LDS missionaries are coming over...advice on where to start

Hi all,

I almost fell into mormonism years ago and have done lots of research about them and The Catholic Church which led me home to the Catholic Church. That being said, I have had the JW’s over before, and have talked outside with the LDS boys before. Two new ones came by yesterday, we had a nice chat, no theology, although I told them I am a Catholic. I gave them two nice cold caffeine free sodas and told them to come back anytime. They asked me if I knew a lady whose home they like to hang out at. They said she is so nice. Anyway, I found out she is in the same Bible Study that I attend at our Parish.
I figured if I have them over, I should maybe start with the apostacy and bear my testimony to them. From what I understand, one of them has a lot of questions about Catholicism.
I was wondering if there were any former missionaries out there who are now Catholic, and if there are any specific points that stayed with them while on the mission field talking with Catholics.

Thank you so much. I feel like I need to have them over and chat with them. It is just very “coincidental” :wink: that they spoke with somebody else from our Bible Study…oh, and I found out that they were told not to go over there any more due to the questions and interest they had in the Church…and then they show up at my door step :rolleyes: I wonder who is behind this!!!

The first problem that Mormons have is explaining away Christ’s words that He would be with us “all of the days)” (as it says in the original Greek) until the end of the age, and that the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church. Neither fits with their story that the Lord abandoned the Church shortly after the Apostles died and had to be restored thousands of years latter by Joseph Smith. Did Christ take a vacation? And Mormonism splintered after (perhaps before) Smith’s death, so the “restoration” was less than perfect, yet they believe that now, over a hundred years later, Smith’s founding outlasted the Church Christ founded.

I was an LDS Missionary who became very interested in the Catholic church during my mission.

I think you are on the right track in talking about the apostasy, as that is the main point that stayed with me. Specifically, the question of “why.” Its pretty clear that in Mormon theology that God had the power to prevent an apostasy (D&C Declaration I), and I have seen plenty of arguments that try to establish as a fact that an apostasy did happen, but I have never seen any LDS argument that even addresses the question of why it supposedly happened. I spent a good portion of my mission assuming that the aspostasy had happened, but questioning what God was doing that whole time. Was he just standing around twiddling his thumbs and doing nothing watching his church fall into apostasy? (figuratively speaking of course). Was there some point in establishing the early Christian church and then letting it fall into apostasy? If God could have prevented an apostasy and just stood idly by letting it happen, wouldn’t God bear some of the blame for letting an apostasy happen (much like a lifeguard that does nothing and watches someone drown bears responsibliity for that death)? There were no answers to these questions, which begs the next question: what if there were no apostasy?

Good luck.

Next time they come to my house, I will ask them about Joseph Smith and the golden plates.

Not a former missionary, but I have “entertained” my share.

My advice (FWIW). I would start with a prayer and you lead. Talk naturally to them. Talk about their families, about them. Offer to answer questions about the Catholic Church (on the whole, the ones I have had come to my door, don’t seem to know what it’s about–although they think they do–they seem to think that we don’t know the Holy Spirit, aren’t family oriented, can’t explain our Faith very well–if asked, and more.)

Yes, you might hear “double-talk”, trying to explain away Jesus’ words, and even some “distraction” (not answering a direct question, but redirecting to another). You might even hear their testimonies. (Simply silently pray–the Holy Spirit will help you say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.)

And yes, IMO, their “Great Apostacy” is a “weak link”, but remember that the young men are someone elses’ sons and always treat them charitably–don’t forget 1 Peter 3:15-16, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence…”

God Bless!

Oh yes, I do and will. And I thank you all for the posts thus far. I think I will start with the apostacy. One of the scriptures I like to share is the parable Jesus told about the foolish man and the house built on sand.

I will check back for more posts later…and a special thank you for the former missionaries on sharing their personal experiences, as well.

When I was in the Airforce, I had a mormon missionary as a room mate, I started our discussion on the nature of God,

John 4:24
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Frankly, they are unprepared to deal with this topic. They are trained to quote a series of figurative texts to make God into a big man or exhaulted human being. You simply need to stop them on each proof text and have them read it aloud in context and discuss the text in context to show that the text is not teaching that God is a glorified human or a big man – also, explain the different methods of exegesis or hermuntics, taking a text in context, etc.,

They will also, quote phrases like “lords many and gods many”

again stop them, and read the text in context and explain its meaning in context,

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 (King James Version)

5For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

even employ other translations to show them its meaning,

For even if there are “gods” in heaven and on earth (as indeed there are many so-called “gods” and “lords”), NIV

Also, you can show verses like Isaiah 43:10 which clearly refutes their concept of exhaultation into godhood.

Isaiah 43:10 (King James Version)

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

In short, my room mate became a christian and left his mission for the mormon church.

Also, since you have a relationship with this other lady, you may want to consider having her join you in discussion with them, so she may be praying while you answer them.

Your primary goal is to get them out of their preplanned missionary discussions. Your goal is to draw them to Christ, and through Christ to the Church. At first, don’t waste time on distincitives. You can show from scripture that there are false christs aka “another Jesus”, false prophets, etc., If they can be shown to be off the mark concerning whom God himself really is, then you will have a foundation for everything else. Once, they see that their own teachers and prophets have no clue whom God is, they lose a basis for their doctrines.

Thank you. I love what you have provided. I do plan on touching base with the other parishioner. I guess the one boy was forbidden to go back to her house…so I think serious seeds are being planted, and now it is my turn to help as much as I can…I think I am going to offer Mass for them later, and maybe a rosary.

I’ll be back to check on the posts later

Not something I would have automatically thought of, but you are very right. I enjoy talking to the missionaries.

I live in the Desert…it’s 111 degrees…they are outside walking in pants and collar shirts…
evangelizing them and getting them something to drink are the very first things you think of here :wink:

how did it go?

You may want to check out their presentation. They have a teaching guide called Preach my Gospel it can be viewed on line here,4945,8057-1-4424-1,00.html.

I’ve skipped about in it, I had trouble reading it straight through due the condescension. If you read it you will have a better understanding not only of what they will present but also just what kind of idiot these 18 year old boys think you are (you don’t even understand prayer).

oooh I am going to take a look at that…

they haven’t been back yet…I am going to try to catch them tomorrow to see if I can get them back over here next week. I live right behing their ward…isn’t that something :wink:

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