Hutchinson, Janis. The Mormon Missionaries: An Inside Look at Their Real Message and Methods. Everett: Cross and Pen Ministries, 2011. 272 pp. $14.95. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for much less.
Janis Hutchinson has a heart for those who are involved in cults. Especially for those who have no idea they are in a Christian cult like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. She has written another book on the subject, Out of the Cults and Into the Church. She draws from her personal experience as a Mormon missionary and has completed both a B.Th and an M.A. degree in theology. You can read more from her at her personal website.
Divided into 12 chapters, Janis offers what amounts to a theological biography of sorts as she details how she first encountered the Mormon church through their missionaries on her college campus. Chapter two discusses the “sacred canopy” of their media campaigns on television and in print. She next offers the underlying motive for why the Mormon church sends out so many missionaries.
The next few chapters seek to expose the strategies of their “gospel” and the importance of the first message of the “heavenly Father.” Chapters 6 and 7 look a bit closer at the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith and how he brought together ultimately magic and the Masonic Lodge. The final chapters look at the strategy of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th missionary presentations.
Janis does indeed write from an “insider’s perspective.” Some of this information was new to me, but most of it is known to those who have studied the cult ministry at any length. Her third chapter on the underlying motive for the number of missionaries will cause some ripples (as evidenced by comments on various book sites) as she shows how the Mormon church is seeking a corporate and ultimate government monopoly.
This book is more than a “how do I respond to the Mormons.” Rather, Janis attempts to offer insight into motivations and reasoning. Her look at the founder, Joseph Smith, while is information that is readily available with a few strokes of the keyboard, offers keen insight into how a con man founded a religious movement. Finally, as she offers the scripts and agendas of the first four missionary discussions, the reader will be equipped to engage with biblical acumen and derail the conversation in order to point them to the biblical Christ.
I appreciated Janis’ straightforward approach. This work, The Mormon Missionaries, is a fine resource to add to one’s collection as they are seeking to deal with Mormons who just won’t go away. Instead of slamming the door, you can read Janis’ work and be more equipped to defend your faith and scale their language barrier to get to the heart of the issue…that they worship a false god.