As my wife was preparing a wonderful (she made me write that) dinner yesterday, I heard a knock on our front door. I walk to the door and opened it to find two Mormon gentlemen who had come to share the message of the Church of Latter-Day Saints .
Upon sharing with them that I had, in the past, studied the doctrines of Mormonism and found Joseph Smith's vision account to be unsupported historically and that I had also found the Book of Mormon to be completely without historical support, the conversation quickly turned to the value of experiential evidence. One of the gentlemen shared that he had prayed the prayer suggested in the Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:4-5) and received "confirmation that it was true." I, in turn, affirmed the value of experiential evidence, but explained that if someone has what they believe to be an "experience" of God, that their experience must be confirmed by logical, coherent evidence to some degree. Meaning, I personally have experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ in my life and believe He rose from the dead, however, if there existed no evidence to confirm this claim from history, I would be foolish to continue to believe it. I would need to go back and re-evaluate my experience. In other words, the objective needs to work together with the experiential, otherwise, what you are believing most likely has no bearing in reality.
The conversation ended respectfully and I was able to give them a copy of a sermon on Mormonism by the late Dr. Walter Martin. I also directed them to this blog. I encouraged them to study critiques of Mormonism (what they call "anti") as well as Mormon literature, and urged them to follow the evidence wherever it leads.
Upon reflecting back on this conversation, I couldn't help but feel that I could have been better prepared. One evidence of this is when I mistakenly said that the Mormons used the New World Translation of the Scriptures, full knowing that they use the KJV Bible, as interrupted through the Book of Mormon, as well as The Pearl of Great Price; Doctrine and Covenants.
As a result, I wanted to offer the following resource by apologist and scholar Mike Licona entitled, What to Say to Mormons & Jehovah's Witnesses When They Knock on Your Door (52 pgs.) Here, Mike offers a free e-book that provides a:
" a concise yet meaty resource that goes right to the point concerning why the Mormon Church and the Watchtower are terribly mistaken."
Check it out here and let us not forget the words penned by the Apostle Peter:
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15, KJV).
Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross