How to Witness to Mormon Missionaries

Mormon Missionaries

By far the most common way people come into contact with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, is through speaking with two young well dressed men, wearing a little badge with Elder….. on it. These guys spend two years of their lives usually when they are 18-19 in an allocated area by the LDS Church, working 6 and a half days a week, either seeking to make new contacts or following up with contacts already made, with a view to sharing the LDS gospel and baptizing people into their church. Its a genuine joy for them but sometimes not without its pressures and strains.

Often times Christians see them as annoyances, or lost causes, far too steeped in Mormonism to be worth the time to share the gospel with. Others see them as the perfect witnessing opportunity, enjoying the opportunity to throw everything they know that’s wrong with Mormonism right at them.

This article over the course of 10 points is seeking to show that these guys are so worth the time and effort that it takes to share the gospel with them, and also that it’s not necessarily helpful to see them as targets to which you should throw everything false you have ever heard about Mormonism. I hope this is helpful and I look forward to comments from Mormons and Evangelicals alike.

1, Be aware of how they see their role and the probable immaturity of their faith.

Mormon Missionaries are by and large 18-20 year old guys, (there are girls too, the same here applies) who have been raised Mormon and like many teenager’s have likely spent the last few years with a take it or leave it attitude towards Church. They will have however reached an age where they will have been told its time to grow up, grow in your own faith and go on a mission. (There will be some who have spent their teenage years lapping up all things church and will have done a lot of reading, however my experience has not brought many of these.)

Mormon missionaries do not see themselves as apologists, theologians, scholars or defenders of the faith as such. They see themselves as teachers, wanting to teach the “gospel” to all who will listen, they will varying from missionary to missionary have dialogue with people critical of Mormonism, but this will rarely last long, they simply do not see this as their role, there is nothing dishonest on their part about this.

They will have started their missionary life with 6 or so weeks at Missionary Training Centre (MTC), this is where they are introduced to the disciplines of Missionary life. This includes always being with their “companion” (apart from bathroom visits) working 6 and a half days a week, with every day starting with 2 hours of study, starting at 6:30am. Not being allowed to watch a movie over a U rating, not being allowed to read anything but approved church material and not being allowed to listen to any music but church music and so on. During the MTC they are not being trained in the depths of Mormon Theology or history, but rather they are learning back to front and off by heart the lessons in the Preach My Gospel Manual.

Preach My Gospel

These lessons are basic foundations of Mormon belief, there is much that they would never talk about with you, such as the teaching that God was once a man, and many others. Sometimes they are not saying because they are abiding by the milk before meat concept (more on this below), or they just don’t know. They just know that they are to teach you the lessons  from the manual and that they want you to have your own “Testimony” or Internal witness of the truthfulness of what they are saying. Some will engage in some theological discussion with you, however if and when they realize that you are looking to dialogue with them, and are not intending on being baptized a Mormon, they will likely stop meeting up with you. This happens to us all sooner or later.

2, Don’t rush!! Lay a foundation and build genuine relationships! Always be loving and respectful!

This article is assuming that you are meeting with missionaries in your home for a number of meetings. If this is a one off meeting in the street etc I would recommend arranging to meet them at your home or another location when you have more time. If this is not possible please try as best you can to apply this article to your circumstance.

So whenever I have met with missionaries in my home I have always sought to lay 2 foundations in the first meeting. 1 – Get to know them. Missionaries are excellent sincere, overworked usually quite happy people, get to know them, their background their interests etc, build genuine relationships. 2 – Very simply tell them that you are going to patiently listen to what they have to say and take it seriously, however whatever they say will be measured against the Bible. I have never known this be a problem, you might also take them to Acts 17:11. (As a side note, Mormons tend to use the King James Version of the Bible, when speaking with them I usually do the same, however this is not a massive deal.)

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

I simply say that if the Apostle Paul was subjected to scripture then I intend on doing the same with them. It is perfectly fine as the weeks go on to develop this, ask them about some teaching or historical aspect of Mormonism that you might want to use to witness to them, however not too much too fast, or you will be seen as an “Anti-Mormon” type and the meetings will soon end.

3, Don’t hold them accountable for all the wrongs that Mormonism has ever done!

Mormon Missionaries know overall very little about the problematic issues of Mormonism’s past. They do not necessarily know that Joseph Smith married other men’s wives and so on. While these can be helpful points to try to show them the falsehoods of Mormonism, it is not fair to pose them as challenges, expecting them to give an excuse for these things.

4, Understand the differences between how they use certain terms and the way you do. 

 It is so easy to sit with Mormon Missionaries for an hour and find nothing to disagree with them on. Imagine this dialogue between myself and a fictional missionary.

Me – I believe that Jesus is God.

Missionary – Great so do I, Jesus is so important in our faith.

Me – I believe that salvation is a work of grace.

Missionary – So do I, unless its by Gods grace, I have no hope.

Me – I believe the Bible is Gods word.

Missionary  So do I, the Bible is central to our faith.

And the list could very much go on, however the meanings that they have for these terms and names are so different. Lets go through them one by one.

Jesus. 

10th Mormon Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith said this:

“CHRIST GAINED FULNESS AFTER RESURRECTION. The Sav- ior did not have a fulness at first, but after he received his body and the resurrection all power was given unto him both in heaven and in earth. Although he was a God, even the Son of God, with power and authority to create this earth and other earths, yet there were some things lacking which he did not receive until after his resurrection. In other words he had not received the fulness until he got a resurrected body, and the same is true with those who through faithfulness become sons of God. Our bodies are essential to the fulness and the continuation of the seeds forever” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:33).

In Mormonism Jesus is God, or rather a god. because He went through His plan of salvation and earned His exaltation in the same way we all have to. The difference was that in being the firstborn of our heavenly parents He had an elevated status from the start. This is not by any means, what Christians generally understand by believing that Jesus is God. They deny the Trinity, instead teaching that the Father, Son and Spirit are 3 separate gods.

Salvation

Mormons are taught that there are 6 different meanings for the word salvation.

•Salvation from physical death.
•Salvation from sin.
•Being Born again
•Salvation from Ignorance
•Salvation from Second death
•Exaltation or eternal life.
The LDS manual true to the faith says this about the first one.
All people eventually die. But through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected—saved from physical death. Paul testified, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” 1 Corinthians 15:22

Often when Mormons say they believe in salvation totally by grace they are referring to this. With reference to salvation from sin, the manual says this:

To be cleansed from sin through the Savior’s Atonement, you must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:37–38). If you have been baptized and have received the Holy Ghost through the proper priesthood authority, you have already been conditionally saved from sin. You will not be completely saved from sin until you have finished your life on the earth, having faithfully endured to the end.
We start to see the requirements for salvation above and beyond the works of Christ in our life here, this becomes more clear when talking about exaltation.
In the scriptures, the words saved and salvation often refer to eternal life, or exaltation (see Abraham 2:11). Eternal life is to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and dwell with Them forever—to inherit a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom (see John 17:3D&C 131:1–4;132:21–24). To receive this great gift, we must do more than repent of our sins and be baptized and confirmed by appropriate priesthood authority. Men must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and all Church members must make and keep sacred covenants in the temple, including eternal marriage.
When Mormon missionaries say they believe in salvation by grace it’s really worth noting the different meanings that they hold for the word salvation, and not to take the initial response at face value, have them clarify their terms.
The Bible
Again Mormon Missionaries will very sincerely tell you that they believe in and respect the Bible, the 8th article of faith at LDS.org says this:
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. . .”
While they do believe the Bible, it is believed in the context of their other 3 books of scripture and also the teachings of their “Prophets”. They are also taught that many plain and precious truths have been removed from the Bible over the years. This is very different to how Christians as a whole would see the Bible. It is worth having a good understanding of how the Bible has been put together and why it is reliable if possible.

5, Tell them what you appreciate about their faith.

So often we Christians can get so wrapped up in the “falsehoods of Mormonism”, that we can see Mormons as people trapped in some killer cult that makes them miserable, leaving them waiting for someone to rescue them out of it. The reality is many Mormons love being Mormons, they have an excellent sense of solidarity, community and purpose in their movement. The Mormon Church is active in humanitarian work and caters for its members social needs often very well. Its worth looking into this a little and sharing what you appreciate their faith, showing you are not just some “Anti-Mormon” trying to tear apart their faith.

6. Share with them your story, and the assurance you have of your hope!

Some of us when we get a knock on the door from groups like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses love the opportunity to debate theology and “put them in their place” as it were. However many more of us want to say something but don’t necessarily know all the Bible verses or have the time to back that up. Simply sharing your story of how Jesus has changed you and saved you can be very powerful. I would say though really emphasis the assurance that you have of your forgiveness from God and ultimately, eternal life or your eternity to come with God.

In 1 John 5:13 it says:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We as Christians can be sure of our right standing before God. We can know that we will spend eternity with Him not based on our works but by His grace. Mormons by and large will not say this, whenever I have asked this of Missionaries the response is usually “I hope I will spend eternity with God.” Spencer W Kimball an LDS Apostle who later became president wrote this in his book, the Miracle of Forgiveness.

“Immortality has been accomplished by the Savior’s sacrifice. Eter- nal life hangs in the balance awaiting the works of men” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 208)

They cannot know for sure that their eternity will be with God as they have not “endured to the end” faithfully yet, the Bible does not leave us with this doubt, confidently and lovingly share this with them even if you are going to have them in over a longer period.

7, Passionately and theologically communicate Jesus! Be prepared to explain what you believe from the Bible!

Mormon Missionaries today are easily as quick as any Christian will be to talk about Jesus. They will genuinely talk about how central He is to their faith, and how much they desire to follow Him and proclaim Him to all. Again this is very genuine on their part, however this is where really having a good Biblical grasp of the doctrine of Christ and a little background information on Mormonism can really help.

For Christians Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who has always existed as God. In coming to the earth He laid aside His glorious position as God and became a man, going through the humiliation and pain of the cross, returning back to the glorious position He already held. All things were made by Him and For Him (Colossians 1:16).

In Mormonism Jesus is the firstborn son of our heavenly parents. He held the position of being a god in the pre-existence by virtue of being the firstborn, however He had to come to earth to gain a physical body and prove Himself worthy of exaltation in order to be fully exalted after the resurrection. Jesus went back to the Father a god in the fullest sense, which could not be said for His state when He left the Father.

The well-known Mormon Apologetic book “Offenders for a word” (p.58). In response to the common evangelical charge that Mormons believe in a different Jesus put together this comparison.

 Jesus compairon

Historically the Jesus Mormons follow is the same, however theologically they are worlds apart, be careful to make this distinction and really communicate to them the differences and why they are so important. Gordon B Hinckley the 16th Mormon Prophet said this:

“In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, 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. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

Jesus said unless you believe “I am He” you will die in your sins (John 8:24) what we believe about Jesus counts in an eternal way, this is the most important area that you can communicate to a Mormon. Its the difference between a Jesus who earned His exaltation that can save us by both His efforts and ours. Or the eternal, glorious by nature Jesus who saves us by His mighty works.

8, Be prepared for how you will respond to the request to pray about the Book of Mormon. 

It’s almost guaranteed that in your first meeting with Mormon missionaries they will turn to this passage in the Book of Mormon with you.

Moroni 10:3-5

3- Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the creation of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 
4- And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 
5- And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Mormons will almost always appeal to their “testimony” to explain why they “know” the Mormon Church is true. They will say you can know this too by reading the Book of Mormon and praying to ask God if its true. If you have an internal feeling when doing this they will say that this is confirmation from God that their faith is true. The problem is that if you feel nothing or even feel that its not true this does not end the discussion. They will take you back to the verse and say you need to go back with more sincerity and real intent and ask again. This cycle is, in theory a never-ending one.

I would suggest that when this comes up you take them to Acts 17:11-12 and read this:

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

These “noble minded” Jewish berean’s searched the scriptures meaning the Old Testament to see if this New Testament gospel was true, the response is that many believed. I would suggest simply telling the missionaries that you will use that same method with the Old and New Testament to check the validity of what they are saying. This is by no means an aggressive response nor is it intended to be, this is usually accepted by them with no problem.

 

9,  Don’t use strawman arguments!

I’m sure if Mormon Missionaries were given a pound  for every time they get asked “aren’t you the polygamous guys?” They would not be short of pennies indeed. This one is simple just make sure any points you make are actually points about what they believe and not simply something a critical person or website has said without full possession of the facts of Mormon belief. Many Mormons have different views of things and of course the easiest way to know where your missionaries stand is simply to ask them.

However on the other hand its worth noting that missionaries may not present many aspects of Mormon belief to you unless you bring it up, even though they probably do believe them. This is called “milk before meat” and is something they are taught to do.

So don’t use strawman arguments but also be aware that on the other hand they may well believe many of the things you have heard that they do. so again just simply ask them.

10,  Be encouraged, Mormons do become Christians!

Often the biggest hindrance that can arise in witnessing to Mormon missionaries is just that sense of doubt that they would ever respond anyway. There are two things to note here. Firstly they may well not respond in their time of meeting with you. Leaving Mormonism is a massive cultural shift not without its consequences in family and social circles, so while you very likely will plant seeds, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the fruit of that.

Secondly it actually does happen. Mormons even while on their mission have become Christians. The most well known recent case is that of Micah Wilder. Please take the time to listen to his story.

 

Thanks for reading, I hope this helps, the most important thing is just to know what you believe and why, and as 1 Peter 3:15 says

 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

11 thoughts on “How to Witness to Mormon Missionaries”

  1. Hi Bobby
    If Jesus is the one and only God, could you explain to me (a Mormon, of course) who’s voice was heard when John baptised Jesus? to whom Jesus was praying to in the Garden of Gethsemane? which God he thought had forsaken Him before He died? and which Father he commended his soul to on the cross?
    (Just a couple of things that have always stood in the way of the “Trinity” theory in my mind)
    Thanks…

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  2. Hey no problem.

    This is a typical misconception of the Trinity, the idea that if God is one person how can Jesus pray to anyone as surely no one else is there. This is a heresy called Modalism which is that God is one person but sometimes appears as Father, Son, or Spirit.

    Actually the Trinity is the belief that God is one in essence but actually 3 distinct persons. so Jesus is simply praying to the Father, the Father at the baptism of Christ is speaking to Christ etc. This is a bit of a mindbender but is actually what Trinitarians believe.

    Maybe I will do a post on the Trinity sometime but here are some good articles explaining this more.

    https://www.google.com/search?domains=carm.org&sitesearch=carm.org&q=Trinity

    Please email me at bobbygilpin@gmail.com if you want to discuss this further as I would like to keep this thread on topic, thanks a lot.

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  3. To Magic Fingers; when I left Mormonism after 30 years, understanding the concept of the Trinity was one of the hardest things for me to get my head around. The following short video link is one of the clearest explanations of the triune God, helped by the diagrams.

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  4. Bobby,
    Hey – you left out the thousands of Sister Missionaries

    1) You stated, “In Mormonism Jesus … went through His plan of salvation and earned His exaltation in the same way we all have too.”
    My response: yes and no! None of us can endure what Christ endured and overcome what Christ has overcome to gain exaltation. None of us can or will have to suffer to His degree to gain exaltation. Only he can and does pay the price of our sins.
    1 Peter 3: 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God…”
    On the other hand, Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
    There are some things Christ did that are also required from us, like Baptism.
    Matthew 3: 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    2) You stated, “They deny the Trinity, instead teaching that the Father, Son and Spirit are 3 separate gods.”
    My response: As Matthew 3:13-17 demonstrates, Mormons believe in 3 distinct divine Beings (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) perfectly unified as one in purpose and love and being one Godhead.

    3) You stated, “In Mormonism Jesus…He held the position of being a god in the pre-existence by virtue of being the firstborn, however He had to come to earth to gain a physical body and prove Himself worthy of exaltation in order to be fully exalted after the resurrection. Jesus went back to the Father a god in the fullest sense, which could not be said for His state when He left the Father.
    My Response: Jesus being the firstborn is not what made him a God in the pre-existence. It was His faithfulness to Heavenly Father demonstrated by his declaration, “Here am I, send me “
    Jesus didn’t “come to earth …to prove himself worthy of exaltation in order to be fully exalted after the resurrection”. He was sent to the world to prepare and show the way for all of us to become exalted. By so doing, He is eternally our Savior. Jesus was already a God, but became our Savior and our King but what he accomplished through His faith. John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the blight of men.

    4) You stated, “10, Be encouraged, Mormons do become Christians!
    My response: We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ…. We are Christians 🙂

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    1. Michael

      No I didnt I say girls too just under point 1, however the vast majority of the time it is guys.

      1) Jesus was fully God and fully man, as a man he increased in wisdom and stature. I am just rejecting the Mormon idea that He was more exalted after His resurrection than before.

      2) Mormonism absolutely denies the Trinity this is universally accepted and often something apologists bring up quickly. However that does not mean you deny they are 3 persons just that they are one God. James Talmage said

      The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).

      That does not mean you personally reject it of course, I am often seeing that you and many LDS people have views different to that of LDS authorities (in some instances) however Mormonism as a whole is consistent with what I have said.

      3) To the first half of what you said was not Jesus given this status before the heavenly council? in which case how does that work?

      Also Robert Millet said

      “Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of God the Father and thus the
      recipient of the birthright of the royal family. As such, and in that
      premortal realm, he was the Elder Brother of all of the spirit sons
      and daughters of the Father” (BYU Professor Robert L. Millet, A
      Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints, p. 20).

      As far as I have always been aware this is the case, do you have any quotes etc to back up what you have said?

      To the second half what do you say to the Joseph FIelding Smith quote, either you are unaware of a lot of Mormon doctrine Michael or its just another thing you are rejecting, which is great. I also have a number of others saying the same thing

      “CHRIST GAINED FULNESS AFTER RESURRECTION. The Sav- ior did not have a fulness at first, but after he received his body and the resurrection all power was given unto him both in heaven and in earth. Although he was a God, even the Son of God, with power and authority to create this earth and other earths, yet there were some things lacking which he did not receive until after his resurrection. In other words he had not received the fulness until he got a resurrected body, and the same is true with those who through faithfulness become sons of God. Our bodies are essential to the fulness and the continuation of the seeds forever” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:33).

      4) Doh now why didnt someone tell me that before and save me all this effort 🙂 Mormonism is as Christian as Islam is as far as I am concerned bud, on the surface it looks similar but underneath it could not be more different. That does not mean that some Mormons are not Christians though.

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      1. 1) I was pointing out that Jesus did not “earn his exaltation in the same we we have to” While he passed through a process that created and showed us the way to our exaltation, to our fullness, Jesus was a God in pre-mortality (unlike us) and by paying the price of sin in Gethsemane and on the cross and by overcoming death through the Resurrection (unlike us) and doing all that the Father required of Him, He became our King and our Savior (unlike us) and received His fullness. We can receive our fullness and become joint heirs with Christ by accepting Jesus as our Savior and following Him, This is consistent with the quotes you provided

        2) On the link you provided for Trinity, it summarizes as this: “The Trinity: God is three persons, Each person is divine. There is only one God.” I think the only distinction Mormons would make is that where it says “God is 3 persons”, we would clarify with “The Godhead is made up of 3 persons, namely The Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost.” We would wholeheartedly agree that “Each person is divine” and where it says, “There is only one God”, we would clarify with, “There is only one Godhead consisting of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost fully united in purpose and love.” We would add that the Father presides within the Godhead as Jesus declared throughout His ministry.
        It seems to me from the summary on the link you provided, our beliefs are very similar. What is problematic for you about the Mormon view of the Trinity then or what distinctions are critical?

        3) As we know throughout the Old Testament, the birthright is available to the Firstborn but received through faithfulness. While the birthright is available first and foremost to the firstborn as it was to Christ, it is faithfulness and acceptance of it that is ultimately required (“Here am I, send me”). Elder Russel M. Nelson 2013: “But neither your birthright nor your premortal ordinations and commissions can save or exalt you. That you will do through your individual decisions and as you choose to access the power of the Lord’s Atonement in your lives.”

        4) You stated, “Mormonism is as Christian as Islam is as far as I am concerned bud”
        My response: I think that is a harsh and unjustifiable opinion as Islam has no belief in the divinity or saving power of Christ, but it is an opinion and it’s yours to have Some might even see it as an “unchristian” opinion. I don’t know how voicing such an opinion can be helpful to your ministry to Mormons, except maybe to already disaffected Mormons.

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      2. Thanks Michael

        Can I just say this numbering way of doing dialogue is so helpful, much easier to keep track and not miss points etc.

        1) So did Christ not have to get a physical body and do all that was expected of Him by His Father in order to recieve His exaltation like we do? Of course what He had to do was different but the principle is the same is it not?

        Joseph F Smith said

        “Even Christ himself was not perfect at first; he received not a ful- ness at first, but he received grace for grace, and he continued to receive more and more until he received a fulness” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 1986, p. 68. See also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 153).

        Sounds like the LDS view of man to me.

        A genuine question do you believe that you could be exalted to the same extent that Christ is? Be as glorious as He is? Or is what we can recieve a lesser glory? That is a genuine question that has come to my mind.

        2) If the only difference between us was that I believe they are one God you believe they are 3 Gods that would be significant. However and I may get told off by evangelicals for this, I would not see it as anywhere near as significant as the extent of the differences between us. And by us I mean me and Mormonism rather than necessarily me and you, I will come back to that point. Here is an example, Bruce Mcconkie said

        “Christ attained Godhood while yet in pre-existence, he too stood as a God to the other spirits, but this relationship was not the same one of personal parenthood that prevailed between the Father and his offspring” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 323).

        To say that Christ attained His Godhood, rather than to say He is eternal God and never had to attain it as I say just shows the absolute mass of difference between us. You are either being dishonest or very naive to say that what you have said in point 2 is the only difference we have, I think its merely scratching the surface.

        3) So what do you think of what Millet has said? This is simply my general understanding if Mormon teaching, you guys all say different things so much it is sometimes hard to keep up.

        4) Yes I do think that. On the surface Mormonism looks and sounds like a different Christian denomination for sure, if you look at the message of the missionaries and the surface message that comes across its not all that bad. However beneath the surface looking at what your leaders have actually said, and the meaning of the terms and the wider context of Mormon theology we see a faith so far from Christianity its unreal. The picture you paint in these discussions is far from the full one. Though as I have said this may be your genuine beliefs in which case good news, please keep rejecting the teachings of your leaders.

        Islam affirms the existence of one eternal God, not an endless conveyor belt of promoted eternal supposedly all powerful beings. This is traditional Mormonism and you are very wrong in the eyes of myself and many Mormons to brush this aside as not doctrinal to say that God was once a man.

        Coming back to your views on things, I said in a past post that you do not seem to know Mormon doctrine. I think in reality that’s not true, I am sure you know very well what your church has taught, and just do not accept a lot of it as true. I am currently listening to a fascinating Mormon Stories interview with Rock Waterman please check it out here

        http://mormonstories.org/rock-waterman-and-pure-mormonism/

        You may have come across him before. He runs the blog pure Mormonism. He rejects very openly a great deal of the teachings of the Mormon Church but holds steadfast to the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I wonder if there is a little of what he is saying in what you are saying.

        I think if Mormon Doctrine was pinned down to simply what the Book of Mormon teaches, which both Rock Waterman and I believe contradicts much of Mormon teaching. You and I may have a lot less to disagree on. Would you give at least the first part a listen and tell me if I am off in saying that.

        I just also want to quickly say in all sincerity I think you are great, I love what you are bringing to this blog, its built for people like you to come and discuss and I hope we can keep a sense of friendship going in these discussions. We both want Gods best for each other so lets keep going.

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      3. 1 and 2) I was trying to point out that Jesus’ process, which was incremental and included the Creation, Gethsemane, the Cross and resurrection, to reach fullness, while sharing some similarities with ours (ie. Baptism), was different in that He actually has become the author/provider of our exaltation (eternal life) if we choose to follow Him. We can never accomplish His status or position or capacity. Jesus had to accomplish things that we don’t and can’t accomplish (ie. sinless mortality,Gethsemane, resurrection, etc.) which eternally sets him apart. Through His accomplishments, He has become our eternal King and Savior – He has gained the capacities required to be such, While he was appointed unto such prior and was always faithful to that appointment, His incremental accomplishments of all that has been required of Him by Father, has eternally elevated Him to our eternal Savior and King, a status far above our own.

        Before Jesus’ suffering in Gethsemane, His death and resurrection, Jesus said this, John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father:
        “for my Father is greater than I.”

        After Gethsamane, the cross and resurrection, Jesus has become our Eternal Savior and King and we become His, if we choose to follow Him. In position and status, He becomes as our Father (much more than an “older brother”.

        (post Resurrection) Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

        We don’t become the “author” of salvation like Christ has, but rather we have the opportunity to gain eternal life through Christ, our status and capacities always being dependent on His.

        3) I agree with what Millet said about the pre-mortal status/role of Christ. That is NOT Christ’s status today. Jesus’ status has advanced far beyond that of faithful “older brother. He has become through His process and faithfulness throughout it (the creation, sinless mortality, Gethsemane, Resurrection) wholly like Father and the eternal author of our salvation as described in Hebrews 5:9

        4) I have NOT rejected the statement of any leaders in this discussion. I have sought to explain their concepts in further context. I am NOT “very wrong” to characterize the idea that God was once a man as well meaning speculation. My view is the same as President Hinckley’s as expressed in 1997 and Joseph F. Smith (1902).

        Generally, I know Evangelicals and Mormons are different in their theologies, but they are united in their love, devotion and recognition of Jesus of Nazareth as our Savior and Redeemer. Our covenant is with Him.
        I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the exchange of thoughts and interpretations of scripture. What I always try to avoid is derogatory characterizations of the others’ beliefs. and thank you for your remarks at the end – I would agree – Amen!

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      4. Thanks michael, I will leave this one for now, I still feel there is a lot of mileage for discussion on the Hinckley quote so am going to do a post on it soon , could you remind me of the 1902 Joseph f smith quote, thanks

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      5. “When the sermon (King Follett Sermon) was first published it did not receive the revision or sanction of the Prophet Joseph, who preached it, and it was reported from the impressions obtained by four different persons who heard it, neither of whom was a shorthand writer. There are some points in the sermon which appear to be in direct conflict with revelations accepted by the Church as divine.” First Presidency (during Joseph F, Smith’s Presidency) Note: I may be off on the year

        It is not clear what points the First Presidency was referring to, but the quote demonstrates the uneasiness with the circulation of the King Follett sermon as originally compiled by multiple sources and not reviewed by the Joseph Smith himself.

        The King Follett Sermon was then left out of the publication of the 6th volume of History of the Church completely. Since that time, the King Follett Sermon has been reintroduced by later Church leaders who felt it sufficiently worthwhile.

        President Hinckley made his comments specific to the Origin of God idea within the King Follett Sermon. There is clearly a lack of unity/belief that the origin of God is known and certain and therefore, it is left to the category of well meaning speculation and not within the category of core Mormon theology. Even within the sermon, the origin of God is expressed in a supportive role for the more important/applicable principle of our potential as God’s children – which is a core Mormon/Christian belief as expressed by Christ and His apostles in Matthew 5:48 and Romans 8:16-17, etc.

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