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New Horizons

July, 2004: Mission Utah

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Contents

Mission Utah

"One thing you have to understand about our ministry here in Utah is that we love Mormons." That was how OP pastor Jason Wallace explained to me the unique, ongoing outreach effort of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City. "Many of the fundamentalist churches in the valley hate the Mormons. They will often go to Temple Square and publicly rail against them, even sometimes trespassing on their property and defacing things Mormons hold dear. But we see ourselves as being here to reach Mormons with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Reformed commitment to sovereign grace means that God can and often does bring these misled people out of darkness and into his marvelous light."

There is a lot of darkness in that beautiful land of high desert and snow-capped mountains. And people are blatantly misled about the gospel. Listening to the radio on my travels back and forth between Salt Lake City and Provo, I couldn't miss the perversion. "Family is the most important thing, the only thing, the thing that saves. Family relations—that's the gospel," said the radio announcer. The billboards along the interstate advertised missionary suits with two pairs of pants, and missionary e-mail to keep in touch while you are away from home. Read more

Reaching Mormons with the Gospel

Utah is a graveyard of evangelical gimmicks. Nearly every conceivable attempt has been made to reach Mormons with the gospel, but no large inroad has ever been made. Meanwhile, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has over 60,000 missionaries in 165 countries and grows by over 300,000 members each year. A recent Southern Baptist study estimates that they lose 282 members per week to the Mormons.

The most popular approach to reaching Mormons over the last thirty years has been to show them the blatant errors and contradictions that their "prophets" have uttered. For example, the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, claimed that American Indians were the lost tribes of Israel who had their skin turned dark as a curse for their rebellion. Yet modern archaeology and genetics refute those claims. Mormonism also has an extensive paper trail that shows its false prophecies and how its prophets have contradicted earlier prophets. As popular as this approach has been, it has borne little fruit. It shows that Mormonism is wrong, but it doesn't present much of the real gospel. If people leave the LDS church over these issues, it is generally for atheism or some other error. Read more

Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension

Pointing to Paradise

Richard R. Gerber

Read more

 
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