A PLEA TO MORMON MISSIONARIES
Dear Mormon Missionary, my wife and I do not mind when you come to our home; in fact, we invite you to do so. We are more than happy to speak about our Christian faith as you share what you believe. However, please do not say to us that, “we basically believe the same things.” As we are born-again Christians (see John 3.3; 1 Peter 1.3), we certainly do not believe “basically” the same things as Mormons with regard to vital points of the historic Christian faith.
(1) According to The First Presidency, “The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered the loss of many plain and precious parts.” However, as born-again Christians, we do not believe the Bible has suffered any loss. We believe that it alone is the authoritative word of God. We believe the Bible all by itself is sufficient to instruct us regarding all we need to know about God, humanity, and salvation. Therefore, we do not accept your books as the word of God.
(2) According to Brigham Young, “The doctrine that God was once a man and has progressed to become a God is unique to this Church.” However, as born-again Christians, we believe that God is eternal in that He never had a beginning and will never have an end (See Psalm 90.2).
(3) Your own Seventy Bernard P. Brockbank concludes that the Mormon Jesus and the Jesus of historic Christianity are not the same when he states, “It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ that is worshipped by the Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” To this statement, my wife and I agree. As born-again Christians, we believe that the Jesus we worship is different from your Jesus. The Jesus we worship is the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Triune God, and that He is not the brother of Satan (see John 1.1-4; John 20.28; 1 John 5.20-21).
(4) For the Mormon, Joseph Smith and his “restored” gospel is the cornerstone of the LDS faith. Therefore, wouldn’t you agree that if you did not have Joseph Smith, you would have no religion at all? As born-again Christians, we do not believe Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God. He has made prophecies that have failed (see Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3 for one example). Therefore, Joseph Smith fails the test of a prophet as given in Deuteronomy 18.22 which states, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (KJV) As born-again Christians, our faith and hope rests solely in Jesus Christ, who has not failed us in one way.
(5) According to your President Spencer W. Kimball, “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (See also 2 Nephi 25.23 which states that people are saved by grace “after all we can do”). However, as born-again Christians, we unashamedly believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, and not in any measure is salvation according to the works of the law (see Ephesians 2.8-9; Galatians 2.16).
In conclusion, because of just these five points – five points that are not insignificant in the least – please do not say that born-again Christians and Mormons believe “basically” the same things. That is tantamount to me saying that I am basically a Mormon. Let’s be honest – the very fact that we don’t agree on these vital points is exactly why you are knocking on our door. Again, we invite you to do so. We would be happy to continue the discussion. What are your thoughts? Contact me at email@example.com.