I took the girls back to Temple Square a couple times while they were off from their year-round school. On one occasion, Charis said, "Yeah, everyone pretty much hates us." Not long after she said this, we had a couple great conversations with very nice LDS ladies. The first lady named Mo was a lawyer who immediately took a paper. She did her mission in Tahiti and spoke French to Charis. Mo complimented Charis on her accent. Mo asked what the basic difference was in our beliefs, so I began to go into the polytheism vs. monotheism issue. I asked her about the Isaiah passages, and she said she heard them before, but wasn't sure what to make of them. Nonetheless, she had a personal revelation that Mormonism is true. She asked for my contact info and was excited to read the paper.
After that, Nicole came by. She didn't take the paper at first, but did at the end of our conversation. She asked what our goal was, so I told her I wanted to warn people about Joseph Smith and convert people to the Jesus of the Bible. She went on to talk about how she has that intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, so I asked her if she ever prays directly to Him. She said she prays to the Father, but talks to Jesus informally throughout the day. I asked her what the real difference is and she wasn't clear about it other than the Father has some higher reverence. So I asked her what she thinks of John 5:23 where Jesus said that we are to honor the Son just like we honor the Father. She wanted to read it, so I pulled it up for her. She asked what the context was, so I took her to verse 18 where Jesus was making Himself equal to God.
She seems to have an unusual respect for the Bible. She wanted to leave 1 Cor. 10 with me telling me how she's been reading through chapters 8-10 the last few days. She also told me she listens to KLOVE all the time.
It's been great taking the girls out with me. We got out around 20 to 30 tracts and the girls make for some great small talk that breaks the ice with people. It was a great time and I was expecting it. I had a demonic attack the day prior and really blew it. Funny how this usually happens before great ministry events! Satan wants to immobilize us with guilt and feelings of worthlessness.
On the other occasion, there were a lot more angry Mormons. My best conversation was with a hard head older LDS guy, who really didn't care what the Bible says... unless of course he could take a passage and distort it from its context. He threw out the "lords many and gods many" in 1 Cor. 8, but wasn't interested in seeing that the context of the first verse clearly identifies them as idols.
He called my girls a cheap technique. I asked him why his church could use little boys out of high school and that's not a cheap technique. He said because of their level of knowledge. I told him if that's the criterion, then my girls know more about what the Bible teaches about God than his LDS missionaries.
Another LDS young woman I briefly spoke with earlier when asked how she knew it was true referred to her feelings. I asked her if her feelings ever deceived her like with boyfriends for example, and she said, "Not really." At that point, there's no use carrying on a conversation when the person obviously doesn't want it and isn't going to be honest.
We probably got out about 15 papers. Charis was still having a hard time, so please continue to pray for her stop worrying.
JW's leaving the libraryJehovah’s Witnesses
On another occasion, Tara told me that there were Jehovah’s Witness at our local library, so I went to talk with them. One admitted she was too closed to hear what I had to say. I tried giving them a tract, which of course they were too close-minded to read. I told them if they ever become a little open to check out my site JWinfo.org. We had a discussion for about 10 minutes in which I went after their horrible translation of the Bible, how they devalue Jesus, and ended our time reading to them a quote from their founder on Christ starting to reign in His kingdom in 1873. I would have read more to them of other botched dates, but they packed up and left while I was reading.
It never ceases to amaze me how salvations come from such unlikely individuals and places. But for the grace of God, we are all unlikely. However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “That person will never come to Christ” or “that would be the last person who repents,” and the person quickly gives their life to Christ. (Perhaps I need to start thinking like this more often!) I started a long dialogue last month with a Mormon gal that I had high hopes for when she reached out to me after seeing me witness in Oklahoma City last April. However, it quickly became apparent that she wasn’t very open and wasn’t thinking through my responses. While this was going on, a Mormon kid I had no hope for on YouTube made an about-face and now agrees with me that Mormonism is a cult and wants to join a Southern Baptist church! This kid, whose name on YouTube is Tae Kwon Dustin, was extremely rude and closed-minded. For some reason, I continued to “answer a fool according to his folly” as Proverbs 26:5 says. Check out the conversation for yourself under Tom Croteau’s comment on the video “Kids Tracting the Manti Pageant.”
Tara shares with mission teamTraining a Mission Team
Last month, our board member and director of Maven, Brett Kunkle, directed a huge Impact 360 mission team here in Utah made up of young adults from all over the U.S. and even one from Venezuela. Brett had Tara and me share with them at the beginning of their trip. Tara shared her story of coming out of Mormonism and giving her life to Christ, and I shared how I got involved in ministry to LDS as well as my talk on The Three Biblical Criteria for Testing the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith. One of Brett’s assistants, Glenn Pinson, wrote the following to me after the trip:
"Thanks again for coming to present at the Bridge for Maven. I’m not sure if Brett or anyone told you, but when we did door-to-door discussions near BYU the other day, we had some great conversations and one of the groups actually had someone ask to receive Christ! This is fairly uncommon in my experience, as we are mostly in the business of planting seeds and tending to growth, but once in a while, we are at the place and time that God has ordained for us to harvest. I just thought that you should know that. Your discussion was great preparation for our people and the two young guys i was with used a couple of your ideas in their own words, to great effect.
Rob shares with mission teamThanks so much for partnering in the Gospel with us."
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We expect God to provide for our needs through you. Why? Because the Bible is clear: “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
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Keep fighting the good fight Rob. You are making a difference.
I’m proud and impressed with you and your family for sharing so boldly!
Thank you for being faithful in what God has called you to do and for teaching your girls at a young age!
Praying for you and your sweet family! Thank you for your loving ministry.
I hope Charis was able to realizes that though people can be mean and hateful when they feel their beliefs are being attacked that its worth it if just one person will come to Christ. I am glad that she keeps going back with you! Praying for you guys!
These sweet girls get to see how God is using their talents and I love hearing these amazing conversations...pebbles. All these bits are pebbles in their shoes.
Pray for you and your ministry often! I know that the devil doesn’t want you doing that! You aren’t alone. Keep up the good work!!!
[Troll:] So are you ready yet to prove that you actually do love the Mormons as you say by not giving up on me and casting me to the wind?
[I replied:] The material content of love is filled out in ways that are not always demanded by its blind recipient.
[He replied:] I didn’t understand that. Can you re-word it?
[I replied:] Just because you aren't being loved the way you think you should be doesn't entail you aren't being loved.
[He replied:] So I AM being loved, just in a roundabout way? Like I’m being loved by silence?
[I replied:] You are loved by having been preached to, having questions answered, and being prayed for, but you don't want evidence contrary to your position. You may think you do, but based on what I've seen, I don't think you do. You need something much more than what I can give you anyway. The Bible repeatedly tells of instances when you don't answer others, so I'll follow that rather than your demands. May God have mercy on you and give you eyes to see and ears to hear.
[He replied:] To assure you that I DO want whatever evidence you have let me tell you what I’ve looked into.
I’ve watched the 1st 7 seasons of Heart of the Matter with Shawn McCraney (which are all about Mormonism) and I’ve even personally spoke with him AND Sandra Tanner, I’ve had a discussion with the guys at Apologia church in Arizona, and I’ve looked into every passage any of them have brought up and looked into the issues they’ve told me coming from Mormon history thoroughly.
So hopefully that lets you rest easy that I am someone who in fact wants WHATEVER you have to offer me that helps to understand.
Unlike most people that you preach to at temple square or other LDS church functions, my eyes and ears are WIDE OPEN to anything you have to say.
So is my resume convincing enough to get some evidence from you?