Fact Sheet on Mormonism Author:
Russ Wise Date:6/11/2003 10:11:28 AM
When witnessing to a Mormon it is important to recognize that he does not accept the premise that he is in need of salvation. The idea of salvation is foreign to him. So it becomes imperative that you help the Mormon recognize his need for a savior. Simply, you need to get him lost!
The Mormon does not believe that he is a sinner; rather, he believes that he is a god in embryo. James E. Talmage, a Mormon historian, made the following observation: “As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become.”
In my twenty-plus years of studying Mormonism and equipping individuals to witness to their Mormon relatives and friends I have yet to find anyone who has ever been effective in winning a Mormon Missionary to the Christian faith. Yes, I said the Christian Faith. It continues to amaze me that many Christians believe the Mormon Church and its members to be Christian. There is nothing further from the truth.
Consider the following
Mormons are polytheistic, believing in many gods. A good Mormon man will one day become a god as well (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie p. 643. Also, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346).
The Mormon does not believe in an eternal hell. There are, however, three levels of heaven; the highest level, the celestial, is the attainment of godhood for the worthy Mormon (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:133-34, Doctrine and Covenants 76:112, D&C 76:71-80, 2 Nephi 31:17-21, D&C 131:1-4; 132, 3 Nephi 27:19-21).
The God of this earth has a body of flesh and bone (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22). God is also a polygamist in that he has several goddess wives (Doctrine and Covenants 132: 61-62).
The Mormon Church is the only true church. All other churches are an abomination to God (Joseph Smith, in The Pearl of Great Price). Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, was responsible for restoring true Christianity to mankind, thereby making him equal to Jesus (History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 408-409).
Jesus Christ has a brother whose name is Satan (The Gospel Through The Ages, p. 15).
Salvation by God’s Grace through Faith Alone is considered wrong and without merit (The Articles of Faith by Talmage, p. 107, 480).
Man had a preexistence prior to his incarnation on earth and was born as a spirit by God the Father and one of his many Goddess wives (Journal of Discourses, 8:1). Man is destined to become a god and his wife a goddess (Doctrines of Salvation, ).
Brigham Young, Joseph Smith’s successor, said that the test of a true Christian is that they not only confess that Jesus has come in the flesh, but that they also confess that “Joseph Smith is his Prophet to this generation.”And he who does not confess the above is not of God, but is an anti-Christ.
Being A Witness
Never, never allow a Mormon missionary into your home (II John 10-11). In fact, do not ever engage one in conversation. Not because you do not have the Truth! But simply because you are not prepared – and they ARE!
A Mormon missionary has spent many weeks preparing for his mission. That time is not spentpacking his TV and VCR, but by attending classes to refute you at your door withdeceptive arguments. Plus, he has, in most cases, already defeated many a foe at their doorstep before he knocked on yours.
You will have far more success witnessing to a Mormon acquaintance with whom you have developed a meaningful relationship than with the missionary who comes to your door.
It takes time to be an effective witness in someone’s life. It takes time to show someone that you care about him and his situation. You can’t rush it!
Where To Begin
Many people believe that we should not witness to our faith because we might offend some. So we remain timid and less provoking. As a Christian, if salvation is what I believe it to be, then I should be willing to offend everyone in the world. Now, we are not to set out to be offensive. But we must realize that the gospel IS OFFENSIVE to some. Consider John 14:6. I Peter should be our model as we attempt to help others come to the Lord, realizing, however, that absolute truth will be offensive to some.
Knowing Mormon theology is imperative, even necessary. Who do they believe God to be? What do they believe about Jesus? How is one saved? It is equally important for you to know that Mormons redefine basic Christian terminology. They define God as an exalted man, and a polygamist; they define Jesus as the brother of Lucifer and, like his Father, a polygamist with many wives and children. Incredibly, the Mormon Church teaches that the reason for the persecution that Jesus suffered was because of his polygamist lifestyle.
Salvation is not won for the Mormon by Jesus on the cross, but rather he wins his own salvation through obedience to the Mormon Church and its teachings. In other words, his works! You will find a listing of excellent resource material at the end of this paper.
Mormons believe that their authority to speak for God is given them by virtue of their Priesthood. Non-Mormons cannot speak for God because they do not hold the Priesthood and therefore do not have authority. The Priesthood, whether it be the Aaronic or the Melchizedek; can only be conferred on a Mormon male by the Church.
The Mormon believes that Christianity is apostate and that Joseph Smith restored the true church. Therefore, they have not only the authority but they have the truth. For a witness to the Truth it is imperative that we show the Mormon that the apostasy was not all-encompassing. Point out the contrast between Jesus’ words in Matthew (The Church is built on Peter, the rock, and the gates of hell shall not overpower it) with Joseph Smith’s claim that the church is apostate.
The Mormon has to reconcile these two statements; he will not be able to do so. In the end he must choose which “Jesus” he will follow - the Jesus of the Bible or the Jesus of Joseph Smith (II Corinthians 11:4). Any other Jesus than the Jesus of the Gospels is false and must be denounced.
The Universal Body of Christ is one unified church regardless of denominational affiliation. We agree on the essentials of the faith (Ephesians 4:1-6). We allow for differences on the nonessentials (Romans 14:1-22). We are all members of one body (I Corinthians -26).
Our authority does not come through a church or any man-made organization but directly through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians ), as He mediates the Truth of God’s written Word to us (John 14:26, I Corinthians 2:12).
Being A Good Witness
The Truth of the gospel can stand on its own. It does not need us to prop it up with eloquent arguments. It is imperative that you share your testimony, tell them how God saved you through the sacrifice of his Son on the cross, how the Holy Spirit empowers you to live the Christian life, and how you know that your salvation is intact because of God’s grace and mercy freely extended to you.
Early on in your conversation with your Mormon friend stress the fact that grace is not to be construed as a license to sin (Romans ). But grace, the indwelling presence of God, allows the believer to live as an overcomer - one who no longer is a slave to sin, but one who is truly free to live his life as a new creature in Christ without the guilt of sin.
As you share your faith, point out to the Mormon that your witness is a by-product of your salvation. It is not a work to secure salvation. We must continually drive this point home - that our good works are a result of what Jesus has done for us.
Prayer is our first and most important ally in sharing our faith. We cannot afford to overlook its power to work good in the lives of those we seek to introduce to Christ.
We may have good arguments, but arguments do not open the doors of the Kingdom. Prayer does! Remember. We plant the seed, God brings the increase, and ultimately He allows it to be harvested.
Recommended Reading List
Brodie, Fawn M. No Man Knows My History-The Life of Joseph Smith.
Cowdrey, Wayne; Davis, Howard A.; and Scales, Donald. Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?
Decker, Ed. Decker’s Complete Handbook on Mormonism.
Decker, Ed, Hunt, Dave. The God Makers.
Greer, Thelma. Mormonism, Mama, & Me.
Martin, Walter R. The Maze of Mormonism.
Reed, Farkas.Mormons Answered Verse by Verse.
Scott, Latayne C. The Mormon Mirage.
Tanner, Jerald and Sandra. The Changing World of Mormonism.