Four hundred evangelical witnesses, including Southern Baptists, encouraged one another as they sought to share the gospel with Mormons who attended the “Mormon Miracle” pageant in Manti, Utah.
The Mormon Miracle, with a cast of 900, was held the last two weekends in June drawing more than 100,000 Mormons to the rural mountain town and its majestic Gothic/French Revival temple, located two hours southeast of Salt Lake City.
The 90-minute pageant depicts historical “moments” in Mormon history such as the persecution they faced on their trek west in the 1800s.
Part of the difficulty in witnessing to Mormons stems from the fact they use the same words as evangelical Christians but attach different meanings to them, said James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship and a member of Fielder Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Arlington, Texas. He was onsite June 16–23 with a 21-person missions team that spent the early part of the week in training.
The budding apologists, who came to Manti from several states to share their faith, heard from Sandra Tanner, a longtime Christian analyst of Latter Day Saints beliefs.
“Mormon leaders have made the tragic mistake of pointing their people toward a church instead of toward the Savior,” Tanner told the Watchman team at Utah Lighthouse Ministry, a Salt Lake City research center that compares Mormon and Christian doctrines.
Relationship with Christ
“They claim theirs is the only true church and that all others are false and have no authority. This tends to make the people more concerned about the organization than about their relationship with Christ.”
Chris Eller, associate executive director of the Baptist Convention of Iowa, described the pageant as “a great opportunity for whole families to share the gospel with a group of people who badly need the gospel right here in our own country.”
Several other evangelistic groups had their own attention-drawing items for interacting with Mormons. Still others just chatted with people until they found receptivity. By the end of the six days — two weekends of three days each — almost two dozen professions of faith had been reported and countless seeds were sown.
“We’re here to share God’s unconditional love,” Walker said, “with those who so desperately need to hear it.” (BP)
How to pray:
Pray Mormons across the country will continue to be exposed to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray churches will continue to send out missionaries to witness among Mormons and other unbelievers in our country and around the world. (TAB)