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Question #1: Are you Christian?
The short answer: “Yes, absolutely. I believe in God the Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus is my personal Savior, as well as the Savior of the whole earth, and that it is only through His grace that we are able to return to live with Him in heaven.”
The essential points you will want to make are:
1.While we don’t believe in the Holy Trinity as a three-in-one being, we believe in the Godhead—God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three separate beings, with the first two having bodies.
2.You have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
3.You recognize Christ as the Savior of all mankind.
4.You fully understand that it is only through the grace (Atonement) of Jesus Christ that we are able to progress in the next life.
Anything less than these four points will leave you vulnerable to criticism that Latter-day Saints are not Christian. But the good news is that all four of these doctrines are fully embraced by the Church.
Usually we will want to demonstrate our support of gospel truths with scriptures from the Holy Bible, but, in this case, our best support comes from latter-day scriptures as we make our case for our basic Christianity and that the Book of Mormon is truly a second witness of Jesus Christ.
2 Nephi 25:26 We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ . . .
Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ . . . then is his grace sufficient for you . . .
2 Nephi 33:6 I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell . . .
Doctrine and Covenants 76:22 This is the testimony . . . that we give of him: That he lives!
Question #2: What makes your church different?
As it turns out, I’ve been asked this question more often than any other. It is, of course, completely open-ended. The problem is that open-ended questions can lead us into some very long and windy answers, which will likely not be a blessing to the one on the receiving end of our rambling discourse.
But here’s an idea: When I’m asked this question, I change it. After all, as we attempt to convince the world that we are, in fact, Christians, why answer this question by immediately talking about our differences? Why not talk about our similarities—which your friend will probably find equally interesting and possibly surprising.
The short answer: “Well, first of all, even though we do have some differences, we have way more things in common than you might guess. We believe in God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus is my personal Savior as well as the Savior of the whole earth and that it is only through His grace that we are able to return to live with Him in heaven.
“But we do have some differences. One of them is the Book of Mormon. It’s a book that we believe to be additional scripture that testifies, just like the Holy Bible, that Jesus is the Christ. Have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?”
Okay, that’s a little longer, but you can see the direction. First, quickly emphasize what we have in common. Then mention a single difference (such as the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, temples, living prophets, continuing revelation, etc.) and see where the conversation goes. Prime it by asking a question of your own, as in the example above.
For our commonality with other Christians, see the scripture support list for Question #1. To support the Book of Mormon with references from the Holy Bible see:
Ezekiel 37:16 The stick of Joseph, the stick of Judah . . .
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold . . .
Read full article at LDS Living.