Another LDS Spring Conference has come and gone leaving hundreds of sown seeds to pray for growth and maturity. Doug and I, along with a dozen or so other Christian missionaries spent the 2nd and 3rd of April witnessing to the thousands of LDS members who attend their annual Spring Conference at Temple Square in Salt Lake City Utah.
Saturday was a pleasant 70 degrees yet with the good weather, there still seemed to be fewer than average attendance by the LDS members and even less interest in taking tracts. I had to be a little bolder than normal to even pass tracts to the LDS walking by. Normally I can pass out 300 to 400 tracts during the weekend but was only able to hand out about 150 tracts this time. The morning was very slow but in the afternoon we had a number of good conversations. Doug even had a conversation with a physical therapist from our home town who came to attend the LDS conference. The next day, this same physical therapist came by again and talked with Doug, thanking Doug for their conversation from the day before.
I had a good long conversation with a young LDS man from Syracuse New York that wanted to know what brought me here and the difference between Mormonism and my faith. I began by telling him that I love the LDS and that I am very concerned about their eternity so that was why I was at the conference. I explained to him my concern about their teaching that God was once a man like him and I and how that teaching broke the 1st and 2nd commandments. We discussed the problems of how many Biblical precepts are found in the Book of Mormon that don’t agree with current Mormon doctrine. We also had a great conversation about Joseph Smith changing his teachings on the nature of God. This young man left saying that I had given him a lot to think about.
Toward the end of the day, I had a great conversation with an atheist who didn’t believe in right or wrong but only in negative and positive action. He didn’t like it much as we walking through the ten commandments showing him that his negative action was sin and would have to give an account for his sins when he stood before the God he didn’t believe in. Actually I came to the conclusion that he did believe in God, he just didn’t want to be held accountable for his sins. His questions about homosexuality and his response to Leviticus 18:22 that homosexuality is an abomination to God showed me it was easier for him to just claim he was atheist than to submit to God.
As we returned to our car, I went to pay our parking fee to the attendant. There was a man and 2 women at the attendant’s booth. As I was paying, I handed them all a gospel tract and told them it would tell them how to get to heaven. The man said that he believed in Jesus but believed when we die that that was the end of everything. I told the man that he didn’t believe in Jesus because Jesus had said in John 5:24 that anyone that believes in Him will go from death unto life. I told him that he only had a head knowledge about Jesus but had not yet put his trust in Jesus for his eternal life. I went on to share the “Good News” with all 3 of them and when I left, they were all thanking me for sharing Jesus with them. It was a great afternoon!!!
Sunday we woke to 4 to 5 inches of snow and still snowing. We always prepare for these weather extremes because as the saying goes around Salt Lake City, “It’s conference weekend so the weather will probably be bad.” And yes it was snowy and cool, which creates slow witnessing conditions. I did have one LDS gentleman come up to me and express his appreciation for conducting ourselves in a pleasant manner while pointing out differences in our faith.
The highlight of the day was speaking with our LDS friend who Doug and I have been witnessing to almost every conference for the past 3 years or so. We have had discussions on many LDS and Biblical topics but it always leads to discussions about Jesus. This year, we saw him walking toward us with a big grin on his face and saying that he was glad to see us here again. He asked if I had anything new for him, so I gave him my new business size tract “Why don’t Mormons believe the Book of Mormon?“ and “The Bible vs Joseph Smith” DVD which he gladly accepted.
He said he had been studying about Jesus being the only begotten Son of God, like in John 3:16, and we talked about the meaning of begotten. We discussed that in this verse Jesus was stating that He was the only one begotten by the Father which would mean that all mankind could not have been God the Father’s literal physical offspring as the LDS Church claims. He couldn’t answer that question but he explained that the LDS Church teaches that Jesus was the only son begotten with a physical body by the Father who Mormonism claims visited Mary and physically procreated Jesus, yet he understood the implications of this Mormon belief that would mean Mary could not have been a virgin at Jesus’ birth. This seemed to trouble him knowing that the Scriptures are very clear about the virgin birth of Jesus.
We also discussed John 1:1 and how it states that Jesus was with God and was also God Himself. I explained that this verse also stated that Jesus was there in the beginning of creation. Therefore this proved that Jesus would have had to be with God before creation began to be there “in the beginning” of creation. (This contradicts the Mormon teaching that Jesus was the first spirit child born by God the Father during creation).
Toward the end of our conversation, he mentioned that while he was eating breakfast that morning, a thought came to him that he might not see us again and then he became a little emotional. He said that we had taught him a lot and had helped his understanding about many things. We both told him that we loved him and wanted him to be in heaven for eternity with us; that is why we pray for him and look forward to seeing him. He gave us both a hug and left, leaving Doug and I a little emotional ourselves.
Please be in prayer for this guy and all those that were witnessed to and received tracts.
Don’t we serve an awesome God?!!!
In His Grace and Mercy,