Article 11

I just got home about an hour ago from meeting with a 76 year old man who has been a Mormon since 1974. We spent close to three and a half hours talking about Mormonism. He has been doing some serious contemplation about the LDS Church and is really bothered by the polygamy issue. He found our contact information and called to, “find out what he doesn’t know.”

He spoke mostly while I patiently listened. When I did speak, I answered his question’s about the image of God and the gospel. He now has a number of new ideas to think about. One of the things that Mr. E was most proud of about the Mormon Church was the Articles of Faith. These articles are 13 basic points to which the LDS Church believes. Mr. E went through them one by one and when he got to article number 11, he read, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

When I told him that most Mormons I’ve met do not really believe this particular article, he was shocked. He passionately explained how all Mormons worship God according to their own conscience and believe that everyone should have the same privilege. I then explained how I have attended public Mormon events to pass out gospel tracts and witness to Mormons. Mr. E exclaimed, “How Dare you!” as he reached across the table to slap my hand. I laughed as I withdrew my hand and said, “See what I mean?”

That stunned him. I explained that I am worshipping God according to the dictates of my conscience when I am in the act of evangelism at public events. Mr. E sheepishly smiled as he understood my point.

That gave me an idea. The next time a Mormon asks me what I am doing at a Mormon temple opening, the Mormon Miracle Pageant or any other public event hosted by the Mormons, I am just going to answer that I am exercising article 11. At that point, the Mormon has only two choices. They can choose to obey article 11 and allow me to continue in worship or they can deny their Scripture and argue with me about how I do not have the right to be there. It is always interesting to see how much of Mormonism some Mormons really believe.

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