Our whole purpose in this blog it to be as transparent and honest as possible. We want to share every step of our journey with you and eventually we pray that we are able to share stories of many coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. To be as open and honest as we desire to be means that sometimes it is going to humble us and it may occasionally offend someone who reads it. Please know that we are purposeful in what we say and have the goal only to win the approval and acceptance of an audience of One.
I’d like to use this blog update to answer some of the questions we’ve been getting. Hopefully these may be some of your questions too.
#1 – Are Mormons Christians? I’ve been told that they believe in Jesus. Doesn’t that mean that they are saved?
Sadly, the answer is empathically No. Mormons are not Christians. They are not just another denomination of Christianity. Yes, they do claim to believe in and worship Jesus, but it is not the Jesus of the Bible.
I would start by saying that many people believe Jesus existed. Historically, that can be proven. However, believing a man named Jesus lived does not equate to giving your life to Him and following His commands. Even Satan believes in Jesus but he certainly will not be in Heaven.
Mormonism uses many of the same terms as Christianity does but the meaning of these words are so very different.
The LDS church teaches that God was once a man that became a God. The Bible says something completely different. In Psalm 90:2 the Bible says “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” From everlasting to everlasting! He was ALWAYS God. Revelation 1:8 also sates “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” The God of the Bible and the God of Mormonism are not the same.
The LDS Church also teach that man may become a god and that there are many gods of many planets. The Bible clearly sates in Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” It also says in Isaiah 44:8 “Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Clearly, there are NO other gods according to the Scriptures.
Here are some other teachings of the LDS church that lead me to the conclusion that Mormons are not Christians: (None of these teachings line up with Biblical truth.)
Trinity – The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).
Jesus – “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers” (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 547).
Jesus is the literal spirit-brother of Lucifer; a creation (Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).
The Holy Spirit – Mormonism distinguishes between the Holy Spirit (God’s presence via an essence) and the Holy Ghost (the third god in the Mormon doctrine of the trinity). “He [the Holy Ghost] is a being endowed with the attributes and powers of Deity, and not a mere force, or essence,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 144).
Salvation – Salvation has a double meaning in Mormonism: universal resurrection and . . . “The first effect [of the atonement] is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 78-79).
“As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements — ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’” (Articles of Faith, p. 79).
The Bible – “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. . .” (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church).
To go into all of Mormonism doctrine and beliefs would take a LONG time. I just wanted to give a brief overview. If you have any questions on it, please fee free to ask us. We’d love to answer them. We also have several books and video links we could recommend. (This information and more is available at www.carm.org)
#2 – How are you guys doing? What do your days look like?
Barry has 2 part time jobs in addition to ministry work. He works every day (yes, EVERY day) from 6 am to 10 am for the Hampton Inn. Then, he also rides a pedicab in downtown Salt Lake. Some days he goes straight from one job to the next. Other days he has a split between the two that he uses to do work for the ministry. He is calling churches to recruit new mission teams, studying, leading training sessions, speaking to Mormons directly, meeting with people at the mission house that have other needs that we can help them with, helping the interns, etc. His days are always different and very busy. We are praying that the recruiting starts to take off and that his time will be able to be spent predominately on ministry.
My days start with homeschooling the Littles. That has been such a blessing to me. I love watching them learn new things. I also spend my morning doing housewife type things that I can do while schooling the kids. After we are done with school, I work on the paperwork side of the ministry. I am doing broadcast agreements and production orders for the radio portion of our ministry. I send emails following up with those who are contacting UPFC. I am also working on developing a SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for the ministry as well.
We have had the opportunity to work at an evangelical booth at the fair, work at an event to promote the radio station and attend a symposium taught by Bill McKeever & Eric Johnson (http://www.mrm.org/about).
#3 – Have you found a church home yet?
Honestly, it’s not home yet, but we have chosen a church and are attending regularly. It is called Washington Heights (http://washingtonheights.org/home/) and we like it there. The kids are involved in AWANA and they love it! We are attending a class on Wednesday evenings and we really like the teaching. Sundays are good and we are starting to get the flow of it. It’s weird to be in a church where we really don’t know anyone. I mean, the pastor has no clue who we are, but in time that will change. Regardless of the fish out of water feeling, Sundays and Wednesdays are two of the best parts of our week.
#4 – How is it being away from the Bigs?
It is HARD! It is so hard sometimes. I have some feelings of guilt about not being with them. I suppose that is a mom thing. I just have to remind myself that they are safe, they have lots of people in Florida who love them and that ultimately they are His. We are trying to get them to Utah for Christmas. That will be such a special time!
#5 – What can we do for you guys?
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! The devil is a real and formidable opponent. He is pushing back in several areas against us. Please pray for our health, our ministry, the teams coming to Utah and our wisdom.
Give – We are still in need financially. If you feel lead to give to support this ministry and our family you can do so online at www.upfc.org or you can mail a check to UPFC, PO Box 150571, Ogden, UT 84415.
Care Package – We (especially the Littles) love to get stuff in the mail. Puzzles, cards, little toys, gift cards, etc. We are thankful for all of it. (A friend recently sent me a bottle of 4 Rivers BBQ sauce and some adorable dish towels. It made my week!) Our address is 1674 North 450 East, North Ogden, UT 84414.
Go! – or should I say Come! We are eagerly seeking groups, churches, families that will join us in Utah to share the love of Jesus with this lost mission field inside our own country. If you or your group are interested, PLEASE let us know. We’d love to chat about the possibilities with you.
(For those of you that are part of our church family in Windermere, there is a team coming out 11/23 – 12/01. You can still join that team!)
We love you as always! Thank you for your encouragement and support. To God be the glory!!!!!