Most people who leave Mormonism discovered that they could not trust the LDS church. As a result, they have a hard time trusting any church. As a mentor, your mission is to transfer that trust from a church to trust in God. Also, it’s good to be aware of the ways a Christian church can undermine a transitioning Mormon’s trust.
Help People Learn to Trust the Bible.
The arguments made by the LDS church to undermine the Bible are simply not true. Help your friend understand why Christians have always believed in the reliability and authority of the Bible.
- Show them the Bible’s witness of itself.
- Help them understand how the Bible has been handed down to us through the centuries.
- Tell them about the accuracy and readability of modern language translations.
- Help them see that the Bible is a gift from God by which He has communicated His heart of love to us.
All of this will help them trust the Bible.
[Related: Why I Trust the Bible after Mormonism]
[Related: Where Did We Get the Bible?]
[Related: Manuscript Evidence: Has the Bible Changed?]
[Related: Archaeological Evidence for the Bible]
[Related: Are There Contradictions in the Bible?]
[Related: Why Is the Bible Reliable?]
[Related: Is the Bible Reliable?]
Help People Learn to Trust the Church.
Let your friend know that no one is asking them to trust in a church the same way they once trusted in the LDS church. Help them understand that there is one true church, but that it’s not a human institution. It’s a family of all the people around the world who follow Jesus. It takes shape in many different congregations and denominations. Tell them about how important it is to get connected with other Christians for their own spiritual growth, health, and well-being.
Unfortunately, there are some Christian churches that do use some of the same tactics that Mormonism uses to control or manipulate their people. Yet these churches are not the majority. Try to bring your friend to a church that has genuine integrity and truly caring people. You may have to evaluate your own church by these standards before you invite former Mormons. Make sure that your church is a place where impediments have been removed that hinder people from trusting the church.
Help People Learn to Trust the Pastor.
Steer your friend away from any church that elevates the pastor to an authoritarian position. That’s unhealthy and doesn’t help build trust. Instead, talk about the checks and balances churches have put in place to keep pastors and spiritual leaders accountable. Explain how churches are governed. Let them know about the training the pastor received for his ministry. Tell them about times where your pastor displayed his personal character. It is also really helpful if your pastor is willing to spend time with your friend, listening patiently and genuinely caring. All of these things help build trust in not only your pastor, but also pastors in general.
Help People Gain Discernment.
Now your friend may not trust his or her ability to distinguish truth. They have been deceived before and could be fooled again. Let them know that they don’t have to be and won’t be deceived again if they develop discernment. Guide them to passages of Scripture where it shows us how to tell the difference between truth and error. Encourage them to test everything, not by feelings but against God’s Word. As you help them gain discernment, you are helping them rebuild trust in their own ability to make good decisions.
[Related: Can We Trust Our Feelings to Know What Is True?]
Help People Trust God.
Your ultimate goal as a mentor is to help people place their trust in God. Try to help them see that no one is asking them to trust in a pastor or a church in any ultimate sense. Once their trust in God is secure, they can trust Him with the church, their pastor, and the people. They can even trust God with all of their own weaknesses.
The trustworthy character of God is discovered in His trustworthy Bible. Take some time to look at the passages, like those in the discussion questions below, that really explain why God can be trusted.
[Related: Regaining Trust after Mormonism]
[Related: Trust Your Instruments]
[Related: I Believe in God, but Don’t Trust HIm Fully]
[Related: Dealing with Loss of Trust]