I have been impressed by the Mormons I have met over the years. All have been extraordinarily kind, moral, and very compassionate people, perhaps more so than most. I have rarely heard a Mormon complain or speak ill of others. I have to say the Mormon system produces nice, moral people who love their families. If you want to use that subjective metric of a ‘changed life’, strong, family-friendly morals, and evangelical zeal as a measure of a religions validity, Mormonism would have to be a strong contender in the marketplace.
I have had members of local churches come to my door to evangelize, I have also had JWs comb the neighborhood to proselytize, and just recently, Mormons stopped by to witness to me just after my son and I finished reading from the gospel of Matthew. The two young men politely introduced themselves as Elder this and Elder that, I do not remember their names. They were dressed in the typical Mormon witness gear of dark slacks and white button-up shirts. They politely asked me if I wanted to be a humble follower of Jesus. During the course of the conversation, I answered that I was a Christian whose sins were forgiven, that I was covered by Christ’s righteousness and that Christ bore the penalty of my sins on the cross, that my faith was in a risen Saviour. Cutting to the chase, they kept pointing me to Joseph Smith. In their vocal affirmation that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, they also asserted that Christ had prophets in the Old Testament and the equivalent in the apostles of the New Testament and that Joseph Smith is also a prophet. To be an obedient and humble servant of Christ, I am to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith. I politely and firmly explained the Christ is the summing up of the Old and New Testament, that the Old Testament points to Him, that the New Testament reveals Him as the Word, as God incarnate. It is all about Christ and the atoning work of the Cross in time and space, in history, about repenting and believing in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sin.
I remember being shown a video a few months ago on the old GodTube thing where two Mormons were essentially given an arrogant ‘Gospel’ beat-down by one they sought to convert. Now, I do not abide false teachers, but these are young men at my door were not in a Protestant pulpit. They are in a different category than Joel Osteen and TBN. They were engaging the public marketplace of ideas with good intentions; they do not claim, I think, as belonging to an honestly rather bizarre, polytheistic nineteenth century restorationist movement, much in the way of commonality with orthodox Christianity. I think, though, they cared for me enough to witness to me. They are, however, inculcated into a system that is essentially, at its core, just like every other belief system in the world. You have to climb the ladder to your god, and in the case of Bible-based false religions, their faux Jesus just makes it a bit easier by helping us climb that staircase to glory. These witnesses for Joseph Smith, they needed to be witnessed to; they needed the Gospel presented clearly. I hope and I did that for them in a clear and concise way with the humility with which they approached me. They left when I would not bend to Joseph Smith, when their carefully scripted presentation could not follow, but I hope they understand the Gospel a bit better. In retrospect, I wish I had been more clear in using the Law to convict prior to sharing the Gospel.
I remember stumbling across a Mormon blog once wherein the question was posed if Mormons were more righteous than those in other religions. That is a very sad question. The predominate answer in comment section was, not suprisingly, yes. You see, my righteousness is not my own because I have none of my own. Christ’s righteousness is counted to me.