Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City, UT: Main body of Mormonism; recognizes Brigham Young as Smith’s successor. Smith claimed that the Father and Son appeared to him and called him to restore the true Church. LDS Church teaches that God the Father was once a man and was exalted to Godhood. God (and his heavenly Wife) begat billions of spirit children, the firstborn of whom was Jesus. Lucifer was the leader of God’s rebellious spirit children. Those spirits who did not rebel become human beings in order to begin process potentially leading to exaltation to Godhood. Jesus, however, became a God while only a spirit. He organized our world and is Jehovah, the God of Israel. He is a separate and subordinate God to Elohim, the Father. A distinction is made between the Holy Ghost, who is a personage of Spirit, and the Holy Spirit. The latter is a divine energy, force, or spiritual essence that fills the universe and is used by all three members of the Godhead in the exercise and accomplishment of their will. The Mormon Church rejects the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.
When witnessing to Mormons:
- Have them explicitly define terms like “salvation” and “eternal life”. Compare with the Bible and discuss. Their terminology often differs from Biblical terminology.
- Ask if they have the assurance of salvation. If so, why? Are they confident they will become ‘gods’?
- Read and learn their core beliefs and recite them to the Mormon—show them you have taken the time to know their beliefs instead of just angrily striking out emotionally.
- Stick with the core doctrinal discrepancies—what they believe about God and Jesus Christ.
- Be patient and loving. Mormons have been taught that leaving LDS will condemn them to hell.
- Since Mormons believe God the Father was a created being rather than the creator, ask them if they are worshipping a “lesser deity”? How do they feel about this?
- Always remember we can save no one—only God can do that. Be patient, plant seeds, offer to meet again one on one and pray for the Mormons that God will begin to work in their hearts.
For more in depth information on reaching Mormons go to www.watchman.org.