Monday, February 7, 2011

Mormon Chat with Carl Popy #1

A friend of mine who sets up shop with me at the University of California Irvine is very dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Mormons.  He is very knowledgeable in what they believe and interacts with them regularly.  He has made his way onto their "list", so every couple of months the Mormon Church will send a couple of new missionaries to speak to him.  I asked him if he could share some of the information he has gleaned from speaking with them in terms of how best for a Christian to approach a Mormon.  I thought if we knew what to say them and how they would respond it would be helpful and encourage other Christians to become more proactive in reaching out to the Mormons.

My friend writing under the pen name Carl Popy, for Polycarp, went to where anyone can chat with a Mormon missionary.  The following is a transcribed conversation he had with a Mormon. 
Welcome to chat.
A representative will be with you shortly.
Agent [Kollin] is ready to assist you.
Kollin: Hello, my name is Kollin.How may I help you?
Me: I have some questions about Joseph Smith and scripture
Kollin: ok
Me: I understand that Joseph Smith received revelation restoring the Bible
Kollin: Ok
Me: Is that right?
Kollin: Yes. He was commanded to go through the Bible and make corrections to it.
Me: Mormons believe that the Bible is corrupted and Joseph Smith restored it?
Kollin: No, just that parts where taken out and lost over time.
Me: and that is known as the King James Version?
Kollin: He 're' translated the King James Version, yes
Me: what is the re translated KJV called?
Kollin: We just refer to it as the inspired version of the Bible.
Me: So do you use the KJV or the inspired?
Kollin: We use the KJV
Me: Why would you use a corrupted Bible when you have the inspired one?
Kollin: I wouldn't use the word corrupted...we don't have the copyright to the inspired version, that is owned by a breakoff from our church.
Me: So your church doesn't have the inspired word of God?
Kollin: Not currently.
Me: What is this breakoff church called?
Kollin: They used to be the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, but they where bought out by another church, and I don't know the new name
Me: So, what keeps you in this church, and not the one with the inspired word of God?
Kollin: Just because they have the copyright, doesn't make them right.
Me: What does make one right?
Kollin: Truth
Me: I thought Truth and the inspired word of God were synonomous
Kollin: Carl what is it that you are really getting at here?
Me: I'm investigating the LDS church and am confused. They claim to be the one true church, but do not have the inspired Word of God.
Kollin: Not currently.
Kollin: That doesn't make us any less true
Me: How do I know that the breakoff that has the inspired Word of God isn't the one true church?
Me: What makes them less true?
Kollin: There is only one way that you are going to figure out if either one is true, and that is through prayer
Agent [Kollin] has left the chat.
Here are the comments which Carl Popy gave to this chat:

It's nothing too deep, but you see how the Mormon handled my questions.  I think it kind of highlights how differently we see things.  Generally, I think, we (orthodox) Christians, (perhaps especially Lutherans) hold to 'sola scriptura'.  We play by those rules, and expect everyone else to as well, but they don't. 
I tried to have a conversation myself.  Here's how mine went:

Welcome to chat.
A missionary will be with you shortly.
Agent [Nate] is ready to assist you.
Me: Hi Nate.
The chat session has ended.

I don't know what happened on that one.  I haven't tried it again yet.  Let me know if you have any good chats with Mormon missionaries! 


  1. Ok, as goofy as this conversation was, I do think it's a somewhat gutsy and admirable thing for their organization to have people standing by, in real time, to chat online with those with questions. I've not seen this with by Christian organization (can someone correct me if I'm wrong?)

  2. Yes, cudos to them for doing it if they believe so strongly that they are correct. We could learn something from them in their dedication to share our beliefs as Christians. In writing this blog I found an entire site dedicated to posting funny conversations from Morman Chat, so I know they get some crazy stuff thrown at them.

  3. My experience in talking with Mormons is that they engage well in conversation all the time they are able to control the topic with their viewpoint. As soon as you raise objections to their version of things and try to break down the scriptures they supposedly think support their gospel, they either break off the conversation or start attacking your honesty and your willingness to be open. It is difficult to discuss with them on this basis.