Religious Intervention


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My grandfather was a phenomenal storyteller, which is a kind way of saying that he told a lot of whoppers. The bigger the better. Like the time he killed an entire German platoon with biscuits hastily prepared in his army helmet (he was an army cook in WW2 … we think). But nobody took him too seriously, and that made for highly entertaining Thanksgivings. What should happen when a falsehood really matters? To wit, the opening sentences of the gospel topic essay entitled, Are Mormons Christian? say the following:

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally affirm themselves to be Christians. They worship God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ.1

This statement misrepresents both Mormonism and Christianity. Let’s examine each and then close with a final question.

Mormonism: It Honors a Jesus of its own Creation.

The anonymous writers pass off their Jesus as the biblical version without a whisper of the staggering differences. The LDS Jesus is the first heavenly offspring of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother,2 brother of Lucifer,3 and the earthy progeny of sexual relations between Heavenly Father and Mary.4 Their Jesus was unable to preserve his Word as promised (1 Nephi 13:28; Matthew 24:35), incapable of protecting His Church as proclaimed (Joseph Smith – History 1:17-19; Matthew 16:18), and unwilling to save all who call upon Him by faith as taught (2 Nephi 25:23; John 3:17-18).5 The LDS Jesus is so far removed from the biblical reality that, frankly, it would be safer for Mormons to drop His name entirely lest they incur an even greater condemnation (Luke 10:10-17).

Christianity: It is Born of Grace.

Worshiping God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ does not put anybody in good standing with God.6 Judas Iscariot fell to his knees and worshiped the Lord (Matthew 14:33) but was a devil inside (John 6:70). The Jews cried Hosannas at Jesus’s triumphal entry (John 12:13) but shouted for His crucifixion a few days later (Matthew 27:31). Jesus warns that He will personally condemn many who worship Him in this life (Matthew 7:23). Indeed, at the end of the age, all will worship Jesus but not unto salvation (Psalm 138:4; Philippians 2:10). If not worship, what makes people right with God? Grace. And grace alone. God graces the sinner with the death and resurrection of His Son (Romans 3:24-25), with the faith to believe on Christ-crucified (John 6:65; Ephesians 2:8-9), and with the power to cling to Christ throughout his or her life (1 Corinthians 1:4-8). “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” says the heavenly “multitude that none could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9). God sets people right with Himself through grace (Titus 2:11-13).

What’s the Born-Again Christian to Do?

Everything discussed so far falls under the banner of knowledge, which can “puff up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1). “Love,” however, “builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:2). So, what would love say to an LDS friend parroting that Gospel topic essay? First, love would try to intervene. Many years ago, I was about to entrust myself to a fraud. Fortunately, a friend knew the person and warned me of the trouble to come. Note, love compelled my friend’s intervention. I didn’t accept his concerns immediately, but soon saw for myself what he knew to be true. Praise God, I was spared. Not every story has a happy ending. We intervene not because it works every time, but because it’s the biblical thing to do (Ephesians 4:25). If you’re wondering what intervention looks like, see one of our other posts on how to ask thought-provoking questions. Second, love would look for tangible ways to bless. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul’s great chapter on love, all the descriptions are verbs. It’s difficult to bring over into English, but “patient and kind,” for example, are verbs. Paul is telling us that love is more than a passive emotion but is alive with constant action. As you endeavor to intervene, find a way to love your LDS actively.


  1. Christians, Gospel Topic Essays

  2. Firstborn Article

  3. See Gospel Principles, 1997, pg. 17.

  4. Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, pg. 50.

  5. The Gospel of John thoroughly chronicles Jesus’s promise of salvation upon faith: 1:12; 3:16-24; 3:36; 5:24; 6:28-47; 8:24; 20:31 (just to name a few).

  6. Worship Study Guide