Yesterday I blogged about a theme that seems to always pop up when I’m talking with Mormons: that Mormonism and Christianity are the same. Sure, there are some differences, but Mormonism is ultimately a form of Christianity just like the Baptist denomination is a form of Christianity.
I don’t buy that line.
Here’s another issue that comes up: the “burning heart.” Ask an LDSer, “how do you know that the LDS faith is true?” or “how can I know?” and he’ll reply that if you read the Book of Mormon and pray with a sincere heart, that God will reveal the truth to you via a “burning heart.” The burning heart boils down to an intense feeling or conviction that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. You’ll just know.
My question is this: how is this adequate evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon in light of the fact that people have similar reasons (a strong conviction, in other words) for rejecting it?
For Christians, the Holy Spirit gives witness to the heart that God is our (non-literal, or spiritual…He didn’t literally physically sire us) Father a la Romans 8, so I understand the possibility of having such a testimony. The thing is, though, is that for Christians, this witness is not in a vacuum–I can give several objective lines of evidence to substantiate the subjective witness. The subjective testimony isn’t the only leg I have to stand on.
Also, when I talk to others about Jesus, my subjective testimony is completely unconvincing to them. I must give reasons and evidence that they can access, which I am able to do.
But when pressed, Mormon missionaries have shied away from giving that, preferring instead to focus on the “burning heart.” I wonder why.
When you have competing “burning bosoms,” both can’t be valid. You have to go to an objective source to substantiate between the two. I wonder why I don’t see more of this in the LDS missionary approach.
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