Ok so here is the deal, I have been in conversations with a pair of Mormon Missionaries, and it has turned from them doing lessons about Mormonism to me doing lessons about Catholicism (I know i spelt that wrong, ill confess it on Saturday ) when we last left Elder Layne (the head elder–the other one is new) said, “I’d like to talk more about the Catholic Church, like the Council of Nicea” i meet with him on monday, what do you think he wants to know and where should i go to study on the questions he might have?? please help! May God bless this awesome ministry!!
I’d start by going to www.newadvent.com. Under the tab titled “Fathers”, scroll down towards the bottom and you’ll see it also lists councils. There are two councils of Nicaea, Nicaea I (335) that established the Nicaean Creed, and the second Council of Nicaea (787), where the subject of images was discussed.
I’m not an expert on what zinger you might encounter, but I’d begin preparing by printing out (perhaps with copies for each of them) and reading the two articles, as well as reading for yourself whatever Catholic Answers has on Mormonism and Apologetic answers for talking to them.
Then, when you meet with them, you need to lay the ground work by stating that you are NOT an expert in this subject matter, that you will gladly provide for them what resources you can find, and will attempt to answer their questions to the best of your ability, but you may need to get back to them on things where you aren’t an expert. Then, remember above all things humility if you hope to be successful with whatever they throw your way. If you try to come off to certain that you personally can handle it all, you’re likely to paint yourself into a corner and feel like a fool, even when there is an excellent Catholic answer.
Good luck with it, and God Bless,
Hello AdamBomb (Clever screen name );
I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re going to try to point to the first Council of Nicea as the point at which the “Great Apostacy” occurred. LDS members believe that shortly after the death of the last Apostle the Church apostacized and there was no true Church on earth until Joseph Smith’s restoration in the 1800s. Of course this belief contradict’s Jesus’ express statement to Peter that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. According to Mormon doctrine, Satan prevailed for about 1700 years - until the “Restoration.”
Some LDS members (not the scholarly ones IMHO) hold to the belief that the “Great Apostacy” occurred at the time of Nicea I, when Emperor Constantine allegedly “infused pagan beliefs” into the “true Christian religion” so he could use Christianity as a political tool for empire building.
If it is the missionaries’ tactic to raise the “Great Apostacy” argument - your Elder friends will likely start comparing “Babylonian Mystery Religions” to Catholic practices. Of course, these Catholic practices - Eucharist, Reconciliation, Prayers to Mary and the Saints, etc. pre-dated Nicea I by at least a century or so, as the writings of the Early Church Fathers will prove.
I think there are some good CA tracts addressing the whole Constantine/Paganism/Babylonian Mystery Religion argument at the CA website. Note that these arguments are about as scholarly as a Jack Chick cartoon tract. In short, there is no historical evidence that Constantine played any real role in the Council.
Best of luck in your further discussions. And remember to be charitable in your remarks to our LDS brothers and sisters. They only want to know and love Christ.
Peace and Charity,
Take the advice of some long-time apologists.
Always ask the Morman to tell you what he thinks the Catholic Church has said. You sorta’ act a little bit slow. The idea is that the Morman will usually not know the correct Catholic teaching, but YOU get him to tell you what was said at Nicea. PUT the onus on him. Later you can counter. If this was boxing, you make him throw the first punch - then you counter. But never guess when you say something. Admit if you dont know.
DO NOT let him start by asking questions. You make him say what he thinks the Catholic Church said.
Ask for “specifics” and references. Don’t waste time persuing generalities.
Use the link from CARose to track down the facts you need.
Get back to this site for unanswered questions and some very smart people will help you out.
Ask your missionary friends why this “great apostasy” was never recorded by any contemporary scholar at the time. There is no difficulty in finding historical references to any and every kind of dirt that the enemies if the Church have written for the last 2000 years.
No mention of the “great apostasy” can be found in any historical literature, however.
Peace in Christ…Salmon
I have a feeling you’re in for a discussion concerning the nature of the Trinity.
This could be very difficult because they will use terms that sound similar to catholic terms - but they use them to convey much different meanings.
I suggest you find a mormon or former mormon on this board somewhere and pick their brains about the mormon concept of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Just want to tell you good luck and don’t forget to pray and ask the Lord for help! Remember the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola:
[left]“Work as if everything depends on you. Pray as if everything depends on God.”
-St. Ignatius of Loyola [/left]
Peace be with you and God Bless!
Thanks for your help, I studdied up as much as i could on the 2 council’s of nicea, and then the day of our meeting i called my elder friend and found out the the one who wanted to know was leaving THAT day (I guess they dont get much more than a day’s notice of when they will be re-stationed) so we did not even broach the subject, we did not talk about much that meeting because i spent most of the time talking to the new guy about what i belive and all that getting-to-know-you stuff. The apostasy is one large subject that we have discussed, I tell them that Jesus said nothing like that could happen, and they have no answer, its frustrating sometimes they always say that after other prophets came came, the church went into an apostasy, but i have a hard time beliving that Jesus is just the same as any other prophet, thats a big problem i have with their teachings,. We haven’t got on to the Divinity of Jesus I am doing more studdying on that before i bring it up thanks for all your help, keep me in your prayers, its getting really neat i have never really discused in much depth with Mormon Missionaries but i find that they are not used to talking to people who know the bible and really dont know much more than what they are taught to say in there “missionary class” (i dont know where they learn it but talking to the old missionary and the new guy, i see that the new guy is saying exactly the same thing the first guy said, in the same way, they even drew the same pictures! ) and also, Robert in SD, my screen name came from my nickname in high school, when everyone started saying that things are “Da bomb” (i dont know why thats a good thing, but whatever) some one said, “adam, your the bomb…yeah, your the ADAMBOMB” my friends thought that was the funniest thing (yes i know, my buddies in high school were…odd to say the least) and it just kinda stuck, i dont use it cuz im some kinda weird war lover :D. well thank you all again and, once more, God bless this ministry! lets bring people back to Jesus in the Eucharist!
IF he want to talk about Nicea load up on the church fathers prior to Nicea and their understanding of the Trintiy.
Tertullian, Cyprian. and the other pre-nicean church fathers taught essentially the same trinitrain understanding that they concluded at NIcea ask them to show you a church father who contradicted the trinity. The Jw’s have some church father’s out of context but when you read the whole thing they are wanting. I don’t know if the Mormon’s pull off the same tactics.