Before I went to the mission field, and before my dental plan expired, I paid a visit to the dentist. During our conversation, with sharp metal tools sticking out of my mouth, I managed to tell him that I was soon going to be a missionary. His face lit up suddenly and he asked: “Oh! Are you Mormon?” I quickly replied: “No. I’m Christian.” He said that he’d known a lot of Mormons in dental school. I did not like being mistaken for a Mormon.
When I was a teenager, and not a very bright one, some Mormon missionaries visited our house. I told them our family was Christian. The missionary, who was probably in his early twenties, asked me if I thought that the public confessions of faith being made by young people in my church were genuine or not. I grew up in a Christian Reformed church where we baptized babies and adults would publicly declare before the church their intentions to live as true Christians. A lot of these public confessions were made by 19 year-olds who had completed their catechism classes and were now required by their parents to make the public confession. I told the Mormon missionary that I did not think that many of these confessions were genuine. He smiled. I remember being intrigued that he already knew what I was going to say. I gave him my name and phone number.
Soon the phone calls began but it was never me who answered the phone. My mom grew concerned with all the phone calls she was getting from the Mormons asking to speak to her dimwitted son. She honestly thought I was considering becoming a Mormon. I remember saying to her something along the lines of: “Don’t worry mom, I don’t even like going to church on Sunday.” Which was true. All I cared about those days was drinking beer, smoking pot, and playing video games. Interestingly enough, when it came to be my time to make my public confession of faith I was reminded of my Mormon visitor and I refused to do it–I knew it would just be a lie. I did not want to be a Christian.
Not too long ago I was at a church conference in Canada and the pastor who was speaking referred to Mormonism as “Moronism”. He said this because he thought that you would have to be stupid or crazy to believe what they believe. I thought: “Okay, but are not us Christians crazy to believe what we believe too? Virgin birth, visions of the future, God becoming a man to die for our sins–that’s all pretty crazy when you look at it from purely logical point of view.”
So what do Mormons believe? The president of the USA may soon be a Mormon so the topic of Mormonism has been in the news a lot lately. I read one funny comment on Twitter: “The next US president will either be a man who thinks he’s becoming a god or a man who thinks he already is one”.
Below is a good article on Mormonism…
Mormonism 101 by Kevin DeYoung
Joseph Smith was born in rural Vermont in 1805, the fourth of nine children. With little success farming in Vermont, the Smith family moved west to Palmyra, New York. There Joseph Smith was exposed to different revival movements, and most of his family became Presbyterians, though Smith later said he leaned toward Methodism.
The presence of so many variations of Christianity bothered Smith. Which one was right? How could he choose? At one revival meeting, a preacher quoted from James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (KJV). Smith, 14 years old at the time, went home, reflected on these words, and went into the woods to pray.