"My child is a Mormon!"
A father looks up wistfully from his porch swing. Another argument. Another angry outburst. Eleven years ago, his youngest son announced that he had joined the LDS church. Earlier this morning, he swore to himself that he would not bring up the subject when his son's young family came to visit. As the day progressed, his frustrations and sadness won out. He could restrain himself from sharing his latest thoughts and concerns about Mormonism. And his son had not responded well. “Why do you hate Mormons?” he yelled. “We're Christians, too, you know!”
A day planned for joy with family turned grim and tense. The father watched the rear brake lights of his son’s minivan disappear into the shadows of a fading sun. Familiar tears began to fall down his wife's cheeks and onto her clasped hands begging God to allow her boy to come home. Guilt. Grief. Anger. The ebbs and flows of hope and disappointment mark the timeline of a lost son.
The prodigal father in Jesus’ parable also waited for his youngest son to come home. “Lord, I must place this into your hands," the father prayed. "I have done all I can. All I can do is wait and pray. Bring my son back to you, Lord. Bring him home.”
There is probably no greater passion or no greater concern expressed in e-mails and phone calls Truth in Love Ministry receives than from concerned Christian parents who have a child in the LDS Church. A myriad of emotions greet parents and family members as they wrestle with this issue.
There is no magic formula Truth in Love Ministry provides for Christian parents or family members of Mormons, except hope and a listening ear. There are certainly points and hints we can bring out, but in far too many cases, there comes a point in time when Mormon family members stop listening no matter what is said. But there is hope.
We have talked to many ex-Mormons about their long and arduous journey to the Christian faith. A common thread from each journey alludes to a seemingly insignificant event that starts the ball rolling. A neighbor invites them to a neighborhood Bible study and didn’t even know they were Mormon. A little girl invites them to watch her sing at the Sunday School Christmas concert. An act of genuine love and kindness is extended with no strings attached. A random comment is overheard about faith in Christ and what he has already done for our salvation. Coming out of Mormonism and into the freedom found only in Christ is often a long, arduous process that can include many sowing of seeds.
But all it takes is one seed!
Sharing God's Word with Mormons is a seed sowing ministry. We encourage Christians to exercise their faith by prayerfully asking for discernment on how to take advantage of opportunities the Lord may be giving you to sow seeds of faith with Mormons. Many times, our seed planting is not deliberate, well-prepared response, but a fruit-filled reaction prompted by the Spirit. We can never judge by outward appearances whether a Mormon is listening or not, but they are observing our sincere love, respect, and care for their soul. We trust the power of God's Word. Perhaps God is ready to use you in a Mormon's journey to true faith in Christ.
We may never know our part in the life of a converted ex-LDS saint until they say thank you in heaven.
But they may not be the only one.
Perhaps that father sitting on the porch swing who watched his lost son drive away is standing in line. Maybe that mother with the tear-strewn face who had been praying for years is next. With outstretched arms, they will welcome you with a heart-felt thanks in the role that God allowed you play in bringing their child to heaven. What a reunion that will be!
2014 Fall Newsletter Click here to download the Fall newsletter and read stories of Christians who are sharing their faith with Mormon missionaries.