Skip to comments.Love Your Mormon Neighbors
Posted on 02/07/2013 4:42:47 PM PST by Colofornian
I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as Mormonism. Since my parents were active members of the LDS Church, I went to church every Sunday. And like many of those raised in the church, I had a testimony, was baptized when I turned 8, received the Aaronic priesthood at 12, and had a temple recommend. But as I grew older, I became less interested in my Mormon faith. So at age 18, instead of serving my two-year mission as I had been raised to do, I decided to go to college.
While I was pursuing my bachelor's degree, I came to trust in Jesus Christ alone for my salvation. Through my own study and hearing the Word taught at a campus ministry, I knew that I deserved God's punishment for my sins. I also knew that Mormonism did not have the answer, because I could never be good enough to gain eternal life. I came to faith in Christ, resting solely in what he had done for mehe fully paid for my sins on the cross, and in him I received his perfection and righteousness. Because of Christ, I have been reconciled to God and adopted as his son. Praise God for his free gift of salvation!
Continuing to Love Mormons
Now that I have been saved, I continue to have a deep love for Mormons and a strong desire for them to know hope and rest in Christ. Over the years, I have found that if they were not raised in the LDS Church then they generally became interested because of the care and love they received from Mormons. I also know that some became attracted to Mormonism because of their high moral standards and devotion to family. But however one becomes a Latter-day Saint, I am convinced that the teaching of the LDS Church does not provide true hope or security for eternal life. With millions of Mormons worldwide and their aggressive plan for expansion, I pray that all genuine believers will recognize that God has called us to reach out to Mormons with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you join with me? Then let me provide you with some counsel.
Love Your Mormon Neighbors
Yes, I am stating the obvious, but is it really so easy? We slam the door in the faces of Mormon missionaries. We tend to avoid our Mormon coworkers because of their weird beliefs and practices (don't they wear holy underwear?). We may even mock Mormons on our blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or other public forums. Maybe we should stop and ask ourselves why we act this way, repenting if necessary. We should love our Mormon neighbors, getting to know them and developing relationships with them as friends. Here's an idea: The next time we see Mormon missionaries, let us invite them over for dinner, enjoying their company.
Recognize Their Need for Christ
Scripture shows us why there are other religions in the world. According to the apostle Paul, unbelievers suppress the truth by their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). So other religions are essentially counterfeit worldviews created by men who desire to keep living in sin and rebellion against God. We see this in religions that corrupt God's general revelation in creation (Romans 1:19ff), and we also see this in religions that corrupt God's special revelation in Scripture. The apostle Paul warns us against those who come and proclaim another Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel (Galatians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:4). So not everyone who claims to believe in Jesus Christ is a genuine believer. When you compare what Mormons teach with God's revelation in the Bible, you will quickly see that their teaching is not the faith "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). They need to believe in the true gospel of the true Christ with the true Spirit. Will you love them enough to share this gospel of hope with them?
Study Their Religion
If you were going to be a missionary in the Middle East, you would obviously have to understand the beliefs of Islam in order to effectively communicate the gospel to Muslims. It is no different when seeking to evangelize Mormons. You must recognize the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. Thankfully, there are many resources easily available today to help you. I would suggest Mormonism 101 by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson as a worthwhile comparison between Mormonism and evangelical Christianity. I also highly recommend Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons by Mark J. Cares. This book may be harder to find, but its "Dictionary of Mormonese" alone is worth the price. Since Mormons often "use the same language as Christians but with a different dictionary," you must understand how they use words to effectively share the gospel with them.
Learn Their Culture
Because of the LDS Church's history and unique identity, Mormonism is not merely a set of religious beliefsit is also a culture. You should learn how Mormons live, what they value, and other important aspects of their culture. While I sometimes disagree with David Rowe and think he is too critical of traditional countercult apologetic efforts, I still recommend his book I Love Mormons because he insightfully explains and interacts with Mormon culture.
Treat Them Individually
When evangelizing Mormons, we should not debate Mormonism as an abstract system. We should be lovingly engaging with a real, living Mormon person. Most Mormons are not theological scholars. They are usually more interested in living a good and moral life. As a result of the LDS Church's emphasis on morality and family and a general lack of doctrinal understanding among its members, many Mormons today are unfamiliar with historic and even contemporary LDS Church teaching. We cannot assume that just because the church has taught something, an individual Mormon believes it. You need to take the time to know what your Latter-day Saint friend believes and then respond to his or her faith in light of the truth of God's Word.
Pray for Their Salvation
Salvation is of God, not man. Your persuasiveness or intellectual ability will not convince Mormons of the truthonly the Holy Spirit can open their hearts. As evangelical campus minister Will Metzger reminds us: "Prayer for others is the supreme God-ordained method in evangelism. Unless God changes a person's heart, nothing lasting will be achieved. Prayer is a means of raising dead sinners to life!" While we may be tempted to trust in our own abilities when evangelizing a Mormon, we must trust in God to give faith to those who hear the gospel. This critical truth must never be overlooked.
Have Confidence in Christ
I have talked to many Christians who believe that Mormons are somehow harder to win to Christ than others. While I recognize that there are challenges, all unbelievers are dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). The salvation of Mormons is no more difficult for God than that of any other unbeliever. We should faithfully proclaim the gospel to Mormons, trusting in Christ to draw them to himself. Let us rest in his strength to save Mormons for his glory!
John Divito is a former Mormon, a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv 2007), and currently serves as the administrator for the Midwest Center for Theological Studies in Owensboro, Kentucky. He also serves as a deacon at Heritage Baptist Church.
I have direct ancestors who were Lds; many Lds relatives. They are a people of great worth to our Lord. He values them highly.
As the apostle Paul said, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood..." (Ephesians 6:12). Hence, Lds are not our enemies -- any more than any standard rescuer would treat hostages as "enemies."
But, indeed, Mormons are are in spiritual bondage -- oft of a legalistic nature: As Paul also told the Ephesians how "in times past" we (all) "were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." (Ephesians 2:3)
The Mormons I've known -- as well as non-Christians -- don't like acknowledging Paul's post-atonement Eph. 2:3 remarks about being "by nature the children of wrath."
What's unusual, tho, is that even the Lds Pearl of Great Price "scriptures" teach that children are conceived in sin (Moses 6:55), which "jives" more with Psalm 51:5 and 58:3; and the Book of Mormon teaches that men have a "carnal and fallen state" and that unless "they become new creatures...unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 27:26)...adding in v. 25 & elsewhere in the BoM that they "must be born again".
From the article: The apostle Paul warns us against those who come and proclaim another Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel (Galatians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:4). So not everyone who claims to believe in Jesus Christ is a genuine believer. When you compare what Mormons teach with God's revelation in the Bible, you will quickly see that their teaching is not the faith "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
So...as the author of this article says...the next time a Mormon missionary drops by...have a series of in-depth discussions. Treat them respectfully. Love them -- including loving them with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Since the Lds church lowered their age requirement for missionaries: I forecast they will have over 100,000 out there...if not this year by early 2014.
It’s also not a bad idea to be respectful and open to the FLDS, too. I’ve managed to make a few friends among them and have mailed two New International Version Bibles to two of them and both have come back with remarkable insights from their studies.
For some odd reason I find it easier to get closer to FLDS people than LDS people. Maybe it’s just me. In any case, try to think of them in your prayers, too.
I have known many LDS folks, and ALL have been exemplary.
I know a few true liberals and as Thumper’s mother said, “If you cannot say anything nice...”
Many of us have callings, and although I am not a Mormon, I have the highest respect for those who embrace this religion. I have had colleagues and friends who were Mormon, and I found their conscientiousness and dedication truly admirable.
Of course we should love mormons, we should love all and pray for their Salvation.
Thank God salvation by Jesus is not determined by how smart you are.. for I am not too smart...
True.. I’m smarter than a Mormon, or Roman Catholic or Baptist or even a Pentecostal.. I am none of those..
But my life has proved that I am not too smart..
Which can generate humility and gratitude..
I suppose a few smart ones can “make it” as well.. where ever “IT” is..
But I am not smart enough to determine which is which..
Thank God for stupidity.. and grace and forgiveness..
and brotherhood and sisterness..
Where have you found FLDS people in California?
The only place I have ever seen them is in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.
And even tho Jesus sharply criticized the inward behavior of the legalistic Pharisees...he gave them one compliment too: 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:20)
By this...Jesus was saying that the legalistic Pharisees were doing their utmost with outward righteousness...and yet Matthew 23 shows how critically they were failing...ESPECIALLY on the inside!
Jesus, therefore, loved them with the truth! Starting with Himself, The Living Truth!
Yes, pray for them as well (after all, they are Mormons, too!)
Works for me; but the MORMONs that I see most are right here on FR.
They are proud, opinionated and just SURE that we 'GENTILES' are wrong.
They can avoid the hard questions as well as Hillary; even to repeating of her latest catchphase: "What difference does it make?"
They are the ones; when faced with what their chosen religious organization has believed, taught and pushed; tend to get really silent when SHOWN the difference between what the BIBLE says and what their organizations 'scripture' states.
Back down from them: never.
No doubt they have.
But what do you think of their RELIGION?
From this statement; I'm going to assume that you are NOT a Christian.
But I am not smart enough to determine which is which..
You jest wanna tick SLC's lawyers off; don't you!
*The following is a letter from Elder Lance B. Wickman, General Counsel of the Church to publishers of major newspapers, TV stations and magazines. It was sent out on Tuesday, June 24, 2008.
Recent events have focused the media spotlight on a polygamous sect near San Angelo, Texas, calling itself the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As you probably know, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has absolutely no affiliation with this polygamous sect. Decades ago, the founders of that sect rejected the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were excommunicated, and then started their own religion. To the best of our knowledge, no one at the Texas compound has ever been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Unfortunately, however, some of the media coverage of the recent events in Texas has caused members of the public to confuse the doctrines and members of that group and our church. We have received numerous inquiries from confused members of the public who, by listening to less than careful media reports, have come to a grave misunderstanding about our respective doctrines and faith. Based on these media reports many have erroneously concluded that there is some affiliation between the two or even worse, that they are one and the same.
Over the years, in a careful effort to distinguish itself, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has gone to significant lengths to protect its rights in the name of the church and related matters. Specifically, we have obtained registrations for the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon, Book of Mormon and related trade and service marks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and corresponding agencies in a significant number of foreign countries.
We are confident that you are committed to avoiding misleading statements that cause unwarranted confusion and that may disparage or infringe the intellectual property rights discussed above. Accordingly, we respectfully request the following:
Stated simply, we would like to be known and recognized for whom we are and what we believe, and not be inaccurately associated with beliefs and practices that we condemn in the strongest terms. We would be grateful if you could circulate or copy this letter to your editorial staff and to your legal counsel.
We thank you for your consideration of these important matters.
Lance B. Wickman
exemplary, dedicated............what do those words mean?
mormons maybe fantastic persons, they are still diluted.
mormonISM is not Christianity and no matter how nice they are, or how well behaved they are Salvation eludes them.
Being nice or exemplary does not make Salvation.
Evaluating the truthfulness or the righteousness of mormonism is not found in meeting a few nice people in the lunch room, their beliefs are found in their texts, their videos, their history.....it might serve you well to learn about mormonism before you defend it.
Mormons tend to think of grace as primarily future-tense due to Book of Mormon passages like 2 Nephi 25:23 and Moroni 10:32...kind of like some after-burner will kick in to both "save" the Mormon and lead them to perfection.
The apostle Paul destroyed that nonsense:
...the gospel, by the power of God who has saved us and called us to a holy lifeNOT because of anything WE have done BUT because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time... (2 Tim. 1:8-9)
#1 We're saved by the character of graciousness exhibited by God as exercised in His Son, Jesus Christ; not the character of man.
#2 And to pre-empt complete boasting on man's part, 'twas done before the clocked ticked once. (That's why the apostle Paul said that if works served as man's way to God, WE could boast about how WE worked our way into God's presence see Ephesians 2:8-9)
Think of all this w/this illustration:
Parental "grace" or "favor" extended by adopted parents is "grace" extended to all they adopt, right?
But say you adopted a 12 yo boy who no matter what "pure gift" you gave to him @ his birthday or Christmas time, he would absolutely insist that he "work" for it..."pay you back" for it...and even eventually billed himself for "room and board" during his teen years to "pay you back" for that, too...
Believe me, such a 'tude exhibited by the "pay-back boy" would get old soon enough. How many times would the father say to Himself, "You know this boy can never pay back how I reached into the darkest part of the world to rescue him; yet he thinks he can 'earn' his way into sonship." At some point, this legalism is going to become "offensive" to a Gracious Father -- just like it would if your adopted son could never simply "receive" gifts from you.
Bottom line: Does the above describe a grace-filled father-son relationship?; or is that a legalistic tit-for-tat campaign to "prove" himself "worthy" as if he was a mere "house tenant" -- instead of acting like a true adopted son?
The apostle Paul also made it clear to the Galatians that they could nullify grace. Consider these three passages he wrote to them:
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! [My note: If we de-magnify God's grace, we set it apart...and belittle the cross of Christ, which the Mormons don't honor, anyway]
Galatians 3:1-3: 1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Galatians 5:4: You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. [Example of grace nullification]
The apostle Paul also told the Romans 11:5-6: 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then IT CANNOT BE BASED ON WORKS; IF IT WERE, GRACE WOULD NO LONGER BE GRACE.
Simply put: Grace is an unearned, undeserved, unmerited gift!
#1 8 For it is BY GRACE you have been saved, THROUGH FAITHand this is NOT FROM YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT God 9 NOT by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)
#2 Works nullify grace! ...at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it CANNOT be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:5-6; cf. Gal. 2:15-16 -- justified by faith in Christ; not works of the law)
#3 We didn't qualify for eternal life; No, He qualified us: ...giving joyful thanks to the Father, who HAS qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (Col. 1:12) [Do you see the PAST tense there -- "HAS qualified you" -- you seem to neglect too much of God's past tense actions & lean too heavily ONLY on either a present or future tense focus].
#4 Even considering future tense...what does Paul say? ...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)
One of my grandsons (age eight) has a bestest (his word) friend who is mormon.
I asked him if he knew what mormons beleive, and he said yes.
Oh, I said and what did your friend say. So my grandson went on to explain what his friend said. I asked him what he thought about that..........he started laughing and said, he is a good friend but he does not know Jesus and is really stupid to believe that junk.
What a smart boy, my grandson is.
Viewing the King James Version. Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of John 14:6.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
IF, you really believe that, IF, you are strong in your conviction, you wouldn't need to disparage other beliefs.
You, are weak, study your own FAITH, REMOVE THE LOG.