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There is no need to be defensive or hostile to Mormon missionaries who come to
your door. I have always found them to be intelligent, honest, and cordial
people who need an equally sincere Christian to share the truth with them
lovingly. Do not view them as enemies, but as dedicated people who have been
misled. Love them. Pray for them. You can make a difference. Mormon
missionaries have had the door slammed in their faces more times than they can
count and have heard weak attempts to refute their beliefs. Dare to be
different! Remember that people do not care how much you know until they know
how much you care. Here are a few suggestions you may use when meeting with
1. Set the agenda.
Mormon missionaries have several presentations they would like to share with
you. I recommend that you, not they, start the conversation by
admitting that since no one is 100 percent accurate about everything they
believe, it is possible that you could be wrong on some things you believe.
Tell them that you are satisfied with being a Christian, but are open-minded
and would like to discuss some issues concerning their beliefs that are
bothersome to you. Ask them what it would take to convince them that Mormonism
is false. When they say there is nothing, ask them, "If the bones of Jesus were
someday discovered and they did a DNA test on the bones and compared it with a
DNA test on the shroud, and if somehow it was clearly and irrefutably concluded
that these were the bones of Jesus, would you continue to be a Mormon since the
Bible said that the tomb was empty because Christ had bodily risen and 'If
Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless?' Would that at least cause
you to consider that Mormonism may be false? What if the gold plates from which
Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon were someday discovered and
translated by twenty professional Egyptologists and if their translation bore
no resemblance to the Book of Mormon, would that make you seriously
consider that maybe Mormonism is false?" Most will agree that these would
certainly make them think long and hard.
2. Establish that the Bible is reliable.
This is important. According to those who have devoted their lives to
helping Mormons find the truth about Mormonism, many times when a person leaves
Mormonism they become skeptical because they include the Bible with their other
Scriptures. Once they see that their own Scriptures are not from God, they may
assume the Bible is not either. Take the time to show them that the Bible is
trustworthy. This gives them a solid place to go when they leave the Mormon
Church. I have found that most of the time, Mormon missionaries will end up
agreeing with me that the Bible is reliable after the evidence in Chapter 2 is
presented to them.
3. Discuss the challenges to the Book of Mormon posed by archaeology
Since you have discussed the trustworthiness of the Bible with them, they will
now be able to see a big difference between the Bible and the Book of
Mormon. They will be shocked to find that Mormon archaeologists from BYU
have admitted that unambiguous Book of Mormon archaeology is
4. Discuss the challenges to the Book of Abraham presented
by professional Egyptologists who have translated the papyri that Joseph Smith
This point in particular destroys the credibility of Joseph Smith. If Smith's
translation of the Book of Abraham is completely wrong, then there is
no reason to believe his translation of the Book of Mormon is any
better. His claims of having a God-given ability to translate and to being a
chosen Prophet of God become dubious.
5. Be prepared to address the value of feelings.
In my own experience, I have found that Mormons have very little to say in
their defense after the above has been pointed out, except that God has
confirmed in their hearts that Mormonism is true. Yet we have seen that
feelings can be misleading and actually prove nothing. Since you and your
Mormon friend both have feelings that your beliefs are true, external evidence
is the only test. And Mormonism fails to pass.
In conclusion, when Mormons knock on your door, embrace the opportunity.
Show yourself to be a loving and knowledgeable Christian. The object is
not to win an argument but to try to lead a sincere person to the
truth. Therefore, present the evidence in a patient and loving manner. The
apostle Paul wrote,
"And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all,
able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are
in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the
knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the
snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy
Christianity is trustworthy because the text of the Bible is pure and much
of it is confirmed by archaeology and secular history. We also have the proof
from Jesus' resurrection.51 Mormonism offers no proof of its truthfulness.
There is no confirmation of the Book of Mormon from archaeology or
history. Translations by professional Egyptologists of the Book of
Abraham papyri are completely different than Joseph Smith's translation.
If his translation skills are in question for the Book of Abraham,
they are also in question for the Book of Mormon. Mormon scholars
admit this is a serious problem, and attempts to reconcile it fail. Mormonism's
only "proof" is the confirmation God gives when one reads the Book of
Mormon. However, this evidence is weak, since people of other religions
claim God has convinced them of their own religion's truthfulness. Who's
confirmation can be trusted, and why?
When you consider Mormon doctrines such as the plurality of gods, God having
been once a man, man becoming a god, Jesus created by God, an afterlife much
different than Jesus describes, and salvation requirements, Mormonism presents
a gospel much different than we find in the Bible. Therefore, the Apostle
Paul's words in Galatians 1:8-9, KJV, may very well apply:
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you
than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said
before, so I say now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than
that ye have received, let him be accursed."
These are sober words for Mormons, who are not in a position to be confident
of their own salvation. They are zealous for God. But so were the Jews Paul
wrote about in Romans 10:1-2 and prayed for their salvation. They believe in
Jesus. But so did the Gnostics who were heretics of the early Church, who, like
Mormons today, taught a concept of God and Jesus that was fundamentally
different than what the apostles taught. They do great works in the name of
Christ. But so did those of whom Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:21-23, saying, "I
never knew you."
Many Mormons have been brought up in the Mormon Church and it is difficult
to jettison what one has believed his or her entire life. Encourage the Mormons
with whom you are sharing to pray and think about their personal situation. It
is their souls that are on the line. Ask them, "Suppose you learned that some
stock you had inherited from your parents would soon be worthless because the
company had just announced that it was going out of business. You may not like
that fact, but you would welcome an opportunity to sell the stock and get out
of it before losing it all. Then you could put your money in a safe place. If
you would do that with your money, how much more with your eternal soul! Why
hold on to a false hope and lose everything when you have the opportunity to
embrace the truth and be saved?"
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