The bible vs. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
today on the way of the Master Ray and easy talked to some members of the Church of Latter day Saints. When did you become a mormon since I was born? So you haven’t been born again? What do you mean born again? Where do you think we get our sense of justice from these people? Sam well I’m a religious person so I would say um it’s something internal that we’re born with. Um I don’t think everybody necessarily has that sense but I think that it is something divine. What is your religious background? I remember the Church of jesus christ of Latter Day Saints. So Sam let me ask you this. If I were to come up to you and I were to say uh Sam how is it that I can enter uh Eternity have everlasting life? What would you say to me? I would say first you’ve got a very basic level live the 10 commandments. Um those are like a guide that if you if you do that like you’re doing pretty good. Sam did you do your mission? I did. Where did you go? I served in Mississippi and Louisiana into spanish speaking. So now obviously as a member of you know the L. D. S. And having gone to people’s doors probably more doors than you can count. Obviously you’ve you’ve encountered hostility you’ve encountered people that uh have been antagonistic towards you probably even chased you off their porch. Maybe you’re there, you’ve experienced that and uh you know I’m sure you’re familiar with the passage in second timothy. That talks about how a servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all patients able to teach and humility, correcting those who are in opposition. Uh, that’s, that’s key. And I have to just tell you I’m evangelical and I’ve always been blown away by the patients that I’ve found in my LDS friends. It’s, it’s blown me away on, on so many fronts. Now I’ve gone door to door myself. I believe that the most important thing in the world is we fulfill the great commission, preach the gospel to every creature. But I’ll tell you one thing, Sam that really, really sobered me up and that is uh Galatians one versus six through 10 where paul the apostle said that if anyone preaches to you any other gospel than that, which they had preached or that they had received, he said, even if an angel from heaven come and comes and does that, he says, let them be accursed. And that sobered me up. Right, Cause I’m going to people’s doors, I’m talking to people on the streets. I’m sharing what I’m calling the gospel with them. And paul is saying if anyone preaches any other gospel than what you’ve received, then what we’ve preached. Even if we come back to you, even if an angel comes, you know, let that, let them be accursed. That word is anathema, you know, damned in hell. It’s, it’s a serious thing. Things just got serious with easy and Sam over on the pier raised talking to a young man who is currently on his mission, you’re a mormon? Yes sir, a member of the church. When did you become a mormon? So my family was raised in the church and so I was since I was born, So you haven’t been born again? What do you mean born again, john chapter three, jesus said, unless someone’s born again, they’re not gonna into heaven, he said, marvel, Not that I say to you, you must be born again. Tell me what mormons believe happens after someone dies. So our belief after someone dies is that everyone goes to this place called the Spirit World and it talks about in this, in the bible as well and what we believe is mentioned, I can’t remember exactly where I can, I’d love to show you the scripture after or if I can send it to you. But um no, not just in the book, also talks about in the bible, it talks about the Spirit world and where souls go to those who didn’t receive the full gospel or taught it so that everyone is able to receive salvation. Actually, that Spirit world concept he described is not found in the bible, let’s see what the guys have to say about the LDS Church guys. It seems to me that the more years go by since the Church of jesus christ of latter day Saints was established by joseph smith that the perception on mormonism changes more and more and decades passed? It was pretty clear that they were seen by mainstream Christianity as a cult that that they they have strayed from Orthodox biblical teaching, but it seems like more and more these days, there’s a shift to where mormonism is almost seen as just another christian denomination. And in fact, the mormons themselves are trying to really strengthen that image because there was recently a divine revelation given to where they’re not supposed to refer to themselves as mormons ever there to stick with LDS so speak to that, what do we do with mormonism? And and are we doing them a service by just acting like they’re another christian denomination? It’s a disservice, it’s dishonest and it’s untrue. I think one of the challenges that a lot of people face, we’ve talked about this before is that we use the same words with massively different meanings. And so when you talk to somebody in the mormon Church, you’re gonna hear jesus and Grace and forgiveness in the cross. But there, if you ask them to define what those mean, what does Grace mean to you? You’re gonna find completely different answers and that’s that’s the challenge a lot of people face, they just hear the words and they assume well they sound they sound christian to me, but it’s vastly vastly different. Have you ever at any point paused and thought, wow, am I sure that the Gospel, I’m preaching is the truth and I share this with you and love obviously, as evangelicals and mormons, we have, we have differences of perspective and these perspectives I believe are are are eternal and consequences are serious and they’re severe. And yet the thing I love is that we can have a civil conversation about it, you know, especially you having been on the other end of telling people, hey, you know, here obviously are going door to door, not because you think it’s it’s a, you know, it’s an option, take it or leave it because we believe that the church of jesus christ, latter day Saints is the truth. That joseph smith was a prophet, that he received revelation from God, that, you know, people must sit here in order to, you know, to receive everlasting life. So, has that honestly ever been something where you just thought, you know, I wonder have you ever have you ever questioned to any degree? Oh yes, of course. I do think like that the scripture that you brought up, um it’s something that I did that actually people would bring up on my mission as as I taught, especially because I was in the deep south, I got you. So, um it’s something that I had to like figure out myself, I think that the scriptures, especially if you either take them out of context or think about or interpret them differently. You can arrive to different conclusions granted. Are those conclusions inspired of God? Sometimes not. Um but I respect all of the opinions about the scriptures, honestly. So, yeah, and and sam as a fellow human being, who who cares about you, I have no motive in this, but total love, I care about you. I can tell you’re a genuine person and I don’t sense any pretension here in our conversation, but I would want to do for you what I would want you to do for me if you thought that I was I was an error because you would care about me and I would I would appreciate that even if in the end, I fully disagreed with you. The thing that concerns me about the LDS faith is that it is a subsequent revelation that it’s based on that contradicts the prior revelation, which is, you know, the new testament scriptures, that really is the issue. The LDS Church claims the Book of mormon, like the bible is a revelation from God, but the truth is the Book of mormon and the LDS Church contradict the bible in many ways. In fact, Mark joseph smith himself was the one that basically down the gauntlet and that he said that basically there’s a great apostasy that all their doctrines are corrupt and so forth. And that’s right, and that’s why they go door to door, right? We we have to remember, listen, if you want to be ready to speak to any member of any religion that is part of a cult focusing on two subjects, right? Grace and jesus, those are the two Grace and jesus because everything will crumble after that. You had mentioned Grace mormons believe in Grace. So they say same terminology, but you’re saved by Grace after all that you can do jesus, who is jesus according to mormonism and who is jesus according to Christianity? Well, according to the LDS, he’s the spirit brother of Lucifer, that’s not found in the bible, Right? And so what is it as uh man is God once was as God is man may become that’s part of the mantra that the LDS church holds to Well, we don’t believe that we can become God. So when we hone in and focus on jesus, christ and Grace, which is God’s unmerited favor to the infinitely ill deserving, we’re gonna draw the line in the sand and we’re gonna see who is within orthodoxy and who’s outside. Yeah. And in keeping with a tagline, we had as a part of the movie we produced years ago, Love can’t stay silent and I think that for mormons who do go door to door and have done their mission, when you just reason with them and say, look, you’ve done this, you’ve gone from place to place and you you’ve, you’ve shared what you believe is a gospel, I can’t help but do the same thing with you, obviously you do it because you’re coming from a perspective where you’re viewing people is important and you’re saying you care. Well, that’s how I feel about you and this is serious and so it’s important for us to to be willing to approach them as we see in this episode. See if you have assurance that you’re going to heaven, or is there a possibility you may be cast into outer darkness, I believe as I do my best and repent of my wrongdoings, that uh that I can return to my father in heaven as as clean as I can, and it’s it’s up to heavenly father and jesus christ on whether the work I did here was enough. How do you know if it’s enough? I never know. It’s that’s a definitely father that’s kind of scary. It is um it’s a little nerve wracking to think about it, but I have faith in my father in heaven, that I can do the best that I can and bringing others closer to him. So, are you a good person? I believe I like to think I am yesterday, so Seth what you’re, what you’re saying to me is that you’re trying to earn favor with God by doing things, is that correct? Not in favor with them, but just bringing others closer to him. It’s not for me, it’s everything is focused on focusing on others. Okay, I’d rather talk to an atheist than a mormon, because a mormon sometimes will agree with everything you’re saying that christ died on the cross, that jesus is Lord etcetera. But what they do is they worship another jesus and the way of salvation is through another means. It’s by grace. After all, I can do, that’s a different gospel. And the bible says if anyone, if anyone comes to you with another gospel, let him be accursed. So it’s a very serious thing and all I can do is share the truth of the Gospel and pray that God brings it to life in his heart. You know, the bible says eternal life as a free gift of God uses the word free gift. Yes. In the Book of romans, that’s an example of superfluid free gift. I mean the same thing, free means it’s free gift means it’s a gift. But the bibles putting emphasis on the fact that you can’t earn, it says in the Book of Ephesians for by Grace, are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves? It’s the gift of God, not of works lest any man boast. So let me give you an example of why that’s so important. Okay, you think you’re a good person? You said do I think I’m a good person, How many lies have you told do you think in your life? Um I felt like a fair amount, whether it’s just a little thing to say to my siblings, just to uh kind of push them in the right direction, but ever stolen something in your whole life, even if it’s small, irrespective of its value. Not that I know of. Have you ever used God’s name in vain? And not that I know of you weren’t listening to yourself. You mean? Not that you know of? Well, not that I can recall some. Okay, now, jesus said, whoever looks upon a woman to lust for her has committed adultery already with her in his heart. Have you ever looked at a woman with lust? Have I ever looked at a woman with less? That’s the question. That is definitely. Well, there’s a natural man part of I think everyone, but I think the best thing we can do is we pray to not have those things kind of over take our minds. And so you have. Yes, sir, definitely. We are all natural. We’ve got red blood in our veins. But when we look with lust, we actually commit adultery in God’s eyes. So you’re not a good person, you’re like the rest of us. Yourself admitted liar and an adulterer at heart. Okay, what I’m what I’m showing you is God’s standard of goodness. Remember a young man came running to jesus, knelt down. This is an Mark 10 verse 17, he said, Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He thought he had to do something to inherit eternal life. And jesus said, why do you call me good? There’s none good, but God good in God’s book is moral perfection and none of us are good. The dictionary has got over 40 different definitions of the word good. Number one is moral excellence. So there’s nobody that’s good. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Alright, So we’ve talked about some of the differences between Christianity and mormonism and talked about some of the difference in doctrine. Mark, you referred to obviously the nature of christ and and we talked about the nature of salvation. How are we saved? Is it by grace or is it after all we can do and so forth. But what do you say to the person who says? So what I mean, not get off. They believe in God. You believe in God, They believe in jesus. You believe in jesus? Yeah, you say he’s like this, they say he’s like that, Whatever. Stop being so divisive. Just come on, let’s all, can’t we all just get along for me? It becomes self refuting right? You’re being divisive, is it wrong to be divisive? Yes, Well then stop being divisive, right? We have to remember a lot of these religions, they fall on their own sword. You just slow down, pointed out to them and enjoy what comes next and the gospel is the power of God to salvation, no matter who you share it with, whether it be an Atheist or someone who’s into a religion, it’s a deception. It’s powerful. It illuminates and it brings people to the foot of the cross and that’s what we want to do. And if we love people, we want to reach them, no matter where they come from or what they believe. I’m trying to bring you to a point where you know that you’re saved, you’re born again, because there’s nothing as a christian for me that’s as precious as knowing that I’ve got everlasting life as a free gift of God. It’s not something I strive for. It’s not something I I have to do to obtain. It’s like the thief on the cross. Remember the thief on the Cross? Are you talking about the other men that were crucified as well? Yes, there was a thief on the cross or two thieves. One of them says we’re here justly. Do you remember that? I do not recall that? He said. The first thief railed on jesus and said get us out of this. Second thief said we’re here justly. And he turned to jesus and said, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom and jesus said this day, you’ll be with me in paradise So that thief couldn’t go anywhere because he was nailed to the cross. He couldn’t do anything because he was nailed to the cross. The only thing he could do was turn to jesus and put his faith entirely upon him. That’s where our salvation comes from. It’s not through doing anything. It’s through trusting in the living in christ scripture is clear that this is the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. I mean, and jude jude saying he wanted to write to them concerning their common salvation, but he felt it necessary to write to them to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all, delivered to the saints. And so we can’t undermine the importance of doctrine, which is truth. Right? I mean, if if Christianity is not built on the foundation of truth, then it has no standing, then Yeah, you believe this. I believe that everything is good, but christ made it clear that you have to believe the Gospel the truth of the Gospel. That’s why I often will go there with mormons about the Gospel. It’s the Gospel. Do you have the right gospel? Because if you don’t like elation says, and you’re anathema when we examined the gospel and we look like for example, first Corinthians chapter 15 1 through one through three there, it describes what the gospel is, that we are saved by by which you stand if you believed and he talks about, you know that christ died for our sins according to scripture, That he rose again according to scripture appeared to witnesses and so forth. And that is the gospel. And he says in there by which you are saved. And I know you’ve had this discussion multiple times. I can tell by the smirk already in the smile and and you know, but I think sometimes, you know, we need to pause and say do I have integrity in what I believe in other words? If I really explored it, have I really dug deep into it and examined it. There’s a recent apologist, he was an apologist for the mormon Church and he wrote a book defending mormonism recently. He took the challenge that others gave him and he began exploring, I know you could say on the flip side here evangelical apologist that became you know, L. D. S. I know you guys don’t use the term mormon anymore, so I’m trying to be cautious with that. But so that’s important integrity in what we believe, you know, we’re saved by the gospel. If anyone preaches any other gospel different than the gospel that was preached and that we received, they are anathema, that’s that’s a serious thing. And then there’s consequences and accountability for all the people that we misled in that regard. You know, skeptics often don’t see the importance of belief, Isaiah said, who has believed our report beliefs can govern your destinies. They can govern your steps if you believe there’s a land mine in front of you, you’ll go round and if you don’t believe you walk onto it. So beliefs are incredibly important. So when someone says who cares what people believe, we care because it governs people’s eternal destiny. I think many people want to live with the idea of that coexist bumper sticker that all these religions, whether you’re mormon or muslim or christian or catholic, they’re all basically saying the same thing and that’s what I was saying earlier. That’s, that’s uh, I mean this in a sense, in your way, that’s an ignorant statement, ignorant as in lacking information, lacking knowledge, because if you go to the individuals in those, if you study them, the god of the christian bible is vastly different than the mormon, uh, than Islam, the jesus of the scriptures. The real jesus is vastly different than the jesus that you find in the mormon in the book of mormon. It’s, it’s, it’s just, it’s lacking information to say something like that. The misconception is if you disagree, it means you have a disagreeable attitude, which is that you’re contentious and you’re harsh, Absolutely not. We can speak that gentle word, that can break a bone by letting the love of God shine through us and and allowing the truth that we speak to be under the principles of agape love in first Corinthians 13 and through that we can be used as instruments of God in people’s lives. Like mormons tell me, why did jesus die on the cross? Could you put it into words? Um, he died on the cross because it was uh, the jews had wanted it because they didn’t believe he was jesus christ and so they wanted some kind of punishment for what he did and he had to go through that Not only just that that was the third part, we believe in his what’s it called? The atonement. The first part was the suffering in the garden of 70. And then the next part was um his crucifix are sorry that was the second crucifixion on the cross and then on the third day he overcame death. And oh yeah sorry I kind of got um correct me if I’m wrong. But isn’t mormon doctrine says that salvation comes to me after all that I do. Is that correct? That’s what we believe. Grace to be. Salvation is something that everyone is received. Okay, well this is the difference between Biblical Christianity and mormon teaching. Biblical Christianity says there’s nothing I can do to save myself. It’s a complete free gift of God because of what jesus did on the cross. He purchased everlasting life. He didn’t die because the romans took him and crucified him because the jews pushed for it, he died because he was God’s sacrifice. He was the lamb of God suffered and died for the sins of the world once and for all. So when I repent and trust in him, God imputed righteousness to me, makes me righteous, he makes me clean. So I have to earn God’s favor. It’s a free gift comes by God’s amazing grace. When you last read your bible. Um I’ve not this morning, I think it was just yesterday I was reading, I like reading about the Second Coming. I think it’s just such an interesting topic. Well he’s coming for those who have been born again. So I encourage you to get before the Lord and put your trust entirely in jesus. It’s not after all you can do, it’s a free gift of God. You can’t earn a gift. It’s like saying to someone who gives you a car, they give you a brand new Mercedes and say oh that’s great, I appreciate this gift. Here’s 10 cents. If they take you 10 cents it’s not a gift. It’s an exchange you’ve purchased. You’ve got a good deal. So salvation can’t be purchased by anything we do. It’s a free gift of God. And when you truly put your faith in jesus alone for your salvation, you’ll be born again. God will give you a new heart with new desire. So you love that which is right and pure and just thanks for talking to me. I really appreciate it. Thanks for listening. Yeah thank you too. And it’s so cool to know that you’re from new Zealand as well. Yeah that guy was born in New Zealand but he wasn’t born again. He needed to be born twice. I was born twice in New Zealand why didn’t he have an accent like yeah he had an american accent but he didn’t speak properly. Who was jesus christ, jesus christ was the eternal God, you know from all eternity. He couldn’t be another God couldn’t be three gods, couldn’t be God from another planet that created and then you know, Jesus couldn’t be uh you know, just a created being of God or the first of God’s spirit Children or he, he was the creator, you know, he’s he’s eternal and scripture is clear that there was no god before God, no god after him, not informed and so you know, there are a lot of other things associated with what the LDS church teaches in terms of the nature of God and, and salvation and you know, like you said, the baptism for the dead and all these sorts of things, you just have to ask yourself if this was Christianity from its inception and then all of a sudden someone comes on the scene and and changes things that were, you know, solid and established what happened there, you know, I know that you probably know a lot about um our theology, our beliefs um I do believe in the great apostasy in which um as time has gone by, um either teachings have been lost um and that we don’t have as like the whole picture of everything that the apostles wrote back when Jesus was alive and any um writings that jesus may himself have have written and that being said, I understand where you’re coming from. Um and and I will take your challenge actually to look at these scriptures, to think ponder pray about the things that we’ve talked about today, but coming from my perspective as well, I think that um with uh a lot of different theologies between the different churches, it can be we’re getting into territory of well, is is like is this way of thinking about the bible and the teachings of Jesus right, or it doesn’t matter which way we go? Yeah, and obviously, you know, truth matters, I know you you agree with that. Of course, scripture says that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. And scripture also says that this is the faith that was once for all, all delivered to the Saints. Of course, there have been errors within the Church, where there has been error, but the established truths of the nature of God and the nature of salvation and things related to eternal matters, those things are are fixed, they’re clear. Um and, you know, that is there’s a stark difference between who God is, who jesus is within mormonism, what the atonement does, how forgiveness is obtained, how salvation is acquired. There’s a stark difference between what the LDS Church teaches and what we see in the prior revelation, which is, you know, which is a scripture, and I’m heartened by the fact that you said that, you know, you’re you’re open to really examine these things and to look at the these things, because again, it comes down to is this the gospel and all that’s associated with it, that was once for all, delivered to the Saints. And so, man, I so appreciate you talking with me? I’m glad that we’re able to have this respectful dialogue, man, I love you, I care about you. I know that you went door to door all across, you know, the area that you were in, because you were motivated by what you believe is the truth. In the end. Though, we recognize that we can be sincere, extremely sincere, but we can be sincerely wrong and we would be wise to step back and say, you know what I’m gonna examine this. So thank you for your willingness to do that and I appreciate your your just genuineness and humility today. Thank you so much. Thanks for pulling me aside, I was not expecting this today, awesome man, God bless you. Thank you so much to our LDS friends who might be watching this program. I want to make it very, very clear that what we’ve said over the course of this program has been said, out of care and love mormons to me are some of the most sincere people on the face of the earth. But the thing that I want to convey is that sincerity is not what saves us? It’s the grace of God and the grace of God alone that saves us. And my encouragement to you is to examine your heart as it relates to integrity. Do you have integrity in what you believe? Do you believe it? Because this is what you’ve been told because you’re a part of a community that propagates this teaching. Is it because you had a certain feeling or emotion attached to what you claim to believe, that the well known burning in the bosom experience, if that’s what you’re basing your faith on, then it’s not based on truth and that’s not integrity. Our encouragement to you would be to examine the scriptures to see if these things are so like the Briones did in Acts 17 11 to examine the history of the LDS church to examine the teachings of the Pearl of Great Price and document covenants in the book of mormon against the backdrop of the word of God and what scripture says the prior revelation and that you would come to recognize that jesus himself is the only means of salvation, not our works, not baptisms for the dead, not our faithfulness, it’s him, his death, his resurrection, his love and his grace, we love you and it’s our hope that we’ll see you and his kingdom. As you put your trust completely in the finished work of christ, we hope this episode of way of the master has inspired you to share the gospel with others. You can watch our award winning movies and listen to the living Waters podcast freely at living waters dot com. Where you’ll also find articles, ebooks, videos, audio content, digital resources and gospel tracts, including our popular starter kit with four of our top gospel tracts to help you share your faith biblically and effectively make sure to visit Living Waters dot com today.