Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found our Way out of the Mormon Church, written by Lynn K. Wilder
Reviewed by Eric Johnson
Many Christians—especially those of us who live in Utah—have heard of the Adam’s Road band and seen them perform. Using the powerful words of scripture, the members of the band have shared the gospel of grace and truth at concerts throughout the nation.
Now comes a book by Lynn Wilder—the mother of band founder Micah—that explains how the Wilder family found Jesus not very long ago. The only word that could describe the Wilders’ transformation is miraculous. After all, many individuals regularly leave Mormonism and embrace Christianity; however, for an entire family to leave the religion for the grace of Christ is truly a rare event. For believers who think that their Mormon friends and family members will never be able to see the truth, Unveiling Grace is for you. It is a compelling account filled with hope and power.
Scheduled to be released on August 20, 2013, the story is told through a mother’s eyes. Who better to explain it than a woman who was once considered worthy enough to work as a full-time professor at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University? Perhaps some skeptics within her ward could have used Lynn's full-time employee status as a mark against an otherwise “Molly Mormon” persona, but as she explains, she was practically serving a church calling since the university needed female educators to help BYUl fulfill accreditation standards. From what she has written, her (and her family’s) faithfulness to the LDS religion was undeniable.
Much of what she writes describes the other members of her family. For example, husband Michael held important church callings and was a strong believer. Their two oldest sons had successful foreign mission experience. Until a health issue got in the way, son Micah was supposed to leave for a foreign mission as well; he was later rescheduled for the state of Florida. Who would have known that this was the first step in God’s plan that would end up in the redemption of the entire family.
There was great family pride when Micah was allowed to be the youngest person to ever serve full time as a temple worker, which he did at the local Utah temple until he was old enough to serve his mission. A go-get-them attitude prodded Micah to present the LDS gospel message to a Christian pastor in his area. Lynn shares how Micah was surprised when the pastor didn’t convert! The pastor challenged Micah to read the Bible through the eyes of a child, holding no presuppositions to hide the original meaning. Micah decided to take the challenge; by focusing his efforts on the New Testament, Micah ended up discovering a gospel message that was much different from the one presented by the Mormon Church.
During Micah's mission, Michael and Lynn were left clueless about the transformation happening within their son. However, when Micah was sent home early from his mission, the story moves at breakneck speed. Challenged to read the Bible for herself, Lynn began to see huge holes in what she had believed for many years. While she had many doubts and lessened her church involvement, Michael maintained his leadership positions and tried to save face with the local leaders, even paying Lynn’s required tithing behind her back. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before he also discovered problems in Oz.
Unveiling Grace—which is also the same title as an hour-long video documentary on the band—is sure to keep the reader's interest. For those who are interested in apologetics, Lynn provides documentation for the unique LDS teachings while giving a Christian response. Thus, I think this book will be valuable to those who may not be very knowledgeable about the Mormon religion. It is being heavily promoted by the publisher (Zondervan), and Lynn has been invited to tell her story to a number of media outlets. It will, I believe, provide a wonderful introduction to the bankrupt version of the gospel offered by Mormonism while introducing the free gift of grace provided by Jesus. As the Wilders found out, this escape from condenmnation is nothing that anyone can earn on their own.
Now it's time to hear Micah’s side of the story. Let's hope he writes his own book so we can hear his perspective.