One of the major hindrances of one who has been approached by Mormon missionaries or who have entered in to a conversation with someone of the LDS faith is the lack of understanding of their religion. Many do not know where to begin the discussion and many will miss an opportunity to study the word of God together.

These questions are designed as a starting point:

1. Why are your young missionaries referred to as “elders?”

The word “bishop” is the word ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos) in the original language (Greek), and the same word is translated as “elder” (1 Timothy 3:2).

According to Paul, an elder must be “the husband of one wife…” (Titus 1:5-6). He must also have children who are “in subjection with all gravity” (1 Timothy 3:4) and who are “faithful” (Titus 1:6).

Are you married? Do you have children who are faithful? Do you fit these scriptural qualifications?

2. Why do you install deacons at age 12?

Paul writes, “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:12a). Are these young men married? He adds, “…ruling their children and their own houses well” (1 Timothy 3:12b). Do your children at the age of twelve have children of their own, as well as their own houses?

3. Would you follow a doctrine which contradicts the Bible?

If not, why not? If so, why use the Bible at all?

4. Does the Bible contain all that is needed to be added to the Lord’s kingdom/church?

Does the Bible contain all that is needed to know about how to remain faithful and to obtain eternal salvation? (2 Peter 1:3) If so, then why is the Book of Mormon or any other book needed?

5. If I had never heard of the Book of Mormon, could I still go to heaven?

If not, then what is the point of your proxy baptism (baptism for the dead)? If yes, then why do I need the Book of Mormon?

6. In the 8th Article of Faith, it states, “We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly…”
As pertaining to salvation, where has the Bible not been “translated correctly?”

If the Bible has not been reliably translated, especially regarding salvation issues, why are you using it? (is it not your purpose to get me to understand the truth?)

7. If man is as God once was, then who was God’s god?

Joseph Smith declared, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 342-346).

Lorenzo Snow coined the phrase, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be become.”

What is eternity if there was a beginning? If God had a beginning, then who created him? Who was the first god?

8. Would you be willing to renounce Mormonism if its doctrine was different from what Paul and the other apostles wrote?

Paul, an inspired apostle wrote, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9). Do you believe this?

9. Was the Book of Mormon divinely translated into English by an inspired prophet Joseph Smith?

If so, why did the original copy contain spelling and grammatical errors?

Did the Holy Spirit not know how to spell or to properly construct a sentence?

If it was an error on the part of Joseph Smith, then would it not make him more powerful than the one inspiring him?

How can this be reliable evidence of inspiration?

10. How is it possible that the Book of Mormon was translated into Elizabethan English?

Elizabethan English was not a language during Book of Mormon “history.”

The King James Version of the Bible was translated in 1611, yet the Book of Mormon contains many quotes directly from it.

Some claim the KJV borrowed from the Book of Mormon, but how is that possible since the Book of Mormon was translated almost 200 years later?

Some claim that God gave the same revelation to Joseph Smith that He gave to the writers of the Bible, but why would he have given it to him in King James English? There is no historical accuracy to this claim.

All of these questions should give the Mormon reason to reflect and hopefully to re-evaluate his belief in the Bible and the Mormon faith.