Today was my first visit to a Mormon church service. We’ve had missionaries visiting us for awhile. I think the world of these guys. They’re great guys. I think they’re entirely wrong though and that saddens me. Still, my roommate and I try to be as nice as we can and answer their questions as gently as possible, as well as the friend of ours that often joins us and joined me at church this morning.
At the service, we heard many accounts, and all the time we kept hearing the word testimony. If you’ve been with the Mormons before, this is the key point. Missionaries are instructed to work on their testimony. It is their spiritual witness that testifies to them that the BOM is true. Unfortunately, that’s the only grounds I’ve seen thus far.
Now I’ll tell you that all of these Mormons I’ve seen are incredibly nice people and this is one area our churches do need work in. Are we really welcoming to sinners? When someone comes to church, are they a guest of honor or are they someone who parks in our parking spot and sits in our spot in the pew? Do we really want to see them there?
Now I’ll also grant that some of you are a lot better at that than some of us are. I am not the kind of person that can go up to a total stranger and initiate a conversation unless I know something about them or have some reason to do so. Some of you do have that gift. God bless you. Better you than me. If that’s the case, then I ask you to do what you can to make someone feel welcome.
Getting back to the visit, my heart was saddened really. I see people in these beliefs as good people really, but they’re serving a false god. It makes you think of the passage where Jesus says “Depart from me. I never knew you.” How many people are going to hear that? How many of them are going to hear that after thinking they have in fact been serving him?
How many people will it be? Isn’t it up to the church to do something? The Mormon church claims to baptize a Baptist church every week, and I say that as a Baptist! Wouldn’t it be great if we could reverse that trend? Wouldn’t it be great if we could start baptizing a Mormon church every week? What’s keeping us from doing it? It’s us.
And we have something they don’t have. The Mormons have an emotion, and this is why we have to go beyond emotion. It can’t be a testimony of a feeling alone. It has a to be a testimony of Christ. It has to be about Christ as presented in the Old and the New Testaments. It has to be the historical Jesus walking where we can show he walked.
When I test the Bible to see if it is true, I find it archaeologically backed, confirmed to be accurate in the text handed down, filled with prophetic fulfillment, part of a coherent worldview, and livable when it applies to life. I don’t find those in the Mormon Scriptures. I have asked our missionaries and others and in fact, all I get is the testimony.
Friends. We have our testimonies also. We also have them rooted in Scripture that has been tested to be true time and time again. We must go beyond emotion. If we are stuck on emotion, we are prey to any group that comes along. We need emotions that are rooted in facts. What we believe can’t be rooted in our emotions. Our emotions must be rooted in what we believe.