In a few days, the mission team from First Family leaves for Manti, Utah, to be a part of the evangelism efforts to share the true gospel with Mormons attending the Mormon Miracle Pageant.
Each morning we gather together at Ephraim Church of the Bible with all of the other missionary teams participating in the Manti outreach. We worship together, fellowship together, and participate in in-depth training to better equip us for the task of reaching Mormons with the gospel.
The last couple of years, we have been blessed by the testimony and insight of Lee and Kathy Baker. Lee served as a bishop in the LDS Church for many years before God saved him out of Mormonism. His testimony is a fascinating account of his journey towards the truth as he wrestled with the lies and half-truths of Mormon history and doctrine.
God used a single quote from Joseph Smith to serve as a tipping point for Lee Baker. (It is recorded in the History of the Church, Vol. 6, page 408-409.) In this official, church-sanctioned history of the LDS movement, Joseph Smith is quoted as saying:
“Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”
The pure audacity of that statement, that Joseph Smith had more to boast of than any other man since Adam, including Jesus, destroyed Lee Baker’s false belief in the genuineness of Mormonism. Rather than pointing to the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ, this quote is straight from the satanic pit from which it originates.
Last year, Lee took to the streets and started openly challenging the LDS crowds to open their eyes and see the truth. Dressed in his full Mormon Bishop “uniform” (black suit, white shirt, name tag, etc.) he stood on a small ladder and powerfully told the story of his conversion and the steps God used to bring him to true saving faith. (You can watch videos of Lee Baker’s conversion testimony and of him preaching on the streets of Manti. Links are provided at www.TheCompass.life/235.)
Lee Baker’s testimony is a fabulous example of God’s power and of His saving grace, and God is using Lee’s testimony to penetrate into the darkness of the LDS Church. Pray that God will open the eyes of millions of Mormons who believe the false claims and false gospel of Mormonism.
If you are like me, I love to hear the testimonies of men like Lee Baker. It both encourages and amazes me how God saves men and women from all walks of life and from all economic levels of our culture. At the same time, I look at my own testimony and can feel a little under whelmed. I was saved as a 10-year old boy. There’s not a lot of before and after for me. Obviously, this is a tremendous blessing. I am very thankful that God spared me from the pain and trials that often come with a lost life. Yet, I confess, I wouldn’t mind having a little drama to spice up my testimony.
Still, I have learned through the years that God can use our story as both an encouragement and gospel witness no matter how bland it may appear to us. For example, our social networks are filled with good, moral people who live good, moral lives, but who have no concept of their own sinfulness before a holy God. It is important for others to hear that it makes no difference how clean your life may appear, in the eyes of God, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). As a result, we are all in need of a savior.
This week, as we conclude our two-week look at New Covenant Evangelism, our focus is on the “How” of evangelism. How do we share the gospel with someone who is asking us that all important question—“what must I do to be saved?” At the same time, what steps do we need to take to get to the point with someone in our circle of influence? A starting point is to have a simple, clear testimony—a story.
As you watch the video lessons this week and reflect on your own efforts to share the gospel with those God has placed in your path, it is my prayer that God will begin to show you (and me) the “lostness” of our city and begin to reveal to us the opportunities we have all around us to be a part of God’s redemptive work in saving a people.–Chris Eller
“O God, move our church closer to your heart for the nations (and our community). Make your passion our mission!”
This week’s R2R distinctive
Prayer (Psalm 66:16-20): I pray to God to know Him, to lay my request before Him and to find direction for my daily life.