In an article published last week in The Tennessean (31 October 2011), the journalist interviewed Latter-day Saint Emily Halverson. Emily told the reporter that in middle Tennessee, far outside the so-called Book of Mormon Belt, people are curious about Mormons but reluctant to bring up the subject. Emily and her husband, Jared, have talked about how they might open up the topic for conversation with non-Mormons.
“’We’ve joked about, if you’re meeting someone who is not a member, saying “What’s five things you always wanted to ask a Mormon?”’ she said. ‘We want people to ask questions.’”
As I think about it, the list of questions I’d like to ask Mormons seems to have no end.
Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson once wrote a book (now out of print) filled with “Questions to Ask Your Mormon Friend.” All of them are good and interesting questions, but my personal favorite is “Why does the Mormon Church ignore Jesus’ role as prophet of God’s church?”
McKeever and Johnson point out the bedrock assertion of the LDS Church that modern-day revelation is essential; the true church must be (and according to Mormonism is) guided by a living prophet. Mormons rally around this fundamental claim, and criticize Christians for not being guided by a living prophet today. But they are mistaken.
As McKeever and Johnson detail in their book, the prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy 18 is none other than Jesus (see John 5:46, 6:14, 7:37-40). The apostle Peter repeated Moses’ prophetic and solemn words for his audience in Jerusalem:
“…God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’” (Acts 3:21-23)
McKeever and Johnson write,
“Peter’s message was clear. We must listen to the words of the prophet prophesied by Moses…
“The bodily resurrection of Christ proves that He forever lives. Jesus is the final authority. To disregard His words is to bring destruction upon oneself. This fact, coupled with the aforementioned passages, demonstrates that Christ’s church does have a living prophet guiding it today: His name is Jesus! He is to be our source of truth…
“True followers of Christ readily accept the revealed Word of God which has been a time-tested truth throughout the centuries and which Jesus said ‘would not pass away’ [Mt. 24:35]…
“It is by God’s Word, the Bible, that all things are compared, including the words of those who claim to be modern prophets.” (Questions to Ask Your Mormon Friend, 79-81)
From this question, many others logically follow. But I would like to turn this over to you. Mormon Coffee friends, what are your top questions for Mormons? Ask away–and also, perhaps, explain why the answers really matter.