When Mormons Knock By Dennis and Rauni Higley
What’s the best response to Mormon missionaries when they come knocking at our door? People ask because they know that both Dennis and I have been on that side of the door – (i.e. as LDS missionaries approaching Christians with a plan to convert them to Mormonism).!
Dennis was a lifetime LDS and I was a convert to Mormonism. Thus Dennis understands Mormonism from a “generational” viewpoint and I from a “converted Mormon” viewpoint.
I was a biblical illiterate and fell for false claims of Joseph Smith and his church and joined the LDS Church. Less than a year after my conversion I was called to serve as a full-time LDS missionary in my own country, Finland, where Dennis was already serving his 2.5 year mission.
Mormon missionaries are the friendly door-to-door salesforce of the Mormon Church. Mormons target Christians who do not know the Bible well, just enough to assume that since “Mormon-talk” sounds Christian and even biblical, they must be Christians...
The Mormon Church gains annually nearly 300 thousand converts from Christianity around the world by their about 85-thousand strong missionary-force. The LDS Church now enlists 18-year old young men as missionaries immediately after they finish High School, and young women after they turn 19.
They are first sent to the Mormon Church’s training facility for about 3 months where they learn a script they must follow when they talk with potential converts. Most of them have no real knowledge of what their religion is all about.
The Mormon Church does not send missionaries to countries where Christianity is not well known. They send them to countries where Christian missionaries have done the groundwork and introduced them to Christianity.
Mormon missionaries say that they are Christians too and because Mormons use Christian terms and words, their missionaries are able convince many to leave the churches they now belong to and join Mormonism. Mormons are “sheep-stealers” – stealing from the flocks that are not yet prepared to discern what is biblically true and what is not.
Even in the old and established Christian countries as Finland is, Mormons can count on meeting only very few
Christians who can challenge them with their biblical knowledge.
When we served our Mormon-missions in Finland, our mission president instructed us by saying, “If you meet at the door someone who says that he/she is a Bible- believing Christian, just bear your testimony of the truthfulness of Mormonism and leave. We do not want you to get into scriptural arguments!” . (We wondered about that even then, asking ourselves, How could there be arguments if we both believe the same Bible-doctrine...?)
Much later we came to understand that bearing our testimony was to assure ourselves that Mormonism is true just in case if we had heard something that could present doubts to our hearts of what Mormonism is and what we were involved in.
Interestingly we did not meet many Christians that presented anything from the Bible against what we were teaching. When they invited us in we were free to present Mormonism to them as the “restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Many Christians have expressed their desires to help Mormon missionaries to come to know what the Bible teaches about God, Jesus and salvation and the error of Mormonism. Apostle John gave a stern warning to us all, when he said,
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” 2 John 10-11
LDS missionaries are not bringing biblical doctrine, but another gospel with another Jesus, accompanied with a different spirit, warned of also by Paul (2 Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15; Gal. 1:8-9.)
Bringing “another gospel and another Jesus,” Mormonism represents an “evil deed” of the worst kind. Paul calls their teaching “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1.)
Biblical warnings of another gospel and another Jesus is not obviously taken seriously, for every year about 300 thousand Christians convert to Mormonism. This is the very reason why Apostle John wrote that we are NOT to invite any representatives of a “false gospel”, as Mormonism is, to our homes to teach us. In Christian homes only the Truth of the Bible is to be taught!
We may invite them in to our homes only if we know the Bible doctrine of God, Jesus and salvation well enough to teach them and correct their beliefs.
Their teachings are very cleverly hidden in biblical terms and words, and without knowing that, many (including myself then) have fallen for the counterfeit gospel of Mormonism. (That error cost me 20 years of my life.)
Mormon missionaries begin their presentation of the Mormon Church with the “First Vision Story” of Joseph Smith, telling how God called Joseph to be the prophet of the Restoration.
They explain that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith when he had gone into the woods to pray which church was right and which he should join. In response to his prayer, they say, two physical gods, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and told him that he should not join any of them, “for they were all wrong, and an abomination to God.” (Joseph Smith History, Pearl of Great Price.)
The Mormon Church has all along insisted that The VALIDITY OF THE MORMON CHURCH RESTS ON JOSEPH SMITH’S FIRST VISION STORY. They say that IF IT IS NOT TRUE, THEN THE MORMON CHURCH IS A FRAUD. This story is important for Christians to know so that they can refute Mormonism from the start, directly from the Bible.
LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking to the Church’s faithful in October 2007 General Conference, said, “You and I are faced with the stark question of accepting THE TRUTH OF THE FIRST VISION and that
which followed it. ON THE QUESTION OF ITS REALITY LIES THE VALIDITY OF THIS CHURCH. If it is the truth, and I testify that it is, then the work in which we are engaged is the most important work on the
earth.” (Ensign, Nov. 2007, p. 86. Emphasis added.) [This has been taught by all General Authorities (high leadership) of the Mormon Church.]
That same year, President Gordon B. Hinckley, answering Mike Wallace’s question of the truthfulness of the First Vision of Joseph Smith, said, “Well, it’s either true or false. IF IT’S FALSE, WE’RE ENGAGED IN A GREAT FRAUD. If it is true, it’s the most important thing in the world. Now that’s the whole picture. IT IS EITHER RIGHT OR WRONG, TRUE OR FALSE, FRAUDULENT OR TRUE. And that’s exactly where we stand, with a conviction in our hearts that it is true: that Joseph Smith went into the Grove; that he saw the Father and the Son; that he talked with them; that Moroni came; that the Book of Mormon was translated from the plates; that the priesthood was restored by those who held it anciently. That’s our claim...” (From Interview “The Mormons,” PBS Documentary, April 2007.)
There is hardly any reason to go on listening to Mormon claims past this First Vision story, for the teaching of the LDS Church has, from 1839 onward, been that the Church begun with this “revelation,” and that the entire claim of truthfulness of the Mormon Church hinges on that story. If
it is not true, then all the rest of Mormonism is not true either!
We know that it could not be true because the Bible teaches very clearly against that. Jesus said
No one has seen God at any time; John 1:18
(See also 1 John 4:12; Col. 1:15.)
God is invisible! No one can see God as He is, for He is Spirit. The Bible says:
“God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
He clarified the difference between Spirit and a physical being by saying:
“See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” Luke 24:39
“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,” Col 2:9
That would not have been possible if God the Father also had a physical body!
However, if you want to continue conversing with the LDS missionaries, the next issue they will present is the total apostasy from the truth.
They say that after the death of original apostles the Church of Christ fell into apostasy and the Priesthood was lost, and from that time on there was no authority to perform baptisms or other necessary ordinances until God called Joseph Smith and restored the Church of Christ with the authority of the priesthood, i.e. both Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods.
Young Mormon boys, from age 12 through 18, are ordained into the Aaronic Priesthood – and from age 18 up, to the higher or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
When they tell you this, you need to ask if they know what were the requirements in Israel to have the Aaronic Priesthood? They may not know, so you need to inform them that the office of a priest was a hereditary office with many strict requirements.
To become a Priest, a man needed to be 30 years old and from the tribe of Levi, and in that tribe a descendant of Aaron and without any physical defects.
If you are conversing with male missionaries, ask if they have held the Aaronic priesthood and if they, or other
priesthood holders, are from the tribe of Levi and in that tribe from the house of Aaron?
No, they are not! Thus they could not have the Aaronic Priesthood! In addition, there was no Melchizedek Priesthood in Israel! (1)
Duties of the priests were to offer animal sacrifices for forgiveness of sins (Lev. 4:20, 26, 31), for the penalty of sin is death (Ez. 18:4; Lev. 17:11; Rom. 6:23; Hebr. 9:22.) That continued till the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. That ended the animal sacrifices for Jesus was the final and ultimate sacrifice for all who receive Him. (Hebr. 9:28.)
When Christ died, the veil of the Temple was torn “from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51), opening access to God for everyone through Jesus Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. (1 Tim. 2:5.) His death ended the Levitical Priesthood, the priesthood of Aaron (the only priesthood in Israel)! (See Hebrews, Chapters 7 through 9.)
Since the LDS Church claims to have also “restored” the Melchizedek Priesthood, you need to inform them that there never was a Melchizedek Priesthood in Israel – only a Person, Melchizedek, who was a type of Christ (Hebr. 7:1-3) for he was a Prophet, Priest and King, as is our soon coming King, Jesus.
The Name Melchizedek means King of Righteousness. Therefore Melchizedek Priesthood belongs to Jesus alone and it cannot be passed to another. (Hebr. 7:24.)
The Levitical Priesthood was abolished (Hebr. 7), and the Gospel of God (1 Cor. 15:1-4) was declared as the message of death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation. It was “once for all delivered” as Jude 3 says. No redelivery needed.
As a “proof” of apostasy, requiring restitution, as they say, the missionaries will read 2 Thess. 2:3 that says that there will be a falling away. You need to open your Bible and read with them, beginning from verse 1 on, to see what Paul was actually saying.
Paul warned them not to let any man deceive them with that saying, for “the falling away” will not happen until the Church is taken away (in Rapture; 1 Thess. 4:13-18), and the “man of sin” is revealed. Only then there will be a wholesale abandonment of true Christianity. Has that happened? Absolutely not - yet!
They may also read from 1 Tim. 4:1 to an “prove apostasy.” Paul wrote to Timothy saying:
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, ” 1 Tim 4:1
Paul said “some will depart”, not all! (At this point you need to read with them also 1 John 4:1, where John warns “...believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, for many false prophets are gone into the world”.
Paul had also warned Timothy that these “seducing spirits” present “doctrines of devils”. (Gen. 3:5 is where the devil’s doctrine that men can become gods begun.)
The Mormon missionaries are claiming that God the Father and Jesus Christ, as two physical gods, came to Joseph Smith (the First Vision), and restored a “gospel of laws and ordinances” (3rd Article of Faith). (There are no “laws or ordinances” in the biblical Gospel!)
As we have already talked about, they claim that the Levitical priesthood (that God had abolished! Hebr. 7) was restored to Joseph Smith, and that Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon and the gospel (“another gospel”) he had received from an angel (see Gal. 1:6-9.)
In 1842 he added to his “godhood requirements” the temple ordinances which he had mostly copied from the Freemasons.
This is the Mormon-salvation plan by works.
True doctrine of God is presented in the Bible, given to us by God Himself. (2 Tim. 3:16.) Eternal life is the Gift of God to be received through faith in Jesus’ finished work for our salvation. (Romans 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10.) That is how we gain eternal life with God.
We do not need the Book of Mormon, that they say is “another testament” of Jesus Christ. The New Testament is a complete testament of His finished work for salvation for everyone who believes that Jesus is God who became a man and died to pay the penalty of sin. (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14; 8:24; 14:6.)
Mormon missionaries will tell you that all humans are God’s children born to Him (and His wives) as His children on another planet/heaven. There was no preexistence of mankind. We did not come from “above.” Jesus alone came from heaven for He is God. (John 1:1, 14; 3:13, 31; 8:23-24; 1 Cor. 15:46-47.)
God becomes our Father through adoption (Rom. 8:15) when we receive Jesus through faith in His finished work for our salvation and are born again. (John 3:7.)
Humans are a creation of God and descendants of Adam. We are “children of the flesh” until we are born again.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” John 1:2
“...it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” Rom. 9:8
Jesus said, “...you must be born again” John 3:7 All people who have become God’s children through a
new birth will live together forever in God’s presence.
Another Mormonism’s “selling point” is the Mormon- mantra, “families are forever”. The only way that our families can be together forever could be if and when members of our families believe and receive the true Jesus and the Gospel of God, and are born again. (1 Cor. 15:1-4 John 1:12-13.)
We must share with them the biblical Gospel, which is a message of death, burial and resurrection of Jesus so that our families can be with us forever in heaven.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Eph. 2:8-10
We are not saved by works, but we are, after our new birth, created for good works to represent our new life in Christ.
There are no laws and ordinances in the gospel to obey, as Mormonism teaches – our faith in Jesus alone will save us. Jesus was asked, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29.)
We are warned over and over again about false prophets, as Joseph Smith was, and false Christ(s) (Matt. 7:15; 24:4-5, 23-24.) We are warned that there will come those who teach “another Jesus” [different than Jesus who is eternal God], and who present “another gospel” [different gospel than is taught in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 and warned of in Gal. 1:8-9], and who have “another spirit” that “testifies” of these non-biblical doctrines. (See 2 Cor. 11:4, 13-15.)
The Mormon missionaries urge you to pray about what they teach – i.e. the First Vision story of Joseph
Smith, Priesthoods and the Book of Mormon, etc. so that you will “know that it is all true.”
This may sound good and even genuine to those who do not know what God’s Word says. Praying about prophets or books is not what the Bible asks or commands us to do – quite the contrary: It tells us that we must
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2Tim. 2:15
This commandment is so that we will not end up “ashamed” by accepting as truth teachings that are not of God.
The Word of God tells us that we must “test all things” by comparing all new teachings to the proven Word of God, the Bible, for it alone is The Truth. (1 Thess. 5:21; John 17:17.)
If we do not test the doctrines and teachings that Mormon missionaries present and testify of - by comparing them with what the Bible says about God, Jesus and salvation - we could be led astray by the spirits and prophets that are not of God, just as 1 John 4:1 and 1 Tim. 4:1 warn of.
The Holy Spirit of God would not give us “feelings” or “testimonies” of “these new truths” that contradict the Truth and doctrines that God has given us in His Word.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” 2 Tim. 3:16
People who do not test all things by God’s Word, the Bible, but instead allow “feelings of their hearts” to lead them, they will end up ashamed, sooner or later (just as we did). Jeremiah warns:
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” Jer 17:9
The Word of God will always lead us to truth.
“Sanctify them in the truth: Your Word is Truth.” John 17:17
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Jesus compared having eternal life to knowing God and who He is. He prayed,
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Instead of teaching truth about God, Joseph Smith taught, “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see...God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!...you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves... the same as all Gods have done before you...” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-346.)
The Bible says that God is not a man. (Num. 23:19; Hosea 11:9.) We were not born to God and his wives in “yonder heavens”. We did not come from heaven. We will not become gods! We did not pre-exist.
Jesus, who is God with us, (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14; 3:13) He alone came from above and said:
“You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:23-24
“Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:7
Isaiah warns about false prophets and said,
“...if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no dawn (no light in them)...the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail. For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.” Isa. 8:20; 9:15b, 16
Matt. 7:15 warns,
“Be aware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.”
We have written several papers on how to witness to Mormon missionaries, and more about what they teach. We can send them to you if you’d like to have more information on this or any other LDS topic.
We also have a list of Bible scriptures missionaries use (out of context, of course). We can send that list to you also. You can also send to us your questions, and we’d be happy to reply.
It is such a huge blessing and joy to see a Mormon coming to the real Jesus and leaving Mormonism. We have experienced that many times.
We pray that God will reward you for your faithfulness to Him, even if you do not see the results right away. All He asks of us is that we prayerfully share the information we
have about these things with those who have been lied to and misled.
Don’t worry about what to say because any conversion to Christ is the work of the Holy Spirit. Just be willing to be used.
Dennis & Rauni Higley Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hismin.com Tel. 801.943-5011
2890 E. Willow Bend Dr. Sandy, Utah 84093-2044
IMPORTANT NOTE: Compass uses the NASB Scriptures in the above article, but if you have the opportunity to witness to Mormons, only use the KJV version of the above Bible verses because that’s all they will accept.
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