The following question and answer was originally printed in the June 2008 edition of MRM’s update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here. The letter is presented exactly as it was sent.
A Mormon woman writes:
Your desire to defame the mormon church is truly unbalanced by your desire to be called a ministry. Your answers and definitions to the mormon church are all subject to your interpretation. Let people believe what they want to believe- there is absolutely no reasons for you to take it upon yourself to wage a campaign against personal beliefs. There is hardly one truth in this world that can’t be debated. The mormon faithful know their church holds the keys to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We practice the same principles and beliefs that the Apostle Paul did. You are pretending like you are soft selling this to appear to not be spreading hate against a church that has done nothing to you. You may argue that we send missionaries into the world to try and trick them into our beliefs or whatever- no missionary would ever baptize a new convert that hadn’t had the witness of the Holy Ghost bear the truth of these things. Why don’t you take your ministry of hate to a religion that does not believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour -who paid the price after all we can do. What would be the point of life and living morally if grace was all you needed. It’s an insult to the idea of progression and self improvement. I just feel sorry for you that this is your life’s work.
A faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which I firmly testify is the restored Gospel of Christ and he is at the head.
MRM’s Sharon Lindbloom Responds:
Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us here at Mormonism Research Ministry. Thank you, also, for allowing me the opportunity to respond to you.
I agree with you, that pretty much all truth (as well as all non-truth) can be debated. I would go a step further and suggest that much of it should be debated. Debate is a free exchange of ideas which often results in better understanding all around. Talking about important matters, points of both agreement and disagreement, is very helpful in multiple ways. This is one reason the U.S. Constitution grants us freedom of expression.
We at Mormonism Research Ministry are not waging a campaign against “personal beliefs.” We agree with you, that people ought to be allowed to believe whatever they want to believe. Yet we also believe people ought to be allowed access to differing perspectives in order to gain a broader understanding of any given topic. The topic we happen to care most deeply about is Christ’s free gift of sinful man’s reconciliation to God. Since we believe Mormonism cannot aid in this reconciliation (and in fact hinders it), we enter into the debate.
In doing so, we follow the example of the Apostle Paul who “reasoned,” “alleged,” “convinced,” “disputed” and “persuaded” the Jews and Greeks regarding “the things concerning the kingdom of God.” (see Acts 16-19)
I’m confused (and sorry) that you believe what MRM does to be “spreading hate” and a “ministry of hate.” When LDS missionaries approach people with the message of the Restoration, explaining that all churches (apart from the LDS Church) are “all wrong;… that all their creeds [are] an abomination in his sight; that those professors [are] all corrupt,” I don’t think they are spreading hate. I think they are sharing a message they believe is important–a message they love–out of loving concern for the people they speak to. We at MRM do the same.
You asked, “What would be the point of life and living morally if grace was all you needed.” I believe, as the Bible says, that salvation (reconciliation to God) is by grace, through faith — not after all we can do (“not your own doing” “not a result of works“) — it is the gift of God (see Ephesians 2:8-9). Why God has chosen to be so amazingly gracious to His people I cannot say, but this is indeed what He tells us. And it is indeed what He has done for us. Why, then, live a moral life? Because He calls us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16). Out of hearts full of gratitude we kneel before Him as our King and we serve Him out of love.
Speaking the truth (about Mormonism) in love (Ephesians 4:15) is our life’s work because we believe there is only one way to be reconciled to God and we long for Mormons to find it.
May God’s grace be sufficient for you.