It was only a few days after I became a Christian that I had a knock at my door. I opened it to find two young men wearing white shirts and plain ties who wanted to talk with me about God. Eager to learn more, I invited them in. They sounded knowledgeable and confident. Their words sounded much like what I had heard in Sunday School and church services growing up. Their sincerity was infectious.
They gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon asking me to read it and pray asking God if it were true. They said I would know it was true by the Holy Spirit confirming it in my spirit. One of them described it as a warm feeling. I did read it. I did pray. I thought I “felt” something, but wasn’t really sure.
These missionaries came back a number of times. They were always so sure and certain. How could they be wrong? They started telling me that the Bible I had was changed over the years, so I couldn’t count on it. They told m that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price were also inspired and as important as the Bible. They taught me that the church became apostate (fell away from the truth) shortly after the age of the apostles and that in 1820 God the Father and Jesus the Son appeared to a 14 year-old boy named Joseph Smith who was chosen to restore the church. At this point, I knew that the truth I had learned as a child that led me to committing to Christ as a young adult was not consistent with what these men were telling me.
At this point, I began to dig and discover major differences between the doctrines found in the Bible and the doctrines taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I could not hold to the truths revealed in the Bible and embrace Mormon teachings. I had a decision to make. After much anguish and prayer, I chose to reject the teachings of Joseph Smith and stick to the truths of Scripture. I informed the two missionaries that I no longer wanted to meet with them, and I found a strong group of fellow Christians to help me grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Although I disagree with the core of their theology, I admire their tenacity and commitment. They endure rejection after rejection in the hopes of finding one person, one home that is open to hearing their message. They are dressed nicely. They are well schooled. They quote Scriptures from memory and offer literature with a smile.
You’ve had that knock at the door. Most of you just say “no, thank you” or perhaps you word it a bit more harshly and close the door. Some of you will attempt to engage Mormon missionaries or Jehovah’s Witness members in conversation in an attempt to “win them” over. A few of you will listen intently and perhaps be persuaded by them – I grieve even writing that sentence. But most assuredly the knock will come, and you, like I did, will have to decide where you stand.
God’s Word teaches us to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Are we? The best way to identify a counterfeit is to be intimately familiar with the original. Just because someone is talking about God or Jesus or the Bible or heaven does not mean they believe the same things we do. I am not being harsh or condemning, just honest.
Jesus warned, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). False prophets are here. They will look nice and sound good, but the truth will be fatally mixed with error. Are you ready? Be ready!
If you’d like to know a little more about how Mormon and Jehovah Witness teachings differ from biblical Christianity, here are a couple of sites that might help: