By Sharon Lindbloom 13 February 2017 The LDS Church’s February 2017 issue of Ensign magazine includes a parable written by LDS apostle James Talmage, originally published in the Improvement Era in September 1914. “The Parable of the Unwise Bee” poetically tells the story of a wild bee who becomes unwittingly trapped in Mr. Talmage’s office. … Read more
During 2016, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is in boldfaced is from the manual, with our … Read more
By Sharon Lindbloom There’s an article in the January 2006 issue about the fourth LDS prophet, Wilford Woodruff, titled Contending for the Faith. The tag line to this article is, “While contending for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, President Woodruff taught principles relevant for our lives today” (p.20). I was surprised to find that … Read more
Since 1987, members from the Mormonism Research Ministry team have been going to Manti, UT for two weeks each June to participate in outreach at the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Thousands of people from all over the United States come to watch the LDS-produced play held outdoors on the hillside of the Manti temple. It’s an exciting time as we have a chance to share God’s truth in the hours before the pageant begins each night. Find out how you could help participate in helping MRM attend, something we’ve been doing since 1987!
Suppose your favorite NFL team is headed to overtime in a tie game and ends up winning the coin toss. Would you want your team to kick off or receive? It’s a no-brainer. Even the most defensive-minded fan wants his team to have the ball. After all, the team receiving the kickoff can win the game by scoring a touchdown in its initial possession. While the defense could cause a turnover, pick up the ball, and run eighty yards for the tie-breaking score, there is a better opportunity to get into the end zone when your team is in control. When it comes to evangelism, is it possible to take the offense without being offensive?
During a friendly dialogue that I had recently with a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, Mormon), I made a point that seemed to strike a chord. After a few seconds of awkward silence, the Latter-day Saint said (in a most respectful way), “What you’re showing me appears to be correct. I’m not sure how to answer your objection to my faith. I guess we’ll all know in the end anyway, won’t we?” Is there a way to respond when the Mormon deters to figuring out truth after death?
Responding to Those Who Disagree
By Eric Johnson
The following was originally printed in the March-April 2009 edition of Mormonism Researched. The original headline was “Mormon apostle encourages silence, not dialogue, with perceived ‘accusers.’” To request a free subscription, please visit here.
Have you ever tried to memorize scripture but it was just too hard to remember all the words in a verse? Or have you ever been in a witnessing situation and wanted to use a particular verse–it’s at the tip of your tongue–but you forgot where it was located? (“It’s in the Bible…somewhere.”) Consider learning snippets, which are short 4-6 words explanations of a verse and the reference. Using flashcards to build up your memory verse capability, you can have a variety of verses to use in different situations, equipping you with the ability to better share your faith. Included in this article are 70+ verses used regularly by the author in his coversations with Christians and nonChristians alike.
Dealing with “Contention”
By Eric Johnson
Everyone has presuppositions. There are many ways we have been influenced, including our culture and the people in our surroundings. Even our religious faith might be something we garnered from our community. Since it is not possible that all paths lead to God, we would like to challenge you to read the book of Romans in the New Testament. Read it as a little child as if you were reading it all the way through for the first time. Write down some notes and put checks next to those verses that you think are crucial. Once you are done, consider whether or not your spiritial belief is in agreement wiht the book of Romans. The conclusion you draw might just surprise you!
The following article was printed in the Christian Research Journal, Vol. 34, No. 04, 2011, 6-7
A doorstep encounter with missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) may allow only a brief moment to hopefully make a lasting impression, so we must weigh our words carefully. Too many Christians make the mistake of introducing peripheral topics that can sometimes head the discussion toward an agonizing dead end.
By Aaron Shafovaloff
Mormons tell us all the time to take our tough and deep questions to the young missionaries, because surely these guys know the answers. But that is hardly the case. These are a bunch of young 19 and 20-year-olds who are playing the part of a Mormon tradition that is designed to help them plant deep roots of Mormon commitment and belief. Many of them are on their mission to participate in an adventure and figure things out for themselves, not yet having the deep belief in Mormonism that they wish they had. The two-year-mission largely functions in Mormonism to solidify that belief. It’s a spiritually formative time in their life, and it’s our duty to plant seeds of truth in love.
Since the time Joseph Smith, Jr., founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐day Saints (Mormon or LDS) in 1830, Christians have recognized this organization as a heretical religion that does not represent biblical teachings. Not long after Smith’s death in 1844, Brigham Young led his followers into the Salt Lake Valley. For many years Christians have considered the state of Utah to be a ripe evangelistic field. In the early years, LDS leaders prized their uniqueness and didn’t seem to care what outsiders thought about their beliefs, which separate them from the rest of professed Christianity. In the past few decades, though, this attitude began to change. Today Mormon leaders try hard to portray their church as more mainstream rather than extreme, sometimes making it tremendously difficult to discern the differences between the two faiths. In recent years, traditional evangelistic methods to reach the Mormon people have been criticized as being too “confrontational” and, therefore, counterproductive. In order to better understand Mormonism, two types of dialogues have been initiated between evangelical Christians and Mormons. One involves private scholarly dialogues. The other includes a casual “bridge‐building” dialogue that is geared more for a lay‐level audience. Some in Utah wonder, however, if this new paradigm is actually hurting rather than helping evangelistic efforts in the Beehive state. In the late 1980s, an Arizona Mormon by the name of Darl Anderson realized that one of the biggest hindrances to the efforts of Mormon missionaries was Christian ministers who were speaking out on Mormonism from their pulpits. Anderson concluded that he could “neutralize” what he called the “ground swell of anti‐Mormonism” in his area if he could only befriend these outspoken Christian leaders. He self‐published a book in 1992 titled Soft Answers to Hard Questions and began giving a lecture series to fellow members called “Win a Minister and Influence a Thousand.”
In recent years some within the Christian and Mormon community have been espousing a method of mutual understanding that urges dialogue revolving around common ground rather than discussions that make a clear distinction between Mormonism and the Christian faith. To imply that a Mormon could be wrong and run the risk of offense is considered by many in this camp as anathema. I admit I have my concerns about this new approach.
Am I surprised to hear Mormons expressing their appreciation to Christians who refrain from making them answer the hard questions? Not at all. No doubt many LDS like this new approach because it protects them from hearing things about their faith that may eventually cause them to rethink their positions.
By Eric Johnson
With more and more representatives from false religions standing on front door steps attempting to make converts, a troublesome passage for some Christians is 2 John 10-11. It says, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
By Bill McKeever
Many people who attend Christian churches see no problem with foreign missionaries exposing paganism and false doctrine by handing out literature and witnessing in public places. However, for some strange reason, some of these same people have a problem with Christians exposing false doctrine in a similar manner here in the United States.
By Bill McKeever
It is not uncommon for Latter-day Saints to accuse Christians of having a “spirit of contention” when their doctrinal inconsistencies are being discussed. Such a rebuke is meant to make it appear that the Christian is somehow not exhibiting a Christ-like attitude and/or not playing fair.
Being accused of being contentious should be taken seriously only if you really are. If so, kindly apologize. If you feel this label has been unjustifiably used, you might ask how he defines contention and then show him what Jude states in verse 3.
By Eric Johnson
When we log onto our e-mail, we never know just what to expect. When we first put up our web site (www.mrm.org) in 1996, we could not have predicted how popular the site would become. And during these years, we have received numerous comments, especially from Mormons! Here are just two examples:
Russell Burnham, a Mormon, wrote,
I have often said that the modern missionary system advocated by the LDS Church is an ingenious idea. Though the popular slogan “every member a missionary” calls on all members to actively proclaim the Mormon faith, tens of thousands of men and women serve full-time positions in a short-term capacity. Most are young people in their late teens and early twenties.
Despite the fact that the total number of Mormon missionaries have significantly decreased in recent years, the Mormons still have more missionaries in the field than all Protestant churches combined. From a young age members are encouraged to give two years of their lives serving their church (female missionary terms are 18 months), and the positive peer pressure from fellow members make this program a relative success.
By Bill McKeever