Well the third night came and went with a few chats, but mostly quite quiet. I tried doing the Jesus Survey that you can find at TriGrace ministries and found that to be very good. It really helps show the significant differences between what Jesus taught and the LDS Church teaches.
Despite it being quiet it was great to see the positive connection we were building with some of the LDS people. During the day myself and Jason Thickpenny met up with a couple of LDS missionaries in Chorley Town centre and we were able to explain more why we are doing this. Not out of any hatred towards Mormons but just out of a desire to explain the Biblical gospel to them, naturally they disagreed but we had a chance to share the gospel and they said they understood and respected why we were doing what we were doing.
On the 4th day (sat 3rd) we got up at 5am and went straight to Leeds to do the same thing at a Jehovah’s Witness Convention. This made witnessing at the Mormon Pageant seem so nice and easy in comparison. There was apparently 6.500 people there.
Jason Thickpenny an ex Witness did some preaching to the witnesses on the fact that the Biblical teaching on the Nature and sufficiency of Jesus being so different to the Jehovah’s Witness teachings.
For me and others we mostly held up some signs, in the hope that this would get them thinking.
On this same day one of the sessions at this convention was teaching the attendees that Apostates are mentally diseased and dine with Satan. It was clear that for many of them this very clearly included us. I was able to have discussion with someone going through the early studies to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was able to challenge him on issues such as false prophecies and the fact that the organization teaches that salvation is only found with them. Naturally he was not aware of this, please pray that he makes contact with me or looks this stuff up.
Then that night we came back (being very tired) and got back out to the Pageant. This was a much better night, for me it brought the most discussions of the week, I think this was the case for others too.
As well on this night I was able to speak to one of the organizers of the event. I think for the first time all week I got into a discussion with him about Joseph Smith and some of the issues raised by him. One of them was the translation process of the Book of Mormon. It seemed this guy was convinced as are many other LDS that this is how that process worked
For the most part I think the LDS church has communicated to its members that the plates were present and Joseph using a urrim and thummim dictated the words from the plates. The reality is however very different, Joseph put his head in his hat with the same seer stone he (unsuccessfully) attempted to find treasure with and dictated the supposed translation from there. I told this guy that this had previously been shown in an Ensign magazine, he did not believe this, in case he or any others are interested here it is.
“Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light. And in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe. And when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God and not by any power of man. The characters I speak of are the engravings on the golden plates from which the book was translated.” 11
More on this here http://www.mrm.org/translation
So anyway all in all this has been a seriously great week of witnessing. I think we have built a good relationship with many of the event organizers and volunteers and despite the fact that they (i am sure) would rather not have us there, I think they appreciate that we are there out of genuine concern for them, with no desire to cause trouble or “protest”.
I am now back home and all done but there are still others there for the 2nd week. Please pray for these guys and if you are going along please say hi.