I recently had the opportunity to witness intense spiritual warfare firsthand at the opening of the LDS Temple in Redlands, California . Those familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints know that whenever they open a new temple, they provide guided tours for all visitors. For the LDS church, this is their opportunity to recruit new members. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, my goal is to present people with the true gospel and refute the false "gospel" presented by the LDS church and other cults of Christianity.
In order to witness accurately, I took the Redlands Temple tour prior to witnessing. From the conversations and appearance, it seemed that at least 80% of the people on the tour were Mormons (those who wore white dress shirts and dark slacks). Why do Mormons go on a Temple tour if they can get in as members? For the most part, only a small percentage (less than 20%) of Mormons have the Temple Recommend Card that is required to attend the temple. The tour began with a video presentation that fairly accurately presented the LDS faith (except it left out the part about Mormons becoming gods). As, usual, the LDS presentation included the false charge that all Christian churches had become apostate.
It is legal to pass out information only on public property, so we were restricted to the sidewalk in front of the parking lot. It was also required that we not block automobile traffic entering and leaving the temple area. We began by passing out gospel literature on the sidewalk as the cars were leaving the parking lot. The LDS parking people thought they would thwart the process by letting people know that the literature was "anti-LDS." They put up a sign and also had a person in the parking lot telling the visitors that we were not official. The Mormons often scowled at us on leaving, but the non-Mormon were intrigued, so the plan actually caused more people to take the literature!
Yes, the LDS church is the WRONG WAY. Do what the sign says... DO NOT ENTER!
More Christians showed up later, so we decided to hand out literature at both the entrance and exit. Things went pretty well for a while, although the Mormons were not happy that Christian gospel literature was going into their temple. After a few minutes two of us decided to go to dinner, since everything was covered. As we were leaving, we heard loud voices behind us. So we turned around and went back to find some LDS authorities trying to intimidate our co-worker into not passing out the literature. A strange thing was happening though. When our friend was being harassed, virtually every auto stopped to take the literature! I am convinced that God was giving us a sign that He was with us. Soon, Kurt Van Gorden, the head of Utah Gospel Missions showed up with a video camera and the strong-arm tactics of the LDS authorities suddenly ended.
After dinner, we started handing out literature at the entrance again. Soon, an LDS official in a suit showed up and tried to intimidate my friend into stopping the literature distribution. Finally, he jumped in front of him, preventing access to the car. I stepped to his left and the people in the car took the papers. This "dance" continued for another five minutes and to my surprise, every car took the literature during this time.
After the LDS official left, things got pretty quiet, since the number of cars entering diminished significantly. One of the younger of the two guys directing traffic asked why we were passing out literature. My friend explained that he was a former LDS member who had left the church because he found that their teaching did not follow what the Bible said. We were also asked if we were being paid to pass out literature. They couldn't believe that we were doing it out of service to Christ. We were each asked what faith we belonged to. When I answered "Christian," he asked what church I went to. The answer, "Sierra Madre Congregational Church" led to the question, "But what kind of church is it?" The answer, "non-denominational" didn't make sense to him, since they are taught that all Christian denominations have become apostate. Another LDS official had noticed the conversations, and pulled the younger man aside for a while to talk to him. When he returned, he wasn't talking any more.
The older man started up a conversation and was trying to witness to us! He was quite articulate and knowledgeable on many subjects, and the conversation was quite good. However, within a few minutes, the official came back and pulled him aside. When he came back, he muttered "letter of the law" and said something about "agency" (the LDS term used to describe free will). Soon, we struck up the conversation again and tried to do it without looking at each other (so that the official would not know that we were talking together). However, if you have ever tried to do this, you know it is pretty hard to do, and soon the official came back and yanked him off parking duty - not to be seen again for the rest of the night. Later, as we were leaving, we said goodnight, and apologized to the young parking attendant for getting him in trouble. He replied that he wasn't in nearly as much trouble as the other guy!
Our primary goal in going to the Redlands Temple tours was to present the truth about the LDS faith to the visitors - something that the LDS church avoids doing. When non-LDS people find out that Mormons are trying to earn their way to godhead by doing temple ceremonies, the appeal of the Mormon religion diminishes significantly. Mormon teachers avoid telling new converts about the more bizarre aspects of LDS theology and practice until they have been fully incorporated into their ward (the local LDS church). The kind of control over members exhibited at the Redlands temple tours is characteristic of a cult that feels the need to completely control its members. Please pray for your LDS neighbors.
Last Modified June 4, 2006