Discussion with two Mormons about truth, the gospel, and feelings

by Matt Slick

Mormon Missionaries On 2/21/2018, I had a discussion with two Mormons, a husband and wife. I was hoping it would be a public discussion, but it ended up just being us three. It went as I expected. They rejected Scripture and clearly sought to justify Mormonism. So, I asked them how they knew Mormonism was true. They said it was true because they knew it was true. I asked how they knew Joseph Smith was a true prophet and well, of course, they just knew he was true. But he added that they knew he was a true prophet because when they would read Doctrine and Covenants, it would bear witness of the truth of Joseph Smith being from God. I responded by telling them that if he was false and he wrote the Doctrine and Covenants, then that's not going to help them. It didn't matter.

I quoted 1 Tim. 6:16, "who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." We talked about it briefly and how the text said that it was God the Father who could not be seen. He immediately modified the verse by adding, "Unless you're aided by the Holy Spirit."

Now, what is interesting is that by modifying the verse, he was admitting that the text disagreed with his theology. Otherwise, he would not have had to alter it. I pointed this out. I told him that he understood what the text said, that it disagreed with what he believed, and that is why he had to change it. In other words, by doing that he was refuting himself. His response was to tell me that the Bible contradicts itself. In other words, he further admitted that 1 Tim. 6:16 did not support his view by saying it contradicted other scriptures. We talked about that, but it was obvious that he blew it on this one.

We got talking about how his god from for another world. He said that that was not official Mormon teaching. I cut to the chase and asked, "But, do you believe it?" He said he didn't know what to believe. In other words, he wouldn't deny it or affirm it. This tells me that he's quite aware of the doctrine of exaltation, of becoming gods, and that his god came for the world, but he didn't want to really admit it.

We discussed the issue of Jehovah being Elohim. In Mormonism, Jehovah is Jesus and Elohim is God the Father. I quoted 1 Kings 8:60 where it says in the Hebrew that Jehovah is Elohim, "The LORD is God." I explain to them that the word LORD was the word Jehovah (YHWH) and that the word God was "Elohim." That caused them both a bit of a pause.

Works Righteousness

Of course, I like to discuss with Mormons how their sins are forgiven.  As anyone lost in a cult, they quickly and confidently responded with faith and works are necessary for salvation.  We discussed three verses from their Scriptures.

  • “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,” (2 Nephi 25:23).
  • “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God” (Moroni 10:32).
  • “The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of those who turn from their evil doings and return no more, because the Lord has said in a revelation to us in our day: ‘Go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth [meaning again] shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God’ (D&C 82:7)

We didn't really discuss 2 Nephi 25:23 very much. But Moroni 10:32 was interesting. They told me that they did deny themselves of all ungodliness. I asked them if they still sinned and they said yes. So I said that they did not deny themselves of all ungodliness if they were still sinning. To that they said that they do deny themselves of all ungodliness, yet sometimes they sin and then they repent.

Uh, and how you deny yourself of all ungodliness if you still sin?

When I talked about Jehovah's Witnesses and Roman Catholics also keeping commandments in order to be saved, they responded by saying that they believed that Jehovah's Witnesses and Catholics will go to heaven because they believe in Christ.


Anyway, I took them to D&C 82:7.  They had more difficulty with that because, of course, it says if you if they sin again, their former sins return. It gave them pause and they weren't sure exactly what to do with it. They stumbled around it for a while until we moved on.  Hopefully God will use it to get them to think.

The True Gospel

During the entire discussion, I repeatedly told them that they were serving a false god, a false Christ, and had a false gospel. I wanted to drill it into their heads. I wanted them to go to bed at night and hear me repeatedly saying that they served a false God and were on their way to hell. When I told them this, it was not with a mean, condemning tone. I was pleading with them, warning them. They even commented that they understood that I was trying to do that I cared about them. Praise God. At one point I asked them what the true gospel was. He responded by saying that the true gospel was the doing the will of the Father, becoming like god, having faith in Christ, repenting of their sins, getting baptized, and enduring to the end. I asked him again what it was and he repeated the same thing. They asked me what the gospel was. I read them this.

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Cor. 15:1–4).  

I've done this many times with Mormons. I ask them what the gospel is and they almost always, quickly respond with something about faith and works. So, after verifying what he said the gospel was, and him confirming it again, I told him that he got the gospel wrong. They both jumped in and said that they got the gospel right and I said, no you didn't. You said it has to do with doing the will the father, repenting of your sins, getting baptized, and enduring, etc. I made it clear to them that they did not get the saving gospel right. And I told them why they got it wrong and this is why...

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” (2 Cor. 4:3–4).  

Well, let's just say that but also gave them pause. But of course, they still defended Mormonism. It sure is difficult getting through to people who are so brainwashed and lost.

Praying to Jesus

We spent some time on the issue praying to Christ. I brought this up because I desire that they pray to Jesus and ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins. Mormons don't pray to Jesus. So I quoted Matthew 28:18 where it says that Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. We talked about 1 Corinthians 1:2 where Jesus is prayed to, where Paul instructs "everyone everywhere who calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus." I explained how this phrase, "call upon the name of the Lord," was prayer as was signified by the Old Testament usage as is found in such verses as Psalm 116:4 and Zechariah 13:9.

My goal was to get them to pray to Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Of course, they would not do it. They said they did not pray to Jesus. They said they could, but when I asked him to go ahead and do that, they refused. I repeatedly talked about Jesus, the true Jesus of the Bible, being prayed to. But they still refused to pray to Christ. All I can do is hope that the Holy Spirit impresses upon them the truth of coming to Christ and asking him to forgive them of all their sins. So, when I asked him this question, "If you were to pray to Jesus and asked him to forgive you of all of your sins, what all of your sins be forgiven?" They refuse to answer. I pressed this issue over and over and over again. I wanted to be in their brains so that when they went to bed, they would hear it and maybe reach out to Jesus; hopefully, the real one.

Feelings and the truth

Perhaps the most disturbing thing that was said was offered by the husband to which the wife silently agreed. They talked about how Mormonism made them feel good. It made them happy. How could it be wrong if they were happy? I responded that the devil could appear as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). His deception is great. I told them that they could not trust their hearts because our hearts were desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). But of course, they refused the truth of God's word and continued to promote the idea that they Mormonism made them happy and that is how they knew it was true. So, I emphasized thoroughly that just because someone feels good, that doesn't make what they believe in right. Drugs and alcohol make people feel good, but it doesn't mean they are good. I told them that their false god was making them feel good in order to deceive them. At this point, the husband said the following statement to which the wife offered no protest.

 "If I have to choose between a false god that makes me happy, or the true God, I will choose the false god."

Yes, he said that. His wife stood silently stood by in agreement. It was stunningly bad. So, I immediately typed out what he said and then read it back to him, and he reaffirmed it. He repeated it and said that he believed it.

At this point, what you do? It is so obvious that the deception upon them is complete and all we can do is pray that God in his great mercy frees them from the bondage and the lies of Satan in which they are damned. 





About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.