Getting Mormons to Explain Why They Believe

Brett Kunkle from Stand to Reason:

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25 Responses to Getting Mormons to Explain Why They Believe

  1. Jeffrey says:

    Wow.. very good talk.. That pretty much sums it up.. It made me realize that when a Mormon resorts to their testimony, it is as I think one blogger on here put it, the putting up of their “white flag”.

    In fact in my attendance of 5 years to an LDS ward, I have heard many times in Elders Quorum, when talking about missionary work, that all one really needs is their “testimony.” And that is typically what happens during missionary discussions to seal the deal.

    Which brings me to another thought… Just like God does his amazing works through mankind, that is a power that Satan has just as well. Satan has come into this world as a wolf in sheeps clothing, using the sin of mankind to mold Joseph Smith and the Mormon religion. These two young men or women missionary’s who are very much clean cut and well behaved, go door to door and stand on the door step looking as if they are sheeps, but inside the poisionous gospel of Mormonism comes out of there mouth..

    The sad thing is, is that they don’t even know it. Half the time, they only know what they were taught.

    This may come off offensive to some, but it is my belief, it is my testimony of the falsehoods of the LDS gospel, and the very real power that Satan has..

    After all, what would be the best way for Satan to deceive? To pose or have people pose as Christians.

  2. jackg says:

    Absolutely wonderful and helpful! I hope every Christian heard the need to have good theology. Theology is not a bad word except for those who want to pooh-pooh it.

  3. May says:

    Well stated Jeffery!

    It was when I examined my own or what I thought to be my testimony I discovered that I didn’t really KNOW what I thought I did.

    In this process I remember being horrified one day as I saw myself putting my children on an electric slide out stool (so they could reach the podium) and whisper in their ear, MY testimony or what I thought was. I vowed to never ever do that again and I didn’t for the 8 years I remained in the Mormon church.

    I then started at “testimony ground zero” with “do I and how do I KNOW that JS was a true prophet?” … then I went on to “how do I really KNOW this church is true” and ended finally with “who is Jesus to me and to the church to which I belong to??” and with each thing I was careful and studied, prayed, read, prayed and then I used my heart and my brain and was sure the two were indeed communicating to make an educated decisions on what I truly did KNOW.

    This eventually led me out of the Mormon church. I am so thankful to be free from the pressure of defending what is not mine, explaining the unexplainable and excusing the inexcusable. To be free from the law that I knew in my flesh I was not capable of ever keeping and how simple the gospel of Jesus Christ is to understand. I can ask any question and actually find the answer!

    God says that he will never leave nor forsake you and that WHOEVER seeks Him will find Him. God does not hide from us behind codes and secrets, and he will reward all those who are here seeking truth.

    To all those who here in search of truth I know how “taboo” it is to even be here reading … much less conversing in an open dialogue, but remember God is good … ALL THE TIME 🙂

  4. jackg says:

    Beautifully stated, May. Now, you truly have a testimony!!! 🙂

  5. truthseeker says:

    Very well stated. I remember trying to “justify” many of the things that I now see as not having a reasonable explanation. I would fall back on the testimony and rely on it. I worry for the children in the church that get up during testimony meeting and one after the other after the other say the same thing “I know the church is true… yet they do not really know. Their testimony builds from an early age and that is what is taught them during there early years so later on it is so ingrained it is hard to look at things from any other point of view. Most answers come from within the church and a person in the church is guided to church resources for the answers. This happened to me when Glen Pace challenged us to test the doctrine and guided everyone to do so by reading Joseph Smith history. Well I started to read it and my thoughts kept telling me to look outside the doctrine and see what other evidence there is. That is when my mind started to open and I could see that logic, facts, etc. have as much or more a place in decision making as does a testimony and therefore has led me away from the teachings. I have a strong testimony that the BOM is not true and have logic, facts and common sense to back it up along with the testimony. God bless!

  6. mobaby says:

    I have been posting comments on another blog where most of those participating have a firm belief in Evolution. It reminds me very much of the zeal of many religious believers and what Brett Kunkle talked about in this video – different religions can all hold to their “I have a testimony” and ignore any other facts. For the Darwinists it is “we just don’t know yet” and “all truth is found via the scientific method” which is a self contained system – anything supernatural or outside the materialist worldview is automatically dismissed. No matter how improbable evolution becomes as we learn more and more about the intricacies of biochemistry, or how many fraudulent evolutionary claims are exposed, they hold onto “scientific method” and “we just don’t know yet.” Not only that, but many are absolutely convinced that anyone who would doubt Darwinism is not only crazy but potentially a Nazi. Once a person is convinced of a “truth” or has a “testimony” many times it becomes almost impossible for him to evaluate the evidence correctly. Aside from the grace of God, I believe we would all be stuck in faulty thinking. Thank God he reached down to save us from our sin.

  7. traveler says:

    Hello All

    Mobaby remarked that

    “… but many are absolutely convinced that anyone who would doubt Darwinism is not only crazy but potentially a Nazi. Once a person is convinced of a “truth” or has a “testimony” many times it becomes almost impossible for him to evaluate the evidence correctly.”

    This is certainly more relevant as an insiteful remark, in the contexts of Religions which require “faith without proof” ; rather than Science – looking for evidence and facts – and sometimes misreading what it finds.

    Looks like Mobaby and I must disagree on this
    point.

    Still no fan of a ghost in the sky.

    Traveler

  8. Jeffrey says:

    Aaron, Bill, Sharon, anyone that does face to face witnessing with Mormons, I have a question.

    Do you have some sort of set topics of discussion that you run through or just go at it willy nilly?

    Because I was thinking of having an LDS witnessing Bible with markers on certain pages. For instance, the gentleman in the video covered the “truth-test” and referenced parts of the Bible and also in the Book of Mormon in a certain order to support his argument. I would like to have that for when specific topics come up. I would start with tab #1, and then move to tab #2, and so on. I’m wondering if this is like something you have when speaking to the people at Manti? I know you guys are more well versed in both the Bible and in LDS references than I am so maybe you’re able to just remember it on the spot, but I can not as of yet.

    So do you guys have anything like that? or do you have anything to suggest that will be helpful in me putting something together like this? I can imagine having sticky notes within the pages of the Bible with quotes from other books/talks from LDS leadership or about LDS to help support my arguments.

    I just want to be prepared for when the time comes that I speak on the spot. I might have to do this with my in-laws as their daughter, my wife, left the church somewhat recently.

    Also, what do you do as far as being able to show doctrines like blood atonement/adam god on the streets? Do you have the journal of discourses in hand or just typed up references you keep handy? Or do you even bring this up at all?

  9. Jeffrey, I would use this as a resource. I usually stick to the Bible or general facts I have memorized. A lot of people carry with them a Quad and The Miracle of Forgiveness.

  10. Megan says:

    Jeffrey, your wife left the church recently!? When did that happen? I used to come on here several months ago, and I remembered that you are a believer but your wife was LDS. Are you able to share in brief what happened, or is that too nosy of me? And it is also a bit off-topic as well.

  11. falcon says:

    Jeffrey,
    Contact Berean. He has what I think you’re looking for.

    I would say this to you; first you have to have a pretty good working knowledge of the following principles of the Christian faith.

    1. What does the Christian mean when talking about the authority and inspiration of divine revelation i.e. what do we mean when we say the Bible is the Word of God?

    2. The nature of God. One God, three persons…the apostles and prophets always taught-the Messiah shares the nature of God, as does the Holy Spirit-“neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance.”

    3. The deity of Christ. Who is Jesus?
    4. The virgin Birth of Christ.
    5. Christ died for us. The blood atonement.
    6. The Resurrection of Jesus.
    7. Sovereign Grace and human works.
    8. Jesus’ second coming.
    9. The judgement of God.

    Knowing these principles of the Christian faith allows us to compare and contrast what Mormons believe. It’s my conviction that allowing someone to see the difference in the two faiths, can provide a basis for discussion.

    I didn’t feel anything spectacular when I became a Christian. I believed the Gospel and was saved a part from any supernatural “message” or “feeling”. I believed based on the facts as I understood them. I have since that time have had all sorts of supernatural experiences and revelation from God. But it all flows from a firm foundation and understanding of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. I don’t seek supernatural experiences and revelations but I’m open to them and am very thankful when God provides them. But I’ll tell you what, I really enjoy the freedom I have in Christ not to have to follow a bunch of religious rules, rites, and recitations thinking that that will get me or keep me right with God. That really feels good!

  12. Jeffrey says:

    Aaron, thats a perfect resource! Thanks! – I would venture to say it is the most correct website on earth, as far as it is translated correctly. 🙂

    I would love to share, Megan, it’s not nosy at all, its wonderful news!

    Throughout our dating and up until about 6 months ago, I would continually bring up historical/archaeological/doctrinal issues about the LDS church to her. Almost always she would put up her defenses and become very angry. I know now it is because of a couple reasons – 1) She never heard the stuff before so she thought I just pulled it off some mormon-bashing website, and 2) she was upset she didn’t know as much as me about her own faith. So I stopped bringing stuff up because it put temporary strains on our relationship.

    One day we were driving in the car and she mentioned her brother getting married and taking tmeple prep classes, and that he wanted her to go with him so she can get her endowments and see him get married in the temple. That is when she said “I dont think I know enough about the church to do that, and I’m not even sure if I believe in it anymore.”.. Thats when I found out she has been doing some research on her own, which takes unebleivable courage. Polygamy being practice in the celestial kingdom was a big deal for her. She couldn’t imagine me sleeping with other women and devoting love to them that belongs only to her. Also the freemasonry involvement in the endowment ceremony, the changes after 1990 – all stuff that helped open her eyes to the Real Jesus, that offers Salvation apart from rituals/ordinances/good living. I have heard many ex-mormons confess that the temple ceremony scared them and they just wanted to leave. She talked to my brother who was a convert, now ex-mo who verified all the things she read about the temple. Brigham Young and his crazy doctrines (blood atonement, Adam/God) were big turnoffs as well.

    We have been attending Central Christian out here and our marriage hasnt been better!

  13. junelle says:

    Jeffrey,

    I just had to tell you how much I loved your telling of the story of your wife’s coming out of the church. It is so like mine. My husband would bring up all kinds of stuff that I thought was so “untrue” and how “hurtful to someones testimony” and get angry and run away. Our marriage was so terrible at the time. Even his family encouraged my leaving him because he had “lost his testimony of the prophet”. I am so glad I didn’t. I knew he was a man seeking God. That was all I knew, but it was enough to keep me with him.

    I was just like your wife with looking into the church on my own. I studied when he was at work and then covered my tracks and hid things under my bed. (how funny is that?) At one point I was at the computer and remembered a sign that a “mean mormon hater” {grin…rob!} had held up during Manti pageant one year (this was 3 mo. later) and looked up Josephlied.com. That was a God moment.

    I was too afraid of what would happen if my husband knew that I was looking for answers as well. Strange? It takes sooo much courage to just get up the guts to look into the questions you are trying so hard to keep inside.

    I pray for every woman that is seeking right now to reach out in faith believing in God…”He is a rewarder of those who seek after Him”. He loves questions and he isn’t going to ever be upset at any question you bring. There are answers. I know, I dig and wrestle with God all the time. He likes to get us in the Word!

    Thank you for sharing Jeffrey, it can really help other women (and husbands to have hope!)

    Junelle

  14. falcon says:

    Junelle,
    I’m always interested in the stories of people who make their way out of Mormonism. It’s one of those mysteries to me, how some pursue their questions while others just stuff them. I’m guessing fear of loss is really a big factor in the process. Once people figure out that the Mormon church does not hold the keys to their salvation, putting up with the religious grind and hypocracy becomes untenable.

    Today is the day we celebrate our freedom as a country. Congraduations to all of those who have become spiritually free in Christ.

  15. Jeffrey says:

    Junelle “I was too afraid of what would happen if my husband knew that I was looking for answers as well. Strange?”

    That’s not strange at all. My wife admitted to me in the car that she was afraid because she didn’t want me to think that I “won.” – Maybe this has to do with pride? (not wanting to admit that you are wrong about something, making the other person right).. But I told her its not about me being right and I for sure didn’t win.. I told her that God won. He may have used me as one of his tools, but the credit goes to the Carpenter. He won.

    I believe God brought us together for a reason. I do not think that if she married an LDS man that she would be around enough of a “questioning influence” in her life to have her start looking into things.

    It is a tragic thing to be raised LDS, taught that you will lose the spirit by reading anything that may cause you to question/challenge your faith, keeping you walking through life with blinders on. That is why when my girls are of age, even though they will be raised in a Christian home, I will tell them that it is wonderful thing to try and find their own answers and I believe they will ultimately find the true God if they truly ponder/pray/study with their God given reason.

    Romans 1:19
    “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them”

    This verse is attached to the wrath of God, but I believe that those who seek Jesus Christ and his Word, they will find Him.

  16. JLFuller says:

    More distortions from mormonwiki.org.—

    “There is “no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God” -Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190″

    The rest of the quote that was left out:

    “NO SALVATION WITHOUT ACCEPTING JOSEPH SMITH. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth when he said that he stood in the presence of angels sent from the Lord, and obtained keys of authority, and the commandment to organize the Church of Jesus Christ once again on the earth, then this knowledge is of the most vital importance to the entire world. No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” A completely different idea was expressed when you read the entire quote in context.

  17. JLFuller says:

    More distortions from mormonwiki.org—

    “Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision. … Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration. I submit that if Joseph Smith talked with God the Father and His Beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate that leads to the path of salvation and eternal life.”

    What President Hinckley actually said:

    “Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision. It was the parting of the curtain to open this, the dispensation of the fullness of times. Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration. I submit that if Joseph Smith talked with God the Father and His Beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate that leads to the path of salvation and eternal life.
    Are we Christians? Of course we are Christians. We believe in Christ. We worship Christ. We take upon ourselves in solemn covenant His holy name. The Church to which we belong carries His name. He is our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer through whom came the great Atonement with salvation and eternal life. —Gordon B. Hinckley”

  18. JLFuller says:

    If people are seeking to know with confidence that what is being said about the LDS is accurate they must first have confidence in who they ask for help. That is why it is absolutuely critical that anyone who aspires to such service be at least as critical of himself as what he says about others. To deliberately distort is nothing short of a lie for it is meant to decieve.

  19. falcon says:

    I’m still waiting for one of our Mormon contributors, any one, to provide evidence that the religion they practice was the one that the first century church practiced. In fact, I’m waiting for one of them to provide me any real world evidence that the BoM is a true historical document.

    See I am aware that the Mormon’s testimony and their absolute conviction that it is true, is the truth by which all other “evidence” is measured. If an evidential fact is not supported by the testimony, the fact is dismissed. You see, Mormons worship their testimony. It’s an idol.

    Now exMos have moved to a different reality. They ask, “Is my testimony real and accurate in the physical world?” So their perspective has now changed as they are now judging their testimony relative to the real world.

    Mormons set aside the truth to protect a flawed belief. Congradulations to you exMos who have figured this out and who have contended for the truth and found it in Christ.

  20. Megan says:

    But JLFuller, let’s define our terms. To LDS, salvation means taking part in the resurrection because of Jesus’ death on the cross. And the salvation is universal, meaning that all people will take part in the resurrection, regardless of whether or not they choose Christ in this life or not. Isn’t this right? In classical Christianity, salvation means freedom from our sins and everlasting life with God in heaven, only if one makes a decision in this life to follow Christ. Our definitions of heaven are also different. You have a 3 tiered-system of kingdoms (which was first thought up by Emmanuel Swedenborg in the late 1700’s–not Smith–google Emmanuel Swedenborg and Celestial Kingdom), we believe in 2 places, heaven and hell.
    Jeffrey, I am so happy for you and especially your wife. I had a friend leave the LDS faith this year, and she said she always felt as if she was looking over her shoulder while investigating things. She said that in the LDS church you are always taught to fear that which can harm your testimony, and to feel guilty if you as the “wrong” questions. I completely agree with you about having your children use critical thinking with putting Christianity to the test. I want to have my daughter do that as well.

  21. germit says:

    JLFuller: “I submit that if JS talked with God the Father and His beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate…etc.” DOES THIS HINGE TURN THE OTHER WAY??: If it can be shown that JS habitually did NOT speak what was true, or even hid what was true, would we not have strong and compelling reason to believe that his claim to have been with the FAther and the Son (among MANY,MANY other BIG claims) is ALSO not true?? Wouldn’t this be a fair statement? Or is that hinge welded shut??? Keep your fingers and toes, ya’ll, GERMIT

  22. falcon says:

    When my daughter (now 21 and about to graduate from college) was growing-up, my main concern was that I inoculated her against the seductive techniques and claims of the cults. I’m not a big time denominational guy, having come out of a big time denomination, so I waited until she was in sixth grade to offer her the opportunity to be baptized. I wanted to know that she had made a solid committment to Christ before she participated in this “sacrament”. Anyway, we decided to have her go through the two year confirmation classes at the local Lutheran Church. At one point in the process she comes home and says to me, “Dad, you and the pastor say different things.” I told her, “Sweetheart just remember, your Dad is right!” Actually she told the pastor of the church the same thing, and here’s the clincher, he and I both got a good laugh out of it when we talked.

    My point is that we have to teach the kids to question and be vigilant when it comes to doctrinal matters and church practices. She’s come to me a couple of times while going through college and will tell me, “Dad I don’t feel all those things the other students in Campus Crusade report feeling.” My respnse is, “So what, it’s not about what you feel, it’s about what you believe. It’s all about faith not what you feel. Feelings are a bonus.” Supernatural feelings and messages are available via many different religious traditions and even philosophies of men.

    Who wants to be kept in a little box living like one of those little bobble head dolls. Boring!

  23. Berean says:

    Fuller,

    I couldn’t agree more with your posts on the importance and validity of the Mormon faith hinging on the First Vision story. If this account was cooked up by Joseph Smith and shown to not be true, then the whole Mormon story comes down tumbling down. That is why I am amazed that LDS publications freely state the many varied accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Ensign, 1985, January). Brigham Young, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff knew nothing about Joseph supposedly talking with Heavenly Father and Jesus. They all said in their writings that it was an angel. The Journal of Discourses says this angel’s name is Nephi.

    When I want to know something about the LDS faith I go to Mormon sources. My library is filled with Mormon books, publications, church manuals, Ensign magazines, etc. But somehow when I go to those and quote from them I have good Mormons like yourself tell me that it’s not valid or that I am distorting. The other approach by our Mormons friends is to not read them or dismiss them because it harms their testimony. It would be great if Mormons were educated on what the General Authorities present and past have put out in regards to doctrine. The vast majority of Mormons do not or they pick and choose what they want.

    Police officers will say, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” This applies in Mormonism. It applies in Christianity as well. Most Christians don’t have a clue on the fundamentals of the Bible. Are they without excuse? Nope!

    Hinckley said he was a Christian. That means nothing. That’s a loose term these days. Mormons desperately want that title even though they don’t meet the criteria. I think I’ll start telling people I’m a Mormon, but yet believe nothing they do. I wonder how long it would take before Elder Quentin Cook comes out with a news release on this like he did with the FLDS calling themselves Mormons? It’s very tempting, but I wouldn’t want to ruin my Christian testimony. I’m sure you understand.

  24. Bill McKeever says:

    Jeffrey, I personally like to stick to the repentance/forgiveness aspect. I have yet to meet a Mormon who is truly repentant according to the LDS definition of the term and while most Mormons hope to reach the celestial kingdom, none that I have met are keeping celestial law (D&C 88:22). Verses I like to use include 1 Nephi 3:7; Alma 11:37; Alma 34:32ff; Moroni 10:32; D&C 1:31,32; D&C 25:15; & D&C 58:42,43. As Aaron mentioned, using Kimball’s Miracle of Forgiveness also helps.

  25. Jeffrey says:

    Bill, thanks for your input.

    I can understand that if one tries to point out many issues with Mormonism, all that happens is a lot of dust gets stirred up and people walk away upset. So I can see how something as simple as pointing out the impossible obedience an LDS person is supposed to live up to, makes a way for the real forgiveness and grace that God has in store for all who simply have faith.

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