What Does Scripture Say about Choosing to Obey God over Pleasing Family and Friends, Including Those I Love Still in the Mormon Church?

Question from a reader:

Since my church resignation from the Mormon church, I have been almost daily shocked at the contradictions between my Bible study and LDS church doctrine. When I left, I didn’t know if my spouse would leave me, and I didn’t know how lonely it would be to lose decades-long friendships, but I had to for God.  

Could you provide me some insight as to what may happen to so many misled people who believe in Jesus (a distorted gospel) and are good people who went to church with me? I pray for them, but I wonder about this every day. It is very disturbing. 

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

When I read what you wrote, about how you had to give up relationships for God, I thought of Luke 14:26, where Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” I remember reading a commentary on this verse years ago, and it talked about how it’s not that Jesus is telling us to literally hate our family members (clearly family relationships are designed by God, and we are to care for our families), but that our love for and devotion to Jesus are to be so strong that all other loves pale in comparison.

It must feel very costly to not have your friends in your life, and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you to think of your friends and family still inside the Mormon church and to worry about their salvation. As you know from reading Scripture, being good doesn’t get us to Heaven (as if we could ever be good enough on our own) but Jesus does, when we accept His offer of salvation. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Here is a resource you might like to read. This is an excerpt of what they say:

Those who follow the Mormon faith also believe that they can attain heaven through works (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43; 2 Nephi 9:23–24; Alma 34:30–35; Articles of Faith, p.92). While they claim faith in Christ, they also rely on following the commandments of the Mormon Church (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p 188; Mormon Doctrine, p. 670) and practicing good works (2 Nephi 25:23; Alma 11:37) in order to achieve salvation. The Bible is very clear on this point, stating that good works can never earn the way to heaven (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8–9; Titus 3:5) and that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation (John 10:9; 11:25; 14:6; Acts 4:12). Salvation by grace is incompatible with salvation by human works (Romans 11:6).

Sadly, many in the Mormon Church are unaware of the religion’s shady past, amended scriptures, and even the full doctrine of their church. Many Mormons who have discovered these things have left the church and come to a true saving faith in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we must treat Mormons with love and understand that they are among those deceived by Satan himself (1 Peter 5:8). Satan’s goal is to distort the truth, produce false assurance of salvation, and extend a deceptive hope of godhood (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Another resource/ministry we recommend is CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry). They have many resources on their website related to Mormonism, including this one.

We can pray for God to open your family’s eyes, that He will “grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25). May God continue to bless you and encourage you as you study His Word.

Photo: Unsplash

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.