WHY ARE GOSPEL MISSIONARIES NEEDED
IN THE INTER-MOUNTAIN AREA OF THE UNITED STATES?

         In the mid 1840's the Mormon prophet, Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith who founded Mormonism, led a group of his followers from Illinois to Utah. Joseph Smith was killed earlier in Carthage by a lynch mob. A newspaper had openly exposed him as a polygamist and Smith had ordered his followers to destroy it. The local state militia, incited by Smith's actions threatened to attack the Mormon town of Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith's headquarters. Smith surrendered to avert an attack and was jailed in Carthage on charges of inciting a riot. He and his brother were then killed a short time later in a hail of gunfire when angry local residents stormed the jail.

              Opposition to Mormons continued until they were driven from the area. Brigham Young led a group of Smith's followers west looking for a land where they could practice their strange religion without outside interference. This group settled in the Salt Lake Valley and in the isolation of the area they flourished. Brigham Young built this empire called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it completely dominated this beautiful land. Today the LDS church boasts over twelve million members world wide and is the second largest financial institution west of the Mississippi River.

    WHY IS MORMONISM A FALSE RELIGION?

              Mormonism does not worship our God and Creator the Lord Jesus Christ who has revealed Himself to man through the Bible. According to their teaching, their god is an exalted man-god of flesh and bones.

              Mormonism teaches that the god they worship they call "heavenly father" was once a man who was born into the universe on some distant planet to the "heavenly father" of that planet as a "spirit child." The Mormon god had a mother-god as well as a father-god. Thus the present god of the earth they worship was allowed to get a human body by being born on that planet to human parents. This is the real "gospel" of the LDS church they call "eternal progression." This means that a man can go through different stages of existence and eventually become a god and have his own planet to rule. The Mormon god had a father as his father also had a father. Their god was not always a god, but was given the earth to rule by a council of gods who rule the Universe. This council of gods recognized the Mormon father god's great works and rewarded him by giving him the earth to rule.

              The teach that the man-become-god they worship, by good works and being faithful to the gospel of his "heavenly father," after he died, and was resurrected to the what they term the "Celestial" heaven and there was exalted to become a god. Now as a god, he came to this planet, earth and with his wives, began to produce spirit children in heaven. Some of his spirit children were allowed to come to the earth as mortals where if they are faithful enough to the LDS church, and its gospel, they to can after their deaths be resurrected to the Celestial heaven and there they too can become a god. This is a brief description of Mormon belief, but it is factual and what the LDS churches. The god of Mormonism was first a man, born into a universe that already existed and afterwards became a god. This is the LDS doctrine of "eternal progression." However, the LDS god could absolutely not be the God of the Bible, because the LDS god was first a man, then became a god. They proclaim they worship our true God and Creator, however that is clearly a false statement. God, the Lord Jesus Christ, created the heavens and earth in six days. God's last act of creation was to create man on the sixth day. That totally refutes the teachings of the LDS which teach their god was once a man and is now a god of flesh and bone. The creation of man was the last act of creation therefore making it impossible for a man to be born into a universe that already existed and yet be the creator of the Universe.

              They teach this exalted god-man now abides in heaven with his family of many heavenly wives and children. There he and his wife(s) are busy sexually producing "spirit" babies. When human babies are born on earth, these spirit babies, like their god did, come to earth and receive human bodies. They then are allowed to continue on the road to exaltation or "eternal progression" and by being faithful to the Mormon church and its teachings. Thus, by their good works, they become "worthy" and can become gods like their heavenly father did. When they become gods, they receive their own world to rule.

              The LDS church emphasis on the family is the result of their belief in a man-become-god. A man came only become "worthy" to become a god if he is married and has a family. A LDS man in order to become a god, but go the an LDS temple and perform a ceremony called the "Celestial marriage" or the "endowments." In this ceremony he is "sealed" for all "time and eternity" to his wife and children making godhood possible. The LDS god must have wives in heaven in order to have "spirit children" who can be born on and populate his planet.

             The Mormon Jesus is also not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Their Jesus is first born son of their man-god whose second son was Satan. They openly teach that Jesus and Satan were brothers. Many Mormons believe Jesus was married to several wives including Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.

              Mormon salvation is quite different from biblical salvation. They are seeking through the process of "eternal progression" by good works and faithfulness to become "exalted" and in the future become a god themselves. These foundational teaching of the LDS church was expressed by Lorenzo Snow, who was President of the Mormon Church when he wrote the poem entitled, "Man's Destiny":teach that " A verse in the poem reads, “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become."

    WHY HAS THE AREA BEEN NEGLECTED AS A MISSION FIELD?

              The Inter-mountain West is truly a pioneer mission field! There are literally hundreds of small towns without a Gospel witness or a Bible believing church. The area was settled at the direction and under the control of the LDS church in Salt Lake City. Most non-Mormons who tried to settle there and would not convert to Mormonism, were persecuted and discouraged from remaining. The geographic isolation of the land made it very easy to control. Today there are still many areas where the population is more than 90 percent Mormon although the state overall is reported to be 76 percent LDS.

              Because of the almost absolute dominance of Mormonism it is a very difficult area to preach the Gospel and build Bible believing churches. The LDS people have historically opposed any intrusion by others into their heart land. Mormons are taught that Christian preachers are the "hirelings" of Satan and that all Christian churches are apostate and serve the Devil. Christians moving into these areas in the past have been looked upon with suspicion and at times openly treated with contempt.

              Working among the Mormons can often be very discouraging. Mormon eyes are blinded by their false religion and Mormon hearts are hardened by their legacy of being "born" Mormons. They take great pride in their pioneer Mormon beginnings. To trust the real Christ as their Savior would be to deny their proud heritage. Religious and social pressures are extreme upon any who would attempt to leave the Mormon church.

              Typically the work is slow often taking years to establish solid self sustaining churches. The boom or bust economy of the region also adds to the difficulty of building churches there. In several areas churches that appeared to be prospering and well on their way to being established have failed or had serious set backs due to a collapse of the local economy.

    SOME ENCOURAGING RECENT EVENTS

              Today, resent changes in the LDS church policies has to a large degree lessened open opposition. Historically Mormons did not call openly themselves by the name "Christian" choosing rather to be identified as "saints." However, because of economic pressures and their evangelistic work in areas outside of Utah (especially in the Eastern states) it has become advantageous for them to be identified as a Christian denomination. They are seeking to throw off the stigma of being identified as a cult and to move into mainline Christianity. In their efforts to appear "Christian," they are pursuing contact and cooperation with mainline Christian churches. This has had the effect of lessening opposition to preaching of the Gospel in Mormon areas. (It must be understood that the LDS church has not changed, but that they are attempting to change their image.)

             Because of the climate and beauty of the land, many non-Mormons are moving to Utah to retire. Southern Utah is one of the fastest growing retirement communities in America. The coming of these retirees has been largely welcomed by the business men of this historically economically depressed area. Some of these retiring people are Christians who are interested in starting Bible believing churches. Many are lost and need to be reached with the Gospel.

             The recent rebuilding of Utah's main north south Interstate Highway 15, preparations for the 2002 Olympics, and current boom in the housing industry are bring great numbers of “outsiders” (non-Mormons) into Utah.

    THE PRESENT NEED.

              Within the past ten years there has been an increase in Baptist missionaries working in the Inter-mountain West. There are still many small and medium sized towns without a Gospel witness or a Bible believing church. Even in the highly populated Wasatch Front there is a great need for Gospel preaching Baptist churches. Church planting missionaries are needed whom God has called to the area. The need is for committed men of God who are willing to bear the difficulties and the harshness of the area and who will faithfully and undauntedly preach the Gospel.

              God has given a great opportunity for Bible believing churches to be a part in this work. Churches are needed, who with their prayer and financial help, will be partners with those God is sending to the Inter-mountain West.

    For additional information on Mormonism click the line to be taken to the Bible Truth Mormonism Page.


    Missionaries Cooper and Carolyn Abrams are sent out of Calvary Baptist Church, King, NC and have been church planting in Utah since 1986.
    Sending church address: Calvary Baptist Church, PO Box 136, King, NC 27021 - 336 983-3728
    Our Field Address: Fellowship Baptist Church, PO Box 94, Brigham City, Utah - 435 452-1716
    Church Web Site: http://fellowshipbaptistchurch.info
    Church E-mail: fbcbrighamcityut@gmail.com


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