Sharing The Gospel with Mormons

 

Keith Green once said, during one of his concerts, that the Christian alive today is responsible for reaching this generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was right. It is up to us to reach this generation. It is our generation. If we don’t do it who will?

Living in Boise I find myself surrounded by Mormons. One thing I have learned about them is that they are not the enemy. Therefore, to approach them in anger trying to correct their doctrine is counter productive. No one responds well to an attack.

In Ephesians 4:15 Paul talks about “speaking the truth in love.” That is the way we need to present the gospel to Mormons. We need to remember that as Mormons they are victims of an oppressive religious system. They need truth, but the will not receive truth if it is not accompanied with love, patience, and understanding. We must not water down the truth, but neither must we use it as a club. It must be given with love or it will not be received. 

That being true, is there any difference between sharing the gospel with a Mormon and the person who holds no beliefs? Yes, there is a difference. That difference is terminology. The Mormon uses many of the same terminology as the Christian, yet with differing definitions. It in incumbent upon the Christian to understand those differences if he/she wishes to witness to a Mormon. I will share some of those differences in definitions in a separate post, but for now understand that Christian terminology with Christian definition is foreign to the average Mormon. In James R. Spencer’s book, Have You Witnessed To A Mormon Lately?, Mr. Spencer quotes Walter Martin in a conversation he had with Dr. Martin. Dr. Martin said, The problem is that Mormonism has altered the thinking process of Mormons in the area of religion! A Mormon can think very rationally about his job, what clothes to wear, and things like that, but when you push the button on religion he stops thinking and give you what he has been taught.

The Mormon is so entrenched in the dogma of the church that he typically cannot approach the question of religion reasonably. They are told what to think and fear thinking otherwise even when it defies reason.

I went on MormonChat.org last night to test this out. The missionary I chatted with was named Sandy. I asked the question, “The bible says that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem while the Book of Mormon say He was to be born in Jerusalem. Can you explain why this is?”

She answered that Bethlehem is only 5 miles from Jerusalem and the people to whom the prophecy was written had not known of Bethlehem so there was no need to be specific. Besides, she added, Bethlehem is in the “district” of Jerusalem so it is technically alright to say Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem. 

You can easily see the problem here. Prophesy is from God and very specific. God knows where Bethlehem is and would (and in the Bible did) say the Christ would be born in Bethlehem, but because Sandy was taught that the LDS Church is correct and cannot be questioned she cannot see beyond that - and she dare not for fear of church discipline. Walter Martin put it this was in Spencer’s book, Talking about spiritual things to Mormons is like trying to describe a rainbow to a blind man. You are talking about a rainbow to a guy who doesn’t know what color is.”

So where do we start when we want to witness to Mormons? We start with love. We are not out to win a battle, we are out to plant seeds. Seeds won’t grow to mature plants which produce fruit unless the ground if fertile. The ground must be tilled. It cannot be tilled without the right equipment. Therefore we must equip ourselves with an understanding of the Mormon thought process and the Mormon understanding of spiritual terminology. We then need to patiently explain what we mean by the terminology we use, making sure that the Mormon understands what we mean. 

With all witnessing, including to Mormons, we need to remember that our job is not to save people, it is to bring the message of salvation in love, understanding, and patience to people. Add prayer to that and your job in the salvation of that person is done. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convince, convict, and save. We are seed planters....God causes the growth.


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