I entered the plane on my way to JFK airport from Detroit after missing my flight by 5 minutes to Burlington, NY. Needless to say, I was not real happy. I sat down and a young man sat next to me which showed his nice appeal from the moment he said hello. He and his wife had two small kids (which made me miss my own) and we instantly started to talk about life and obviously theology. He revealed to me that he was a Mormon and did a mission trip to Italy when younger. Like I said, he was probably the nicest guy I have ever met.
I didn't reveal right away that I was a pastor, but it did come up. I asked questions about the Mormon faith such as: Who is Jesus? How is one saved? When are you baptized? What is the goal of life? The unfortunate thing at the end of the discussion was that everything was about works. How is one saved? He gave me a list of about 4-5 things (faith in Jesus, repentance, good works, and a good family). Who is Jesus? (not God, but the son of God). When are you baptized? (When it feels right). What is the goal in life? To eventually be sure that you will be at the highest level in heaven. A lot of works and not much hope of God's work. We exchanged emails and I hope to continue the discussion. It was my first Mormon discussion and I hope it will not be my last.
Thanks be to God that we cling to the great words of Paul, "Therefore we are saved by grace through faith, not by works so that any man may boast." Our hope is in the work of Christ for us and not our rung up the ladder! Lord have mercy.