Monday, May 7, 2007
My Mormon Encounter
I have been a follower of Jesus now for twenty years, yet this Saturday I had my first conversation with a Mormon, two Mormons that is. "What!" you exclaim. "How could you miss encountering a Mormon in twenty years?" I don't know. I've seen them traveling two-by-two everywhere, yet this is the first time they have approached me. We talked for one hour. It was a cordial discussion. Although we covered a lot of ground, one thing stands out. These two college age students were very well trained (unlike most of the Jehovahs Witnesses I have encountered). I am sure years of debating Christians has given Mormons an idea which Bible verses can be used to disprove their particular heresy. A new Christian could very well be at the mercy of their arguements. A new Christian is often rendered guillable by a combination of earnestness and a lack of knowledge. The initial approach to me was this question: "If you knew of a prophet who is alive today who teaches new truth about God, would you be interested?" (The prophet they were refering to is the current Mormon president.) A new Christian might say "Of course! I want to follow all the truth." These two spoke respectfully concerning the Bible while trying to convince me that The Book of Mormon contains additional teachings of Jesus. They asked me if I would pray in faith whether The Book of Mormon was true. I said I would not. A newer Christian could be trapped by such an attempt to play on their earnestness. I asked them whether they believed that Jesus was God. I expected them to say no, but they did admit Jesus and the Father are God, but not the Holy Spirit and that there is no Trinity. They made the claim that The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints is the Kingdom of God. I countered that when we first believe, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts (Eph 1:13). Jesus stated that the Kingdom is within us as believers (Luke 17:21). I told them since the Kingdom of God was within me, I did not need to seek another. They did not know how to answer this. The Mormons are indeed well trained. The Church needs great disernment in how to counter them. Not only do they trap people with their words, but also through their apparent "clean" lifestyle and good works. This is just one thing that obligates the Church to make sure new Christians are molded into discerning ones. A member of my church told me that he had read a quote from Malcom X on how Christians were the easiest to convert to The Nation of Islam. Malcom X explained that it was because he and his followers knew the Bible better than professing Christians. The same could be said concerning undiscerning Christians being approached by well trained Mormans today. Besides discipling others, we can best counter false teaching through prayer for the Church.