TGOC Evangelistic Handbook: REACH OUT to The Latter-Day Saints

TGOC Evangelistic Handbook: REACH OUT to The Latter-Day Saints
Shane Fisher
R – Realize The Situation
a. Latter-Day Saints (hereafter LDS) have zeal, but they do not have the proper knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
b. Christians typically have the knowledge of the truth, but they do not have the evangelistic zeal.
c. We must realize that we need to have a balance of both zeal and knowledge (Romans 10:1-3).
E – Examine Your Own Heart
a. Ask yourself this question: “Why am I evangelizing LDS?”
b. Is your main motivation to win a soul or win an argument? (Matthew 22:28-32; Luke 19:10)
A – Ask Good Questions (“The Columbo Tactic”)
a. It is taken from Lieutenant Columbo, a detective on an old TV show (Koukl, Loc. 616-21).
(1) Purposes of asking good questions: Invite them to talk about what they think (Loc. 596-602).
(2) It takes the pressure off you and allows you not to distort the meaning (Loc. 596-602).
(3) The questions give enough of a challenge to give thought to what the speaker just said (Loc. 603-8).
(4) Reasons to ask good questions: (i) Friendly (Loc. 642-48); (ii) Get an education (Loc. 649-55); (iii) Make progress (Loc. 649-55)
(5) Examples: (1) Why do you believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet? (2) Why do you believe the Book of Mormon (hereafter BOM) is true? (3) Why do you not believe that Muhammed (Ellen G. White, etc.) is a prophet? (4) Why do you believe that the Qur'an is not true? (5) Why do you believe that the Bible has been corrupted? (6) Can you show me in history or in transmission where the Bible has been corrupted?
C – Contradictions Between The LDS System and The Christian System
(1) The progressive nature of revelation – God's way of revealing Himself over time - (a) Patriarchal age (4,000 B.C. - 1500 B.C.) - “starlight age”; (b) Mosaic age (1500 B.C. - A.D. 30) - “moonlight age”; (c) Christian age (A.D. 30 until 2nd coming) - “sunlight age” because the Father revealed Jesus the Son (Hebrews 1:1-4). The New Testament speaks of the mystery of Christ (Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11; Romans11:25; 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 4:1; Ephesians 1:9; 3:1-5; 5:32; 6:19; Colossians 1:26,27; 2:2; 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 10:7). The mystery is described as revelation previously hidden, then revealed through the holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit in the first century A.D. In the BOM, the “cat is out of the bag” (already hundreds of years even before Christ comes to the earth) in that it fully reveals almost everything before the 1st century A.D. (see for example, 2 Nephi 25:19; 26:12; 30:2; 31:17; Alma 7; Helaman 10-12)
(2) The passing away of the old covenant – the old covenant was established with Israel at Mount Sinai (Nehemiah 9:13; Exodus 24:1-8). It was temporary (Galatians 3:19); a “shadow of the good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1); written for the Christian's learning, example, and instruction in righteousness (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6,11; 2 Timothy 3:16,17). Jeremiah prophesied that this covenant with Israel would pass away and be replaced by a better covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses; He nailed it to the cross (Matthew 5:17,18; Colossians 2:14-17). Therefore, nobody is bound under the old covenant today. Why would you want to restore doctrines that were under the old covenant, such as the Levitical priesthood? (Hebrews 7,8)
(3) The preparation of John the Immerser - For almost 400 years (after Malachi), Israel had been without direct written revelation from God. God closed the door of revelation until John the Immerser arrived on the scene to prepare the way of the Messiah (prophesied in Isaiah 40:1,2; Malachi 3:1; 4:5,6; Matthew 11:10-15 in 27 A.D). This was the “Elijah” of whom Malachi spoke (Matthew 17:9-13).During the four hundred years of silence, some of the books in the Book of Mormon were alleged to be written (between 400 B.C. – 27 A.D., the time the door of revelation closed until it was reopened again, such BOM books as Jarom, Mosiah, Alma, and part of 3rd Nephi).
1. Moroni stated that Elijah (prophet of Malachi chapter 4) had not come yet (History of the Church 1:2-79; D & C 110). But the “Elijah” of whom Malachi spoke was John the Immerser (Matthew 11:1-14; 17:10-13).
2. Moroni stated that Joel 2:28-32 had not occurred yet, but Peter said it was being fulfilled (History of the Church 1:2-79; Acts 2:16).
3. Smith's sins were forgiven by God in one of the early appearances, but he was not baptized until six years later (Acts 2:38; 22:16). (Orson Pratt, A Series of Pamphlets, First Series, No. 6, 2-3; Letters of Oliver Cowdery, 14).
Major Premise: Messengers and their messages claiming the authority of God, must agree with other recognized messengers and messages of God. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:15-22)
Minor Premise: But the messenger who visited Joseph Smith, Jr., did not agree with the certified messages of God, namely, Christ, Peter, and Paul. (Matthew 11:1-14; 17:10-13; Luke 1:17; Acts 2:16; 2:38; 22:16; Galatians 1:6-9; D & C 2; 138:46; Joseph Smith – History 1:2-79)
Conclusion: Therefore, the messenger who visited Joseph Smith, Jr., was not of God (Free 21).
(4) The placement of the new covenant - Jesus established a better covenant with His precious blood) in A.D 30 (Matthew 26:28). It went into force after His death on the cross (Hebrews 9:15-17). Therefore, the whole world is subject to the law of Christ (Romans 4:15; 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2). Those who have been added to the Lord's church partake of the benefits and blessings found in the new covenant (Hebrews 8:8-13). The BOM is “called” another testament of Jesus Christ. A testament would have involved the death of a testator (Heb. 9:15-17). The Bible teaches that Jesus only had to die once for all time (Hebrews 7:27). How can the BOM be another testament when Jesus did not die again? The new covenant is also to be an everlasting covenant (Hebrews 13:20).
Major Premise: The Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth (John 16:13).
Minor Premise: But the Holy Spirit never guided the apostles into Joseph Smith's new and everlasting covenant. (Journal of Discourses II, 217; D&C 132)
Conclusion: Therefore, Smith's new and everlasting covenant is not part of “all truth.” (Free 279)
(5) The purpose of miraculous gifts – To reveal and confirm the completed word of God (Hebrews 2:1-4; Mark 16:17-20; Acts 8:14-24). That purpose was certainly completed by the end of the 1st century A.D. (Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The miraculous gifts have ceased. In the BOM, Moroni wrote the opposite of what the Bible teaches by stating in Moroni 7:2: “And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” (supposedly written in 400s A.D.)
Major Premise: If the Bible gives us evidence of its sufficiency and reliability, then there is no further need for further revelations.
Minor Premise: The Bible does give us evidence of its sufficiency and reliability. (John 20:30,31; Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Ephesians 4:7-16; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
Conclusion: Therefore, there is no need for further revelation. (Free 38)
H - “Heart of the Matter” - The Prayer (Moroni 10)
a. LDS missionaries use Moroni 10:4-5 to claim they have truth.
b. Moroni 10:4-5: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”
c. (1) Complete reliance on emotion. How can one know for certain that those emotions came directly from the Holy Spirit? (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12)
d. Don't rely on your own personal, subjective feelings. Place your faith and obedience in religious truth that is objective and verifiable by evidence.
e. Examples of those who relied on personal feelings: (1) Jacob thought his son, Joseph, was dead. (2) Saul of Tarsus thought he was doing the right thing by persecuting Christians (John 16:2).
f. God always gives evidence so that we might have faith. Example: Peter appeals to four types of evidence: (1) the miracles of Jesus (Acts 2:22); (2) prophecy (Acts 2:25-28), (3) resurrection (Acts 2:27-32); (4) the events of the day (Acts 2:33).
g. The fallacy of circular reasoning: Question: “How do you know the BOM is true?”
LDS Response: “The BOM is true because of the feelings I have received in my prayer.”
Question: “How do you know those warm, fuzzy feelings came from the Holy Spirit?”
LDS Response: “I am having these warm fuzzy feelings because the BOM is true.”
h. What about the previous testimony of those who have left the LDS denomination?
i. Examine the testimonies of the three “witnesses” of the BOM – Martin Harris, David Whitmer, and Oliver Cowdery. (Recommend resources: Youtube - “Eyewitness Testimony – Shane Fisher”)
Major Premise: People who are dishonest and who knowingly circulate false and slanderous reports, cannot be accepted as trustworthy and reliable witnesses.
Minor Premise: But Harris, Whitmer, and Cowdery circulated false and slanderous reports. (D&C 3; Elders' Journal, I., 59; Millenial Star, VIII, 124,128; David Whitmer, An Address To All Believers In Christ, 31; Times and Seasons I, 81, 22-23; II, 482).
Conclusion: Therefore, Harris, Whitmer, and Cowdery cannot be accepted as trustworthy and reliable witnesses. (Free 78)
j. Examine whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.
Major Premise: Joseph Smith, Jr.'s reputation as a true or false prophet rests upon the truth of his doctrine of the gathering of the saints in Independence, MO. (D&C 84; Journal of Discourses 3:18).
Minor Premise: But Joseph Smith, Jr.'s prophecy of the gathering of the saints in Independence, MO is proven false by the evidence of historical records and the testimony of the LDS such as Orson Pratt. (Orson Pratt, A Series of Pamphlets, First Series, No. 6, 2-3; No. 7, 18-20) []
Conclusion: Therefore, Joseph Smith Jr. is proven to be a false prophet because the prophecy did not come to pass. (Free 30-31).
Major Premise: History proves the truth or error of prophecy.
Minor Premise: History proves that Christ fulfilled the prophecies made by prophets of God concerning Him (Isaiah 2,11,53; Zech. 9; Daniel 2,7,9; Ezek. 34)
Conclusion: Therefore the prophets who spoke concerning the fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ are true. (Acts 2,8,15)
Major Premise: History proves the truth or error of prophecy.
Minor Premise: History proves that Joseph Smith Jr.'s prophecies were not fulfilled.
Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Smith is in error. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:15-22)
O – Origin of the Book of Mormon
a. The BOM originated from a historical novel by Solomon Spalding that was named Manuscript Found. It was suspected of being stolen by Sidney Rigdon.
b. Recommended Resources: Youtube: (1) “The Human Origin of the Book of Mormon – Shane Fisher” (9-part series); (2) “The Latter-Day Saint Denomination – Shane Fisher” (7-part series)
U – Understanding Their Past and Present Doctrines
a. Blood atonement – (1) There are sins for which Christ's blood cannot atone; (2) the only way to atone for those sins is the shedding of the sinner's blood; (3) if individuals are caught in the act of sin and slain while committing that sin, their blood would atone for their sin (even without repentance); (4) the LDS church has authority to exact such a penalty if the laws of the land permit. (Free 334) [NOTE: This is no longer taught in the LDS church, but it originated from their “inspired” prophets.]
Major Premise: A doctrine which denies the efficacy of Christ's blood is not of God (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22; 10:1-4; 1 John 1:7-9).
Minor Premise: But the LDS doctrine of blood atonement denies the efficacy of Christ's blood (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, 247; Vol. 4, 53-54; C.W. Penrose, Blood Atonement).
Conclusion: Therefore, the LDS doctrine of blood atonement is not of God. (Free 334)
b. Baptism for the dead – if someone died not ever hearing the gospel, then an authorized member of the LDS church will be baptized on behalf of that individual so that they can be saved (this false doctrine is based on a misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 15:29)
aa. The remote context is the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the general resurrection of the dead.
bb. The relationship between water baptism and the general resurrection of the dead
cc. LDS view contradicts the Bible's view of personal accountability and responsibility (2 Corinthians 5:10; Luke 16:19–31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 9:27)
dd. “Otherwise, what will they (those that deny the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead) do who are baptized for (on behalf of) the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for (on behalf of) the dead?” (Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:12)
ee. “All who are buried with Christ in baptism declare by that act that they believe that he was buried and rose again; and in believing that he rose, we at the same time believe and by our action declare our faith in a resurrection of all the dead. In our immersion, therefore, we declare by that action that we believe in the resurrection of all the dead...If Christ did not rise from the dead, burial with Him in baptism would be meaningless”(Lipscomb and Sewell, 165).
Paul is teaching that baptism for the dead is personal (baptized for one self). Smith taught that baptism for the dead is being baptized for someone else.
The baptism for the dead taught by Paul did NOT require genealogical data; Smith's doctrine does require genealogical data.
The baptism taught by Paul could be performed wherever there was sufficient water to immerse a person, but the doctrine taught by Smith can only be administered in special places. (Free 336)
Major Premise: The baptism for the dead taught by Smith, to be the same as the baptism for the dead taught by Paul, must have the same general characteristics, requirements, and conditions.
Minor Premise: But the baptism for the dead doctrine taught by Smith differs in general characteristics, requirements, and conditions from that taught by Paul.
Conclusion: Therefore, the baptism for the dead doctrine taught by Smith is not the same as that taught by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29. (Free 336)
c. The organization of the church – the organization of the LDS church differs significantly from the organization of the New Testament pattern – elders and deacons who are qualified in every congregation along with evangelists and teachers (Acts 14:23; 20:1-38; Ephesians 4:7-16; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-11; Hebrews 13:17; James 5:14,15; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
Major Premise: The true New Testament church must conform to the organization found in the New Testament.
Minor Premise: But the organization of the LDS church does not conform to that of the NT.
Conclusion: Therefore, the LDS church is not the New Testament church restored. (Free 195)
Major Premise: An organization that never existed cannot be restored.
Minor Premise: But the organization of the LDS church never existed before the days of Joseph Smith.
Conclusion: Therefore, the organization of the LDS church was not restored by Joseph Smith. (Free 195)
Major Premise: All high priests ordained of God must have a sacrifice to offer for sin (Heb. 5:1; 7-10).
Minor Premise: But LDS high priests do not have a sacrifice to offer for sin.
Conclusion: Therefore, LDS high priests are not ordained of God. (Free 234)
There are many other doctrines that could be discussed: (a) apostles, (b) miracles, (c) the worship of the church, (d) the plan of salvation, (e) pre-existence, (f) polytheism, (g) the view of the three kingdoms, (h) the priesthoods, etc.
T – Transmission of the Bible: “Has The Bible Been Corrupted?”
a. 1 Nephi 13:26
b. Question: “When and where were these “precious truths” removed from the manuscripts?”
c. Over 25,000 New Testament manuscripts; the “church fathers” quote the New Testament (all the verses are found in them except 11 verses)
d. The Old Testament has been preserved through the Dead Sea Scrolls.
e. Uncontrollable process – “What areas did Peter send his first letter?” (1 Peter 1:1); “Would they have made copies of copies?” - Yes! “How could all these copies have been corrupted over the centuries?”
f. Recommended Resources: The Identity of the New Testament IV – Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering (
g. God Has Preserved His Text – Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering (
Major Premise: The Book of Mormon claims as the truth that the Bible has been corrupted (1 Nephi 13:26).
Minor Premise: But the evidence of the transmission process shows a faithful transmission.
Conclusion: Therefore, the Book of Mormon's claim that the Bible has been corrupted is false.
Works Cited
Koukl, Gregory. Tactics. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009). Kindle edition.
Free, Jack. Mormonism and Inspiration. (Concord, CA: Pacific Publishing Company, 1962)
Lipscomb, David and Jesse Sewell,Questions Answered By Lipscomb and Sewell, ed. by M.C. Kurfees (Nashville, TN: McQuiddy Printing Co., 1921)


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