O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
I recently got everything lined up for my first house and will be moving in a few weeks. I have always had it on my heart to witness to Mormons and I will be submitting a request for a KJV bible at the LDS website (they then send "missionaries" to deliver the bible) in December. I have read that I will probably only have three visits over three weeks before they will determine that I am not worth spending time on but I want to address in our first visit the term "latter day". I want to really push them on whether Smith was correct in saying that we are in the "latter days".
Does anyone have familiarity with the KJV version of the bible and how to use it to talk about fulfillment of prophecy? I won't be getting into the greek probably because I have heard they are skeptical of anyone using greek. They only care about their eisegesis not the exegesis of the original language.
Fortunately these cult members don't believe in a pre-tribulational rapture but they have a translation (edit) by Joseph Smith of Matthew 24 that they have canonized. So I will be staying away from Matthew 24 but will still cover the same topic in the other gospels. I will also be asking them about salvation and grace but I want to stay away from what other people try to do and debate on atonement theory and other calvinistic theories.
So are there verses that are better in the KJV than other translations and has anyone else had experience talking with LDS?
I will add a link soon comparing the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 24 with the 4 gospels so you can see how his translation enshrines his version of dispensationalism.
You have obviously done your homework on Mormonism. Yes, I have been around Mormons, having lived in Salt Lake City for a while when I was younger.
It is likely you will be visited by young men with white shirts on bicycles. They are trained to address people who are only semi-literate in the bible. You will likely blow their minds, and they will ask you to pray that God will lay their "truth" on your heart. You will have to get that "burning in your bosom" so that you can deny what the bible really says, and then you will be a Mormon! ;)
In other words, Mormonism IS a cult, and cultists are devoted to their family above all else. You are not "family", you are unwashed and unsaved, so it will be easy to dismiss your arguments.
I would advise you to first ask them, before you waste too much time, which is more authoritative, the bible or the book of Mormon. Their answer to that will give you a real starting point from which to proceed. If they are honest, they will say the book of Mormon, or they will give a canned answer that there is no conflict between the two.
Mormonism is an almost airtight cult, because it is based on emotions cemented by familial ties. Humans are emotional creatures, and in order to address the mind, God has to open it up to be receptive to real truth.
My advice is to pray that God use you as a vessel, and that He sends people who are honestly searching for the truth and haven't drunk the Kool Aid completely. There are honest people even in Mormonism. I know because God called me out of a cult too. Not because of myself, but because of God. That why I advise you to pray about this diligently. Jesus will use you.
Never heard back from you. Do you have any news to share?
So I was all finished up by around March with my visits from the missionaries. I had two young men come and then then their six week rotation was up after two visits so I had two young women show up and I met about three times with them and then after they rotated out I met at least two times with two other young women missionaries. While I didn't push the fulfilled prophecy question very much I did notice that they hold to the view that John never died because Jesus didn't come back. I brought this up my second meeting and asked them where they believe John is? Was he walking around on Earth? If there are supposed to be twelve apostles living today then why don't they leave a seat open for him? Why are there thirteen apostles living today if you count John? They of course had no clue. The two sets of two young women missionaries I didn't pursue the eschatology issue much because frankly they didn't know much about what they believed in that issue and as I was learning more about Mormonism from podcasts of mormon research institute. I decided that my focus was going to be on the contradictions in Mormonism of the idea of Eternal life. I kept asking questions about whether they had eternal life and whether every mormon had it. They weren't consistent because they didn't know their mormonism so I printed out some conference messages from their leaders and read them what their leaders said. Eventually it came down to the fact that I read in 1 John that I know whether I have eternal life or not and they they truly couldn't know they did if they were Mormon. I quoted from their current president of the church to show so. One of the missionaries was a convert from Evangelicalism and so she thought she had eternal life but her partner did not because her partner had grown up as a Mormon. I told them that I couldn't believe in a book of Mormon if their president was teaching things that were clearly against the bible when it comes to Eternal life. I couldn't accept such teachings based upon a good feeling towards the book of Mormon and I am being told that there is no contradictions between the book of Mormon and the Bible. At the end it was really sad to know that people were so involved in believing the weirdest things but my goal was to put the most serious doubts about the mormon faith into their minds by asking questions. I also tried to still show that I believed the Bible was true because many ex-Mormons toss that out with the bathwater when they leave. I remember asking them why they don't pray in the name of Jesus and they said they prefer to pray to "Heavenly Father". I then asked them if they believe that Jesus exists then why don't they maintain a relationship with him by addressing him personally. I found this to be very telling, they are so close to having a true knowledge of Jesus but because they are prohibited from praying to him directly they really don't try to understand what he means to humanity. This division of the trinity is very sad. Anyway, I think it was worth my time in the end especially after all the hours I spent listening to podcasts and just talking to missionaries, we have some Mormon's in our neighborhood who we will have over again to our house just as friends because we have kids of similar ages. We went to their house and they came to ours and it was very pleasant.
When it comes to the missionaries, the very last visit the two young women started crying a little because I wouldn't budge when it comes to trusting the book of Mormon. I had also brought up the book of Abraham and told them how I couldn't believe it was a translation of an Egyptian text and so there was no way I was going to swallow the book of Mormon as truth when belief in that also requires belief in the book of Abraham as scripture. Then three months later two young women showed up at my door asking for the people who lived in my house previously and I talked with them about the fulfilled view of the end times for twenty minutes and they seemed impressed with my knowledge of the Bible but since they knew I had already decided not to believe the book of Mormon it didn't go much further than that.