About half an hour ago I had a fascinating and pleasant conversation with two Mormons, who were apparently visiting someone from their church. I think we had about a 10 minute conversation about our beliefs. A few dot points from things that struck me:
- We use the same jargon to mean different things. To them, "grace" means something that Jesus does to enable people to get baptised and live a holy life. To me, "grace" just means undeserved gift.
- It is quite clear that they have a gospel++ theology. They emphasised that they are calling on people to believe Jesus, get baptised and live a good life. I explained how thankful and relieved I was that I contributed absolutely nothing to my salvation
- There was a big emphasis on water baptism as a prerequisite to salvation. They placed so much emphasis on the word "water" in John 3:5 that they seemed to have completely missed the point that one can't be "born again" (same verse, elsewhere in John 3) by yourself.
- We had a brief conversation about the various English Bible translations. What's interesting is that they mentioned that they have interlinear Bibles with the literal translations "placed there by the Church". I haven't heard a Bible translator place so much authority on his or her translation, as opposed to the authority of the Scriptures in its original language (see paragraph 1 of the AFES Doctrinal Basis)
Sadly, all of us were getting bitten by flying insects that we had to end the conversation early.