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In the following e-mail exchange, the e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
I recently came across your website in search for an explanation of the trinity. It's something that, as a firm believer in Christ, I have always believed in, yet never understood. Although your site has helped tremendously, I have a much deeper problem.
I've been dating a girl for the past couple months and everything has been going great. Our relationship has taken off due to so many spiritual similarities between us. We've even started praying together. There's one problem, she's a Mormon and I'm Christian.<
Yes, I would say you do have a "much deeper problem." I will try to say this as delicately but as firmly as I can: I'm not sure which is the "deeper problem" that you a Christian are dating a Mormon or that you a Christian find "many spiritual similarities" with a Mormon.
Now, I say this as the differences between Mormonism and true Christianity are vast. Moreover, there are great dangers in a Christian dating a Mormon. I realize from the outset in trying to answer your e-mail that my comments will probably fall on deaf ears. When someone is in "love" it is hard for them to look at possible problems that could occur in their relationship. But since you have asked I will try to point some things out to you anyway.
First off, I have known personally and have heard of many other cases where such a situation as yours has ended in great heartache. You might be able to evade the differences now but eventually they will start to haunt you.
If you are finding "many spiritual similarities" between the two of you then that tells me one of two things: 1. Either you or her, or both of you, do not really understand your respective faiths. Or, 2 (and related to 1): One or both of you are not that "serious" about your faith.
What I have witnessed is that when a Christian and a Mormon will date and get married, neither had been that serious about their respective faith and/ or did not understand them well. But after they get married, one of them begins to get serious. And when he or she does, then that person begins to realize the immense differences between their faiths. And accordingly, tries to "convert" the other. If that fails, the marriage often ends in divorce.
I have known of cases where the Mormon church, despite all it's public rhetoric about the importance of family, has virtually forced the Mormon to get a divorce when the spouse did not prove "receptive" to the Mormon faith. In one case, the Mormon church even provided a truck and helped the Mormon woman move out of the Christian's house!
Now, I know you will think "That won't happen to us; we're too much in love!" But it has happened to many other people who felt the same before marriage. There is a reason there is such strong directive in the Scriptures about a Christian not marrying a non-Christian (2Cor 6:14).
Now, I am not one to judge a person's salvation. I leave that in the hands of God. Maybe your girlfriend really is a Christian. But if she is, it is in spite or, not because of Mormonism.
> I have always viewed Mormonism as a cult, but have tried to keep an open mind by weighing her views with the Bible. I'm struggling with whether their beliefs are acceptable for salvation or not. Because we love each other, and I know for certain that she desires to know the truth with a passion, we want to work out our religious differences and come to a common understanding of truth. My beliefs are solid and it'll take nothing less than a conviction from the Holy Spirit to change them, But I fear that hers are also.<
There is no way the two of you will "work out your religious differences" unless: 1. One of you converts to the other's viewpoint. Or. 2. You both compromise severely on your respective faiths.
The point is, there is no "compromise" between the true Christian faith and Mormonism. they are two diametrically opposed belief systems.
I will say this, I would strongly advice you two to work something out long before you start talking marriage. Don't just push this aside and say we will deal with it later. It will hurt much more latter than now to deal with it.
> I am planning on proposing a Bible study between the two of us where I can point out my views (thanks to your page) and she can have an equal chance to share hers.
When I saw your section on Mormonism under The Relationship of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit I had to write you.
I guess I'd just like some insight on the situation, and a recommendation on how I should go about convincing her of the Trinity (and eventually the fallibility of the Book of Mormon) . One advantage is that she believes in the Bible, but she is closely attached to the Book of Mormon and its church.
I understand if you don't have enough time to reply but in any case; Thanks for all the research material that you have provided It will help a bunch.<
Okay, since you asked, here is my advice. Print up my main article on Mormonism: the two-part article titled, Mormonism: Just Another Christian Denomination? Give a copy to her and ask her if what I say the Mormon church teaches in that article is in fact what it teaches.
If she says it does, then go through the many Scripture verses I refer to in the article that show the teachings of these Mormon "prophets and apostles" very clearly contradict those of the Bible.
If she says the article does not correctly represent Mormonism (which I suspect more likely will happen) then point out to her as nicely but as firmly as you can that I quote profusely from the writings of Mormon prophets and apostles.
If she says I am misrepresenting their teachings, then show her the extensive documentation at the end of the article. Tell her to check out the original sources herself. They should be available in her Mormon church's library or at a Mormon bookstore.
The point is, get her to confront what the Mormon church really teaches. It is only by bringing this out now that you two can really look at and discuss the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. If you try to gloss over them now, as I said, eventually, later she will come across these teachings and you will have to deal with them then. And again, better now than latter.
I know I might sound a little "harsh" in this e-mail. But you are on a potentially very dangerous path. At best you will end up with many conflicts in your marriage (and I haven't even mentioned the problems that will occur when kids arrive on the scene). At worst, you could end up the one "converted" and deceived into Mormonism. In-between would be the trauma of divorce.
> Dear Gary,
I thank you so much for responding to my letter. I assure you that it did not fall on deaf ears; and your words didn't come across as harsh at all. I'm with your views 100%.<
I'm thankful to hear it on all points : )
> I understand now that there is no compromise between Christianity and Mormonism. I also know for certain that I value my relationship with God more than any earthly relationship ever, and if the time comes, I'm willing to break this relationship off.<
That is a very good attitude to have. Just be prepared, if it comes to it, breaking off the relationship could be harder than you think.
> I just feel that it's my God given responsibility to share TRUE Christianity with her whether were dating or not. It's also hard for me to determine God's overall plan in this. I don't want to walk by this relationship and pass it off as a mistake, but equally, I don't want to have my heart set on a future with this girl and end up in a big disappointment.<
Understandable on all points. Just be cautious, "dating evangelism" can be dangerous. I know of some cases where it has worked out. The non-Christian has genuinely been converted and the couple went on to marry.
But I also know of cases where the non-Christian said he or she had been converted; but in reality was just saying that because the person realized it was the only way to stay with the Christian. But in time, the hypocrisy was exposed, generally with really heartbreaking consequences.
> I thank you again for your advice, and if you don't mind, I may be writing back with further questions as I meet with [my girlfriend].
Feel free to write again if you have further questions. My prayers are with you. Just be careful!
Follow-Up Email Exchange
>I read the email and responses in-between about Mormons dating Christians. My friend, who is a female, is currently dating a Mormon. Her and I are very spiritually close in our belief in God. She has told me she is not sure if it will last between them because of his belief. She does not want to outright tell him his religion is a cult either.
Where in the Bible though, does it say not to date or have a relationship with another of a different faith? She knows I love her, and she said before she wasn't sure if she could love someone. She opened my eyes to the Lord, and helped me to see Jesus as the way to being saved. I want to help her. She wanted me to go to church with her, and I would like to. We enjoy reading the Bible together, as I've found in the past. It would be hard for me to be around her as long as she has this relationship though. I'm not sure how to show her she could really be heading for trouble. She's always told me she chooses the wrong guys, and she hasn't given me a chance yet. She even has said she's usually wrong and not right. What can I do? I don't hate the person, I don't want him to be hurt, but at the same time, I want what's best for her.
Thank you for your help,
Three are many differences between Mormonism and true Christianity that could cause problems in her relationship. But the main Biblical issues to consider is this: is the god of Mormonism the God of the Bible. By my capitalization, or lack thereof, you can tell my opinion on the matter.
A basic statement of Mormon faith is, "As man now is god once was, as god now is man will become." IOW, Mormonism teaches that the god of our planet used to be a man on some other planet, but by following the Mormon ritual and rules he was exalted to godhood and was given this planet to rule over.
In the same way, Mormon MEN believe they will eventually become gods and be given their own planets to rule over. And throughout eternity they will have sex with their wives to produce the souls to inhabit the bodies of people that will populate this new planet. I document that these are in fact Mormon beliefs on my site.
But the problem is, many Mormons will not admit to these beliefs, and some don't even know that this is what Mormonism even teaches. But whatever the case, this IS Mormon doctrine. And given these beliefs, it is clear that the Mormon god is not the God of the Bible.
All that said, there are many verses in the OT forbidding the Jews from marrying worshippers of false gods. For instance, referring to the previous inhabitants of Canaan, God says, "Deut 7:3 “Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 “For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly." And you should not date someone you would not marry. That is playing with temptation.
And the NT specifically says, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" [2Cor 6:14]. And yes, Mormons are unbelievers in the sense of not believing in the god of the Bible.
I hope that helps.
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