Rob praying with DiannaLDS Woman
So I got out of the car at Dollar Tree and this lady evidently noticed my big cross I wear and asked if we were Christians. She said she was, so I asked what church she went to. 7th ward in South Jordan! So I said that I don't believe LDS are Christians since we don't have the same Christ or God. I tried to get her to see how they really don't believe that neither Christ nor the Father really did create all things even though she said they did and then how they really don't believe there's only 1 God even though she said they did. I quoted D&C 93 about the elements and man as intelligence was in the beginning with God, so there are obviously things in Mormonism that their God didn't create. Jesus is our elder bro and Lucifer's elder bro in the pre-earth life. She admitted the Father created them, and then she said that God created all things, but then admitted that God needed things before He could become a God. Obviously God didn't create those things.
I read to her the Book of Abraham chapter 4 with the Gods creating, and she seemed surprised that was in there, but then she said that God is the only God for our solar system. I told her that's not good enough and she needs an infinitely bigger God. Further, the BA contradicts Ps. 96:4-5 and Isa. 44:24 where God did all the creation work by Himself, alone.
I encouraged her to read through the New Testament with the eyes of a child and let God speak to her. I had to take my family hiking and she was going to the hospital to get her heart checked, so I asked if I could pray for her and touch her arm while I prayed. I asked God to heal her heart and asked God to bring her out of the darkness of Mormonism into the marvelous light of Christ. She laughed when I prayed that. Her name was Dianna Jones, so please say a quick prayer for her.
Another great testimony last month at our monthly fellowship. Please click the link above to watch Brandon Armstrong’s testimony and also see the Pictures.
So these LDS missionaries were walking in front of the McD's and I thought I'd stop and chat with them. I prayed before I talked with them that we'd have a great conversation and that they'd be open. Elders P (cowboy boots) and W (who was recently on a Tongan speaking mission here, hence the skirt) were open to me treating them, so we sat and had a great conversation for about an hour. So good, that they took my number and want to meet me back there Saturday! I told them I'll keep buying! Of course these guys had their testimony, but as usual for missionaries here, both were pretty much committed to their faith relatively recently. W told me he didn't even have a testimony when he went on his mission just 6 months ago!
P said that they just want to bring people to Christ, so that led to me asking, "Which Christ?" I shared about what Jehovah's Witnesses believe about Christ, and they agreed that was certainly a false Christ. So we started talking about how different the LDS Christ was from what the Bible taught in Jn. 1:1-3, 14, Rom. 11:36, 1 Cor. 8:6, and Col. 1:13-18. Of course they said that Christ created all things pertaining to this world, this earth. So I broke down how not even the LDS Father created all things, and they admitted that he created all things *that we know.* I helped them understand how, to me, that wasn't good enough.
I got to share with them Isa. 43:10, 44:6, 8, 24, Ps. 90:2, 96:4-5, Hos. 11:9, and Gal. 4:8. I was able to break down what is meant by God being God by nature vs. obtainment, and how even if one refers to us sometime later as exalted or gods, we still obtained that and that is quite different from how God was always God, the One by which everything else hinges. They agreed God had to become a God since Smith clearly taught that, including God the Father having a Father before him.
They asked how I understand why they still hold Mormonism is true. That's when we went into the testimony of the Spirit and I offered them Jer. 17:9, Prov. 14:12, as well as the reality of Satan and the demonic realm. P explained that Smith prayed and God answered him. Smith only had a 3rd grade education, yet he came out with the Book of Mormon. I was able to share with them how similar this sounded to Muslims and Muhammad. Yet, he clearly went against what God taught about Himself, and thus failed the primary test of a prophet by teaching other gods (cf. Deut. 13:1-5). P and W realized that Muhammad rejected God having a Son and that Jesus never even rose from the dead, since He never died. So despite Muslims claiming Muhammad had no education and still giving us the Koran, P and W realized that Muslims testimonies were invalid... because he contradicted what God had already said about Himself.
Next, we spent quite a bit of time unpacking the way Mormons, traditional Christians, and United Pentecostals understand the Godhead. If nothing else, I am pretty confident they understood what I was talking about with the Trinity vs. the LDS Godhead and the UP's modalism where all persons turn out to be the same person with different titles. I really tried to help them see how the term "separate" isn't a term I use to refer to the members of the Godhead. For me, they are "inseparable, yet different" not unlike trilateriality and triangularity are for a triangle.
They had to get going, but really wanted to meet again soon. I asked if I could pray, and they let me, so I prayed that God would draw them to Himself, and that we'd all get whatever God wants us to get, since the goal is truth. After we got a picture, W told me that he's never had such a pleasant conversation with someone who disagrees with him!
The next time we met at McDonald’s, I met their companions. Turns out, P and W were just on a missionary exchange when I met them on Thursday. This time, we had a little over an hour and a half together. I'm definitely a believer now in buying food for these guys in order to have prolonged conversations!
The new guys only spoke when I asked questions about them. One pictured in back yellow was from Oakland and the guy on the back right was from Tri-cities, WA.
So we started out last night in our theological discussion with P demonstrating to me how the BM talked about the nature of God. He wanted me to read through an index on the topic in back of the BM. So I had to explain to them how the BM (in Moroni 8:18 and Alma 11:24ff.) reflects a devolution in Smith's theology to the D&C 76 and 132 where we all become Gods with equal power, PGP BA where the Gods are helping each other laying out the heavens and the earth, and Smith's KFS where Smith is clearly teaching how God the Father became a God just like we're all doing now, viz., by learning from a Father before Him.
There were so many topics discussed. We talked about polygamy and how P tried to equate Smith's practice with Old Testament prophets. I explained how 1) description doesn't entail prescription. That is, just because someone is described as doing something in the Bible doesn't entail that we ought to do it. 2) Smith's polygamy went way beyond the clear regulations of case law for polygamy (e.g., he married sisters and mother/daughter pairs), and he used religious manipulation to get families and girls to fall in line. 3) We are in the New Testament today, and Paul commands the Church leaders (bishops and elders) to be the husband of only one wife. 4) As such and not knowing anything else, Smith looks more like a typical false prophet who is in it for the sex. W said, “I can see that, but I still have a testimony.”
On a related issue, we talked about how Jesus already was clear that there is no marriage in heaven anyway (Matt. 22), but we're like the angels, which according to D&C 132, are all single. If LDS were correct, Jesus would have obviously answered the Sadducees question by claiming, "It depends on who the woman was sealed to in a temple ceremony." I also brought up the fact that Paul said it was better to remain single anyway for the sake of the gospel and not being encumbered by family life (1 Cor. 7). That makes no sense if the greatest thing is to obtain exaltation, which has as a prerequisite, being sealed for time and all eternity in a marriage ceremony.
That led to a brief discussion about how I don't need Smith or Mormonism, since I already received exaltation or eternal life as a 4-year-old when I simply trusted in Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.
W asked again why I think they continue to believe Smith. That's when I went into how they've been drilled into their heads since kids that the Bible has all these problems or "plain and precious truths" that were removed from it (1 Nephi 13). Then I demonstrated how that's a lie given the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the consistency of God's word throughout the centuries and even today. We talked some more about their testimony and how we shouldn't put all our eggs in the emotional basket for gaining knowledge. I also talked about 2 Thes. 2:11. With that, we talked about how God has given us a "more sure word of prophecy" (2 Pet. 1:19) that we use to test the prophets. Deut. 13: Does the prophet teach false gods even if the individual gives a sign? Deut. 18: Does the prophet give false prophecies? Matt. 7: Does the prophet give bad fruit? So given all this, these LDS missionaries have to honestly ask whether they did in fact get a testimony from God, and if so, was that testimony a strong delusion to believe a lie given their rebellion against the clear revelation of God.
From there we talked about Mormonism's racism problem, which is indicative of it not being of God. P tried to use a moral equivalence argument with most Christian churches at the time Mormonism came about, but I had to remind him that no other Christian church was claiming to have prophets speaking for God in endorsing racism, particularly in the Scripture, and the Bible isn't racist like the BM and PGP clearly are.
Much, much more was said, but surprisingly, they wanted to meet again some time soon! The other week, they texted me an Elder Holland talk on the BM being the "Safety for the Soul." So I sent them a video lecture I have on "10 Reasons Christians Do Not Believe the Book of Mormon." So please continue to pray for God's leading in all this. Really enjoyed these guys, so pray that God will continue to use me. Thanks! We’re trying to start meeting at Del Taco for Taco Tuesdays.
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I just want to tell you that you are one of my hero's. I love your boldness and love for God.
me too! Thanks Rob Sivulka!
Dude you have a far thicker skin than I do. I love in your posts how you seem to have a hyde of a rhinoceros, but the heart of a mom when talking to people. I mean, I get tweaked out with even some of these ridiculous comments people hurl at you
How are you and the family? Are you still in Salt Lake? I have a friend who’s Mom is Mormon but also open to new perspectives. She seems to be hung up on the Mormons belief on the baptism of the dead in 1 Cor 15:29. I thought of you. I checked your website and I could have missed it. Do you have any info on the baptism of the dead and
1 Corinthians 15:29? Any insight would be awesome. Love to see you if you are in Boise and
Would love to see you next time I’m in SLC if you guys are there. Have a great day
[I replied:] We're doing well and still in SLC area. Hope you guys are too. Scroll down the topics on my MormonInfo.org home page chart of differences and you'll find the topic of baptism for the dead. Would love to see you again.