Mormonism: Who's That Knocking at My Door?
By Ed Decker
There are very few homes in America that have not had the Mormon missionaries at the door. Meanwhile, thousands of families are being invited to "Family Home Evenings," "Firesides," and Church socials (geared "just for them") by Mormon friends and neighbors.
Enough Christian people respond to the freshly scrubbed faces and clean-cut look of the Mormons' "We would love to love you" approach to proselytizing that Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religious groups in the United States. But what does the Christian really know about Mormonism and even if you did know, what do you say to that Mormon Missionary ringing your front doorbell? Well, as one who has been out there ringing the bell, I would like to share a few thoughts with you.
IS THE MORMON CHURCH A CHRISTIAN CHURCH?
First, understand that the Mormon Church likes to refer to itself as a Christian Sect. Sect is defined as a separate doctrinal group within a larger group. But Mormonism is NOT a separate doctrinal group within the Christian body. It teaches a different God, a different Jesus, and a different Heaven and Hell. It places the validity of the Bible in serious doubt, and proclaims new and different "Holy Scriptures." Its eternal doctrines or "gospel" and master plan of salvation are directed by the god of this earth through a living "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" to whom the members must demonstrate total obedience.
Mormonism is correctly categorized as a CULT. Cult is defined as group or system of religious worship and ritual focusing on uncommon doctrine and a very esoteric deity. It is assuredly, a Christian based cult, using as its main theme the Old Testament Law and Priesthood, with a form of the New Testament Christ - but He is different in function and power and purpose than the Lord Jesus so clearly described in the Bible.
Mormonism uses the same terms that the Christian uses, but they are not the same in meaning. Therein lies the trap. The unwary person hears of the joys of the gospel, the love of Christ, and God's desires for us and then steps in the realm of the subtle "doublethink," falling prey to a missionary teaching plan not given out of the hearts of the young men there in your home, but created by some of the cleverest sales psychologists in the world.
If your door knockers were "Moonies" from the Unification Church, it would be a lot simpler. It is very visible as a Christ denying centered cult. For in it, you either believe that Christ returned as a Korean man named Reverend Moon or you don't. Mormonism isn't that easy. It sits just a tiny little millimeter below the surface of Christianity, and its outward appearances are all the American ideal. Its millions of dollars that are spent in public relations programs see to that.
The Utah Christian Tract Society, of La Mesa, California, published in its March/April 1978 Newsletter, a most succinct description of a cult. It said, "All cults embrace one or more of the following tenets: They either humanize God, deify man, minimize sin, or ostracize the Scriptures. Mormonism uses all four of these tenets to bring forth false doctrines." It is not a Christian church, friends. It is a Cult!
WHO IS FOOLING WHOM?
It is absolutely essential that you understand that the majority of the Mormon people believe with all their hearts and souls that they are serving the True God and you are the lost one. They are totally bound by spiritual law to work their good works in order to become Gods and Goddesses, just like their own God (and his many God-wives) did during their testing time, on a world like this one.
But the key is that they believe they are doing the will of God in reaching out to you. They are doing it out of true love for you, no matter how misinformed and misled by their Prophet. You have to remember that the Lord loves them just as much as He loves you, and most certainly His concern for them is even greater. His love never diminished when we were away from Him in sin. His heart went out to us in love and concern just as He is reaching out in love for his children lost in the doctrinal quicksand of Mormonism.
OK, WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If you are at that point where you are firmly convinced that Mormonism is a cult, and one that is a definite danger to the unaware Christian, you have one of two possible steps of action. First, you can do nothing at all. Avoid them like the plague. Slam the door when they knock! Do a fast 180 degree spin and a four minute mile every time one speaks to you! It is honest, effective, and will most definitely keep you out of the Mormon Church.
The other step is hardly comfortable and can be taken only as far as your own Christian maturity and confidence will carry you. However, you will not be marked for special punishment if you do encounter a missionary duo and fail to wrestle them to the ground and armlock them through the four steps to salvation!
Remember that Christians are normally a piece of cake to them and they run into four or five fired up Baptists every day. You might get one stray pair of Mormon missionaries a year.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A WOLF?
Matthew 7:15 says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." The Scripture gives insight to the problem, and yet, it also reveals the solution. The Mormon missionary presents himself to you as a member of the flock. This is the flock Jesus referred to in John 10:27,28: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." The missionaries appearance, his countenance, his speech all say "Hi, I'm a sheep, just like you. I look like you, I smell like you, I say 'Baa', just like you, so I must be a sheep just like you."
What you can't see is that under the surface, a wolfskin lurks! But the missionary doesn't really see it either, because he thinks that just under the first sheepskin cover is another sheepskin. He thinks that he is there to lure you out of this lost flock and into the fold he came from. And he is willing to "pretend a little bit" to get the job done. It is in your best interest, after all. Therein lies the subtle answer. The Mormons are trained to see this slight deceit as a necessary camouflage.
When exposed down to this assumed natural sheepskin, they are comfortable with the discovery.
Your job (should you choose to accept it) is to strip back the second layer of false wool and reveal the fur they were cloaked in when they swore eternal allegiance to the Holy Priesthood and the ravening wolf/false prophet, Joseph Smith. You see, the startling fact is that they do not know about this part of their nature. They are like the Emperor who thought his new clothes were just as perfect as they could be until a little child finally told him the truth - he was naked!
You have the truth and the truth can set them free! You don't have to debate every tenet of the Mormon doctrine at your front door. You only have to force the missionaries to be honest with you and with themselves. The Truth and Jesus will do the work.
RULES OF THE GAME
First, you had better examine your motives. If you are going to "show them a thing or two," or if you are going to dazzle them with your lightning knowledge of the Scriptures, you are going to lose and worse, they will lose, too. If a Mormon is being attacked, he knows it. Believe me, because I knew it when it happened to me. He will harden his heart to you and slap up and impenetrable wall the instant someone pokes him in the chest and says "Listen here, Buster!"
You may win the argument, but I guarantee that you will go a long way in losing that soul for Jesus.
Your motive has to come out of a burden of love for that Mormon missionary, that neighbor, that friend. You have to prayerfully cleanse out "self" from the effort and recognize that you can only be effective if you are an open channel of God's love. So your approach must be only in Christ's love. Just pray. "Lord, cleanse me, right now, use me as YOUR HAND extended. I yield myself to this love. Let your Holy Spirit anoint these moments with Your love, Your truth, and Your gentle grace."
Secondly, without leaping about and jumping on the poor, unsuspecting Mormon, bind the spirits of priestcraft, contention, and Mormonism from your door and plead the shed blood of Jesus upon you house. Pray that the Holy Spirit enter therein and bring His peace, truth, and understanding. I know that this all sounds a bit heavy, but I've witnessed it scores of times praying that prayer and scores of times without doing it. Take my word for it, it worked when I pray, and my witness suffers when I do not. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." In fact, read verses 10 through 20 for Paul's inspired guidance in this important area.
HURRY UP, HERE THEY COME!
The list of "dos and don'ts" in witnessing to Mormons can be quite long, but for simplicity, there are three critical "do's":
1. Control the Encounter. Even though it is your house, if you don't control the encounter, they will. You must be assertive in this. You should open the discussion with prayer and immediately go into the questions you wish to ask them. You should go through the questions step by step and then thank them, make your remarks, give a witness for Jesus, and you close in prayer.
2. Stick to the Subject. The minute you "pierce their armor," they will try to sidestep to another issue or attempt to change the subject by insisting on finding out about your beliefs. Stay on track and just summarize their response to the last questions and go on the next.
3. Emphasize Jesus Christ. Mention Jesus every chance you get. Remember that Mormons have "another" Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4) and are NOT familiar with the Bible's message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even though they use His name all the time.
Your missionary friends will say something like: "Good afternoon, we are representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. We would like to share a successful family program with you and your family, without any obligation on your part and with nothing to buy. May we come in for a moment?"
Your response: (You're not going to make it easy). I already have my own religion, I'm a Lutheran.
Their response: Wonderful. Our message is for families of all faiths. May we come in?
Your response: Yes. Come in for a moment, I'd like to ask you a few questions.
You are now seated with your Mormon visitors. You have stated that as people who wish to serve the Lord, and who seek truth, any such discussion in the spiritual realm should begin with prayer, and YOU LEAD IT! After everyone has said "Amen." tell them that you desire to know their motives or purposes for being there, and you would like to ask them a few questions. Ask them if this is agreeable to them. If not, gently ask them to leave. If yes, go into the first question.
Question (Q) l. I know that you are missionaries, but what is your purpose or your end desire for this visit?
Response: (R) (It will be in the nature of a statement that they would like you to learn about their church or "way of life.")
Question 2 Is the Mormon Church a Christian Church?
Response Well, of course it is. We bear you our testimony that it is.
Question 3 I'm a Lutheran. Is my church a Christian church?
Response There is truth is all faiths.
Question 4 That's not what I really asked you. Does the Mormon church believe that the Lutheran church is a Christian church in exactly the same manner and sense that it believes the Mormon church is a Christian church?
Response Not really, you see, we have some additional truths that we would like to share with you. (Don't settle for anything less than a no!)
You Respond: Simply put, you mean, NO!
Question 5 In fact, isn't it true that your church actually teaches that my church's creed is "an abomination in the sight of God," and it's professors (members) are all doctrinally corrupt? Do you believe this to be fully true?
Response (The Mormon must answer these Yes. It will be hard to extract from them, but stay with it until you get a flat unsoftened YES in each case).
Question 6 Is Jesus Christ Your Savior?
Response Yes, of course!
Question 7 Exactly what did Jesus Christ save you from?
Response From Physical death. He died to atone for Adam's transgression.
Question 8 Do you mean He atoned (personally paid) for your sins? (I Peter 2:24, Galatians 1:4).
Response Not exactly.
Question 9 Exactly, how are your personal sins atoned for?
Response (Will pertain to works and judgment of each person's works.)
Question 10 In other words, you are saying you believe that Christ's death paid for Adam's sin only and the immortality promised in the scriptures only means that we will be resurrected to be judged for our works?
Response Yes, (Don't settle for anything less!)
Question 11 Do you believe the Bible to be the Word of God?
Response Insofar as it is translated correctly.
Question 12 You believe then, that the Bible is basically in error? What percent? Where? What books? Chapters?
Response (They will avoid giving specific answers. Don't worry, you will never get one here.)
Question 13 When you appear before the final judgment, do you hope to become a God, just like our Heavenly Father is a God? Is that your goal?
Question 14...Will your works have to include being a Mormon, being married in the temple, being a member of the Mormon Priesthood, doing your genealogy? Serving a mission? Attending all your meetings?
Response. Yes. (The Mormon will be reluctant to talk about the temple, so let him avoid it. The temple ceremonies are secret and held very sacred. Oaths are made that could put their very eternal lives at stake to talk about them.)
Question 15...Did our God have to go through such a process to become a God?
Response. Yes. (Don't settle for less!)
Question 16..Does He (our God) have a God over Him? Does that God have a God over Him, then?
Response Yes. Yes.
Question 17...Then if you do everything right, you will get a chance to become a God just like our God. Is that true?
Question 18...What about Goddesses. Do you believe that God has a God-wife, our "Heavenly Mother?" In fact, more than one wife?
Response. Yes. (To both questions).
Question 19..Does this God of ours have a physical body? Did He pass through mortality before becoming a God? Just like you are hopeful of doing?
Question 20..Are these teachings those which have been given in the "Restored" teachings taught by your prophet; Joseph Smith?
Summary: Let's stop now and see if I'm correct in summarizing what you have said:
1. All "Christian" Churches except the Mormons are in error, all abominations before God.
2. The Bible is at best, a weak source of truth. It is in error and it's teachings about salvation are in error.
3. We must each earn our own salvation.
4. We can become Gods.
5. God was once a man but progressed into Godhood. So did our Heavenly Mother.
6. All this is known because God sent a prophet in these latter days.
A TRUE CULT
You must show your Mormon friends that these concepts are totally outside the scriptural concept of Christianity. In fact, they are signs of a cult...not even a sect. (Refer back to the section, "Is the Mormon Church a Christian Church?") Your goal here is to actually peel back both sheep-skin layers. Tell them you are not trying to debate their doctrine, but to establish IDENTITY.
First, they have shown you that they really are not the sheep of your Christian flock. They are at your house to pull you out of your flock and into the one they call home. Get them to admit that they are, in fact, being deceitful in encouraging others to consider them as "in the same flock."
Next, use the results of the questions to show that they really are not Christian sect. Go through the four tenets of a cult mentioned earlier, to show where they are out of "Christian order" in their thinking. Please remember, DON'T DEBATE THE POINTS. Just get them to see that there is a difference and that difference truly makes them not Christian but a Christian-sounding cult. Do not allow them to draw you into an argument.
The Lord will quicken their hearts to accept this truth. Your work in only to lay the information before them. The Holy Spirit will put it into their hearts.
THE MORMON TESTIMONY
When a Mormon gets into a corner with his theology, he reverts to the testimony. "I bear you my testimony that I know this is the true church, and etc../etc./etc.." It is a mechanical trained-up -from-the-cradle protective response. It means he is in trouble and it is his last resort. Be bold and break right in. (Yes, interrupt!) Just say, "How do you know it is true?" Or, "Where is the evidence?î Stop the testimony short in its tracks. It is a form of mind control or self hypnosis. Don't let them go under. It's a spell of blind obedience.
Tell them to open their Bibles to Romans 10. If they put up any argument, just tell them, "Look Elder, are you afraid to see what God has to say about this?" Read the 10th chapter of the Book of Romans verses 1-13. Ask the Mormons to pray with you that God reveal His true nature to them. God revealed in His Word that He was an unchangeable God, without beginning, without end. The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the ONE God Eternal. The Mormon blasphemy humanizes our God and glorifies man.
YOUR CHRISTIAN WITNESS
Friends, you are on your own from here on out. This short exercise has kept you out of the maze of conflicting doctrines normally tied to "finding out about Mormonism."
If they are still there, it is time for you to Witness Jesus Christ to these Mormons.
Witness JESUS...and your personal relationship with Him, what your life was like and how Jesus has set you free
Send your friends along their way. But pray with them before they go. If you can, hold hands when you pray.
Above all else, remember that God's Word does not return to Him void. You have planted seeds deep into their spirits. As they go forth, each time they encounter a Christian who will witness of the real Jesus, your words will come up to the surface of their minds.
This will be a continuing thing until that day when they, too, ask Jesus to be as real in their lives as He was evident in yours. It took many years and many Christian witnesses for this Mormon to come out of the darkness into the Light of Life. I wish I could go back to every single home I visited while a Mormon, every friend and neighbor I approached with my "different gospel," and ask their forgiveness. What a joy it will be to meet those Christians who witnessed Jesus with such love and concern for my eternal soul so many years ago. What a joy to clasp their hand and say "Dear friend, thank you for that seed you planted. Harvest time is finally come. Praise the Lord."
Bless you in His Holy Name.
Saints Alive In Jesus
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