The author of Mormons An Open Book did not put his name on the cover or title page of the book, choosing instead to identify himself merely as “a Mormon.” The author identifies himself in his “Author’s Note” as Anthony Sweat, “a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, …a Latter-day Saint religious educator” (vii). In the Preface Dr. Sweat explains, “This book is an attempt to say, in essence, ‘Hey, this is what we actually believe. You can take it or leave it, but at least you now you know’” (x). Over the next 26 chapters comprising 243 pages, readers get a taste of everything Mormon, from the content of the Church’s central message to the prevalence of pot-luck funeral potatoes.
In 2009 author and religious educator Anthony Sweat conducted an informal study of LDS teenagers. He asked 701 Mormon kids which kingdom of glory they thought they would end up in if they were to die and be judged that very day. Mr. Sweat was dismayed to find that almost half of the active LDS youth who participated in the study believed they were not good enough to go to the celestial kingdom (the highest of the three Mormon heavens). Believing that this dismal view of their eternal future stemmed from a misunderstanding of “what is really required of those who will inherit the celestial kingdom” (viii), with this book Mr. Sweat sets out to “clarify some of these doctrinal misunderstandings and to provide hope” (viii-ix).