During our conversation and almost within the first half hour, the missionaries did something I had not experienced in a very long time. They pretty much gave their version of an altar call. Basically, my son and I listened patiently to the missionaries present their belief that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Then they quickly took their presentation to a point that called upon my son and I to decide if we wanted to know if Smith was truly a prophet. The room became quiet as we let the silliness of the moment sink. For the missionaries were not asking us to think but to feel if Smith was a prophet.
As awkward as the moment was, even I was at a loss for a moment as to what to say. I knew it was pure nonsense, yet I was doing everything I could not to run them out of my house by being over zealous. As calmly as I could, I steered the conversation back to Scripture. I went to Deuteronomy 13 as an answer to their "decision". The true prophet Moses states in that text:
"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.Now we have every reason to believe Moses was a true prophet of God. We also have every reason to believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. We have every reason to believe the God has spoken to us in His Word. Yet when I pointed out that their view of the nature of God plainly and sufficiently contradicted what Moses had to say, they began their subtle attack on the sufficiency of the Bible.
It was here that the missionaries showed their true colors. Their arguments were exactly that of Rome's. One must have an infallible external authority in order to know and understand Scripture. So yet again, the issue became the sufficiency of Scripture. Is God able to speak in such a way that men are culpable for what is said? For the LDS church, and Rome for that matter, the answer is "no".
The conversation went for over two hours and all of my questions almost always reverted back to the sufficiency of Scripture. For LDS members, the answer will always be "Utah says so." For the Christian, the answer must always remain faithful to what God has spoken through Christ and His Apostles and Prophets.
In the end, one of the missionaries did say something that quite surprised me. He said that I had offered him the most thorough explanation of the Gospel he had heard. I guess on the one hand I take that as a compliment. On the other hand, I find it quite sad that for a 21 year old man, to have never heard the Gospel in a consistent presentation is more of an indictment and a blemish upon the Christian church.
To be honest, I know there are things that I did not say because I am in no way prepared to deal with LDS missionaries. It is far too much work. I feel lazy, and that is no excuse. Nevertheless, I pray for these young men. Perhaps God would be gracious unto them and show them the inconsistency of their beliefs and bring them to a place in which they would be willing to repent of their sin and polytheism, and turn to the One True and only living God and His Son.