I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I was busy with a large outreach campaign in Salt Lake City. We began the campaign with quite a bit of media: TV and newspaper ads, ads on bus shelters, and a tri-fold mailed into thousands of homes. All of the media directed people to our website: www.beyeperfect.org. Then we had over 50 people follow up for two weeks going door to door asking if people had seen our ads and what they thought of them. This proved effective as we got into hundreds of prolonged discussions centering on the crucial issue of how people are worthy in God’s sight and how they are forgiven. We even attracted media attention in that we were interviewed by a couple of newspapers and a TV station.
What was especially interesting was the initial reactions we encountered at people’s doors. The vast majority of people we met were LDS and most were quite courteous. But what was so interesting was the two radically different ways they reacted to our message. Some initially responded that they agreed with our message that we are freely and completely forgiven in Christ. As we explored that with them and asked them if that meant they had to do nothing to be saved – because that is what we meant – they withdrew their agreement. But others, when we approached their door with the same message, would immediately say that our message was anti-Mormon. It was mind-boggling to go from one door to the next and get such totally different reactions from LDS members.
I really shouldn’t have been surprised by such differing reactions. These differing reactions illustrate the confusion many LDS members are experiencing. With the LDS Church’s push to be seen as Christian (I remember when I began my ministry how LDS members didn’t want to be identified as Christians like us!) many of its members are confused on how to react to Christians. But they also know our emphasis on being worthy before God based entirely on Christ’s work and not on our work is not what the LDS Church teaches. Thus the confusion.
But by far the strongest impression I received these past two weeks is that Mormons still need to hear the message that Jesus has done it all for them. Regardless of how they initially responded, they all eventually got to the point of saying that they had to do something to be right with God. But what is so encouraging is that many listened with interest (and some with tears in their eyes) as we shared with them the wonderful news of God’s free forgiveness in Christ. There is no better feeling than having somebody thank you, with great emotion, for sharing that message with them. To God be the glory.