instilling knowledge and confidence in those who are facing the same trials she once faced. Her writing, though not polished, is friendly and inviting. Even lifelong members of the church will have an easy time understanding the situations Davis describes.

Consistent positivity and realistic advice that fill every chapter make this short book a useful tool for those looking for explanations of basic LDS concepts and customs.

However, Davis omits discussion of any topic that might seem controversial.

In light of recent social and political issues involving the church, this absence is both conspicuous and unfortunate.

“I'm A Mormon — Now What?” is a good guide for understanding basic concepts, but those struggling with more abstract difficulties will need to find help elsewhere.

Bryce Gessell graduated from BYU with a degree in humanities.

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