“Any suggestions on how to break into the conversation?”

I have a great friend who is LDS. I love him and his family. I have shared the gospel with him, but I have not shared much of what I know about his faith because I’m really afraid of what it will do to our friendship, and I know that it may crush him if he knows how I truly feel about his religion. He is a lifelong “temple worthy” Mormon and he will lose so much if he denies his faith, but his eternal soul [also] if does not accept Jesus. I know how selfish this is. Any suggestions on how to break into the conversation?

In that kind of situation I think the best thing you can do is start asking simple questions. “What do you believe about the afterlife?” “What do you believe about the nature of God?” “What do you believe about sin and salvation?” “Do you believe your sins are forgiven?” “Do you have an assurance of eternal life?” This normally opens up all kinds of subjects in a conversation. Then you can start asking tougher questions like, “I’ve read that Mormonism teaches that God was once a man. Is that correct? Do you believe that?” “I’ve read that Mormonism teaches you can become a god? Do you believe that?” “What do you think about the Book of Abraham? I saw a video online about how it was disproved. Can you help me understand what they’re saying? What do you think about what they said?” “Was Joseph Smith a polygamist? How many wives did he have?”

To avoid hedging and ambiguity, you’ll want to make sure that you have accessible material that you can specifically point to, especially but not limited to material that quotes recent Mormon leaders. Just simply point to it and ask more questions of your neighbor. There are all kinds of questions. Some you will ask out of curiosity, others to probe the heart, and yet others that are lawyer-like to draw out an answer and help your friend say certain things out loud. Some people who haven’t thought through issues really need to openly say what they believe in explicit terms to start a process of introspection and self-examination.

And of course you should be opening your Bible. Go to a specific passage like Isaiah 43:10, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, or 1 John 5:13 and ask your friend to read it out loud. Then ask him, “What do you think this means?”

As either Keith Walker or his wife Becky once said, “Questions are like hooks.” They draw someone in and put the focus on their answers. In an especially sensitive context, they can make a person feel less threatened than they would by direct challenges or accusations. They give a person an opportunity to promote their own religion and then interact with yours. If you ask a Mormon enough questions about his faith, it is usually inevitable that he or she will reciprocate with questions to you about yours.

I really like asking, “What do you think the definition of idolatry is?” Make sure you ask enough questions to help your friend explain idolatry that goes beyond the oversimplistic definition of “a physical statue”. Help them see and say that idolatry is having a false view of God. A good follow-up is, “With that definition, would you consider the Trinity an idol? Do you think I am an idolater?” My dialog partner usually asks in return, “What do you think the definition of idolatry is? Do you think I am an idolater?” With a sad and serious demeanor I will answer, “Unfortunately, yes. The Psalmist says, ‘from everlasting to everlasting you are God’ (Psalm 90:2), and any other view of God dishonors him for who he truly is.”

I don’t think this is necessarily the only right way to witness in your situation, but if it was me, that is what I would do. Now go do some fishing! Don’t forget your tackle box replete with hooks.

Grace and peace in Christ, who justifies the ungodly by faith apart from works (Romans 4:4-8),

Aaron

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34 Responses to “Any suggestions on how to break into the conversation?”

  1. falcon says:

    Excellent approach and questions Aaron. I’d like to add that being sensitive to the role of the Holy Spirit is crucial in sharing our faith. There is no doubt that it’s a real advantage to be prepared, but it’s amazing what God can do even if a believer has limited knowledge, but a humble attitude and a willingness and desire to share the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Knowing and understanding the role of the Holy Spirit allows a believer to relax and not feel undue pressure.

  2. chanson says:

    The subject of how to get a friend or family member to “see the light” has caused a great deal of grief and heartache in my own family and in the families of many people I know. Therefore, from personal experience, I wrote a post with my advice on the subject, and I hope that you will consider it:

    If there’s no solution, there’s no problem.

  3. amanda says:

    Yes, the Holy Spirit is essential in discerning truth. Both parties will learn a lot if they are sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

    I would say this person (woman? man?) should go for it. Any discussion about Christ, when approached with humility, can only be a good thing. As Falcon said, it’s amazing what God can do for a believer with limited knowledge.

    On a separate note, mormons can learn a lot from the testimonies of evangelicals. I am consistently learning from my father-in-law and his example. It’s a wonderful blessing when someone has faith in Christ, and shares it.

  4. Megan says:

    There are a lot of potentially good answers for this subject. I think the first thing the believer must do is approach his LDS friend/relative with an attitude of respect. As much as their beliefs make us EV’s feel like banging our head against a wall, the fact is, their beliefs are sacred to them and should be treated as such (while still challenging them). It’s also so important to learn as much as you can about what Mormons believe, and to really try and get inside the LDS worldview/mindset. The more I talk to Mormons, the more I realize that the verses I take for granted mean something completely different to them. A deep Bible knowledge of scriptures’ historical, cultural, and language contexts is REALLY important when relating to Mormons (and for our own walk as well). For instance, how many Mormons know that when Heb. 7:24 refers to Jesus’ “permanent” priesthood the Greek word is “aparabuton”, or “untransferable”? In other words, because Jesus’ Mel. priesthood is untransferable, Mormon men have no right taking on this particular priesthood because it belongs to Jesus alone. These are the kinds of things that make Mormons pause–I’ve seen it happen with that particular verse as well as other verses.
    Finally, the most important thing we can do for Mormons (or any non-believers) is to pray for them, sometimes for years even. It’s amazing the things God does when we are willing to invest that time in them. I’ve seen it happen for myself. But I really feel like this is just the beginning for me–I pray that God will send more LDS into my life in the coming years.

  5. Rick B says:

    I would say that in my experince you must read the BoM if you want to better witness to them. I have meet many Christians who refuse to read the BoM yet want to share Christ with the LDS.

    I tell them, if you say to a non-believer, will you read the Bible, and they refuse, would you bother trying to witness to them if they are so-close minded to the Bible. Many people say it would be a waste of time if the refuse to read the bible. I believe the LDS view reading the BoM the same way.

    If you do not read it, how can you try and tell them it is wrong if you do not even know whats in it. Then as for me, I never quote LDS sources that I do not own, or cannot get a hold of, and I never use so called anti mormon sources for these quotes.

    Example, I own the JoD, so I might show the LDS The Adam God Doctrine from the JoD, but I will not pull out a book by the tanners for example and show them the Adam God doctrine from that book. While I trust the tanners, the LDS do not.

    And from my experince, if you show lds so called [filtered profanity or slur] books, they tend not to feel you are sincere and are only trying to score points. But this is only my approach and how I handle talking with the LDS. Rick b

  6. Megan says:

    That’s a really good point about the BoM, Rick B. I wish I had all the sources you have–where can one get the JoD, etc.?

  7. David says:

    I take a slightly different approach. I ask upfront – “what would be a problem for your belief system?” I ask that question (I believe I have even asked it here) cuz it is personal, its probing, and it lays ground rules.

    I don’t know how many times I have made what to me looked like a beautiful argument only to have someone say “well, that’s not a problem for me” (even if it should be). I say/write this in all seriousness, not disparagingly, that if you give Mormons any weasel room they will take it. You have got to nail them down early on in the conversation or they will morph into any form that will render their system plausible. You have got to get them to commit to something.

    If a Mormon’s faith, or anyone elses, is not grounded in something that is remotely challengable you are waisting your time. Granted many people (including Mormons) have not thought about their faith in such terms so they will give an answer like, “I don’t know, I have never really thought about it in such a way.” That is great thing to hear because most Mormons have an unassailable faith but they do not know it. I think everyone on this blog could agree that most souls are not one in a single conversation. The person has to take to heart what was said and do some investigating on his on.

  8. Megan says:

    Well, I feel considerably less upbeat than I did on my first posting today. Two missionaries were at my front door just 10 minutes ago. I told them one of the reasons why I have a hard time believing Mormonism is because of the character of Joseph Smith (ie, having relations with women who were already married). They said in complete seriousness that Smith only had one wife–Emma. I told them, no, Smith had at least 33. Read “In Sacred Loneliness” by Todd Compton. They said, no, he must not be friendly to the Mormon faith. But he’s a faithful Mormon, I said. Then they said that all sorts of things can be twisted regarding history. Then something started burning on the stove so I had to make a quick retreat.
    It’s hard not to feel insanely frusterated at such an exchange. What are they going to do when they find out? Will they ever find out? What to do in such situations? Maybe there’s nothing one CAN do. I have to give credit for the LDS on here for examining things a whole lot more than these two very nice but willfully in the dark young men. If people know the facts of their religion and still want to continue on in it, that’s one thing. But to have no interest in hearing other information….what can one do with that? Maybe next time I should just focus on the Bible to start with. Thoughts, anyone?
    They didn’t know about Smith’s numerous wives…I still can’t believe it. I hope it’s okay to vent a little.

  9. falcon says:

    WOW Megan, what was that all about? Is it really possible that they didn’t cover Joseph Smith and his wives at MM training school? I’m incredulous. You’re right, how in the world do you have an informed conversation with someone who isn’t informed? I’d love to see that film clip again of the Mormon man, former MM, who said that there’s two types of Mormon doctrine; MM doctrine and real Mormon doctrine. There ought to be some sort of “truth in doctrine reporting” law like the “truth in lending” law which financial institution must follow. By the way, I had something on the stove today when the JW van pulled up with an army. Yes, the Falcon is a liberated male and cooks……when his wife is not at home.

  10. Jeff B says:

    Megan, if it helps any, I actually believe they didn’t know about JS’s lady friends. My wife born and raised Mormon didn’t and they don’ teach that stuff at the MTC (from what I understand).

    Instead of reference a book that they will probably never read, reference the church owned website familysearch.org and put in Joseph Smith Born in 1805, then tell them to click the Joseph Smith born in Sharon, Vermont. Doing that will show them Lucy Smith (his mom) and Joseph Smith Sr. (his dad of course), then it lists all his ladies.. The reason they wont read a book you refer is because it is in fact a book and the only Books they have time to read during a mission is the Bible and the BoM.

    Tell them if they honestly believe Joseph Smith had only one wife, they are sorely mistaken and they have some studying to do if they want to know their own prophet a little better. Maybe that will lead at least one of those gentlemen into finding out more truth that their church isn’t willing to hand out like peanuts on an airplane.

    Oh, another thing, for those who haven’t read the article, I found intriguing the most recent “COFFEE BEANS” article started off as “It is Historians and Journalists…” I knew documents were kept secret from Historians, I didn’t know the lengths and the methods the LDS church go to/use to make sure they aren’t reviewed openly.

  11. Rick B says:

    Hey Megan,

    I find mormon books on Ebay and search old rare bookstores, and never turn down free books or videos that friends offer me.

    If you want to write me at [email protected]

    I will send you some info that might help you. If anyone else wants to write me, please feel free, just put Mormon in the sugject box so I know its not junk. And if anyone is wondering, I dont mind giving out my email address as it is posted here in the Q/A section and posted publikly on my blog. Rick b

  12. pallathu says:

    My two cents. Pray hard! You have to understand that you are breaking a stronghold which needs powerful prayers.

  13. Vicki says:

    Yes ! I found it. The last comment..PRAYER.

    Pray for your family member or friend, fervently and constantly. Pray that you or another person in their life will have the opportunity to witness for Christ. They will see your faith. They will trust you more then a fellow Mormon. The door will open. They will ask the question(s)in God’s time.

  14. dotk97 says:

    I want to say thank you so much to everyone for your encouragement. I’ve been a Christian for ten years and just this month my Mormon parents have been asking about what makes me and my family “exceptional.” Unfortunately my parents do not think our religious differences should stop us from sharing when I feel it is those differences that make us “exceptional.” It is knowing the Living Christ that has changed me! I have been struggling over the past week to figure out how to “break into the conversation.” It’s scary, even though I believe in an all-powerful God whose will it is that “none should perish.” I have been praying because it is the least scary part of this journey! Your comments and suggestions have given me great encouragement and I will look back on them frequently as I move forward in faith. Pray for us if you think of it!

  15. amanda says:

    Megan,

    The missionaries were correct, and you were misled with distorted facts.

    After Joseph Smith died, many LDS women (and those performing the ordinances in the temple) misunderstood sealings in the temple…these 33 or so women were sealed to him AFTER HE DIED–because they wanted to be sealed to him…they were erroneous in their thinking- those sealings are null and void–but it sure gives more mud to sling his direction, and many do not hesitate. Joseph Smith was sealed to ONLY ONE WOMAN, and that was Emma.

  16. Daniel says:

    Amanda, I think the burden of proof is on you to back up that claim with documentation; I have seen more than a couple quotes and pieces of evidence on this site to back up what Megan said. Do you have any documentation or way to prove what you are claiming?

  17. falcon says:

    Amanda,
    Your comment to Megan and other comments like this by LDS members is one reason why we Ev. Christians think that either 1) Mormons don’t know their own history, 2) Mormons know their history and spin it to avoid embarrassing information or 3)Mormons lie to cover-up and preserve an image of the LDS Church and Joseph Smith that is less than flatering. There is Mormonspeak which is a result of a unique way of thinking and processing information. I’d be more then willing to be put straight regarding this idea that Joseph Smith had only one wife. Or is this the case of “Well Joseph Smith had only one wife Emma which he was sealed to in the temple……..but he actually had more than one wife.” Unless I’m wrong, which I could be, I thought the whole idea of plural marrage was linked to the progression to godhood and procreation of spirit children and the building of a personal realm in the next life.

  18. amanda says:

    Falcon,

    You go on to accuse me of either 1-3…but yet give ONE exception that you just might be wrong in your previous assumptions about Joseph Smith. Well, I’m pretty comfortable with the fact that the truth regarding Joseph Smith, in many circles of evangelicals, doesn’t really matter. So why go to the extent to prove ANYONE wrong. Let’s get real. These discussions are never really about Joseph Smith, or the Book of Mormon…or whatever else you guys conjure up in your file cabinets of [filtered profanity or slur] bigotry—this is always about pride vs. humility. Every individual battles with that. The evangelical community is extremely prideful and boast of their knowledge and faith in Christ–yet cast aside the opportunity to learn more about Him. You cut your own legs off.

  19. Megan says:

    Amanda, I agree with Daniel. Can you provide any hard evidence that Joseph had only one wife and/or slept with only one women (ie., Emma?) If you can’t I really am not going to take you very seriously. If you are determined to believe that Smith was the husband of one woman–whether by formal sealing or by physical action–I really don’t know what to say to you.
    I’m sorry, but I really don’t see this as a question of pride vs. humility. The question is, what is really TRUE? That’s the issue here. If you can provide evidence that I am mistaken, I will certainly change my mind. Please don’t use the victim card here. [filtered profanity or slur] bigotry? Come on. Should I accuse you of anti-Christian bigotry because you think I’m wrong about things? Do I think you’re extremely prideful because you don’t agree with my side? It’s called disagreeing, Amanda. Nothing personal.

  20. Megan says:

    Okay, Amanda, I found a website for you. It’s called, appropriately enough, http://www.thewivesofjosephsmith.org. It gives brief information on Smith’s numerous wives, listing the year the marriages took place and also the marital status of the women (single or already married to someone else). The website is put out by a member of the LDS church, and references the church-owned familysearch.org and books published by Deseret. I encourage you to take a look.

  21. Megan says:

    3 posts in a row! I’m breaking the rules today. Just a correction–if you type in thewivesofjosephsmith it won’t work. Leave off “the” and type http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org. There.

  22. falcon says:

    Amanda,
    That’s an emotional response with no content to it. You LDS folks get trapped in a corner and it’s always the Ev. bigotry line. I guess you can run away from the historical record of Joseph Smith forever if you want. Put some substance into your writing so we have something here to discuss. I told you I’m willing to be proven wrong. Your nonanswer tells me you have some doubts about your prophet and really can’t disprove the historical record.

  23. amanda says:

    King Falcon of the Kingdom of Substance and Megan,

    Of course I respond emotionally- You are degrading a prophet of God. I don’t take that lightly. I will stand up and defend his name with all of the emotion and heart I can muster.

    But seriously, do you have a crystal ball falcon? How else would you be able to know about all of my doubts about Joseph Smith, or about Joseph Smith’s life?? I KNEW IT! I had been suspecting it for some time but that insight was really something. Who’s historical record Falcon???? History according to the baptist preachers who murdered Joseph Smith? Sandra Tanner?? OOOH, mystifying! I usually don’t post what you SAY you want me to post because I’m pretty sure you aren’t genuine in your requests- but ok, refer below.

    Megan, you specifically tell me that I must PROVE to you that Joseph Smith only slept with one woman. Aside from this being a ridiculous request, honestly, it’s a matter of which resources you trust- I for one, do not trust the resources you list- because they go against what the Holy Ghost has witnessed to me. And why should I waste my time listing resources from the church that you will inevitably come back and say, “but that source is biased, of COURSE they say that, they are DECEIVING YOU”– that door swings both ways.

    If you can prove to me that Martin Luther– or any other reformation leader only slept with one woman, then I’ll consider YOUR dogma. (??)

    The work is on your shoulders (Megan and Falcon), I’ll give you a website that YOU can research to find answers–I already know the answer. You’ll prove your genuine if you actually make the effort to find those answers you claim to be looking for.

    lds.org
    This next website is a good one to get “factual” answers regarding many ridiculous claims about the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints- but I posted a specific area regarding Joseph
    http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2004_[filtered profanity or slur]s_and_Documentary_Sourc

  24. Rick B says:

    I find it sad Amanda, you cannot prove you are correct, so that means we are wrong and your right, but when we claim something LDS DEMAND FACTS, Other wise were wrong and your correct. I call that Blind faith on your part. Rick b

  25. jabroni says:

    Amanda, I followed Jeff’s suggestion and went to Familysearch, and it lists 14 wives of Joseph Smith that were married to him before 1844, the year he died. There are others for which a marriage date is not listed on the main page. I’d be interested in your response to this.

  26. Rick B says:

    Amanda, I want to add also, Many LDS have said on this board that when we NON-LDS quote your teachings if they are mere opinion or not “Offical” LDS teaching, I recall a topic being Done on this, then you guys do not want to here what is said.

    So I want to point out, your using NON-Offical LDS people and their mere opinions by asking people to go to Fair/Farms. Rick b

  27. Megan says:

    Amanda, of course I realize that criticizing/questioning Smith’s integrity is going to be upsetting to you or any other LDS person on here. But my reluctance to consider Mormonism because of Smith’s character is legitimate. The reason I hold Smith to such a high standard is because he alone founded a new religion (or, according to LDS God founded it through him). And he claimed to be a prophet of God. If the fruits in his own life are suspect, then that makes me suspicious. Same with Muhammed and Islam. Or any religion founded by a single person whose actions are questionable.
    I went to the FAIR website, and I found an article referring to Smith’s marriages to young women. When you go to the site, click on “Topical Guide”; then click on “Brief Answers–Brochures and Wiki Articles”; scroll down the list until you see “Joseph Smith’s Marriages to Young Women”. The article states that according to conservative estimates Smith entered into plural marriages with 29-33 women. Also, like I said previously, the church-owned website familysearch.org lists Smith’s marriages.
    I am mystified as to why the LDS church is so reluctant to speak of Smith’s polygamy. He received the revelation for polygamy (which, at the time, was necessary for exaltation), so why not be more up front about his plural marriage? I guess the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that you were unaware of Smith’s polygamy. I have an LDS booklet called “Truth Restored” (pub. 1979), and while the booklet mentions revelation like the WOW, age of baptism, etc., it makes absolutely no mention of the revelation of celestial marriage. I don’t think the booklet even mentions Emma. Also, I know four LDS BIC people who only in the past 3 months became aware of Smith’s wives (not from me). They had grown up hearing vague things about him marrying widows, etc., but nothing about his 33 wives.

  28. falcon says:

    Queen Amanda,
    You wrote……”how else would you know about all of my doubts about Joseph Smith or about Joseph Smith’s life? Well I do now! Thank you for being honest. It’s tough to face those doubts especially when your life is wrapped-up in the Mormon culture. It’s evident that you badly want the Joseph Smith myth to be true. The Mormon “feel good” test as coming from the Holy Spirit and therefore affirming something as true is a weak way of establishing fact. It is a great way, however, for emotionally controlling people. Mormons get good feelings associated with the Joseph Smith story, and attribute those feelings to the Holy Spirit. It’s a well known fact (see: “Feeling Good-The New Mood Therapy”)that all of our moods are created by our dominant thoughts, perceptions, mental attitudes, and beliefs. When it comes to spiritual matters, I’ve learned to test my feelings to determine what’s generating them. By doing that, I keep myself from being manipulated and going off on dubious religious field-trips.

  29. Daniel says:

    Amanda, I think there might be something wrong with the link you posted (incomplete, perhaps?)

    There are several reasons why asking for documentation regarding Joseph Smith’s fidelity is legitimate, and Martin Luther’s isn’t. First, you have the fact that there is a large amount of documentation available (through the LDS church itself, even) showing that Joseph Smith had many wives (see http://i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm, which has other links as well). A quick google search for Martin Luther and infidelity won’t bring up any dirt…

    Second, Joseph Smith claimed to be a prophet from God, and yet he taught things that are contrary to scripture, specifically here, regarding plurality of wives (see 1 Timothy and Titus). God doesn’t change his mind or contradict himself, so what conclusions can we draw about Joseph Smith? Martin Luther did not claim to be a prophet; he simply spoke out against a corrupt part of the established church of the time, and did it all based on scripture.

    As to what you said, “I for one, do not trust the resources you list- because they go against what the Holy Ghost has witnessed to me.” Well, I can say all day long that George Washington wasn’t the first president of the USA because I have a warm fuzzy feeling about it, but that doesn’t make it true. We know we can trust the Bible, in part because it has been verified historically. God doesn’t lie to us, so if we read about something happening (and get warm fuzzy confirmations about it), and it didn’t happen, then I’ve got to believe that my warm fuzzies weren’t really from God.

  30. Jeff B says:

    Amanda, all I can say is good luck. You want so badly to have a “clean-looking” prophet, and you COMPLETELY disregard even what your OWN church admits through wonderful websites like familysearch.org . Here’s the honest truth about you Amanda, you have created your own reality and I think we can all see by your own words how unwilling you are to let that go and ingest some actual history/information, let alone just take some things into consideration.

    Last night, I was picking up a pizza with my half brother. He was a Mormon for quite some time, and was married to the daughter of a bishop in a ward out in Utah. I asked him why they left the church. He said “the more I learned, the more I realized how fake everything was.” He said the LDS church puts on this “Christian” front and at the same time withholds information (listing off several doctrines) that separate it so far from Christianity. He even talked about the 4,000 changes in the Book of Mormon which doesn’t make sense if it was the most correct book on earth and the translation process wasn’t to allow errors. {See the movie Bill did about How the BoM was translated for reference}. This guy converted to Mormonism for the mere fact that his wife was Mormon. He is a very analytical guy and doesn’t just brush off facts/contradictions just because he got a good feeling. I’m going to talk to him more as he is extremely intelligent and I’m sure his insight into the Mormon Church is pretty deep.

  31. Megan says:

    I wrote to FAIR last night and said, listen, I have LDS friends who tell me Smith had 33 wives, but I also know of at least a few LDS people who insist Smith had only one wife during his lifetime. Which is it? A man named Edwin Slack replied to me, and said that although he couldn’t speak officially for FAIR (why not?), it is part of LDS history and anyone is free to research it. He said that since the LDS Church doesn’t practice polygamy anymore, Sunday School lessons, etc. don’t really speak of the whole thing. However, he said, if anyone wants to research it the history is in the Church’s own records and he recommended familysearch.org. He also assured me that in spite of knowing the history he was still solid in his faith…I hadn’t mentioned anything whatsoever as far as questioning his faith.
    I would paste his e-mail on here but don’t know how to do it. (Yes, it’s embarrassing how computer illiterate I am). But my husband can help me later today if anyone wants to see it.
    Can we all lay this issue to rest now? All I want is for everyone on this blog to know that Smith had numerous wives, in his own lifetime. Whether or not polygamy at that time has any support from the Bible is a separate issue. It doesn’t mattter whether or not the knowledge of Smith’s wives goes against the “witness” of the Holy Ghost. The fact is, Smith engaged in polygamy, it’s in the church records, church historians admit it, FAIR admits it. Are we all on the same page now?

  32. Daniel says:

    Megan, thanks for sharing your homework with the rest of us.

  33. jer1414 says:

    I think the past few posts reveal that sometimes, no matter what evidence comes forth revealing the Mormon church is false, some Mormons just flat out have chosen to ignore it.

    Maybe a good question to pose to a Mormon is, “if your church were not the true church, would you want to know it?” I think for many Mormons, the answer would be “no”… they would honestly rather not know it (and how dare you try to show them!). I think a lot of it stems from their culture – the way they have been taught to think with strong emotional connections made to their church and their prophets (as you can see from these postings). These strong emotions elicit triggered reactions to any evidence that may be damaging. Sadly, for so many, ‘no matter what’ evidence you provide, they still will choose to stay committed to their religion. As in this case, if a Mormon goes to the lds family search website and sees for them self about Smith’s polygamy… so what? Will it change their thinking? For many Mormons they will just keep plugging along. Sometimes people just believe what they want to believe. With Mormonism, it’s a complete enveloping culture. It truly is the work of the Holy Spirit and as Christians we need to pray hard for them and follow His leading in witnessing to them.

  34. gdw2 says:

    Let’s say that Joseph Smith married a bunch of women while he was still alive and that you have the burden of proof of showing that he never consummated those marriages. How does one go about proving that someone didn’t do something?

    Great discussion people!

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