I got on the Atlanta subway (MARTA) to head home as usual, but the very second I stepped in the door I knew it would not be like any other ride home. I immediately saw two young men around twenty years of age standing just a short distance inside talking to some fellow passengers. What caused them to stand out was not that they were wearing nice suits and were well groomed and well mannered, but that they were wearing badges on their lapel. One read “Elder [name withheld]—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (LDS, or Mormons). They were LDS missionaries on their traditional two-year mission away from home, and were in Atlanta going door to door or train to train to promote Mormonism.
As I got my place on the train, I saw one of them quietly sitting down holding the Book of Mormon. The other was talking to another man about Atlanta. My adrenaline raced. I prayed to God asking not whether I should talk to them, but how to talk, what He wanted me to say, and how to break into conversation in a gentle but bold way. While neither of them made eye contact with me, God gave me the path to take and the words to say. I approached one of them and asked, “Is that the Book of Mormon?” He looked up at me with a big smile and said, “Yes. Have you heard of it?” That’s all it took to start us off on a spiritual conversation for the next thirty minutes.
After inquiring, he told me that he was from Wyoming and that he was also a Sioux Indian. That helped to break more ice because I rent a place on an Indian reservation in NC from a Cherokee Indian who is currently in prison. He did not know of any of the Christian ministries that reach out to Native American Indians—such as CHIEF— but that helped to open more doors and to keep the conversation on spiritual grounds.
The Book of Mormon is not a toy! It is full of deception and false doctrine. It plagiarizes the Old Testament and replaces the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ with a false Jesus. (For more on Mormon teachings, see the SDM booklet on Mormonism at www.sdmin.com, or see the back of this newsletter on how to order it.)
I like to pose a question to Mormons that will cause a deeper spiritual investigation into what they believe. This was once revealed to me while discussing the Book of Mormon with a couple of LDS missionaries, and is based on a passage within it. I ask, “There’s something that has always been curious to me that I read once in the Book of Mormon, and I’d like your thoughts, if that is OK?” We then turn to Mormon 9:32-33, and I read it out loud:
“And now, behold we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record” (emphases mine). I then state, “This tells us that God is not
concerned when it comes to preserving His Divine Word, so He allowed it to be written on small plates, which forced them to write in altered reformed Egyptian, and it is admitting to be an imperfect record.” Now I present the question: “This is the translation that Joseph Smith has given you, admitting to be in error. Do you still want to put your faith in this spiritual philosophy for your eternal security and end up in errors as well?”
At this time both Mormons were staring at the passage and looked up with a puzzled look on their faces. I waited silently for their answer. Even people on the subway standing nearby awaited the Mormons’ answer! The Mormons looked at each other and one said, “Gee, we don’t have an answer for you. Maybe one of our friends can help give you an answer.” I then responded, “I think you need to find the answer for yourself. It is your eternity and your faith to which I refer. This question is for you, not for me. I know where I put my faith.”
The train made a stop and some people departed and we were able to sit down. Upon doing so two more Mormons sat down near us. One of them turned to me and said politely, “I hope you don’t feel we are ganging up on you.” “No, not at all,” I said, “I never feel out-numbered.”
Then I went on to another subject. I asked them how they reconcile Isaiah 45:5—“I am the Lord and there is no other; besides Me there is no God”—with a statement from one of their past leaders, Lorenzo Snow, who said, “As man now is, God once was: as God now is, man may be.” I saw more blank stares and puzzled looks.
By the time the train got to the last stop, there were at least 20 Mormons standing on the station platform. They asked me to do a few things, which I’ve heard from LDS missionaries before—read the Book of Mormon, read the book of James, and ask God for the truth. I told them that I have done all that and more, and God has given me the truth—THE Gospel and not “another gospel.” The conversation ended and I said I’d pray that God would give them the answers to these questions that they currently did not have. As we departed they mentioned that someone was picking them up at the station. When I got back to my car I remembered I had the booklet from SDM on Mormonism. I quickly raced through the parking deck and around the block to the other exit to meet them as they were pulling out. God caused another divine encounter. I put my name and phone number on the back and asked the driver to give it to the Sioux Indian. He smiled and said “OK,” and drove off.
Only God knows whose hands it really went in and how that train conversation will be used to lead them out from the grip of the spiritual deception in the LDS church. Pray for them. Pray for their salvation. Pray that our God and Savior Jesus Christ would reveal Himself to them.
*Don Carver is SDM’s Atlanta correspondent. He is active in reaching cultists with the Gospel of Christ, and in training Christians to do the same.