News Articles

7/2/97 New NAMB resource to aid Baptist witness to Mormons

RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)–Mormon officials make some surprisingly candid admissions in a new video about their beliefs.
“The official doctrine of the Mormon church is that Jesus is the literal offspring of God,” says Stephen Robinson, chairman of the department of ancient scriptures at Brigham Young University. “He has 46 chromosomes, 23 from Mary and 23 from God the eternal Father.”
“Our differences about Christ (with Baptists) would be our view that Jesus is not the same person as the Father, but is literally his son,” explains Robert Millet, dean of religious education at BYU. “Jesus is a separate person from God the Father.”
These and other explanations concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the Mormons, are contained in “The Mormon Puzzle: Understanding and Witnessing to Latter-day Saints” produced by the interfaith witness division of the North American Mission Board to prepare Southern Baptists to understand and witness to Mormons.
The training package was unveiled at a Denominational Summit on Mormonism sponsored by the NAMB division, June 27-28 at Ridgecrest (N.C.) Baptist Conference Center.
“Most Christians regard Mormon beliefs as an imposing puzzle,” explained Phillip Roberts, interfaith division director. “Mormons claim they are a Christian movement founded on principles of Jesus Christ. They use Christian terminology and advocate moral and ethical values appealing to Christians.
“Yet, when you look at the totality of Mormon beliefs, their views about Jesus, God, the Scriptures and the gospel, it’s very clear that Mormons cannot be counted as Christians. Therefore, it’s our duty to do all we can to make the gospel known to them,” Roberts said. “That’s what the new training package is designed to do.”
In production for nearly two years, The Mormon Puzzle uses Southern Baptists, former Mormons and Mormon officials to explain the LDS church history, their beliefs and practices. And: how to witness to LDS people.
“When I left Mormonism, I went into nothingness. I encourage people to reaching out to Mormons. Be their friend,” urged former Mormon church official Dennis Higley. “Teach them a little bit about the Word of God that you understand, and that will open up a whole new world just like it did for me.”
The package includes a 50-minute video, a training manual for leading a small-group study, a book titled “The Challenge of Mormonism” and seven reproducible pamphlets on various aspects of Mormonism.
The video package will be particularly useful to Southern Baptists preparing to witness to Mormons during next year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 9-11, in Salt Lake City, headquarters of the LDS church.
Further information about the new video package is available by calling the North American Mission Board at 1-800-634-2462.

    About the Author

  • Martin King