Any further information on PROSELETIZING within Mormonism would be well appreciated. If you want to look at all of the questions I put to CommingHome in this thread, that might be a good place to start in terms of getting ideas of things i'm interested in knowing.
I just want basics. Where they're comming from in terms of knowledge, basis of scripture, how much history they know, etc.
Thanks for everything guys!
Wow. All the questions you asked him. I'll give it a try. First off, I remember you were giving the Statement of Faith or whatever they call in for the AG. Here are the Articles of Faith for the Mormon Church.
1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of PaulÃ¢â‚¬â€We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Joseph Smith http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html
You will not find such doctrines as eternal progression or polygamy (no longer practiced) in those statements, however they are a framework for the church beliefs.
Most members tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the faith and it's history, and a fair amount of scripture. Scripture knowledge will be strongest where it reinforces their beliefs in contrast to other groups.
As far as proselyting them, I wouldn't waste my time trying it with missionaries. Feel free to if you want, but they are a most difficult group to try. They spend 24/7 focused on why their church is true, researching scripture to support it, and praying for the "burning of the bosom" to know their church is true. The "burning of the bosom" is when you pray to find out the truthfulness of the church and the Book of Mormon. If it is true, they believe the Holy Ghost (they never say Holy Spirit) will manifest the truthfulness to you through a burning sensation in your chest. I've done it and achieved it. It is mostly a self fulfilling prophecy.
If you do try to proselyte among the Mormons, the main area to focus on is authority. They believe that the true church fell away shortly after they apostles died. A specific year will never be given. From that time until 1830, the true church of Christ was not on the earth until restored by Joseph Smith. In 1820, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him the church would be restored through him. In 1829, the priesthood was restored. First the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist, then the Melchezidec by Peter, James, and John. April 6,1830 was when the church was formally reestablished. I have stated these things as they believed, instead of inserting allegedly in every sentence. If you can convince them the church never fell away, that Jesus' promise in Matthew the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, then there is no need for Joseph Smith to restore it, and therefore he is a false prophet. It will not be easy to get them to see it.
Other issues you might try involve why God changes his mind. Why polygamy for a time, until it was outlawed by the land when it became God's law to no longer practice it? After it was outlawed by the church officially, why were certain people still commanded to practice it, such as the presidents of the church? Why did God promise Jackson County, MO as zion for the saints, only for them to be driven away, never to really return? Why did God promise his blessings on the Kirtland Antibanking Society only to have it fail? Why did God promise Joseph Smith someone in Canada would pay for the copyright of the Book of Mormon, only to have that fall through? Why did Joseph believe in the Kinderhook plates, proclaiming them from God, which were clearly a forgery?
Whatever you do, don't go in attacking. It will backfire and they will tune you out. I'm going to end this post, go back through your previous ones to CH and see what else is to be answered. Feel free to ask away.