On more than one occasion, I’ve been visited at home by Latter Day Saints (aka Morman) missionaries. From what I understand, through chatting with friends about these happenings, I’m an unusual duck, because I actually enjoy these rendezvous. That, in itself, doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been aware from about the age of six that I’m not a “normal” person, to the extent that anyone is normal.
Anyway, here are some of the thoughts that have occurred to me as a result of my discussions with these theological door to door salesmen;
The LDS “scriptures” are Joseph Smith’s attempts to copy parts of the KJV Bible that fitted his misunderstanding of the Old and New Testaments. Let me give you a simple example from the Book of Mormon; Smith repeatedly makes Jesus, in His supposed appearance in the Americas, say that He is the Christ, that He is the Messiah. He announces Himself as such when He first appears to the imaginary inhabitants of America, the descendants of the 10 lost tribes.
But Jesus deliberately NEVER makes any such claim in the real Bible. He mostly calls Himself “the son of man”, never Jesus the Christ (Messiah), or the Son of God. Why? Because He always wanted believers to come to that conclusion themselves. Witness Peter’s famous confession of faith … Jesus asks him “who do you think I am?”. Peter’s statement is his alone, never prompted in any way by Jesus. In fact, Jesus tells Peter that his confession of faith came directly from God Himself. Not so in Smith’s invention because he himself never knew Jesus as the true Messiah.
The only way to know Jesus as the Messiah is to have a personal revelation from God, just as Peter did. Parroting lessons taught by others never gets you there, just as being born in a bakery doesn’t make you a bagel. You must want to know God as the foremost pursuit in your life, and then He will in His grace reveal Himself to you, just as He did to me, and to every other true Christian. That’s the essence of being born-again as described by Jesus in John chapter 3;
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”