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Challenging Mormon Assumptions

A principle we commonly encourage is to focus on Mormon stress points. However, some Mormons, at least at first, don’t seem to have stress points. They’re comfortable because they believe they’re doing well. How can you witness to them?

Defining the Timeline

Some Mormons aren’t too concerned about being perfect right now. They insist, “I’ve got more time” because they believe in a spirit world after this life. Help them imagine they have more time right now. Imagine God took 100 years from the spirit world they believe in after this life and added it to their years on earth right now. Would the result really be any different? If our track record shows we can’t get it right in 70 or 80 years, why would we think adding more time would change that? Many very elderly people reach a point where they don’t want more years and beg for God to take them home. Since Mormons are taught it is even more difficult to become perfect in a spirit world after this life (because you no longer have a body), the prospect seems even more impossible.

Help Mormons see that the skewed timeline they’re trusting in is an even greater burden.

What Percent is Enough?

A common phrase among Mormons is: “I do my part and Jesus does the rest.”

Unfortunately, they rarely pause to consider what this really means. God demands a 100% perfect record. If it were even possible, imagine you did 50% and Jesus did the rest. Where would you end up after Judgment Day? Since Mormonism is a performance-based religion, you wouldn’t go to the same place as those who did 60%. Those who did 60% wouldn’t end up in the same place as those who did 70%. And so on. Rather than allowing them to rest in generalities, press them to follow the implications of where they are putting their hope. Since there is no way to know what percent they’ve done (in fact, we can’t do anything toward our salvation), you will help them recognize the path they’re on offers no hope.

What is True Comfort?

An increasingly common response Mormons will say is “God will place me in the kingdom of heaven I’ll be most comfortable.” They are taught that the lowest kingdom of heaven, the telestial, is ten thousand times better than this life. The middle kingdom, terrestrial, is visited by Jesus. But Mormonism teaches the only kingdom where you will live eternally with Heavenly Father is the highest place, the celestial kingdom.

While the Bible speaks of hell as a place with fire and torment, it also describes it as the one place where God is not. Since God is the source of all that is good, hell can only be evil all the time. If Mormons enter anything lower than the highest kingdom, they would be outside of God’s presence forever. This wouldn’t be a place of comfort; it would be hell.

How Wise is Their Investment?

After hearing the gospel, some older Mormons who have been in Mormonism their whole lives will comment: “I’ll take my chances.” Mormonism teaches a transactional relationship with God. After years of investing blood, sweat and tears (not to mention tithes), many Mormons believe God now owes them and they plan to collect on what they believe they have coming to them.

Remind them of what they’re saying. It would be one thing to take their entire retirement fund to Vegas, bet on black and roll the dice. It’s quite another to roll the dice when their eternity is at stake. The consequences are far too high to take a chance on—especially when Jesus has already paid the price.

Challenging Mormon Assumptions

Jesus challenged the assumptions of the Pharisees in his day. When they thought they had no sin, he expanded their view of adultery to include lust and their view of murder to include a hateful word. When they thought they had kept the commandments, he reminded them that not one stroke of the law is to be removed; God’s expectation is “be perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

When Mormons seem comfortable, press their assumptions to their logical conclusions. You will help them discover their trust in themselves offers no hope at all. You will awaken hidden stress points. You will also position them to hear the message that alone brings hope—trusting in Christ alone.

Put it into practice

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Article Summary

How can you witness to someone when it seems like they don't have stress points?

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