Don’t Pray to Jesus?

When I was recently in Salt Lake City, I had the opportunity, on a few occasions, to sit with members of the LDS Church and talk at length about our differences in belief.  They had invited me into their homes because they wanted to understand why we had come to Salt Lake City to witness to Mormons.  They wondered why we were doing that since they felt we were all Christians and all believed in Jesus.

I explained our concern for their eternal destiny based on the Bible’s clear statement that adding anything to Jesus’ work to save us effectively nullifies that work (see, for example, Romans 11:6).  I also told them that, although I realized that they didn’t like to hear it, the Jesus of Mormonism is very different from the Jesus of the Bible.  One of the many examples I cited was that Mormonism teaches that Jesus is not to be prayed to.  Most didn’t understand my difficulty with that as they responded with the idea that they highly honor Jesus by praying in his name.

I thought of those conversations last week when I was reviewing a LDS manual used to prepare missionaries and came across the quote that follows.  It is from Elder L. Lionel Kindrick, who served as a General Authority.  Talking about the importance of prayer, he commented:  “We always pray to our Father in Heaven and to him alone.  Our prayers are rendered in the name of the Son and communicated by the power of the Holy Ghost.  We do not pray to the Savior or to anyone else.  To do so would be disrespectful of Heavenly Father and an indication that we do not properly understand the relationship of the members of the Godhead.” (Missionary Preparation Student Manual, p. 40)

That clearly illustrates not only that Mormonism teaches that Jesus should not be prayed to but also how Mormonism, in many different ways, is disrespectful of Jesus.  It clearly does not give him equal honor with the Father.  But that is the type of honor Jesus deserves as he himself said:  “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” (John 5:23)  Both the words “even as” and the context clearly indicate that Jesus is talking about being honored with the same honor we render God the Father.  And then Jesus continues with this sobering statement:  “He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”  If you don’t give Jesus equal honor, you aren’t honoring the Father either.

Mormonism, on the basis of its own words, falls under this condemnation.  The Father is not disrespected when we pray to Jesus.  On the contrary, that is something he delights in.  Rather he is disrespected when people think they shouldn’t pray to Jesus. That is a teaching that angers him.

On so many levels, Mormonism and biblical Christianity clash.  But, as we again experienced in Salt Lake City, many people don’t like to admit that. It would be a step forward for all involved to see this and acknowledge this.  Then it would be easier to have frank and serious discussions.  And having such discussions are important because nothing less than eternal souls are at stake.

9 Responses to “Don’t Pray to Jesus?”

  1. 1 Tom B
    July 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I am an ex-mormon and was wondering how much success you had in Utah.

  2. 2 markcares
    July 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Tom:
    We feel we had lots of success when we keep in mind that our job is to plant seeds and let the Holy Spirit work through the Word. We (about 60 people) witnessed to the saving truth of Jesus over 1,800 times! Of those 1,800, 200-300 were extended conversations, some lasting over an hour and a half. Besides that we had thousands of visits to our website (http:www.beyeperfect.org) where people could read our message in depth. We also received good media coverage with both print and TV interviews.
    The other thing we tried to do and I feel we accomplished was to put a loving but concerned face to Christianity. Many, many LDS thanked us for our approach. Hundreds requested that we would pray for them. We still have on-going conversations with a number of people.
    For more information on what happened in SLC, go to http://www.witnesswell.wordpress.com.

  3. July 17, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Mark, I rejoice with you in knowing that God will do a great work to open the eyes of those Mormons
    who you and your friends witnessed to . I reject what that Mormon manual you cited teaches because
    because the New Testament arrangement for those who come to Christ [ Matt 11:28] reveals that
    they will be completely forgiven and reconciled to God , they enter into a personal relationship with Jesus
    — a direct one on one interaction with Him through prayer , worshiping and praising Him daily .
    This is the Father’s will , and it brings Him glory .
    Keep up the great work Mark , the precious Mormon people need to know the liberating truth about
    receiving eternal life —Jn 17:3 .

  4. 4 JRSG
    July 17, 2013 at 8:21 am

    King James Version (KJV)

    Matthew 6:9
    9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

    John 14:13-14
    13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

    14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

    John 15:16
    16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    John 16:23
    3 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

    No where in the Bible does Jesus say to pray to Him. Every time Jesus teaches about prayer He says to pray to the Father in His (Jesus) name. It is not Biblical to pray to Jesus directly. Jesus never taught to pray to Him directly. No where in the Bible does it say to pray to Jesus directly.

  5. 5 markcares
    July 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hi JRSG:
    Was Stephen sinning in Acts 7:59-60?

  6. July 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    If you look at Jesus’ ministry in the New Testament everyone came to Him for their request and they were granted from forgiveness of sin to healing to wisdom, comfort, feeding the hungry, to calming the storms, people made endless request of Jesus Christ Lord and Saviour, is He not still alive today? Do we not still petition Him today?

    Jesus was and is Immanuel

    How can such an obvious truth be obscured?

    Luke 5:12
    King James Version (KJV)
    12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

    Did this man not pray directly to the Lord who is Christ Jesus?

    Lord Jesus I pray give the Mormons eyes to see and ears to hear!

  7. July 19, 2013 at 6:49 am

    JRSG, you sure left out some pertinent Biblical testimony about this issue . Now I’m not accusing you of
    using a deliberate straw man tactic here but you truly have been detoured from discovering the truth about
    what the Bible reveals about this issue because you’ve chosen to follow leaders who are well meaning
    individuals who ” teach for doctrine the commandments of men ” ; and the statement in the Church Manual
    that Mark cited is a good example of this . Warning : this doctrine is the wrong thing to be wrong about .
    It’s sad to hear your testimony about this which you have shared .

  8. 8 ginamharris
    July 22, 2013 at 4:20 am

    I stumbled upon your blog today while looking up something in preparation for teaching an upcoming Lorenzo Snow lesson. Your words are delightfully thought provoking. I always enjoy a discussion, especially about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is always fascinating to me how we, as members of various churches, agree on many things, yet interpret other things so differently. My soul craves discussions about these things.

    Such a divide, yet a root similarity I see here, despite differences, is a shared, deep & abiding love for our Savior Jesus Christ and desire to be with Him and have Him with us. I know I am nothing without Him. I’ve been a member of my church all my life, but it took thirty years and some heartbreaking losses and realizations to truly turn to the Savior and invite Him in. I was lost but now am found. All the days of my life will I follow Him and praise His name.

    Having been a lifelong member of my church, I know what we believe and know there are differences between many of these beliefs and the beliefs of other Christian churches, yet not always know the exact points of doctrine where we differ. So, your blog, I find extremely interesting. Helpful for me, how you have paralleled the doctrines- comparing and contrasting. This process helps me learn so much. I admire your zeal and forthrightness in sharing the Good News. Thank you for your words and thought provoking message. May God continue to bless you.

  9. 9 markcares
    July 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Hi ginamharris.
    Thanks for your comments. I would love to hear more about your thoughts on Jesus and other topics. I say that because not only are there differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity and I would like to hear your views on some of those specific differences, but I also know that there are serious consequences for not having the biblical view especially of Jesus and the fact that he has done it all for us.
    I hope we can dialogue more.

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July 2013

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