What You Need to Do
How do you approach a sincere investigation of Mormonism? Here we offer some things you may want to consider before you begin. Once you've counted the cost and prepared spiritually for your quest, we suggest some significant components of a search for truth.
Do you want to know the truth?
God is in the business of seeking and saving the lost. Do you really want to know the truth? What if this means coming to grips with your absolute disparaging condition of being lost? What if it means that you will have to change your worldview and renounce previous affiliations? What if it means publicly admitting that you were wrong and taught others error as well? What if it means that your family is embittered toward you? What if your friends no longer associate with you? Is the truth that important to you? If so, you are in a good place to start seeking the truth. Jesus encourages those who seek Him to count the cost in the following passages:
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26-33)
If you still want to seek the truth, if you're willing to pay the price required to find and follow it, may God lead you in this pursuit. If you seek Jesus, in all His righteous and glorious truth, you will find Him.
Confession of uncertainty and desire to know Him as He is
The truth of God is so simple that a child can understand it, and so deep and wide that one can spend the rest of life under its tutelage. If God's truth is your goal, start with a simple prayer confessing your uncertainty about your knowledge of Him. Confessing that your heart is exceedingly wicked and your eyes blinded by this wickedness (Jeremiah 17:9), ask God to lead you to His truth. Express your desire to apply this truth with His help, that you have counted the cost, and are ready to seek God's truth.
(1) Ask God to reveal the truth to you
(2) Ask God for wisdom
(3) Ask God for discernment
(4) Ask God for protection from deception
(5) Ask God for the grace to act on what He reveals
It is important to have someone praying for you who is a bit further along in their relationship with God. Not only will they pray for you, they are also able to help you answer questions that you may have along the way. If you would like, Word for the Weary will find a prayer partner for you. Please visit our Prayer Connection page to request a confidential Prayer Partner.
Bible compared with LDS teachings
If you were raised LDS, you likely have several years of Sunday School teaching. Take what you know about LDS teaching and read the Bible to determine if the LDS doctrine is inline with the revealed word of God. If you are new to the LDS faith, or thinking about joining, take what you do know and put it to the test of the revealed word of God in the Bible. Make sure your goal is seeking the truth about God, and not to justify the LDS teaching.
Resist seeking out LDS commentary
While studying the Bible, you will likely struggle between what God is saying in the Bible and the LDS doctrine you have been taught. Our encouragement to you is to let God speak to you from the Bible during this time. LDS commentary approaches the Bible with the goal of justifying the LDS doctrines through the Bible passages. If you are struggling with the misalignment of the Bible and an LDS doctrine, there is a good reason. Let God speak to you through the Bible alone during this time.
Isaiah chapters 43-46
On the nature of God
The Gospel of John
On the Person and mission of Jesus Christ
Hebrews chapters 7-10
On the priesthood
Romans chapters 3-5
On sin and righteousness
On justification and sanctification
Ask questions of yourself as you are reading such as:
After you have asked these questions of the text -- then and only then -- think about the LDS doctrines and if they are in line with the Bible.
Pray Some More
The more you read, the more you think, and the more you pray, the more you may find that you need to pray. Seeking the truth of God is often an arduous process. Keep prayer as a key element in your truth seeking endeavor.
Once you've come to know what God says, and understand His revelation, it is time for the next step. The Apostle James wrote: "...in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21 NASB) James went on to explain that the Word of God is intended to effect a change in people which will result in action.
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save His life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:23-25 NASB)
We encouraged you to count the cost before you began your search for God's truth. When you near the end of that initial search, you will need to make a choice based on what you have learned. Let God's Word impel you to action; follow Him wherever He leads.