Doug and I had another great trip this year to Manti Utah for the Mormon Miracle Pageant. With the closing of the street in front of the temple (where the majority of witnessing takes place), we were not sure of this new change in direction but trusted God for the results. As the saying goes, God is good all the time, and showed us that He is in control of all things, even the streets of Manti.
Since we could not hang out at the Pageant gates, we picked a street crossing where the LDS would cross Main Street and enter the temple grounds. The great thing about this spot was that there where people handing out pageant programs and crossing guards to help the people cross the busy main street. These people were there from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, the same time that we were there witnessing so of course we got to witness to many of them. They also got to listen when we were witnessing to pageant attendees.
I’m not big on holding signs although signs do bring on a lot of conversation so for a few nights I held a new sign that goes with my tract “Why don’t Mormons Believe the Book of Mormon.” On the back side it read, “Is the Book of Mormon God the same God of the LDS Church?” with some Book of Mormon verses that agree with the Bible’s definition of God.
One LDS man named Raul, questioned me on why I had a sign attacking the Book of Mormon instead of having a sign informing my beliefs. I explained to him that I was sharing my biblical beliefs by showing the LDS people that the Book of Mormon proclaims a biblical view of God not an LDS view of God.
I asked Raul if he would have stopped to talk to me if I had a sign with Bible verses proclaiming the only true God, and he said, probably not. After sometime of going back and forth about the implication of these Book of Mormon verses and the statement of Joseph Smith saying that the Book of Mormon was the most correct book on earth and man could get closer to God through its precepts, I explained to Raul if he was worshiping the wrong God then he could not gain salvation.
I told him that in John 17:3, Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” I explained that the god taught by the LDS church is a god that was once a sinful man like us that became a god among many other gods through which you can become a god yourself through exaltation. I stated that the God of the Bible proclaims that teaching as blasphemy!! As the color drained from Raul’s face, he said thanks for the conversation and left.
A group of 7 teenagers approached me saying they do believe the Book of Mormon and why I would think they didn’t. I explained that when I read the Book of Mormon I noticed that these verses, pointing to my sign, teach biblical precepts of God but contradict the LDS church’s view of God. One teenager looked up Moroni 8:18 on his phone and asked me about this verse:
“For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”
I explained to him that this verse states that God doesn’t change nor has he ever changed, that God has been God for all eternity, meaning God was never once a man as Joseph Smith taught. Another teenager said that they believe that God was once a man as the Church teaches. I said, that is the whole point of my sign in that the Book of Mormon teaches a different God than what the LDS church teaches. They started to argue about what this verse meant, so I asked them if it was possible for them to change into a dog? They laughed and said that was impossible. I agreed and explained that this verse stated the same thing, in that, God did not change from a finite man into an infinity God, that God was not once a sinner like you and me and then became a sinless God. One of the teenagers spoke up saying that he was not a sinner. I asked him, so you don’t sin? He said that he wasn’t a sinner because he repented. I explained that the reason he needed to repent was due to him being a sinner. With that he expressed his anger with my comment and they all left.
An 8-9 year old boy named Trevor, who was dressed as a Nephite warrior in the Pageant, approached me about the meaning of my sign. I told him that the Book of Mormon taught a different God than what the LDS church taught. I explained that the Book of Mormon taught about a God that has always been God but that the LDS church teaches that God was once a man like us before he became God. Trevor asked me if he should pray to know if the LDS church is true. I told him that he didn’t need to pray to know if the LDS church is true because the Bible teaches that Jesus’ church is a body of believers not a religious organization like the LDS church, or the Baptist church or the Catholic church. I explained that when a person trusts in Jesus for their salvation then that person because a member of Jesus’ true church, that Jesus’ church is not about an organization but about a relationship that lasts through eternity. I explained that churches like the LDS church require you earn your way to gain eternal life but Jesus’ Church only requires you to put your faith and trust in Him and then Jesus gives you eternal life forever. Trevor thanked me and took some tracts before leaving.
The next night after talking to Doug and another Christian named Mark, he came over to talk to me but our conversation was cut short when his mom grabbed him and scolded him for talking to us anti-Mormons. I suppose his mom didn’t like my tracts:-)