SBC Life Articles

Innovative Evangelism

I recently did what I tell people never to do — I let the Mormon missionaries in. (My reason for telling others not to let them in is the fact that 320,000 people who let them in last year joined the Mormon church. Unless you have dealt successfully with many Mormons, you are unprepared to deal with the missionaries.)

These two young fellows came to my house recently because someone had ordered a Bible for me after hearing one of their television offers.

I invited them in and asked what we should talk about — modern-day revelation, prophets, marriage for eternity, or perhaps the doctrine of God?

They agreed that the doctrine of God was no doubt the most important subject we could discuss. If one is wrong about God, his position on other related subjects is somewhat irrelevant.

I immediately committed them to what they believed about God. I enumerated quite a list of LDS teachings. Did they believe He had a physical body, that He had a father and mother, perhaps brothers and sisters? Is He married? Does He have more than one wife? How about two, or ten, or fifty, or 100, or 1,000, or even 10,000? They agreed that He had more than one, but they had no idea how many He might have.

They agreed that with one of His wives He had a daughter that we call Mary. That when she became a young woman He cohabited with her and they had a child that we call Jesus!

I asked the missionaries if they could become gods. Hopefully, they both nodded, someday they could. They believed the couplet that almost every Mormon knows: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become."

"Now," I said, "I have only one other question. Is either of those positions taught in the Book of Mormon?"

And, I said, "If not, then either the Book of Mormon is wrong or Mormonism is wrong!"

I called attention to the fact that the title page of the Book of Mormon, the Testimony of the Three Witnesses, Mosiah 15:1-5; Alma 11:22-29, 44; Mormon 9:9-11; Moroni 8:18 and a dozen and more other places taught my concept of God rather than what Mormonism teaches.

I turned to Alma 34:34-36. The 36th verse says, "the Lord dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell … ." Quickly, I turned to the Doctrine & Covenants 130:3 (equally scripture to Mormons) and read "the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false."

Suddenly they had to be on their way. I suggested they return with their bishop, mission president, or just perhaps with their prophet.

I haven't seen them since.

    About the Author

  • John R. Smith