Friday, February 17

How to help someone out of the Mormon church

A question I've been asked lately is what is the best way to lead someone out of the Mormon Church? Is there a single piece of information? Is there a Bible scripture that proves it?

The answer, unfortunately, is that there is no definitive way to help lead someone out of the church. When a Mormon "knows" that the Church is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, all evidence to the contrary goes under the category of "Satan trying to lead God's chosen people out of the True and Everlasting Church." If you say something negative, or contrary to what they have been taught, you have officially become a tool of Satan in their eyes.

I wish there was an easy way to lead Mormons out of the church. My mother is still a True Believing Mormon (TMB for short). If I could present her with a simple piece of evidence, I would in a heartbeat. My father died recently, and they put a picture of Moroni on his tombstone. My mother's testimony isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

But I will say this. I do remember many things about the Catholic church that I loved even when I was Mormon. I loved the incense, and the beautiful cathedrals. I loved the Mass and the ritual aspects of it. Even the most gorgeous Mormon temples felt ... hollow. I've been to at least four temples, and sat in their Celestial room, and didn't feel the presence of God as much as I did sitting there in front of the Eucharist at adoration last night.

Here's an argument that most Mormons can understand:

Mormons and Catholics can agree that according to Jesus, there is only one church that can be considered the Bride of Christ, the true body of Christ's love on earth. The both believe that their church is that body. It comes down to authority. Either there was a Great Apostasy, or there wasn't. Either Christ's authority came down through Peter through all the popes, as the Catholics believe, or it was lost and restored through the Mormon church, like the Mormons believe. So the Catholic church claims that the authority never left, and that most of the Catholic teachings, including most importantly the Sacraments, are the exact same as they were when handed down from Christ to the apostles. Because the authority never left the earth, the teachings are the same. The authority is there.

I heard two phrases growing up Mormon that always stuck with me - (1) Catholics make great Mormons, and (2) if I wasn't Mormon, I'd be Catholic, because of apostolic succession. Considering how often I heard this growing up, it amazes me that more people didn't go running towards the Eucharist and the Catholic church than did.

So here's my piece of advice: Love them, and let them know that you believe strongly in the authority of the Catholic church and the legitimacy of the apostolic succession of the church, as well as the Tradition of the church which was handed down from Christ to the Apostles to the church.

If you do decide to learn more about the Mormon church, please check out the links on this blog. It is always best to learn from an ex-Mormon who has lived the life of a Mormon than to go with an evangelical person who has never been Mormon.

2 Comments:

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous John said...

Good advice Cynthia. There are no shortcuts. The "love them" advice is the only answer. I'm Catholic, and uninterested in being anything else. So when a JW comes to my door and offers a scripture passage suggesting my faith is wrong, I know instinctively that something is wrong with their argument. Mormons are no different. Mormons in general are faithfilled, well-dressed, successful, and have a stong family bond. Why would they be interesting in being anything else?

The only way that they can possibly find something else is if they want to look for it. Some come to that on their own. Others don't. So the best thing you can do is offer them a living example of Catholic virtue. And, the great thing about that is, we should all be doing that anyway! Do it for yourself, do it for the Mormons you know, and do it for everyone else in your life.

I know the arguments against the Mormon faith. I studied them up and down for a couple of years. But it's a trap. You have the tendency to loose respect for the faith and go on the naive assumption that a rational argument will lead any Mormon right out the door. It won't work like that very often. A rational argument doesn't give Mormons a reason to look for the truth.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20) Paul's advice is the best, he being the Church's greatest missionary. And while leading a life of faith, hope and love, by God's grace, pray always. If this is what you do, even a rock-centered Mormon will notice.

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up with you? There IS a reason why people go knocking on doors and spreading the word of God. (mormon missionaries in general) because they're just a little exited about SPREADING THE WORD. WHOOO! Good for them! And the reason why there isn't just 'one religion' is because there is alot of people out there, and it's good to have different beliefs to practice our 'people skills'. *_*

 

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