How can I best witness to Mormons?

Witnessing to Mormons, as with any religion falsely masquerading under the guise of Christianity, can be challenging. At first glance they look, sound, and act like Christians. However, though they claim to be the only ones with the real truth, they are far from it. Therefore, we must witness to Mormons in truth, but also in love that they may come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Ephesians 4:15).

While witnessing to Mormons it is essential to know that Mormons do not believe the Bible is infallible. They have four texts that they believe to be scripture inspired by God. These include the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Bible. They think that after the death of the apostles the church strayed from the true path of God and many important passages of the original text of the Bible were changed or omitted. Consequently, the Bible holds the least importance of their sacred texts and is treated as unreliable whenever it contradicts Mormon doctrine. In fact, their 8th Article of Faith states, "We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly." Although the Bible is actually very reliable, as evidenced by things like the Dead Sea Scrolls and numerous manuscripts demonstrating the Bibles we have today are faithful to the original text, quoting Scripture is often not an effective tool for evangelizing Mormons. If you do quote Scripture, it is best to use the King James Version since it is the translation they trust the most. Also, it is safe to assume most Mormons are not familiar with many of the stories in the Bible.

Second, in witnessing to Mormons we must understand that while both Christians and Mormons use the same jargon, the connotation of our words is very different. Before engaging in a spiritual conversation, it is wise to familiarize yourself with both sets of definitions. This website contains some useful definitions: https://carm.org/mormonism/mormon-definitions. You can use verses from the Bible and compare them to verses from Mormon texts to point out the disparities in the meaning of certain terms and how those differences demonstrate the dissimilar thinking as well. Below are some examples of how Christianity and Mormonism contrast.

Who is God?
Mormons believe that God was once a man from another planet. He lived a good life and through his righteous works became exalted to the position of God (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345). They believe he is married to a goddess and that the Trinity is three separate beings and not one. They also believe in multiple gods since they believe people can achieve godhood by their works. On the other hand, Christians believe that God is eternal and existed before He created mankind (Psalm 90:2). He is perfect and without sin. Most importantly He is the only true God (Isaiah 43:10).

Who is Jesus?
Mormons believe that Jesus, like God, is an exalted human. He is the offspring of a physical relationship between God and a woman (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Christians believe that Jesus is one with God and has been with Him since the beginning (John 1:1–3). He is both fully God and fully human, yet without sin (Hebrews 2:5–18).

What is their testimony?
Mormons will say that when they read the Book of Mormon they pray that God will show them it is true and then the Holy Spirit gives them good feelings about it. However, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things." Our feelings cannot be trusted to tell us the truth. In addition, when Mormons tell others to pray for the truth they are referencing James 1:5: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." They take this to mean that God will award them knowledge of the truth based on how sincerely they pray for it. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say we learn truth from praying, but rather that we learn it from studying the Scriptures. The wisdom we pray for is not knowledge itself, but instead helps us to apply the knowledge God has already provided to us. Finally, only the true Jesus can send us the Holy Spirit after we acknowledge Him as our Savior. The Mormons believe in a false Jesus, so they do not have the true Holy Spirit within them.

What is the gospel and salvation?
Mormons say that the gospel is the doctrine and ordinances of the Mormon church. They believe that salvation is inclusive and everyone will live eternally. However, their place in the afterlife is determined from a combination of faith and works done during this lifetime (Articles of Faith p. 78-79, Mormon Doctrine p. 348). Paul summarizes the gospel of the Bible as Jesus dying for our sins, being buried, and rising again fulfilling the Scriptures about Him (1 Corinthians 15:1–4). He also said, "Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). Therefore, salvation only comes to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, acknowledging their sinful nature and need for Him as Savior. What's more, the gift of eternal salvation does not come through human works, but through the free grace of God. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8–9).

The most effective strategy in witnessing to Mormons is to point out their imperfection. They have been indoctrinated that their purpose in life is to follow the Mormon doctrines and do good works in order to be exalted in the afterlife. They are constantly striving for perfection in their personal lives while under the scrutiny of their families and church leaders. Pointing out their sinful nature may be painful, but if they are willing to admit their shortcomings then they will be open to the good news of the Bible's gospel. Show them that forgiveness of sins only comes through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Explain that the true Jesus, not the one they are familiar with, is accessible. He can be prayed to and worshipped because He is the ultimate High Priest. Finally, if they are willing, lead them in a prayer of salvation and equip them to begin reading God's Word through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In witnessing to any person it is important to remember that salvation is ultimately a work of God. So when witnessing to Mormons, or anyone else, pray for God's guidance and entrust the results to Him. First Peter 3:15 tells us, "in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." It is not our role to convince others of the truth of God, but to faithfully share it, praying for those with whom we do, and to leave the results up to God.

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