Chapter Eleven

How To Answer Mormon Questions

"As I read your book, the strangest feeling came over me because I realized that you had put into words the very thoughts and uneasy feelings I had always had&. I wanted to ask questions, but I always thought there was some kind of unworthiness in me that made me feel like I wasnt good enough&.
"One day during a talk with my Christian friend& [She told me that] Jesus loved me. I couldnt see how Jesus could possibly love a sinner like me, but she was so sincere in what she said that it brought tears to my eyes&.
"I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior in March and I now have the peace, comfort, and joy that only the Lord can give."Janice

Often Christians find themselves suddenly in very esoteric conversations with Latter-day Saints. The Mormon is eager and well prepared to discuss subjects totally unfamiliar to the Christian. The Mormon, for example, may begin to talk about "baptism for the dead," an obscure, unscriptural rite practiced by Mormons.

There is no reason for a Christian to have a thought about baptism for the dead. Its not a doctrine of the Christian Church; we cannot alter the condition of the dead. Yet suddenly, your friend is quoting a Scripture out of context (actually Paul is talking about the dead being raised to life): "What shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?" (see 1 Corinthians 15:29).

You stutter and stammer and try to bring yourself up to speed. You know something is wrong, but youre not sure what. Its a frustrating experience.

Worse, as you fumble along on the railroad track the Mormon has chosen, you look foolish and the Latter-day Saint becomes further convinced that Mormonism has all the answers.

I have seen young Christians won to Mormonism because they got into discussions in these esoteric areas and couldnt think their way through them fast enough. As a matter of fact, this is the fundamental tactic of the cults: Overpower the prospect with a barrage of information that is out of context and flawed in reasoning. The prospect unprepared to deal with the diabolically packaged doctrine becomes impressed with the "logic" of it all. The cultist is confident and moves smoothly through his flip chart or prepared presentation, refuting any objections that may arise. Its a terribly effective and sinister program.

Our only response is to prepare ourselves in advance. To think through in context the passages of Scripture. To prepare reasonable answers. To speak to the error with truth and authority.

I could not, in this book, cover every subject that might come up. Only experience will prepare you for that. But I can show you the process, the art of dialoging with cultists: resisting easy answers to complex problems; discussing the presuppositions; reading every passage in context; and of course, isolating, qualifying, and verifying.

I want to show you how I answer specific questions posed by my Mormon friends. I have prepared answers to nine common questions asked by Latter-day Saints. I answer the first question in rather complete detail, giving you the feeling for the dialogue. Thereafter Im more concerned with giving you information and suggesting key phrases you can deliver at your own pace.

 

    1. Why Do You Tell People We Arent Christians?

    2. Why Are You Attacking My Church?
    3. Where Do You Get Your Authority?
    4. How Did Jesus Pray to Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane?

    5. Didnt Jesus Tell Us We Are to "Be perfect, Even as Our Father in Heaven is Perfect"?

    6. Dont We Need a Prophet Today?