Transitions: The Mormon Migration from Religion to Relationship

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We encourage you to "do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth" 2 Tim. Spend time in the Word as your daily bread, pray for guidance, and allow God to show you how to reach out to the Mormon people.

Be grounded in your own understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have the implanted word James in your hearts, then the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance all that Jesus has said John and you will be "prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect " 1 Pet. This gentle approach is extremely important, and we will get to that a little later. We strongly encourage anyone trying to minister to Mormons to have a basic understanding of Mormon doctrine.

Here are a few links from some of our partner ministries that will help you in this area:. Basic Doctrines. Terminology Differences. Ministering to LDS Missionaries. Just like in any culture, it is helpful to be familiar with the language they speak. This is particularly important when it comes to understanding Mormonism, because Mormons often use the same terms as Bible-based Christians i.

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Without this understanding, it can feel like you are talking circles around each other. Having an understanding of their terminology will help you understand where they are coming from and equip you to more clearly communicate the Gospel message with them. We do caution you, however, not to get too bogged down in trying to perfect your knowledge of the LDS church and its many doctrines. It will not be through your knowledge and intellect of Mormon doctrine that those you are witnessing to will come into a relationship with Christ; but rather through the seeds planted in their hearts by the living and abiding Word of God.

Lastly, we would encourage you to focus your conversations on the message of God's grace through Christ Jesus as delivered in the New Testament. We shouldn't be trying to win debates or intellectualize anyone out of the LDS Church. Rather than using church history or apologetics to convince someone of the error of their religion, we would counsel you to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, emphasizing the free gift of eternal life that is being offered through Jesus Christ alone.

We then pray that God will open their eyes to how the Biblical Gospel of Grace conflicts with the Mormon doctrine of salvation by works. We have learned over the years that when someone is shown the errors of the Mormon religion without having been given the truth of the Biblical Gospel, unfortunately, they often lose faith in God altogether.

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This is exactly what God did in our own lives when we left the Mormon Church; and God channeled all of our passion, zeal, and dedication that we once had for Mormonism into a desire and intensity to share the true, undefiled Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not simply trying to bring people out of Mormonism; we are seeking to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Make sure to ask questions to have them clarify what they have said and what they believe. Seek to really understand what they mean when they share their faith with you, especially if they use the same terminology as you.

Be open and respectful in allowing them to share their beliefs.

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Most of the time this would be unfruitful in a conversation because, generally speaking, Mormons don't trust the Bible in the way Christians do. They will see this as semantics and most of the time it will cause them to shut down. Stay away from Mormon Church history, past prophets, etc. In general, we would encourage you to stay away from digging up the skeletons in the Mormon Church's closet or any other apologetic approach. A lot of Mormons will simply discount anything you say as "anti-Mormon" if it puts their religion in a bad light.

If you want to discuss with Mormons things their leaders have taught, we encourage you to use the most up-to-date information, i. Above all other tools and approaches, we encourage you to use the Word of God as your primary source of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

As Paul tells Timothy, "All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work" 2 Tim. This seminar will discuss the planning and strategy behind Transitions, a new multimedia resource designed to assist those who have made the decision to leave Mormonism and migrate into traditional forms of Christianity.

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In consideration the process of religious disaffiliation and reaffiliation, rather than emphasizing the destination, this paper will focus on issues related to the journey itself, and how religious institutions can be more sympathetic and helpful to those making the journey of immigration, whatever direction that migration might be taking the individual. Although this still plays a large part in individual religious convictions, we now live in a global village with media connectivity attached to consumerism that provides for a host of options, not only for consumers of goods and services, but also for religion and spirituality.

This means that not only are we learning more about religious options in the marketplace, but also that exchanges between individuals of differing religious traditions, including evangelistic interactions, are taking place. On the process of worldview transformation from the perspective of missiology see Paul G. Survey data confirms that this process is taking place.

In the Pew Forum released its U. Many traditional religious institutions are struggling in the present late modern or postmodern and post-Christendom environment, and this includes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The present cultural environment negatively impacts its ability to make and retain converts. The LDS Church claims that it is one of the fastest growing religions in the world,7 but there are good reasons to doubt this. Through a comparison of U. Welch, ed.

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Each year thousands of people make the decision, for a variety of reasons, to exit the LDS Church in search of other options. To focus on one specific set of numbers, Richley Crapo calculated the U. LDS membership as of Related to this essay, membership outflows in terms of those who may choose a process of religious migration included 63, disengaged nonbelievers In terms of religious migration destinations, Crapo includes these under the category of affiliations of the disengaged, with a breakdown of 26, Considerations on the journey of the Mormon immigrant Former Mormons face a number of challenges in their journey.

One of the more insightful academic discussions of this process comes from Howard Bahr and Stan Albrecht in an essay that they wrote for the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion in This religious migration involves a number of factors, and I will discuss highlights of these as discussed by Bahr and Albrecht. Although dated, their research is still helpful and relevant to the journey of contemporary religious immigrants. See Stan L.

Albrecht and Howard M. Bahr and Stan L. This study is dated, but it represents one of the few scientific studies available. Its age argues for the need to fund new research data for analysis. In their research, Bahr and Albrecht drew upon two state-wide surveys in Utah among Latter-day Saints in the early s and considered the results in light of their further research on religious disaffiliation, the creation of new roles of "ex" identity, and interviews with disaffiliates. Several aspects of their research are noteworthy, not only in what it tells us about religious disaffiliation from Mormonism, but also in the implications in assisting those in making the journey of religious reaffiliation.

First, a word of caution is in order. Due to the small number of interview subjects the authors consider their findings "exploratory and illustrative or sensitizing. They are not statistically generalizable in any way. Second, Bahr and Albrecht draw upon the role theory work of Helen Ebaugh in her description of the "role-exit process" in a variety of relationship contexts.

Role theory and the four-part process of role-exiting in connection with identity theory provide a helpful framework and another significant facet for understanding the process of disaffiliation. Third, the authors are cautious in the interpretation of disaffiliate accounts of prior group membership.

Albrecht, Marie Cornwall and Perry H.

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  • Bromley, ed. The latter is especially significant in relation to evangelical approaches to Mormonism. This presentation touches on sociological studies in religious disaffiliation, secular anti-Mormon critiques of Mormonism, evangelical counter-cult critiques, and ex-Mormon narratives. Several aspects are noteworthy.

    'Transitions' Program Helps Ex-Mormons Adapt to Christianity - The Christian Post

    First, Payne and Wimmer note that no recent scientific survey work has been done to confirm why people leave the LDS Church or the religious or irreligious direction their lives take after their departure. This is significant in that evangelicals make statements about the effectiveness of apologetics aimed at "worldview annihilation" in regards to Mormons which then allegedly leads to migration into evangelical churches.

    Although some religious migration undoubtedly takes place in connection with apologetic exchanges, such claims as to why and the numbers of people involved in the process are anecdotal as scientific surveys have yet to be undertaken that can provide good data for a better understanding of the religious disaffiliation process in this context. Second, Payne and Wimmer note that secular "anti-Mormon" critiques tend to be more prevalent than evangelical ones, and many of the secular arguments against Mormonism can be turned against traditional Christianity. As a consequence, the perceptions of a typical former Mormon about an event are likely to be more anti- Mormon.

    The outcome may be consolidated as it was for example in the United Kingdom or democratization may face frequent reversals as it has faced for example in Chile in Different patterns of democratization are often used to explain other political phenomena, such as whether a country goes to a war or whether its economy grows. Democratization itself is influenced by various factors, including economic development, history, and civil society.

    The ideal result from democratization is to ensure that the people have the right to vote and have a voice in their political system. There is considerable debate about the factors which affect or ultimately limit democratization. A great many things, including economics, culture, and history, have been cited as impacting on the process. Some of the more frequently mentioned factors are:. Democracy development has often been slow, violent, and marked by frequent reversals.

    In Great Britain, there was renewed interest in Magna Carta in the 17th century. The English Civil War — was fought between the King and an oligarchic but elected Parliament, [36] during which the idea of a political party took form with groups debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of The Glorious Revolution in established a strong Parliament that passed the Bill of Rights , which codified certain rights and liberties for individuals. The American Revolution — created the United States.

    The new Constitution established a relatively strong federal national government that included an executive , a national judiciary , and a bicameral Congress that represented states in the Senate and the population in the House of Representatives. The French Revolution briefly allowed a wide franchise. The French Directory was more oligarchic. The German Empire was created in The Kingdom of Italy , after the unification of Italy in , was a constitutional monarchy with the King having considerable powers.

    Transitions: Leaving One Faith for Another

    Italian fascism created a dictatorship after the World War I. The Meiji period , after , started the modernization of Japan. Limited democratic reforms were introduced. According to a study by Freedom House , in 67 countries where dictatorships have fallen since , nonviolent civic resistance was a strong influence over 70 percent of the time. In these transitions, changes were catalyzed not through foreign invasion, and only rarely through armed revolt or voluntary elite-driven reforms, but overwhelmingly by democratic civil society organizations utilizing nonviolent action and other forms of civil resistance, such as strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, and mass protests.

    One influential survey in democratization is that of Freedom House , which arose during the Cold War. Freedom House, today an institution and a think tank, produces one of the most comprehensive "freedom measures" nationally and internationally and by extension a measure of democratization. Freedom House categorizes all countries of the world according to a seven-point value system with over questions on the survey and multiple survey representatives in various parts of every nation.