I must place a disclaimer here: I do not believe the LDS (i.e. Mormon) Church is a Christian church. Their doctrine differs significantly from historical Christianity to such a degree that they are outside of orthodox faith. For more information on this, I encourage you to watch this video by Ravi Zacharias.
I met with three members from the LDS church (Mormon church) this morning to talk about Jesus. Although I disagree strongly with their doctrine and view of God, there are at least three things we can learn from the Mormon church.
1. We need to emphasize the importance of missions!
Virtually every young man in the Mormon church embarks on a 2-year mission between the ages of 18 – 25. This mission is self-funded and often takes these young adults to different parts of the world. In preparation for the mission field, many of these missionaries learn to speak in a foreign language to effectively witness about their faith.
On the contrary, many Christians this age are content with playing beer-pong and watching pornography. It is an absolute shame that we, who have been entrusted with the message of the Gospel, do not take sharing our faith as seriously as Mormons!
2. We need to seek to do GOOD to our neighbors!
These young men I visited with were well aware I was not going to become a convert. They understood that I am a pastor attending seminary and was interested in simply hearing their stories and challenging them with some thought-provoking questions.
NEVERTHELESS, these young men offered to help me move over the next week. Mormons understand the absolute necessity of serving other people through practical acts of service. As part of their 2-year mission, they devote themselves to community service in order to add value to the city they are called to.
What if we as Christians searched for practical ways to serve our neighbors? What if we offered to help total strangers move? What if we were known by what we were FOR rather than what we were AGAINST?
3. We need to understand WHAT we actually believe!
One of the vital doctrines that puts Mormonism outside of Christianity is their view of the Trinity. Historical Christianity teaches that there is only one God who exists eternally in three distinct persons. Mormonism teaches that there are 3 gods who make up the “Godhead” and if we obey the commands of the church, we can also become gods.
Here’s the thing… these fresh-faced teenagers could actually articulate to me what the Mormon church teaches about God. Although they are wrong, they at least thought through who God is!
The vast majority of Christians’ eyes gloss over when someone mentions the Trinity… or the Atonement… or Propitiation…. or Eschatology… or Ecclesiology… (you get the point!)
DOCTRINE IS IMPORTANT!
I disagree greatly with the Mormon church. I believe Mormons need to turn from their false religion and embrace Biblical Christianity as revealed through Scripture and thousands of years of church history. Nevertheless, there are many things the Mormon church does far greater than our churches… and it’s to our shame!