This is a testimony wrote out by my new friend Thad of Rogma ministries, drawing on Mormon as well as Christian material to draw on the reality of His salvation in Christ, please enjoy and leave a comment.
When you get the chance to meet up with, and share a discussion with a Mormon missionary, inevitably the issue if testimonies will come up. It may be your testimony or one of the missionary’s testimonies. A Christian’s testimony speaks about how they have received forgiveness for sin by God’s Grace and by trusting alone in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ for their forgiveness. A Christian’s testimony speaks about how we moved from our ‘old’ or former life of sin to a relationship where we came to have a personal relationship with the God of the Bible by the power of the Holy Ghost/Spirit in our hearts. The focus of our testimony, whilst including information or details about how we came to this position, should be about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). A Christian’s testimony speaks of our conversion experience, but should include how God continues to work in our lives, continuing to encourage and strengthen us through the process of sanctification (John 17:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 10:10). This is a once-for-ever separation (being made holy and set apart), eternally unto God. This is a continual and progressive process, where our relationship with God, which develops and matures into something stronger and more meaningful. This maturing relationship must be centred on the Lord and His faithfulness, (Psalm 18:2, 6). Some Christians explain it as the ‘before and after’ picture of a Christian – from a state of being unsaved to a state of being saved.
How is this Christian testimony different to the Mormon (LDS) testimony?
The Mormon missionary will usually ‘bear’ (tell or present) their testimony during a discussion, where the conversation focuses on doctrine, some aspect of LDS history or teaching, where they don’t have an answer or defence, or even where they ‘feel’ that the conversation has become contentious or has the ‘mark’ or ‘spirit’ of contention. Again, this is where they feel that they don’t have a ready defence or feel that the discussion isn’t following LDS church teachings, e.g. an error, contradiction, untruth, change of doctrine has been highlighted regarding the LDS church and that pair of missionaries cannot defend the LDS church or challenge the issue at hand. For the Mormon missionary, the bearing of their testimony IS the challenge and acts as a type of defence mechanism to ‘neutralise’ or limit the challenge to their church. It convinces them that the reciting of this testimony will convince the investigator (enquirer) and ‘prove’ to them that the LDS church is the only correct church on earth and the only one to act with God’s authority. The Mormon testimony is different to the Christian’s testimony in that it contains usually five principal parts, where the missionary will state as a matter of ‘fact’ that they ‘know’ the following to be true. These are:
- God is their Heavenly Father – they do not accept the Trinity and believe that God was once a man. Their concept of God is not scripturally based.
- Joseph Smith was a prophet of God – despite historical evidence to the contrary, even within the LDS church’s teachings
- The church is led by a living prophet today – This person is regarded as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator and, in theory, directs the LDS church today
- Jesus Christ is their Saviour and Redeemer – despite the teachings of the LDS church that the Jesus of Mormonism isn’t the Jesus of the Bible
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s only church on earth today – this was supposed to have been ordained by God because the LDS church maintains that a General (global/worldwide) Apostasy took place, removing God’s authority from the earth – regardless of the Bible’s teachings, the Christian Church’s teachings, LDS teachings (contradicting this), Jesus Christ’s promises, or the fact that the LDS church can’t say exactly when the apostasy took place nor can they point to any definitive historical event of it.
I believe it is important for a Christian to have a full, true testimony, when speaking to any non Christian group; but, it is also important to present our testimony in a Mormon-style fashion, which will open up the discussion in a non-confrontational and contentious, but engaging manner.
To that end, I have decided to present a testimony (Mormon-style) whilst working with Mormon missionaries
I begin by stating to the missionaries that I would like to “bear to you my testimony”, that I know for sure that not only is the Jesus Christ of the Bible, whom I love and serve able to keep His promises for all eternity, but the Jesus I speak of and believe in is the Jesus testified of in the Holy Scriptures I know that to be true, because:
- I know that there is only One, True and Eternal God, unchangeable, unique, and all-powerful. (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10, 44:5-8; Psalm 90:2, 96:5; Mal. 3:6; John 10:30-34; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; Eph. 4:5; James 1:17). [Mormonism also teaches this fact: Book of Mormon: Testimony of Three Witnesses; Alma 11: 26-39, 44; 41:8: 2 Nephi 29:9; 31:21; Mormon 7:7, 22; Moroni 8:18; 3 Nephi 11:27; D&C 20:17, 76:4; 28; Isaiah 44: 6, 8 (JST remains unchanged); Book of Moses 1:6.
- I know that this One, True God created all things; there is nothing that exists anywhere that He did not bring into existence. (Gen. 1:1, 16 [Job. 9-4-8, Psa. 8:3, Psa. 33:6, 102:25, 136-7-9, Psa. 147:4, Jer. 31:35]; Nehemiah 9:6; Isa. 40:22, 28, 41:4, 44:24, 45:12, 48:13; Jer. 10:10-11; John 1:3; Acts 4:24, 7:50, 14:15; Colossians 1:16, 17; Mormonism also teaches this fact: 2 Nephi 2:14; Book of Moses Ch. 2). I know that this One True God is spirit, and is not limited to time and space, both of which He Himself created. (2 Chron. 6:18; Jer. 23:24; John 4:24).
- I know that man is the creation of God, and God should not be thought of as an exalted man, and did not pre-exist. (Zech 12:1; Psalm 50:21; Isa 29:16; Hosea 11:9; 1 Cor. 15:46; Mormonism also teaches this fact: Jacob 4:9; Alma 18:28, 34-36).
- I know that Jesus is the Son of God the Father who is “spirit” (John 4:24) and “not man” (Hosea 11:9). His fleshly body WAS “begotten” of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18, 23; Mormonism also teaches this fact: Alma 18:26-28, 22:8-11);“He is NOT a son of an “exalted Man” whose fleshly body was NOT “begotten of the Holy Ghost.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, pp. 345-346; Family Home Evening, 1972, pp. 125-126; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 18)
- I know that Jesus is the “mighty God, everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6), “the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8), who has always existed (Isaiah 44:6; 43:10; 41:4; 48:12; John 1:1-3; 8:58; 20:28, 29 Rev. 1:8; 2:8; 21:6,7; 22:13), because He is “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.” (Hebrews 7:3; 1:8 [Ps. 45:6, 7])
- I know that Jesus Christ has eternally existed as God. (Micah 5:2; John 1:1, Phil. 2:5-6; Heb 1:10). [Mormonism also teaches this: Book of Mormon, title page]
- I know that God reside in (indwells) us (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 3:17; 1 John 4:12). Mormonism also teaches this fact: Alma 34:36
- I know that Jesus Christ created all things, without exception. (John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-3); He is the one who is Lord of Lords and King of Kings (Revelation 19:16), the Creator of all, including Lucifer (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17) Mormonism also teaches this fact- He is NOT my spirit-brother, nor is he the spirit brother of Lucifer. (Gospel Principles, pp. 17-18)
- I know that the blood of Jesus Christ, the Saviour, cleanses from all sin. (Col. 1:19-20, 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7);
- I know that He is the all-sufficient Saviour, who cleanses us from “all” sins (1 John 1:7, 9) and saves us “to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25), when we lay aside all of our self-righteousness and come to Him on the basis of faith alone (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 11:6; Philippians 3:9);
- I know that God is the ALMIGHTY (Gen. 17:1) and the Mighty (Is.10:21; Jer. 32:18; Luke 1:49) Jehovah (Yahweh) God who says, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD… that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Exodus 20:2, 3; Deut. 4:35, 39; 6:4, 5; 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:1-2; 2 Sa, 22:32; Isaiah 43:10, 13; 44:6-8, 24; 45:5-6, 18, 21-22, 51; 46:9; John 5:42-44; Romans 3:29-30; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; James 2:9; Jude 25). He is NOT “a god” among other “gods” who had a Father God “formed” before him. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, pp. p. 370; 345-346; Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, 1853, p. 132)
- I know that full and complete salvation is the work of God’s grace, not faith + works, such as Baptism (Eph. 2:8-10) Mormonism also teaches this fact: Moroni 8:22, 23; 2 Nephi 9:25, 26; Mosiah 15:24-27).
- I know that the Bible is God’s inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient revelation to man, in need of no supplements or corrections. (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21; Jude 3).
- I know that only Heaven or hell awaits me, (Daniel 12:2,3; Matthew 25:41, 46; John 5:28; Revelation 20:14,15) and no middle place: Mormonism also teaches this fact: 1 Nephi 15:35 ; 2 Nephi 28:22 ; Mosiah 16:11; 27:31; Alma 41:4-8; 42:16
- I believe that there are no second chances after death, and that death seals our fate (Hebrews 9:27) Mormonism also teaches this fact: Mosiah 2:36-39; Alma 34:32-35
- I know that Jesus is NOT a created being who had a point in time when he did not exist. (Gospel Principles, p 11; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 4, 1992, p. 1670; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 129)
- I know that man is spiritually dead, enslaved to sin, unable to come to Christ outside of enablement and grace of the Father. (John 6:44, 65; Eph. 2:1-5).
This is my testimony, which I believe is given to me by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible makes it clear that the Spirit of God witnesses to our spirits that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16) and that He leads His people into all truth (John 16:13).
I share this testimony with you because I believe the issues mentioned define the Christian Gospel itself. This Gospel requires that we know the One, True God (John 17:3); a false god cannot save us. The gospel requires that we know the true Jesus Christ, since a false Christ cannot save (John 8:24, 2 Corinthians 11:4). And the true gospel alone can bring salvation, which is why we are warned about those who would preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).
I have given you my testimony, which does not decide or determine truth. My testimony is a wonderful and precious thing, but it is not how I know the truth. My testimony must be subjected to, and tested by, a higher authority – the Bible (1 John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). No matter how strongly I may “feel” in my heart about something, I must submit my feelings to the correction of the Word of God, as I know the heart is a deceiver (Proverbs 14:12; 28:26; Isaiah 64:6: Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 10:2-4). So while you and I may have testimonies that conflict, I can take my testimony to the Word of God and demonstrate how it is consistent not only with some of the Bible, but with the entire Bible. My beliefs come from the Bible, and I would be glad to demonstrate this to you.
That is why we need to heed the words of the apostle, Paul, when he said, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or is ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” —2 Corinthians 11:3-4. Paul warns us about ‘another Jesus’, which is not of the Bible; this other ‘Jesus’ is the one worshipped by the LDS church, according to Gordon B. Hinckley, “President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.’ “—LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7. This ‘Jesus’ of the LDS church cannot bring salvation or eternal life because, “…We cannot obtain salvation and eternal life by worshipping fake Christs…” — Elder Bernard P. Brockbank, The Ensign, May 1977, pp. 26-27
Christianity claims to be God’s truth. As such, there is no room, nor reason, for compromising on the essential elements of the faith. Christianity is unalterably monotheistic: we believe in only one true and eternal God, which was once taught by Mormonism. As I understand it, Mormonism presents a different God, a different Christ, and a different gospel. Because we love God, honour His truth, and desire others to know Him, I share this information with you.
As a true believer in Jesus Christ, I know that I:
- Am delivered from the power of darkness…Col. 1:13
- Am redeemed…Col. 1:14
- Have eternal, everlasting life…John 3:15-16, 1 John 5:13
- Am a child of God, through adoption…John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1, 2
- Am passed from death into life…John 5:24
- Am reconciled to God by the death of His Son…Rom 5:10; Col. 1:22
- Am justified by the blood of Christ…John 1:29; Rom 5:9; 1 John 1:7
- Am holy and without blame…Eph 1:4; 1Cor 1:8
- Have no condemnation…Rom 8:1
- Have forgiveness of sins through His blood…Eph 1:7: 1 John 1:7
- Have Christ dwelling in me…Col. 1:27
- Am complete in Christ…Col. 2:10
- Have heavenly citizenship and can know that I am saved …Phil 3:20; I John 5:13
- Am sealed with the Holy Spirit…Eph 1:13
- Am in the church (body of Christ)…Acts 2:47; 1Cor 12:18
- Am baptized by the Holy Spirit…John 7:39; 1Cor 12:13
- Have all my needs supplied…Phil 4:19; 1 Peter 5:7
- Have constant availability of God our Father, because of the priesthood of Jesus Christ Himself…1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15-16
- Am thoroughly furnished unto all good works by the Bible…2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Have a wonderful Saviour, Who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think…Eph 3:20