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Hearing Both Sides of the Issue

By Bill McKeever

“He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.” (Proverbs 18:17)

This passage certainly speaks to us today when we look at how seemingly convincing the Mormon sales pitch is. Many times we hear from those who have been talking with Mormon acquaintances and they relate how the LDS message seems to make so much sense. However, when we further inquire into what they were told, we find that, in a great majority of the cases, the portions of Mormonism which definitely set it apart from the Christian tradition were never mentioned.

Of course it is in the best interest for Mormons to make his religion appear as “Christian” as possible. In doing so, you probably won’t hear about Joseph Smith’s dubious background or the many times Mormon leaders have blasted the doctrines held dear by Christians. You can certainly draw a conclusion by hearing only their side of the story, but herein lies the anomaly.

Mormonism teaches that all men must practice their “free agency,” yet Mormons are rarely encouraged to do this properly. All too often we hear of seeking Latter-day Saints who having gone to their bishop wanting a rebuttal to what we have written and said, were told to either quit talking to us or quit reading our material. How can these individuals make a proper decision when both sides of the issues are not given equal time?

Concerning Proverbs 18:17, the great eighteenth century Christian commentator Matthew Henry, writes, “He that speaks first will be sure to tell a straight story, and relate that only which makes for him, and put his best colour he can upon it, so that his cause shall appear good, whether it really be so or no … it is fit that the defendant should be heard, should have leave to cross-examine them, and show the falsehood and fallacy of what has been alleged, which perhaps may make the matter appear quite otherwise than it did. We must therefore remember that we have two ears, to hear both sides before we give judgment” (Matthew Henry Commentary 3:895).

At MRM, we don’t encourage people to ignore what Mormons have written. We only ask that they seriously compare Mormon claims with what God’s Word has to say. In essence, we are merely doing what Mormonism’s second President Brigham Young said when he told his followers to “take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test” (Journal of Discourses 16:46).

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