Before going on this missions trip to Utah, my understanding of the Mormon culture was very limited. The basic facts I knew came from mostly a couple sentences within a chapter of my social studies curriculum in middle school. Joseph Smith populated Utah and to this day the majority of the population remains Mormon. I soon later learned that they also used to practice polygamy, and really these were the only things I knew. To me, Mormonism was somewhat of a fable or a myth. Throughout my week of serving in Stansbury Park, Utah, it gradually became clear to me how real Mormonism is. It is a very real, tragic falsehood. Mormons, as well as all nonbelievers, need to be taught the saving truth of the Gospel.
Therefore I was extremely encouraged by the faithfulness of Stansbury Park Baptist Church’s members, their resistance of the common Mormon culture, and their dedication in serving their community to proclaim Christ. It was a stark contrast to how the rest of their environment lived in sin. I met a girl at the church, Jenna, who shared my age of nineteen, and she told me how she had never met a Christian the same age as her. I was humbled that God has blessed me with friends back home who are my age and believers, which I have always taken for granted. Yet, I was also blessed to hear how, despite living in such Mormon-immersed surroundings, Jenna continues to find her identity and joy in the Lord even without having like-minded peers.
Additionally, Vacation Bible School was definitely some of the most enjoyable moments of the week. I was given the role of watching the group of the youngest kids, ages 4-6. Being the age group that is least likely to retain the things we teach them, I found joy in the very small things that they did, such as remembering part of the memory verse or simply jumping around during worship session. However, I became increasingly anxious knowing that these young kids are growing up in schools and environments where false teaching is so prevalent. This further motivated me to keep them in prayer, as well as trust in God’s sovereignty and authority.
At the end of the week, Pastor Andy Lynch took us to Salt Lake City to visit the Mormon temple and the Church History Museum. Seeing the deceased principal, key figures in their Mormon history gave me a wake up call in the realization that those people were now in hell. It scared me when I saw how their teaching could appear enticing and comforting to others. It made me angry at the fact that they were twisting Scripture and not acknowledging Jesus Christ for who He is. But it especially broke my heart to see the fervor and passion that the Mormons have in something that does not exist. It was overwhelming to the point that I had to sit down. God showed me how crucial and necessary evangelism truly is.
Simply put, this trip has harshly reminded me of the depths of man’s sin and what I have been saved from. Returning home, I praise God for saving me from my flesh. It could have easily been me that was born into a Mormon family, growing up in the Mormon faith. Yet it is only by God’s grace and mercy that I am here today knowing the truth and knowing that He alone is worthy of all praise. We did not get many chances to evangelize during the trip, but it has been such an undeserved privilege to serve alongside the eight others who were on this team to serve God’s purposes. I am confident that all nine of us have returned home knowing that the Gospel needs to be shared without delay. Praise the Lord for the work He has done on the cross and the work He is continuing to do to bring more glory to Himself.