Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Comment on Yesterday's Line of Fire Radio Program
04/29/2010 - James WhiteThe following comment was posted in reference to my appearance on the Line of Fire radio program with Dr. Michael Brown yesterday. My response follows.
I usually enjoy your program, but today was an exception. Hearing Dr White speak, I was reminded of the Jews during the ministry of Jesus, those who would mock Jesus because He was not what they had expected. They didn’t believe Jesus was who He said He was because they didn’t have eyes to see or ears to hear.
What if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true??? That would mean that Jesus Christ and God the Father did appear to Joseph Smith and the true Church was restored. It would mean that God speaks through a living prophet today.
I want to ask you and Dr. White a question… Are you and Dr. White really about what you profess, or are you in it for the money, fame or power of your position??? Your anti-LDS attitude truly makes you suspect. The LDS Church never cuts other faiths down— they invite others to come and see for themselves if what they have to offer is true or not. They encourage their members to come to their own conclusions. Does that same philosophy threaten you in any way?
I have investigated many different faiths in my lifetime. I’ll never forget the strong spirit I felt during a special Easter program held in a Baptist church I attended years ago. Over the years I’ve loved hearing people express their honest, heartfelt testimonies of Christ in many different religions. I don’t think there is one religion only that can lead a person to a belief in Christ —and neither does the LDS Church. Belief in Christ comes by hearing and applying God’s word in our life.
I came to know God as my Savior, almost 22 years ago, after reading His words. I was truly born again, something people who knew me then and now can testify of. My life has never been the same and my love of the scriptures has only increased since then!
Ever since I was born again, I have loved reading the Bible and Book of Mormon daily and I love hearing truth wherever it is spoken! My favorite movie to this day is, “Facing the Giants”, written by a Baptist. I love that movie because it is my story in many ways. I went from the depths of despair because of infertility, to the heights of being born of God in the Spirit and experiencing a love, peace and joy I had never known before.
I don’t understand the need you have to make others believe the LDS Church is following a false Christ. Evil may confess that Jesus is the Christ, but evil doesn’t cause anyone to come to Christ and live by His teachings! I and millions of others like me have found faith in Christ and are now faithful members of the LDS Church. If the LDS Church were proven to be false I would never regret the person it has helped me become. Isn’t that the ultimate test of truth???
Thank you for writing. Having spoken with many thousands of LDS over the years, I have heard your objections many times. Before I spoke on the subject of Mormonism publicly I took the time to study it carefully (even your own Scriptures require this: "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." D&C 9:8). I read the LDS Scriptures, and such books as A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Articles of Faith, Jesus the Christ, and Mormon Doctrine. I obtained the Documentary History of the Church and the Journal of Discourses, etc. It is improper for anyone who loves the truth to respond to someone else's beliefs sheerly out of emotional attachment to our own faith. ...
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Two Evenings at the LDS Easter Pageant: Mormonism Has Changed
04/04/2010 - James WhiteTwenty seven years ago yesterday my wife and I, newlyweds, hopped on my Kawasaki 440 and drove out to the Mesa Temple in Mesa, Arizona. We stood in amazement at the large crowds attending the LDS Easter Pageant. We stood next to the now long-gone Arby's and pondered the ministry possibilities. The next year we were back, this time with the late Wally Tope, passing out tracts and witnessing to folks. Then in 1985 we started the full-bore work, all six nights of the event, continuing that until the advent of the KJV Only Street Screechers just a few years ago.
We could have done the entirety of this year's event, if we had looked closely at the calendar. The Street Screechers did not show up this year, and once we got out there on Friday night, we realized why: they were all up in Salt Lake City (where they get a lot more press coverage, which they crave). I should have seen the conjunction between General Conference and the Easter Pageant, but I had a few other things on my mind (like the Michael Brown debate), so it never crossed my mind.
In any case, I was struck once again by how much Mormonism has changed since those first encounters in the mid 1980s. The vast majority of Mormons simply do not have the slightest interest in defending their faith any longer, if they even know its particular points of uniqueness. When we would talk to Mormons in the 1980s, they knew their faith, and cared about proclaiming it to others, and defending it as well. In other words, they tended to actually believe it is true. But things have changed over the past decades. Mormonism has been so deeply infiltrated by post-modern thinking that, combined with its predisposition to subjectivism, has led to a tremendous decline in its apologetic ferver. A general apathy in the face of challenge now marks the large majority of Mormons.
In the first years we engaged in that work in Mesa I would come home hoarse from speaking all night long. Hours of fruitful conversations, especially with young people. Where have all the young people gone? I honestly wonder if we are also seeing the result of the "electronic" generation. Kids used to get bored (they had seen the Pageant many times before), and would come and talk to us. Now they sit there and play video games on their iPhones. I suppose if we made it possible to text with us they would talk to us, but the idea of actually looking someone in the eye and talking to them is becoming a oddity of the past. Who saw that coming?
I do not know what the future will hold, but one thing is for sure: I sensed a real "hardness" on the part of most we encountered, not a hardness marked by a zeal for falsehood, but a hardness marked by apathy engendered by spiritual deception joined with cultural decay. It was truly sobering.