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QUESTION: What about Mormonism?

 

ANSWER:  What about it?  When I was in High School I had to write a lengthy book report on one of our United States at my own choosing.  The state I chose was Utah.  I don’t know why.  I had grown up in Wisconsin, was living in West Virginia and had never been further west than Fond du Lac, WI (which isn’t even “west” in the state of Wisconsin).  Maybe it had something to do with an aunt and uncle that joined the Mormon church when I was very young.  Maybe it was because Donny and Marie were big at the time and they were from Utah and also something called “Mormons.”

 

Whatever the reason, nobody can do a book report on the state of Utah without mentioning the LDS church.  At the time, the president of the church was someone named Spencer W. Kimball.  Yeah, who’d of thought.  Almost every time LDS church history comes up in a discussion here in Safford, President Kimball’s name is bound to be mentioned, and for good reason.  Reared in Thatcher from age 3 and settling to raise his own family in Safford, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that a big reason this area has its own LDS Temple is in thanks, or at least recognition, of his work in the church to include beginning a world-wide temple building program.  So back to the question…

 

As you probably guessed, many who have asked me this question have identified themselves as LDS.  Now, in case you don’t know, the LDS and Baptist churches are not known for holding many joint socials.  It isn’t that we don’t love or like each other as human beings, but our belief systems are contrary the one to the other.  And to make matters worse, we can use the exact same words but, because those words have different meanings, we still fail to communicate well.

 

I am not writing this response to begin a dialogue.  The difference that exists between Mormon and Baptist doctrine goes back to the difference between Cain’s offering of his own hands and Abel’s of obedience to the grace and truth that was to come by Christ (John 1:17).  There is no rest in a law system that can never make us perfect (Hebrews 10:1).  But there is rest in knowing and enjoying God’s unmerited favor, His grace – that is greater than all our sin.

 

A verse that at first glance seems to muddy the waters even more, in fact clears them up: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6).

 

One blessing we have been given as Americans is the freedom to practice our religion without fear of government intervention.  There is a danger, however in the blessing.  Now anyone is free to teach and preach anything they want.  That sounds good because it is good, but it now demands discernment and a personal decision must be made.

 

Maybe someone reading this is neither Mormon nor Baptist and your ‘take’ on the discussion is, why can’t we all just agree to disagree.  That sounds good on the surface, but there’s a problem.  Eternity is in play.  You may not believe in an afterlife, but many do.  And eternity is a long time to be wrong.  In order for some people to practice their religion they must tell someone else about it.  In the Christian faith the Great Commission demands that we share the Gospel of Jesus.

 

It should come as no surprise that I do not believe LDS doctrine is biblical.  But I have served proudly (USAF) beside men who did in order to give them the right to believe the way they so choose.  If they don’t have a right to disagree with me, then I must lose my right to disagree with them.  The point is not to end the disagreement, but through the disagreement to behave like sane adults and understand that without the discussion we can’t make informed decisions.  “…every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).

 

So think about your upcoming appointment with deity.  Don’t ignore religion.  Only an idiot makes a decision without getting the facts from both sides of the argument.  I would encourage you to choose Christ alone.


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