Evangelicals believe the Bible teaches that Jesus has always existed (John 1:1) and is one with the Father (John 10:30). He was born of a virgin in a non-sexual union. He is far above the angels (Hebrews 1), including Satan.
The Holy Spirit: Mormons believe the Holy Spirit does not have, as God and Jesus have, personhood in the Trinity. Instead, he is nothing more than a spirit manifestation that is from the Father.
However, we evangelicals believe the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father (Acts 5) and has personhood (Ephesians 4:30) in the Trinity (Matthew 28:19-20).
After examining just the differences in belief about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the evidence is clear that Southern Baptists and Mormons are incompatible in theology. To further study the differences, I recommend www.4truth.net, a North American Mission Board website that succinctly details all of the differences.
Allow your Mormon friend to explain his or her beliefs. Show genuine interest and respect. Then succinctly share your personal testimony about your own personal faith in Christ. Always mention that your friend can have the same experience.
Whenever your conversation moves toward the theological differences between Mormonism and historic Christianity, explain that these are very serious. Start by noting these differences. Then share with your Mormon friend how he or she can experience true salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember to explain that Jesus is defined by how he is portrayed in the Bible alone, not by any other book.
I cannot think of a greater act of love than taking the time to show individual Mormons how they can know the Truth.
Jeff Brawner is chairman of the department of missions and assistant professor of missions, theology, and church history at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, Tenn. He is the author of “How to Share Christ with Your Friends of Another Faith.”