Mormonism’s Hard Father
When witnessing to Mormons, we often ask how confident they are they will live with Heavenly Father for all eternity. One young woman surprised us by responding that she didn’t want to live with him. It was obvious she didn’t have a positive view of him.
I thought of her when I read a talk given at last Fall’s LDS Church’s General Conference. It was entitled “The Father”. It was given by Brian K. Ashton, a member of the LDS Church’s leadership. He begins by talking about how his wife, until a few years ago, felt unworthy of Heavenly Father’s love and blessings because she misunderstood his nature. He then proceeds, in the remainder of his talk, to lay out Heavenly Father’s nature.
His purpose, obviously, is to talk about how good the Father is. Ashton wants to disprove the thought that he is hard and demanding. He gives it his all but, from a Christian perspective, he falls woefully short. His entire talk is peppered with conditions we must meet before the Father will bless us. Here is just a sampling: “The Father created a plan that would allow us upon certain conditions to obtain” various blessings . . . “Heavenly Father will likewise help each of us if we strive to keep His commandments.” Again, “if we strive to increase in light and truth, Heavenly Father will send the Holy Spirit of Promise” (emphasis mine).
It’s all about our striving, our progressing, our using our potential to the utmost. He concludes by saying: “But I can testify with certainty that striving to become like the Father is worth every sacrifice.” The Father’s love and blessing is all conditioned on what we do. No wonder his wife felt unworthy of Heavenly Father’s love.
In this week’s witnessing tip, I talked about how many Mormons don’t know what they don’t know. They can’t begin to fathom the joy and comfort we have knowing our Father gives us undeserved blessings; who continues to love us, bless us, provide and protect us even when we don’t deserve it. They don’t know what they are missing by not knowing we are totally acceptable to God because Jesus met all the conditions for us. They can’t comprehend the certainty we have that we will live eternally in our Father’s presence because we are covered with Christ’s righteousness. They don’t know what a truly loving and giving Father God truly is!
All this reminds us that when we talk to Mormons, we have to spell out how good God is. We dare not assume they know. They don’t. We need to tell them. And as we tell them, may we always give God the praise and worship he so richly deserves.