Witnessing to Mormons: An Effective Approach

6 Responses »

  1. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am happy to be able to tell you that I do trust Christ, and Christ alone, for my salvation…I trust not in the arm of man…I trust not in the doctrines of men mingled with scripture…Christ is my head, and my Redeemer…there is non other name under heaven whereby we can obtain salvation. I know he lives; I know this is his gospel; I know he is the same yesterday, today and forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    • Hey there thanks for the comment, if you could tell me your thoughts on 2 Nephi 25:23 and Moroni 10:16 in light of what you have just said then I wold love to discuss this some more.

  2. Hi Bobby, as Susan has not replied to the comments you made maybe I could add something which may shed light on these two verses. First lets look at 2Ne 25:23.

    Nephi was speaking to the Nephites and giving them some commentary following the quotations from Isaiah, which he read from the Brass plates of Laban. He says that we are saved by grace after all we can do.

    I think that you will agree that all true revelation comes from God so it is interesting that this insight given between 559 and 545 BC reminds me of some doctrine taught by Paul in Eph 2:8-9

    Permit me to quote, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.

    Now on face value this would seem like a contradiction with the teachings of Nephi, but is it?.

    Lets analize what Paul is teaching the saints in Ephasus. I think that there are 2 very important words in verse 8 which we need to understand before we can correctly understand what Paul is teaching, the words are “that” and “it” Is Paul saying, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and grace not of your selves, grace is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. Or is he teaching, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and faith not of yourselves, faith is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. I believe that this understanding of Paul’s teaching make much more sense than to mean that we of ourselves do not need to do anything we leave it to the Saviour and we will be saved by His Grace alone, If we are to be saved by grace alone, why are the teachings of Christ full of what I call gospel imperative, such as ask, do, seek, work, ponder, pray, seek, knock, keep the commandments etc etc. All of these are calls to actions and should compell us to do things rather than sit back and say, all I have to do is to confess the Lord Jesus Christ with my mouth and he will do the rest. This does not make sense to me when the Saviour commands us to endure to the end. If this is what Paul is teaching us then this would go hand in glove with Nephi saying we are saved by grace after all we can do.

    Moroni 10;16

    The other verse seems to be quite straight forward, This is talking about the gift of tongues, and this is one of the spiritual gifts that can be given to a person, I believe that some of the Saviours apostles were given this gift and it main use was so that every person could be taught in their own language. I do not believe that the gift of tongues is someone getting up and speaking a load of gibberish, and then another person pretending to interpret the gibberish. Hope this helps Jeff Walsh

    • Hi Jeff thanks for your thoughts there, I think for me there is a clear difference between 2 Nephi 25:23 and Ephesians 2:8-10. One says not of yourselves the other says after you can do. However I agree with your conclusion that if we are saved by grace then this should lead to actions, as we see in James that if we do not then this is likely not true faith that you hold.

      I think that enduring to the end is a fruit of the fact that this salvation has occured in an individual rather than its a commandment that you must do,

      1 John 2:19 says: They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

      If we really are of them we will remain with them, hence if we are saved we will remain in Christ, if not we will not.

      Romans 11:16 says if it is by grace it is no longer by works otherwise grace is no longer grace. In terms of salvation its one or the other, not a bit of both, this way Christ gets all the glory and no one can say I did more for my salvation than that person, meaning no one may boast. (ephesians 2:9)

      Regarding tongues I know that is a difference between us but not one I am as worried about, however 1 corinthians 14:2 says For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.

      So from this what I see of the biblical gift of tongues is it is something we use to speak to God. I do not see biblically that it is a means of missionary work.

      Anyway talk soon mate

      • Thanks I am still getting to know my way around the site.
        I think 2 Ne 25:23 is relevant because if Paul was teaching us that we are saved by FAITH not GRACE, the performing of righteous works builds up our faith, but in the end we still need the grace of Christ’s atonement and His role as the Advocate with the Father to enable us to return to the Father. It really does not make sense for the Saviour to ask us to live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God, in one command. and then say as long as we confess Him we will be saved because of His Grace, I think Nephi was right. We need to strive to overcome the world (worldliness) and when we have done all we can then we leave the rest to Jesus Christ. I think that this is the true meaning of the discussion we have concerning faith and works in James 2

        As far as the gift of tongues, there is a problem, because some of the words are in italics so the meaning of what Paul is teaching in1Cor 14:2 .is not made clear. Saying that the we use the gift of tongues when we speak to God is foreign (excuse the pun} to me, I speak to Heavenly Father in english. I think the gift of tongues is explained in Acts 2;6 where the multitudes heard the gospel taught in their own language, and Mark 16:7 where the apostles have the gift to speak in a new tongues is one of the signs that will identify His servants the aopstles. Both of these references have to do with missionary work by the apostles. Jeff Walsh

      • Hey Jeff regarding salvation by grace etc I would point you to my post http://mormonisminvestigated.co.uk/2011/02/07/we-are-saved-by-grace/
        its obviously a big subject so I explain more fully my views there, feel free to comment and we can discuss it more, though lets keep this to one or two discussions at a time if possible.

        Regarding Tongues, lets try and draw this all together.

        1 Corinthians 14:2 says 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one [a]understands, but [b]in his spirit he speaks mysteries

        So as you say if the bible elsewhere says something different there is a definite problem. You mentioned Italics, firstly the phrase one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; has no italics, this is the key phrase in question.

        The italics which is the a and b in the text above I believe, are referencing the word understands which could mean hears and in his spirit which could mean by the Spirit. Neither of which cause a problem to what I am saying.

        In verse 6 Paul says But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?

        There is no profit in speaking in coming to people speaking in tongues unless its speaking to them by way of revelation, knowledge, prophecy or teaching which are alternative spiritual gifts.

        So moving onto Acts 2.6

        In context here is verse 5 to 11 with parts I will comment on in Bold.

        5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own [g]language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “[h]Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own [i]language [j]to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and [k] Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and [l] visitors from Rome, both Jews and [m] proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “ They are full of [n]sweet wine.”

        Firstly there is no indication they are preaching the gospel and nowhere does it say they are speaking to people, only that they are speaking of God. Today there are ocassions where people have heard someone speaking in toungues and recognised what they were saying, even though the person was using the spiritual gift given to them by God and did not know what they were saying, however they were directing what they were saying to God usually in the context of a worship meeting. This is consistent with all of the biblical data on this.

        Interestingly in the early days of Mormonism this appears to be how tongues was done as well, In the Myesteries of Godliness a History of Mormon temple worship by faithful LDS member David John Beerger numerous times it refers to speaking and tongues and prophecying occuring in early LDS Temple meetings. This is consistent with the bible and inconsistent with the today LDS notion of speaking in tongues being for missionaries to communicate with people of other languages easier.

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