Well-worded questions have dramatic power to move people forward to new or deeper knowledge.
Take, for example, the field of aviation. The Wright brothers asked, “How do birds really stay aloft?” Once that question was successfully answered, they conquered the sky within a couple years.
It should be no surprise, then, that questions are uniquely powerful in bringing Latter-day Saints to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The journey out of Mormonism always begins with a truth quest — a controlling desire to have the truth no matter the consequences. It often takes only one well-worded question to get Latter-day Saints on the hunt for truth.
Let’s explore three characteristics of great questions for Latter-day Saints: Sincere, Specific, and Answerable.
Born-again Christians most often stub their toes right here. They do so either by asking “gotcha” questions or by attempting to lay theological traps. Gotcha questions may as well begin, “How could you be so foolish to believe xyz?”
If you put yourself in the shoes of your LDS friend, you’ll see why gotcha questions tend only to offend.
Traps are just as destructive and usually begin with some form of the phrase, “Would you agree with me that … ?” Your friend has likely heard several of these well-laid traps. And, as a result, no, they won’t agree with you. Trust is forfeited and the conversation stalls.
Sincere questions can be direct when there is a genuine desire to listen to the answer. Here are some questions born-again Christians have sincerely asked with some success:
- Given the doctrine of eternal progression, how would classify your faith? Is it monotheistic? Polytheistic? How would you want me to understand it?
- Many of my LDS friends tell me that they’re Christians just like me. But they believe in the Great Apostasy and the Restoration. So, why would they want to be a Christian like me given that Christianity teaches neither of those doctrines?
- How do you understand grace?
Excellent questions for Latter-day Saints are generally specific to Mormonism. Born-again Christians can get intimidated at this point. I don’t know all the nuances of Mormon theology!
Start with a biblical idea of natural interest to you, and then relate it to a general concept within Mormonism.
Perhaps Solomon’s Temple is fascinating to you. Great! Learn all about it biblically then ask some sincere questions of your LDS friend about the differences between Solomon’s Temple and LDS Temples. The same could be said of the Aaronic Priesthood, Biblical archaeology, the life of Christ, the meaning of salvation, and many more.
Some questions are unworthy of pursuit — Paul calls them foolish and ignorant controversies (2 Timothy 2:23). The world mocks the man who flies off “on a wild goose chase.” Yet, God rewards those who genuinely inquire of Him (Genesis 25:22; Psalm 27:4).
Great questions are goads to pursue subjects where God has already spoken.
Furthermore, there are many aspects of Mormonism that Latter-day Saints are told not to probe too deeply. Ironically, those are usually the first questions that born-again Christians tend to ask:
- What about single women — How can they progress?
- What about remarriage? Which spouse will they be with for eternity?
- What if I don’t like my family and don’t want to spend eternity with them?
Questions like these ultimately frustrate both the born-again Christian and the Latter-day Saint because, frankly, there are no answers beyond speculation.
The best questions direct the Latter-day Saint to areas of clear Biblical revelation in ways they may not have previously considered. Here are some examples.
- Did you know that Jesus never entered the Temple? Have you ever thought about why? (see Exodus 28, Genesis 49:9; Psalm 132:11; Revelation 5:5)
- Is it godly for people to want to progress to godhood? Biblically speaking, who talks like that? (see Genesis 3:5; Ezekiel 28:2; Isaiah 14:14).
- How do you personally reconcile the Great Apostasy with the words of Jesus, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18)?
As you craft questions that are sincere, specific, and answerable, there is one more necessary element: they need to be yours.
I can give you examples, but none of those examples are effective substitutes for your own sincere, specific, and answerable questions.
I trust the Lord will direct you to a set of powerful questions that can lead your LDS friend on a path of personal discovery to the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). To Him be the glory.