Tag Archives: Lds Missionaries

Our Third Meeting With The LDS Missionaries

Our third meeting was much more fruitful. Both LDS missionaries seemed more energetic and ready to get into stuff. They provided us with a pamphlet for our third discussion and said, “Today we’re going to go over the gospel. There shouldn’t be anything different here. I’m sure we will agree on this because it’s just the gospel.”

Becky and I have been careful with which questions we raise because we do not want to chase so many rabbit trails that we do not get to hear the lesson that they have prepared for us. It has been awhile since we have been through the discussions with the LDS Missionaries. The LDS church has a new missionary manual and have changed the way they present the information to those who are interested in their religion. We are raising some questions, but our objective at this point is to get through the material and hold our major objections until after we have been through the new material. The differences between the gospels of Mormonism and Christianity are quite glaring once you know where to look.

After Elder J. made his comment, I was wondering how difficult it was going to be to remain on topic because the gospel is our favorite thing to talk about with LDS Missionaries. We remained silent and let the guys guide us through their material. Once we got to page four of the pamphlet, Elder T. asked us a question about repentance. I explained that a lot of the things we had been discussing sounded the same, but that they were different because our words have different definitions. I asked him to explain what he meant by repentance so they both touched on it a bit and then moved on to other things in the pamphlet.

As we were going through the lesson material, I was praying and asking God how to proceed. I didn’t want to get off track, but I didn’t want to waste a perfect opportunity either. Neither one of these guys are as well-versed as other LDS missionaries we have spoken with so I was wondering how we were going to be able to direct them to the verses that we want them to go to without us bringing up the verses ourselves. At this point, they do not know that both of us have read the Book of Mormon and are familiar with it so to start quoting BoM verses would be out of place.

As we were finishing up with the material, I was praying and got an immediate answer to my prayer. I saw a green light in my mind and heard the promptings of the Holy Spirit telling me, “Go for it!” I then asked a question about repentance and referred back to page four of the pamphlet. Under repentance, one part say, “Stop doing what is wrong, and strive never to do it again.” I asked, “What if you do it again? Is it still considered repentance?” Both guys answered “No” in unison. They also made the point very clear that one cannot be forgiven until they have completed their repentance.

Becky was explaining that if she needed to stop sinning before she could be forgiven, then there is no way she can be forgiven. I started praying again, “Lord, I don’t know how we’re going to get there, but this would be a great place to bring up First Nephi 3:7.” Right then, Elder T. said, “A verse just jumped right into my mind. I know this one will help.” He started thumbing through his BoM and I knew he was going to the verse I had just prayed for. Elder T. said, “This verse is found in First Nephi chapter three.” I smiled and started nodding my head thanking God for that awesome display of sovereignty.

What happened next gets pretty detailed so I’d better end here.
To be continued…

Our 2nd Meeting with the LDS Missionaries

On Wednesday, July 18th, I wrote about a meeting that we had with two LDS Missionaries. Since then, they have come back twice. The second meeting wasn’t very fruitful, but we did manage to get them to think about one very important thing.

They were trying to prove to us the necessity of having a prophet on earth today when elder J. said something to the effect of, “The Bible was written so long ago. We need to hear from God now because there is so much that goes on in our lives now that the Bible doesn’t speak about.”

I stated, “Yes, but doesn’t the Bible give us principles that we can use that will still apply to us today?” They agreed with us that the Bible is still applicable, but still insisted that someone needs to get current messages from God so that we will know how to live better lives.

I asked, “OK, then can you give us some examples of one of your prophets giving us current information that we need that isn’t already found in the Bible?” Elder J. was stunned into silence and looked at Elder T. They both looked at each other and really didn’t know what to say. Finally Elder J. brought up the Word of Wisdom and said that Joseph Smith had a new revelation about a health code.

I didn’t want to reveal what I knew about the Word of Wisdom, but that “revelation” was given in 1833. Hmm… 174 years is not exactly what I would call, “current.” I just said, “Joseph Smith? That was a long time ago. I’d like to hear some examples of one of your prophets giving some important information that you have heard personally and needed to know, something within your life-time. Is there anything recently that isn’t already found in the Bible?”

Elder T. spoke up. “One of the things that I have really benefited from is something President Hinckley said not long ago. He talked about debt and how wrong it is to get into it. That has really meant a lot to me and has helped me to be better with my money.”

I smiled. “Your prophet must have been reading from the book of Proverbs recently.”

I’ll write about our third meeting later.

A Surprising Visit From The Mormon Missionaries

Wow, we are surprised! While we were in Salt Lake City visiting temple square, we were asked to fill out a visitor’s cards if we wanted more information or to receive a free video. Since we have not yet seen the video they offered, Becky filled out a card and requested the video.

We have requested information before, but have not always received it. Our house has been on the “black list” for quite some time so we really did not expect to hear from anyone. We were surprised to hear that someone had called our home even before we returned home from Manti. Becky has returned a few phone calls and we finally managed to set up a time for the LDS missionaries to come by and drop off the video.

They arrived this afternoon with the video we requested and asked if we had any questions. Becky got out the ice cream and we sat down in the living room and just got to know each other a little bit. We realized that they did not know who we were when one of the guys asked me what I do. I replied that I was a missionary and was very surprised that they did not ask about that at all. It was almost like they didn’t hear me. Have I mentioned at all that we were very surprised?

The LDS missionaries talked with us and were very cordial, but did not seem like they were going to get started at all. Becky kept prompting them almost as if she were teaching them how to begin the discussions. When they asked if we had any questions about their religion, I looked at the clock and jokingly asked how much time they had. They both were very serious when they said that they had a lot of time. Becky prompted them once again to begin their regular approach and off we went. The lead LDS missionary talked almost non-stop for about 20 minutes.

They gave us one of the pamphlets pictured above and started talking about the great apostasy. I could not help but think of all the times that a Mormon has said to me, “Why do you have to bash our religion? Why can’t you just tell me what is good about your religion without bashing mine? Elder J. was about to move on to his next point when I asked if I could ask a question about what we had just read. I pointed out that the paragraph we had just read was to be applied to our church. The paragraph read in part, “Jesus told Joseph not to join any of the churches, for “they were all wrong” and “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…”

I asked how they would feel if this condemnation was to be applied to them. Elder J. said that it would not bother him because he hears things like that all the time. That was not the point I was trying to make so I rephrased my question.

Have you ever thought about how other people feel once they realize that this condemnation is to be applied to their church? Becky added that she thought it was a pretty harsh statement. Both LDS missionaries looked at each other and elder J. said that he had never thought about that before. We made sure that they knew that this information is offensive to those not of their faith. Both guys completely understood our point. They did not pull any punches when it came to the LDS doctrine that no church, other than theirs, had God’s authority.

What was really cool about this part of the discussion was that Elder J. said that out of all of the 13 months that he had been on his mission, he had never read that part of the pamphlet to an investigator before and he didn’t know why he read it this time. I chuckled to myself because I knew why God had him read that part. I used this as an opportunity to do some preventative maintenance and told him that when I preach the gospel, I have bad news and good news, but the good news does not make any sense without the bad news. I told them that I have had numerous people tell me that they only want to me to tell them the positive things about my religion without finding fault in theirs. Both LDS missionaries agreed with us that it is necessary and proper to tell people the bad news first. This will come in handy for when they learn about our ministry.

Although we spoke about many other things, there was another important issue that I want to discuss here. Elder J. paraphrased numerous verses in both the Bible and Book of Mormon. One of them was Matthew 7:20- Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. The context is speaking of how to identify false prophets, but rarely does a Mormon know that. Elder J. said that we could determine the truth of things by examining it’s fruit. In this case he said that we could examine Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

He then transitioned into telling us to pray about the Book of Mormon to find out if it is true. Prior to this discussion, I never had thought about these two ideas as a contrast. I asked, “If we are to test the truthfulness of a religion or person by examining their fruit, why are we told to pray about the Book of Mormon?” Elder J. said that God wanted us to try for ourselves but once we get to a place where we need help, we can ask God. He gave an illustration of our daughter asking for help with a math problem. As a good father I want our daughter to try and figure it out for herself, but once she gets stuck, she can ask me for help.

I started talking about how I like the idea of examining fruit, but that I also thought that praying about the truthfulness of Mormonism is a misuse of prayer. For instance, if Elder J. didn’t study for his math exam and just asked God for the answers, God is not obligated to give him the answers. Both LDS missionaries agreed with me on this point. I took it a step farther and gave him a scenario.

“If one of the sister missionaries from temple square told you that God told her to have a physical relationship with you before marriage, and that to know the truthfulness of her revelation, all you need to do is pray about it, would you pray about it?” He admitted that he would not pray about it because God has already spoken about this and he knows that it would be wrong. I give this illustration to Mormons often and it helps them to see that prayer can be misused.

We told them that we would be more than happy to examine Mormonism and Becky even jokingly warned them that she is a “studier.” Both LDS missionaries understood our thoughts and feelings about this and are looking forward to our next meeting. Please join us in prayer for the salvation of these two guys. We also want to tell them about our ministry and pray that they do not find out about it until we tell them.

Live-Chat With a Mormon Missionary!

We received an e-mail from Bob Betts who works with Concerned Christians in Mesa, Arizona about a new website that the Mormons have that is designed for those who are interested in Mormonism. Through this new investigator web site, it is possible to log on and chat live with a Mormon missionary. Just click on the top link titled “Ask A Question” and choose the “chat live” option.

After receiving the news of this web site, I just couldn’t resist. I logged on and chatted with Jason. Here is my first “live-chat” with a Mormon Missionary. It is long, but a quick read and well worth the time. Be sure to pass this website out to other Christians so that we can keep the LDS Missionaries busy hearing the truth.

*** Chat Transcript***
You are speaking live with Jason, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Information provided in this session is to provide assistance only and is not an official statement of the Church.

Jason: How may I help you?

Keith: I just came across this site and saw that I could chat live. This is cool.

Jason: It is, do you know anything about the Church?

Keith: Which one?

Jason: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Keith: Oh, lol. Yes, I’ve talked to members before.

Jason: Have you ever attended a Church meeting?

Keith: Yes.

Jason: What did you think when you went?

Keith: How do I get the window to stay scrolled down? It keeps jumping up every time one of us posts a comment.

Jason: Im sorry I’m not sure. It may be the browser you are using.

Jason: Would you like to know more about the Church?

Keith: Bummer. I’m using Internet Explorer so it may be a good idea to take note in case others complain about the same thing.

Keith: Yes, I would like to know more.

Keith: In fact, I saw something on the site about Jesus as a personal savior.

Jason: Good.

Keith: What does that mean?

Jason: We beleive that God is our Heavely Father, and that He loves us.

Keith: So how does that apply to Jesus being a personal savior?

Jason: Jesus atoned for all of our sin so that we may return to live with our Heavenly Father.

Keith: Side question* How long has this chat feature been here?

Jason: Since last November.

Keith: So, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Jason: I do. I pray every day to Heavenly Father in Jesus Christ’s name.

Keith: So you don’t talk to Jesus?

Jason: Jesus Christ’s atonement as stated earlier is the central part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. Without the sacrifice Jesus made we would not be able to return with Heavenly Father.

Keith: OK, but do you talk to Jesus?

Jason: Yes.

Keith: So like, you pray, “Dear Jesus thanks for a beautiful day?

Jason: No.

Keith: I’m confused. How do you talk to Jesus then?

Jason: We open in the name of our Heavenly Father and pray to Him. However as stated before we do this in the name of Jesus Christ for he is the bridge of our relationship to God.

Keith: So then you don’t really talk to him?

Jason: So I do have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Keith: But, you don’t talk to him like the example I gave then, right?

Jason: We believe that God hears our prayers. However God and Jesus are one in purpose so he also hears our prayers.

Jason: No.

Keith: How do you have a personal relationship with someone you don’t talk to?

LONG PAUSE.

Jason: I know that if you pray to God. You will feel Christ’s love you for along with the Father’s.

Keith: If I don’t talk to my wife, guess how long our relationship will last.

Jason: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/search?search=alma+7%3A11-13&do=Search(This URL is opening in the browser window that you opened the chat window from.)

Jason: This passage of scripture explains our relationship with Jesus.

Jason: He suffered for for all of our sins, weaknesses, and sorrows.

Jason: He has felt everything that you felt.

Jason: Therefore he has Personally suffered for you.

Keith: I’m not following you. I’m glad Jesus did all that for me, but President Bush does a lot of stuff for me too and I don’t have a personal relationship with him.

Jason: This passage is found in the Book of Mormon. This book was translated by a modern prophet. It gives us the fullness of Christ’s Gospel and atonement.

Jason: Has president Bush felt…Everything that you have felt?

Keith: I’m still confused about having a personal relationship with someone you don’t talk to. They may do all kinds of great things for me, but if I don’t talk to him, how is it that I have a personal relationship?

Jason: The true question of this matter isn’t how the relationship is established. The true matter is that Christ has done this for you, are you willing to accept His message and come unto Him?

Keith: Are you allowed to talk to Jesus?

Keith: How do I come to Jesus?

Jason: By repenting of your sins through Him and striving to follow the counsel that He and His gospel have established.

Keith: Are you allowed to talk to Jesus? I’ll get to the other stuff in a minute.

Jason: This gospel has been brought to us through a living prophet. Who guides and directs the Church of Christ even today.

Keith: OK… but can you talk to Jesus?

Jason: Christ has taught us how to pray.

Jason: If we disobey his counsel, how can we have a relationship with Him.

Jason: The closest way to get to Christ and develop a relationship with Him is to follow His example and teachings, which have been restored to us today by a living prophet.

Keith: I get the impression you don’t want to give me a direct answer. I’m just asking if you are allowed to talk to Jesus or not. At the beginning of the conversation you said you could. Am I confusing something?

Keith: Does this living prophet tell you that you can’t talk to Jesus?

LONG PAUSE.

Jason: I apologize if this is confusing if I did say you could direct your prayer only to Jesus Christ I apologize.

Jason: Jesus Christ has taught us to direct our prayers to Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ’s name.

Keith: OK, just so that I have it straight. We’re not allowed to talk to Jesus, right?

Jason: Not in direct prayer.

Jason: One should not be concerned with this however.

Keith: How else could you do it?

Jason: The personal relationship we establish with Jesus Christ is by following the perfect example He set for us.

Keith: What does it mean to call upon the name of the Lord?

Jason: Because Jesus Christ knows who you are and what you are feeling, have felt, and will feel, He has a personal relationship with you.

Jason: When praying to our Heavenly Father you would first open in His name. “Dear Heavenly Father.” Then speak to him about your desires and gratitude to Him. then end “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Jason: This is the order of prayer that Jesus Christ has told us to follow.

Keith: So, if we are calling upon the name of the Lord, that means we are praying to God?

Jason: Yes.

Keith: Do you have a Bible handy?

Jason: Yes.

Keith: Can you please give me your thoughts about 1 Cor. 1:2?

VERY LONG PAUSE.

Keith: Are you still there?

Jason: Yes

Keith: Still thinking?

LONG PAUSE.

Jason: He is calling upon the name of Christ to speak with God, and glorify God. For that is Christ’s purpose, to glorifiy God, not himself.

Jason: Look in verse 4

Jason: As stated in the prayer order I gave you he is using the name of Jesus Christ to praise God.

Keith: Verse 4 is Paul’s prayer. Verse 2 is how all the saints everywhere call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It doesn’t say anything about God.

Jason: Yes, they are to call on the name of Jesus Christ or as stated in the prayer order, “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” , to receive God’s grace through Jesus’s Atonement.

Keith: Hmmm. Take a look at Acts 7:59-60.

Jason: It is not as if you can just pick one verse of scripture and choose to believe that, and not the other. For it mentions God in the next verse.

Keith: I agree. Let me know when you get to Acts 7.

LONG PAUSE.

Jason: What are you trying to get to with this verse?

Jason: It is the people that are stoning him that say that.

Keith: Saying what?

Jason: Does it matter? For they are the ones sinning. Are you going to follow the example of sinners?

Keith: Huh?

Keith: You’ve got me confused.

Jason: The peoople who are stoning him, are they following the example of Jesus Christ?

Keith: By killing Stephen? Of course not.

Jason: How then would they have right to call upon His name in an example of prayer?

Keith: Who is calling upon Jesus in prayer?

LONG PAUSE.

Jason: How is this verse supposedly proving your point that we can directly call upon Jesus Christ in prayer and not ever mention God?

Keith: I didn’t say that we don’t ever mention God. I am just asking you to give me your impression of the fact that Stephen directed his prayer to Jesus as he was being martyred.

Jason: Our purpose is to bring to you the truth of the Gospel. Are you willing to pray to God and find for yourself if this Gospel we preach is true?

Jason: Bible bashing brings no one close to Christ or God.

Keith: Can I pray to Jesus?

Jason: You can pray in Jesus’s name to our God the Eternal Father.

Jason: Are you willing to do that?

Keith: This is interesting. I’m not Bible bashing with you here. I’m asking for you thoughts about certain verses. If I pray through Jesus, where do my prayers go?

Jason: Are you willing to pray to God?

Keith: Are you willing to help me with my question?

Jason: I can’t go any further on this issue if you are unwilling to pray to God in Jesus’s name if our message is true.

Jason: The point of this chat is to help others come closer to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Keith: So, I’ll take that as a “No.” If you are telling me that I cannot pray to Jesus about your Church, then there are some serious problems here.

Keith: Don’t my prayers first have to go TO Jesus before they go THROUGH him?

Jason: I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to this day through the prophet Joseph Smith, by the power and revelatioin of God. I would invite you to pray about this to our Heavenly Father, and ask if it is true.

Keith: That would be nice if you could clarify who I can pray to. You seem defensive and unwilling to answer my questions.

Jason: If you will do this I know that you will receive and answer, and promise you that by acting upon this revelation that you get you can recieve a greater peace in your life.

Jason: Pray to our God Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Keith: Sounds nice, but I’d really appreciate an answer.

Jason: I have.

Keith: Think of it this way. When you are done for the day and leave to go home. Try walking THROUGH the door before you go TO the door.

Keith: Don’t you first have to go TO the door before you can go through it?

Jason: I think this is a good point to end our conversation, I have answered the question on how to pray, will you please do so?

Keith: You’re telling me to go through the door but forbidding me to go to it.

Jason: Thank you, have a good day.

***End of Chat***

Hmmm? Isn’t it interesting that they call it “Bible bashing” only after you ask them a question they can’t answer?