This last Wednesday my friend Dylan and I met with the two Mormon Missionaries we had met with previously (Blogs: Visited by Mormon Missionaries, The Return of the Missionaries).In our past two meetings we challenged their beliefs and awaited their answers each time they returned.
This week the answers we got were extremely weak and disappointing. Since our first meeting we had challenged their three God belief and this time they said Mormons believe in three Gods but worship only one; therefore it is as if there is only one God. I pointed out in the Isaiah passages God makes statements such as before me there were no gods nor were there be after me. Multiple passages God says I know of no other gods. Don’t you think God would know if there was more than one God? Isaiah clearly teaches Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot be separate Gods because God says no others exist. The Bible clearly condemns the belief in more than one God.I re-emphasized the Doctrine of the Trinity, which can be stated as one God subsists in three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal and co-eternal. This doctrine solves all the issues in Isaiah and the rest of the Bible.
Dylan then showed them the passages that demonstrate how the Mormon belief, that in the Old Testament “Elohim” is The Father and “Jehovah” is Jesus, is false. He took them to Exodus 20:1-3 where Moses wrote, “Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.’” Dylan asked if the following interpretation of these verses makes sense; “Then Father God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am Jesus your Father God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” They both admitted it didn’t make sense. We then went through multiple scriptures such as Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” This passage interpreted by the Mormons would read, “Hear, O Israel: The Jesus our Father is one Jesus.” Again they couldn’t make sense of the passage. We walked them through the rest of Deut. 6 to the end and over and over again it said, “The Lord our God” which the Mormons interpret to say, “The Jesus our Father.” They told us they were not prepared to answer such a tough challenge but they knew someone in their church could. This was such a weak way to weasel out of admitting their belief was false.
One of the missionaries then read a passage from the Mormon Articles of Faith, “We believe in the Bible as long as it is translated correctly.” They said these passages of the Bible must be flawed. I told them Dylan and I believe the very same thing; we believe the Bible should only be trusted if it has been translated correctly. The truth is the Bible we have in our hands is 98% pure according to the majority of textual critics. The experts say no doctrine is compromised by the small amount of textual errors. I said it sounds like anytime the Bible goes against your beliefs you say it must be in error. In actuality the Mormons have no proof of this claim and the scholars say the Bible has been translated correctly.
I said if you have the wrong Jesus the consequences would be eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46). Jesus, when he confronted the religious Jews, said these words in John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” I said if the Jesus you believe in is a false Jesus, you will die in your sins. If a Mormon dies in his or her sins the punishment upon death will be eternal separation from God. This would be their fate unless they changed their beliefs.
I reminded them that on the first meeting I said if I was shown to be wrong I’d be willing to change my beliefs. I said you have been clearly shown to be wrong, would you be willing to change your beliefs? They sat in my front room silent. To break the silence, I told them I know they have believed the Mormon teachings since they were kids and that changing all they have staked their lives on would be extremely hard. I said based on all we have shown you, would you just consider the possibility of changing your beliefs and one of them said yes.
Finally, one missionary played what I call the Mormon trump card; he gave his testimony.He had prayed over Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and the burning in his heart told him Smith was a prophet of God and the Book of Mormon was true.I asked what if individuals in other religions prayed over their books and had similar experiences, would that make their religion true and he said yes.
I knew this Mormon strategy was coming, I’d heard it before. All Mormons I’ve met, when their beliefs begin to fall apart, run to their testimony and tell me God spoke directly to their heart. This experience trumps all the evidence against them. It is their escape clause. But what it really does is show how weak the Mormon faith is and their low view of truth.
I told them to be careful believing their heart over their head. The Bible doesn’t teach us to use emotional experiences to find truth; we are to test beliefs and cling to what is true. Here are three different translations dealing with the issue of examining truth: 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NASB) “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;”1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV) “Test everything. Hold on to the good.”1 Thessalonians 5:21 (KJV) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” The Bible teaches that we are to test or examine beliefs and hold onto the good. I told them if they test the Mormon beliefs they will find them false; put your feelings aside and use your mind to examine the truth.
Once again they got quiet and I said this looks like the end of our meetings; they acknowledged I was right. I gave them my cell phone number and told them if they still are troubled by what we discussed and wanted to continue exploring the truth, call me and we can continue to meet. We shook hands and they walked out the door.
Will they return? They will only come back if the Holy Spirit works in their hearts and begins to challenge the false beliefs of the Mormon Church. I have been praying for that to happen. If they move on and continue their mission, I am praying for other Christians to step up and challenge their beliefs like we did. Maybe someday in the near future they will bend their knees to the one true Jesus and I’ll see them in heaven.