Marty the Mormon
The official name of the Mormon Church today is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church when he was 24 years old, in the state of New York on April 6, 1830 . It was originally named the Church of Christ , but the name was changed in 1834 to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. In 1838 it received its current name ( Doctrine and Covenants , Sec.115:4).
The official LDS web site lists the December 31, 2004 worldwide church membership at 12,275,822. At the beginning of 2005, there were approximately 5,599,177 LDS members in the United States and approximately 6,676,645 members outside of the USA . Most of those outside of the USA are in Latin American countries.
Questions You Can Ask
- What is your spiritual background?
- What is it like to be a Mormon? (religious practices, going to church, missionary work, etc.)
- What gets you most excited about being a Mormon?
- What scares you the most about being a Mormon?
- Is your Mormon faith based on your own decisions and spiritual experiences, or is it something that was handed down to you by your family?
- Why do you think that many Christians view Mormonism as falling outside of “Biblical Christianity”?
- Why do you believe the Book of Mormon is “another testament of Jesus Christ”?
- How can a person know for sure that he or she is going to heaven?
- Do you think there’s a difference between a “religion” and the “relationship” with God that Jesus talked about?
- How would your friends and family in the Church of Jesus Christ react if you converted to Christianity? How does that make you feel?
- Would you be willing to pay the price of being rejected if you were convinced the message I’m about to share with you was true?
Areas You Can Admire
- Marty’s belief that there is a God.
- Marty’s desire to be a nice, sincere, hardworking person.
- Marty’s commitment to family values.
- Marty’s commitment to sharing his beliefs with others.
What Marty Believes
Marty believes that the Church of Latter Day Saints is the one and only true church on earth. He believes that the church became utterly corrupt soon after the Apostles, so God decided to restore the true church through Joseph Smith. Because of this, Marty believes all other denominations (Baptist, Lutheran, etc.) are false churches (in other words, not following God).
Marty believes God was once a man, but became God. God has a physical body as does His wife (Heavenly Mother).
About the Trinity:
Marty does not believe in the Trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate gods.
Marty believes that Jesus is a separate God from the Father (Elohim). He was created as spirit by the Father and Mother in heaven, and is the 'elder brother' of all people and spirit beings. His body was created as a result of a sexual union between God the Father and Mary. Jesus was married. His death on the cross does not pay for the sins of all people, but does provide everyone with resurrection.
About the Bible:
Marty believes what the eighth LDS Article of Faith states: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" - which means Joseph Smith's interpretation or selected portions from the King James. The Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the teachings of Mormon Prophets are on the same level of authority as the Bible.
Marty believes salvation is defined as being physically resurrected and exalted to godhood (i.e. becoming a god). People are saved by trusting in Christ and doing good works.
About the Afterlife:
Marty believes that eventually nearly everyone goes to one of three levels of heaven. Only apostates and murderers go to 'outer darkness'.
What the Bible Teaches
God identified Himself as "I Am" (Exodus 20:2) - meaning He is the self-existent (has no beginning or end) eternal Creator of the universe.
About the Trinity:
There is one God and yet three Persons (Isaiah 45:5; Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19 ).
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He was placed in Mary's womb by the Holy Spirit of God. It was not by sexual union, but by a supernatural act (Luke 1:35 ; John 1:1,14, 18; 10:30 ).
Salvation is by faith in Christ on the basis of His death on the cross. Good works have nothing to do with being saved (John 3:16-17, 36; 6:47; Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
About the Bible:
The Bible alone is the word of God. It is without error. It cannot and should not be added to or subtracted from (2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Revelation 22:18-20).
About the Afterlife:
Those who trust in Christ alone as their only hope of salvation spend eternity in heaven, those who reject Christ spend an eternity in hell (John 5:24-30; Revelation 20:11-15).
Things to Remember
- Marty may not be aware of the Mormon church's official doctrine, so many of the above mentioned facts might come as surprise to him. If this happens, don't get distracted with trying to prove you are right unless you believe it will help get Marty closer to trusting Christ.
- Marty may use the words and phrases that sound Biblically true (Jesus Christ, Son of God, salvation by faith, etc.), but actually mean something entirely different. Because of this, it is critical that you make sure you mean the same thing. For instance, if Marty says, "I am trusting in Christ for my salvation," you can ask these questions:
- "What do you mean by salvation?"
- "How do you define Jesus?"
- "Are you trusting in Christ alone for your salvation?"