Mormon Missionary Discussions – Part 3

29 September

The Restoration

Once again before getting into the discussion, missionaries are to ask the investigators for a commitment to be baptized.

In the instructions, missionaries read –

“If the investigators have not yet committed themselves to be baptized or have not yet attended Church meetings, these commitments must be among your major objectives for this discussion.”

At this point and even prior to it, investigators are expected to make a commitment to the church before they have been presented with all the information necessary to make an informed decision. This is only discussion three, there are three more lessons they must have before they are baptized, what’s the hurry? Why do they need a commitment so soon? These are just a couple of questions that have come to mind as I’ve started this series.

The six principles investigators will be learning about in this discussion are:

Truth Versus Error

(The) Apostasy

The Restoration of the truth

The Restoration of the church

Membership in the true church

Attending church meetings and partaking of the Sacrament


Principle one begins by stating –

 “The truths in the plan of our Father in Heaven are eternal and unchanging. They are the basis for all his commandments. Only through these truths can we find lasting happiness and prepare for eternal life. It is essential that we find the truth, accept it, and live according to it.”

Considering Mormonism seems to be constantly changing I find this statement somewhat amusing. Mormons are taught that the church is ‘led by revelation, meaning that those who are called to be prophets and apostles have the authority to receive revelation(s) from God. Mormons believe these ‘revelations’ help their leaders know God’s will, and the direction he would have the Church take on any issue.

Let’s think about this for a second, where should we find truth? Should we look to the world or at what others claim to be true? What if what they say contradicts God’s word, who do we trust in then?

Sadly, this is what Mormonism has done. It has, as Romans 1:25 says, traded God’s truth for lies.

At the very beginning of these discussions the investigators are taught to look to their feelings for answers, which leads to them ignoring God’s truth. For the Mormon feelings trump everything else.

The Great Apostasy

One of the fundamental beliefs in Mormonism is that the church Jesus tried to establish (the Mormon Church) while he was alive fell into apostasy, and disappeared after he died.

“The Great Apostasy” occurred because the apostles died and were rejected, and the remaining church members fell into sin. Others tried to establish another religion, and in doing so created other religions which were corrupt and didn’t hold the priesthood authority.

I can recall very clearly listening to this discussion before I joined Mormonism. I remember one of the missionaries saying that all the churches today hold some of the truth, but not all of the truth. He told me to picture the gospel (as it was in Jesus’ time) as a mirror, when Jesus and the apostles died the mirror fell and broke into pieces. Many people in the past tried to pick up as much of the mirror as they could, but never had the full mirror, the full gospel.

Mormonism teaches that because of this occurrence the priesthood authority was lost, that is until Joseph Smith restored it. This is way you will hear them refer to Mormonism as having ‘the restored gospel’. They believe that Joseph restored the church Jesus established, and the gospel he preached while he was alive.

The Restoration of Truth

Mormons believe God used Joseph Smith to restore all the gospel that was lost when the Great Apostasy occurred. The investigators are reminded of their first discussion where they learned that Joseph Smith was visited by God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. During this visitation Joseph is warned not to join any church because they are all corrupt.

During this part of the discussion investigators are told how God chose Joseph to be the prophet of the Restored Gospel, and about the need for continued revelation through living prophets. Their reasoning behind the need for living prophets and continued revelation is,‘this is how God spoke to people in the bible’.

Somehow, they missed this portion of scripture in Hebrews 1:1-4

 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (emphasis mine)

The Restoration of the Church

In this discussion investigators learn how Joseph restored the Aaronic, and Melchizedek priesthoods to the earth. The priesthood authority is veryimportant in Mormonism, with this ‘authority’ church members are able to baptize, get married for time and all eternity, give blessings of healing and comfort, administer the Sacrament, hold callings in the church, and receive revelation.

You most likely have heard Mormons say their church is “the only true church”. The reason they believe this is because they trust in the words of Joseph Smith, and have a testimony that he restored the church as it was in the time of Jesus.

Membership in the true Church

“We must come unto Christ by belonging to his Church. Only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can we find all the truths that will help us return to our Father in Heaven.”

This is what the missionaries are to tell the investigators. Where did Jesus say he came to establish a church as a way for us to come to him and be saved?

We don’t need to join a certain church to be a true follower of Jesus Christ, and to know how to live with the Father in Heaven.

Here is what God’s word has said on these matters-

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:28-30

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3

Attending Church meetings and partaking of the Sacrament

The Sacrament in the Mormon Church consists of leavened bread and tap water. This is one of the ordinances of the church, and is something members participate in every Sunday. Again I wonder why they aren’t looking to God’s word for guidance as to where the church stands on certain matters.

Yeast (leaven) represents sin. Paul spoke of how a little bit of leaven (sin) can spoil everything, and they are using this type of bread to represent the body of Christ?

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 1 Corinthians 5:6

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Galatians 5:9

In closing, it’s vital for those of us who aren’t Mormon to understand just how important it is for them to get investigators to have a ‘testimony’ of Joseph Smith. If they can convince people what Joseph said about what he saw is true, they can convince them to believe anything. I found this quote in The Foundations of the Restoration Teachers Manual, it says it all –

“When we gain a testimony that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, we can also come to know the truthfulness of the Restoration of the gospel.”

Mormonism doesn’t rest or fall on whether Jesus was who he said he is, it rests or falls on whether Joseph (a mortal man) told the truth.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes


Original Discussions

Foundation of the Restoration- Teacher Manual


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