What to say when Mormons always agree with you.
I recently received an email from a young man from the Midwest. Two sister missionaries knocked on his door on a late Sunday afternoon. He wrote,
"They were so nice and wanted to discuss back and forth. But, every word they spoke in many ways sounded so Lutheran. It was such a challenge knowing that they are a works righteous religion yet having them sound so non-works righteous. They agreed with so much of what we said. I was trying to concentrate on law and gospel and able to effectively get the law out. They agreed. The gospel was presented a number of times. They agreed. I detected a few times where they let it out a little bit the part about the works, but they quickly moved away from it."
One of the most frustrating challenges of sharing God's Word with Mormons is when they constantly agree with you on everything. It can be irritating because you know that they do not believe the same as we do. When frustration and irritation seep into our witness it becomes very hard to be loving and patient.
When going door-to-door in Provo last summer, it was very common to have a Mormon constantly agree with you. When this happened, it was very helpful to remember the following:
- Rejoice that the Lord has given you the opportunity to share His Word.
Rejoicing is a fruit-filled response to divine opportunities the Lord provides to be his ambassador. But it's not always easy. When frustration or anger seeps into our witness, take a deep breath. Prayerfully take a brief timeout. This will remind us to rely on God's help and strength so we can focus on sharing his message, not win the debate.
- Politely ask a Mormon to define what they mean.
The brilliance behind the teachings of Mormonism is that they use common Christian terms, but with an entirely different understanding. They will always agree with us if we don't take the time to carefully define those terms (e.g. salvation, forgiveness) before sharing God's Word.
- Ask a Mormon what they believe instead of telling them what they believe.
Mormons love to talk about their faith, plus they will feel respected for a Christian to ask them. Ask, "What does the word forgiveness mean to you?" "What does the word 'salvation' mean?" The longer Mormons talk about their faith they will inevitably bring up the necessity of obedience to earn the forgiveness of sin. Then, you can lovingly refer to their words to contrast what the Bible teaches. No longer on the defensive, most Mormons will be genuinely surprised at the stark comparisons.
One of the greatest joys of being God's ambassadors to souls lost in the false teachings of Mormonism is when you share the true gospel with them for the first time. I'm convinced that many Mormons who have grown up in multi-generational LDS families have never been presented with the truth about God's grace and full forgiveness in Christ in a way they can understand.
The next time a Mormon constantly agrees with you when talking about the Bible, remember these three key words: rejoice, ask, and define.
And, in all things that you do and say, speak the truth with the love of Christ.