Thursday, January 7, 2010

Preparation for Witnessing to Latter-day Saints

Rob sent Alpha and Omega an email looking for help in witnessing to a pair of LDS missionaries, and mentioned that he was "burning" to present the gospel to them. I wish more Christians were like Rob. Hopefully, I was able to give him a good start to further prepare to be a faithful witness to the Latter-day Saint community in his area. Here's what I sent him, and may also help you as you do your best to present the gospel of our Lord to all men:

Hello Rob,

First of all, I thank God for you and your willingness to preach the gospel to this pair of Latter-day Saint full-time missionaries. I have met so many Christians who prefer to shut the door on Mormons rather than reasoning with them from the Scriptures, so please know you are a great encouragement to me.

Your approach in how you plan on talking with these young Mormons (if you have not already) sounds great to me. I have met with dozens of LDS missionaries over the years and am actually meeting with a pair right now, going on our fifth encounter next week - which I’ve learned is quite rare. My approach is similar to yours, in that, I try to be extremely up-front in the beginning. I let them know right away that I have no desire to convert to the Latter-day Saint church, that I have read the entirety of their Scriptures and have intensely studied their belief-system in an attempt to better understand their perspectives, and that it is my goal to convert them just as it is their goal to convert me. Lastly, I mention that I prefer to have a pleasant conversation and polite debate centering around our differences in hopes of winning them over.

This seems to work much better than my first attempt with a pair of LDS missionaries where I was not forthright and led them to believe I was a seeker, possibly interested in investigating their church. Being straightforward with them is respectful, and I believe, the God-honoring approach.

In your discussions with them try to control the topics of conversation - there is no need to go through their lesson plans. Many times I will select a topic that focuses on a core difference between us. For example, in my current discussions with missionaries we are talking about how many true gods exist, as well as the nature of God. The Trinity is regularly needing to be mentioned, along with what I do not believe about God. Comparing and contrasting my beliefs with theirs, then demonstrating that the Biblical evidence fully supports our beliefs about God, and also does not support their beliefs is the best approach to take. Whatever approach you take, continue to reinforce your said beliefs from the Bible so that they can begin to understand why Evangelicals believe what we do.

There are a number of books and mp3’s I want to recommend to help you prepare for your evangelism towards the Latter-day Saint community. James White has written two of the best books on Mormonism that I’ve encountered: Is the Mormon My Brother? and Letters to a Mormon Elder. The first is a systematic look at LDS beliefs organized by their authority structure. The second is more a reference and contains a series of fictitious letters between James and a Mormon elder on his mission on a wide variety of topics. Both are invaluable to have on your shelf. Jerald (now deceased) and Sandra Tanner’s Utah Lighthouse Ministry also has any number of books, and a unique set of documentation that are useful for those in-depth conversations with a Latter-day Saint. Walter Martin’s (deceased) Kingdom of the Cults is also a great reference to have on the LDS faith, along with other spin-offs of Christianity and other world religions. At the AOMin website there are a number of good articles, mp3’s and DVD’s on Mormonism that can greatly aid you. “The Witnessing to Mormons Seminar” (#482MP3) is a personal favorite that I listen to each year before handing out tracts at the Mormon Easter Pageant at the temple in Mesa, AZ. Check out the articles section of our site, and the store has mp3’s and dvd’s on Mormonism that will greatly assist you. Our site address:

I have some friends in Maryland who may be able to help you in your studies of Mormonism. I’ll shoot over an email to them and get back to you as soon as I can. Also, feel free to ask me any questions on the subject. It would be my pleasure. I will be praying for you as you continue to shine the light of the gospel to the Latter-day Saint community.

Because of Christ,
Casey “Rusty” Ryan

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