For several years now, we’ve made time for the practice of inviting LDS missionaries into our home.
In the beginning, our neighborhood was patrolled by elders (the male duos). After a few months, “the powers that be” moved boundary lines and now we’re patrolled by sisters (the female duos and trios). Together and separately (and through 2 rotations with an awesome college student friend), my husband and I have spoken with well over a dozen missionaries: all freshly out of high school or taking a break from college for their mission. Some met with us for several weeks, others for a single visit, but each time we’ve endeavored to use the interaction as an opportunity to be hospitable, develop a true relationship, and share the light yolk that is the true gospel of Jesus Christ with these earnest young people.
We’re blessed to stay in contact with a handful of them now that they’re off of their mission, and we’re thankful for their willingness to maintain a relationship with us. They’re often on my mind.
So, why am I telling you this?
On the one hand, I’m telling you because I think you should do the same. It’s an incredible privilege to be able to gently evangelize from your own living room, to open your home to the unknown, to spend the time in between meetings brushing up on doctrine (LDS and your own), and to feel the necessity and weight of Scripture. There’s a great joy and burden about being able to prod at their beliefs and assertions, and to pray that God will one day break through to them with your interaction as a stepping stone. In order to interact well and be prepared, you’ll find yourself questioning the Bible’s transmission, your understanding of passages you’ve taken for granted for your whole Christian life, and reflecting deeply on why you believe what you believe and why that should matter to these fresh and eager elders and sisters.
What’s more, your children will see you opening your home to people with different beliefs. They’ll hear you discussing the Bible and placing great importance on understanding it well. They’ll see your faith in action. These are important things.
On the other hand,
I’m telling you because these young men and women are being led astray by a wholly false gospel. They’re being fed lies and discouraged from thinking critically about them. They’re being told they can’t find “evidence” for their belief and must only pray and have faith. They’re in danger of hell, friends. That is why I’m telling you this. If that knowledge doesn’t burden you and spur you on to action and prayer, I don’t know what will. It’s the very same truth about every non-Christian in the whole world, but these elders and sisters are happy to come sit and discuss with you. They’re eager to talk about God. This is a mission field that comes to you, and I know that God can be glorified in that.
Over the course of the last few years, I’ve become very familiar with LDS doctrine and history. I’ve heard the standard presentation delivered from the mouths of wholly unique individuals as if they were reading the exact same script. My heart has been broken over and over by varying degrees of unquestioning trust in their leadership and book. But stories of others coming to true faith out of mormonism has encouraged me. The observations our kids have made as they’ve interacted with the sisters and elders has encouraged me.
I tell you this to encourage you to take a chance on these dear people. Take a risk and try to love them so well that they see there is something fundamentally different about the Jesus of true Christianity, and about you. Next time, don’t slam the door in their face, but instead, welcome them in, and see what God will do with that offering.
I’d love to hear about your experience ministering to LDS missionaries. Please do share with me over on our Facebook page! Want to learn more about outreach to mormons? Check out 4witness and Evidence Ministries. Also, Stand to Reason offers a Utah trip (which sounds amazing!).