I’ve had hundreds of conversations with Christians from various denominations. I love these conversations. Whether it’s a perfect stranger or a long time friend, I always leave the conversation wondering why this person isn’t LDS. Based on their core beliefs, it becomes evident that many Christians already believe what Mormons believe.
Let me explain.
When I was a missionary I’d sometimes stand on a person’s doorstep and ask them if I could share a message about how families can be together forever. They’d almost immediately reply “oh yeah…I already believe that.” The dialogue continues:
[ME] “Oh awesome…so you’re LDS?”
[PERSON] “Oh heck no…I’m Christian.”
[ME] “So where did you learn this? Does your church teach that you’ll be together with your family after this life?”
[PERSON] “No they don’t teach that…but I just feel like I’ll be with my family in the next life.”
[ME] “So if you don’t believe what your church teaches about such an important doctrine..then why do you go to that church?”
[PERSON] “Well…because I really like the pastor and my friends go there.”
[ME] “What if your pastor moves out of state?”
[PERSON] “Then I’ll find another pastor here locally.”
[ME] “What if I told you there was a local church that taught that families could be together forever?”
[PERSON] “I’m not being Mormon. I’ve got to go now. Have a nice day!”
Normally the door shuts at this point, and I’m left in a quandary. “Why”… we ask ourselves. “Why do so many people believe the doctrines of the LDS church and yet close the door on the possibility of joining the church?”
On the topic of the family unit in the next life, a believing Christian almost always “feels” or “believes in their heart” that they will still be with their husband, wife, and children in the next life. Why do they feel that way when they’re taught the opposite in church on Sunday? What is it that transcends the teachings of their pastor that causes them to “feel” that way.
Do you remember when Christ taught in John 14:26 that the Holy Ghost would “bring things back to your remembrance?” Well…the things that are being brought to your remembrance are the things you knew before you came to earth. You knew that you’d have the opportunity to live with your family in the next life which is why the concept seems so “built-in” to your conception of an after-life. That’s why you might “feel” like the family unit will endure forever instead of the oft quoted “til death do you part”.
I had a pastor friend of mine that was well versed in the scriptures and in the writings of the early Christian Fathers. I shared our version of the “the fall” from straight out of 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. He said it was the best explanation of the fall he had ever heard. He used it to teach his congregation about the fall…without disclosing the source from which he was teaching. We had some good laughs about that, but still…it left me in a quandary.
Why was it impossible for him to share the source of his teachings with a Christian congregation? Because “Mormons are nuts” in the minds of the masses and he’d lose all credibility. And yet the doctrine! The doctrine is so pure and “feels” so right.
A couple nights ago I was watching a Christian movie called “God’s Not Dead”. Despite all of the one star reviews you’d see if you “Googled” this movie, it’s one of my all time favorites. Maybe I’m weird. Either way…I found a verbal exchange in this show really intriguing.
Close to the end of the movie, atheistic reporter Amy Ryan learns that she has cancer and she bursts into a room where the Christian band “The Newsboys” are warming up.
She shakes their hands and introduces herself. The dialogue between Amy and lead vocalist Michael Tait caught my attention.
[AMY] “In a few minutes…you guys are gonna go out there and sing about God…and Jesus…as if they’re as real as you and me. How can you do that?”
[TAIT] “To us…they are as real. As a matter of fact…even more so. We exist in the here and now. They’ve existed forever…think about that.”
This is one of the most well known Christian bands on the planet and probably one of the most well known Christian movies on the market today. I keyed into how quickly they referred to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as “they“. This is a common occurrence for most Christians that I talk to. They slip into the language of Mormonism as if it was native to them.
Ask a Christian if they believe in the Trinity. Most of them will say yes. Then ask them if they believe that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate beings. Most of them will say yes again. The Trinity teaches that they’re only one being. So…why do so many people “believe in their heart” that the Father and Son are two beings despite what they’ve been taught about the Trinity?
It’s because their spirit knew God before they came to earth and they had a knowledge of these Biblical truths. (Jer 1:5, Job 38:7)
Their inner most spiritual feelings transcend earthly teachings. The Holy ghost brings it to their remembrance from long ago…and deep down…that is what they believe.
The same goes for many other core doctrines such as the importance of doing works or determining whether the heavens are opened or closed. We could look at almost any LDS doctrine and if it’s properly explained and placed into context, most people will nod their head and agree.
So why don’t more people give Mormonism a second look?
Stigma. Some people live their entire life subconsciously agreeing with LDS doctrine while consciously choosing to leave the LDS church alone.
I love Christians of every denomination. I love to go to their churches and learn about their beliefs. I love their sermons and their bands. This is not a knock on Christians at all. It’s an observation that has always made me wonder why more people don’t find their way into the LDS church when they already believe what Mormons believe.