When the Mormons (also known as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) come to my door, you should always ask them the same question because it’s a question Mormons can’t answer. You should do this because this question is essential to their beliefs. The question to ask regards why Mormons believe Mormonism is true, which they believe to be true because they had a subjective personal inward witness of the truth of it. The book of Moroni encourages seeking this inward witness (what follows is on the first page of one of my copies of the Book of Mormon): “Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things….that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:3–5). This is also known as the “burning in the bosom.” In their Doctrine and Covenants, which Mormons also consider to be inspired scripture, it says, “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (9:8). Now obviously if any person believes that they have received a personal revelation — directly from God — that something is true, then that can trump just about any other arguments about the truth of whatever they believe. Therefore, if a Christian chooses to argue with a Mormon about any other doctrine, it’s unlikely to change their minds because they have received what they believe is a subjective personal assurance directly from God that Mormonism is true. Therefore, the question concerns the trustworthiness of their subjective personal experience.
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