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July 17, 2020 7:22 pm
I'm prepared to engage Mormon missionaries in the knock on your door. Perhaps the book is in 101 will help Mormonism 101. Published by Baker at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint is examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. Our thanks Adams wrote for that musical introduction welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.
My colleague at MRM today we wrap up our series looking at an article that was in the June 2020 edition of inside magazine article titled answers to seven questions from young married adults. It begins on page 76 of this particular addition and it's an article by Dallen H.
Oaks, a member of the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have been focusing on all the questions we been looking only at question number five why because we find this to be a question that I'm sure many Latter Day Saints are asking the question reads my spouse has gone inactive due to doubts regarding church history and doctrinal issues. How should I go about researching and responding to these issues. Excellent question, and as I said, I'm sure there's probably a lot of Latter Day Saints that are going through this kind of a struggle, especially with all the information that is out there right now regarding church history and doctrinal issues. But what intrigues this is the first sentence of Dallen Oaks answer, he said, I suggest that research is not the answer. And that's what we've been focusing on during this week because in the second sentence he tends to guide the questioner to where they should be looking for those answers when he writes references to the church as many helps to answer familiar questions such as the gospel topics firstname.lastname@example.org may help one who is sincerely seeking and we don't have a problem with that answer. Unless of course Dallen Oaks is hinting that he only wants those who have questions to look at sources provided by the church during this week, we show that there is a mixed opinion regarding that some agree that you should only go to church sources as it seems Dallen Oaks is hinting here, while others even including Russell M. Nelson, the 17th president of the church.
They seem to open the door for research in the areas outside of that which is produced by the LDS church. One thing for sure.
There have been a lot of leaders and even church manuals that tend to tell members that they should not be looking at writings or material that are put out by those who were sincerely critical and spent a lot of time criticizing the church. There's one quote in particular that we want to look at regarding that very topic. This comes out of the book of Mormon student manual 121 through 122 that was produced in 2009.
This is found on page 216. This is a common tactic used by those who are trying to destroy Faith is called a strawman argument. This is done by setting up a false image a strawman of the truth, and then attacking the false image in order to convince others the true images falls.
A simple example of this is a child accusing parents who won't let him play until he gets his work done of not wanting him to have any fun.
This is faulty reasoning, but it is often used to deceive others. Sometimes others claim that Latter Day Saints believe something that we don't believe they claim that the false belief is false, and then show that it is false. It has nothing to do with what we really believe but is an attempt to make us seem to be an air we would agree that using a strawman argument is a bad way to reason. That's why it's called a logical fallacy, but is that really what's being done here. We try very hard, as I'm sure a lot of Christians try very hard to be as accurate as possible in the arguments that they present and we know that raising a logical fallacy like the strawman that was just described is not going to be successful. So why would we want to do that hopefully understanding what a logical fallacy is would help us to avoid doing just that. As this accusation is making this as a teachable moment Bill is as an educator for many years. We called it a teachable moment when something comes up and I want to say we do not want to make a strawman argument.
And I think the way that we can avoid that.
And when were sharing our faith with Latter Day Saints whether there are friends, family members, neighbors is never tell the latter-day St. what he or she believes instead asked the question what is it you believe about blank. Let them tell you now, they may tell you things that are opposite of what the leaders have taught and if you listen to our show for any amount of time you know that we take with the leaders, say from Salt Lake City to be much more important than anything an individual Mormon might have to say. When we allow them to tell us what they believe and then we say will that's wonderful. However, that's not what your leaders say they're going to have to go against their leaders to believe something that is in opposition to that I think often times two. A lot of Christians do not understand that our language is different and so when were using these words like God and Jesus and salvation by faith we have to make sure were defining those terms. I think when were doing that accurately and fairly were not going to be accused of having a strawman argument. Yet, I think the statement that you just read was more meant to demonize those who might challenge the latter-day St., of course, that's certainly not a good way of going about it that would fall under the ad hominem category, but I think you're absolutely right asking the individual what they personally believe is probably one of the least ways of offending someone, as well as getting to the truth that that individual might hold to and as you mentioned the truth that they might hold to and I've got truth in quotation marks there because of it's not in accordance with reality. It certainly is not truth and if what this individual. Latter Day Saints is they believe to be true, but yet it does not correspond with what the church wants them to believe, then I think that's a fair opportunity to challenge their conclusion.
It's not that were trying to be mean, it's not that were trying to deceive its were trying to understand where that individual is and naturally as you mentioned, Eric. The reason why we spent so much time, citing the leaders of the church is because the leaders of the church are the only ones who are supposed to have the authority to speak on behalf of of the church. There is no entity within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that is higher in authority than the first presidency. Certainly there was no one in the LDS church hiring authority than the prophet's ear and rebel later, the president of the church, so it only makes sense that if were trying to give an understanding of what Mormonism is all about that. We cite these people. That's who were going to go to were not going to cite the personal opinion of an 18-year-old missionary. He certainly does not speak for the church. In fact, he would be the first person to tell you he does not speak for the church. Even Mormon apologists if their owners they have to qualify what they say. By telling you that they do not speak for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In fact, just about every book written by a Mormon scholar or written by a Mormon apologist has a disclaimer at the front of their book, making it clear that you understand that they do not speak for the church really only the prophet speaks with the church without qualification as we wrap up this week series.
Take a look on page 79 Bill Anna read this and we need to deal with what Oakes is said in the rest of his statement as far as answering the question about the spouse who is gone and active again.
He says references to the church as many helps to answer familiar questions such as the gospel topic email@example.com may help one who is sincerely seeking but the best answer to any question that threatens faith is to work to increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ conversion to the Lord precedes conversion to the church and conversion to the Lord comes through prayer and study and service furthered by loving patients on the part of the spouse and other concerned family members. The difficulties that I have worked with these just sit here is that there's nowhere in the question that even hints that may be the individual who has questions about church history or doctrinal issues has some kind of struggle with their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, at this time and in the discussion. I'm not going to ask will tell me who your Lord Jesus Christ is that's for another discussion, but it seems like he's throwing something in the mix. That's really unnecessary. He says conversion to the Lord precedes conversion to the church is you've noticed that missionaries operate when I've had missionaries come and speak to me at my house. It's almost starts off immediately that they're trying to convert me to the church right they never really asked me if I have a proper understanding of the Lord faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I guess you could say they probably already assume that because I'm in a make it clear at the beginning of the conversation that I'm a Christian, but they don't even try to make sure that my belief in Christ is accurate. They immediately move into why I need to abandon what I believe and join the church and by continuing to witness to you after you just said that you are a Christian who has had a converse with the Lord that will make them turn around and say okay what's great and I'm in a leave now.
They actually will want you to be converted to the true church and that's why think what you just said undermines the sentence it says conversion to the Lord precedes conversion to the church. That's exactly what they want you to do is to be converted to the church. They're not going to get up and leave. As you said Aric. Just because you already have a conversion to the Lord. But when he says conversion to the Lord comes through prayer and study and service furthered by loving patients on the part of the spouse and other concerned family members is conversion to the Lord comes about. I thought conversion to the Lord came by faith in what Jesus did for you as an individual by his act on the cross at Calvary. His sacrifice made on our behalf and our faith in what he did is what converts us to the Lord, why would it come through prayer that wouldn't make sense because if prayer was necessary for who would you pray to what would you pray it seems that you have to have an object of faith first and then prayer would come afterwards but he seems to get it incorrect here how someone is converted to the Lord. Let me just address one last thing, Eric, and that is on the very next page at the end of this article is found on page 80. He ends question six not question five question six. With this question that I think probably should've been put at the end of question five. He said when you are asked a difficult question such as a puzzler about church history, or doctrine, be honest and positive until what you know. If necessary, say you don't know, but be sure to say what you do know, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and the reason why I have problems with that answer. It seems to acknowledge what I said earlier that answers like that seem to be anti-intellectual because he says, but be sure to say what you do know: I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God as if that is going to answer your questions regarding the problems in church history, and doctrinal issues.
I don't think that is going to help. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is