I was visited a few days ago by Elder Goodwin and Elder T. Elder Goodwin and Elder T. were representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (that is, the Mormons), and wanted to have an uplifting talk with me about Jesus.
“Great! Which Jesus shall we talk about?” I asked. (I figure it’s always a good idea to get them off-script as soon as possible.)
They weren’t quite sure what I meant by that, so I explained.
“My Muslim neighbor across the street talks about Jesus. However, the Jesus that he talks about was just a prophet, did not die on the cross, and was not resurrected from the dead. However, the Bible teaches that Jesus was God, Jesus did die on the cross, and Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Obviously, my Muslim neighbor is talking about a different Jesus. So, should we talk about the Muslim Jesus or the real Jesus?”
“Or maybe you’d prefer to talk about the Mormon Jesus. Do you believe that Jesus is God?”
“No, not God. But the ‘son of God’”.
“Well, what about the Bible? Do you believe the Bible, or just the Book of Mormon?”
“Oh, no, we believe the Bible, too.”
“Good, but you see, the Bible teaches that Jesus is God. For instance:”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1
“No, that’s talking about ‘logos’, not Jesus.”
“But the Bible doesn’t stop there:”
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. 2
“When you read the whole passage, it’s pretty clear that John is referring to Jesus, and to Jesus as God. And there are more examples in the New Testament as well. Jesus is God. Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was resurrected from the dead.”
“So, which Jesus are we going to talk about? The Muslim Jesus, the Mormon Jesus, or the real Jesus?”
We went on to discuss other things, and before they left, they gave me permission to pray for them. I simply thanked God for their zeal, and asked God to help them know the truth. If their Mormon faith was true, then I asked God to strengthen them. However, if they were in error, I asked God to reveal that, then to give them strength of character to respond to the truth.
If the Mormon missionaries stop to talk to you about Jesus, make sure you understand which Jesus they’re talking about: the Mormon Jesus or the real one!
1. John 1:1
2. John 1:14