MBTS to host evangelism workshop on Mormons

MBTS to host evangelism workshop on Mormons

KANSAS CITYMidwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) will feature speakers Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministries, founders of H.I.S. Ministries International Dennis and Rauni Higley, and President of Watchman Fellowship, Inc. James K. Walker at the spring Interfaith Evangelism Workshop. This year’s emphasis will be on the Latter-Day Saints (LDS). MBTS President R. Philip Roberts, author of “Mormonism Unmasked,” will also speak at the workshop.

Workshop sessions will begin Mar. 30, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m., and continue Mar. 31, 8 a.m. to noon.

“This is truly a rare opportunity to have these outstanding personalities who have come out of deep involvement in the Mormon Church together for this workshop,” said Roberts. “Those who participate in this workshop will be exposed to invaluable insight into the most meaningful and life-changing ways to reach out and share the Truth with a Mormon friend or acquaintance.”

Tanner and her husband, the late Jerald Tanner, both came from multi-generation Mormon families. Tanner herself speaks as a great-great-grandchild of Brigham Young who began to question the Mormon Church and its teachings as a young woman. When she met Jerald, who had converted from Mormonism at the age of 19, they began to study the Bible and the Book of Mormon together, as well as visit different Protestant churches.

It was after listening to a sermon on the great love of God and the mercy offered through Jesus Christ on a Christian radio station that she accepted Christ as her personal Savior on Oct. 24, 1959. In 1983, the Tanners reorganized their company Modern Microfilm Co. as the non-profit organization Utah Lighthouse Ministry. Through this ministry, they have reached out to their community through humanitarian aid and also provided critical research and documentation on the LDS Church in print.

The Higleys similarly come from solid Mormon backgrounds. Dennis was a sixth-generation Mormon and a High Priest within the Mormon Church before his conversion. Rauni converted to the LDS Church in Finland, and then came to the United States where she worked in Salt Lake City, Utah as a translator in the Church Offices for almost 15 years. In the process of translating Mormon history from books not available to the general membership of the church, she began to notice all the changes and contradictions within the doctrines of the Church.

When she mentioned all of this to Dennis, they decided to compare Mormon doctrine and the doctrine of the Bible to find out if they matched. As a result, they too left the LDS Church and established H.I.S. (He Is Savior) Ministries International through which they help Mormons who are questioning their belief system.

Walker was born a fourth generation Mormon and trained to participate in all the rituals and practices of that faith. He progressed through the ranks of the LDS Church, even receiving the Aaronic Priesthood all before the age of 21. However, Walker left the Mormon Church and received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior in 1976. He joined the staff of Watchman Fellowship – an apologetics and discernment ministry that provides research and evaluation on cults, the occult, and new religious movements from a traditional Christian perspective – in 1984, becoming president of the organization in 1994.

With over 20 years of ministry experience in the field of Christian counter-cult evangelism, apologetics and discernment, Walker has been interviewed as an expert on new religious movements and cults on a variety of network television programs including Nightline, ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. He has spoken at hundreds of churches, colleges, universities, and seminaries throughout the United States and internationally.

Roberts has held his current position of MBTS president since 2001. Prior to serving at Midwestern, he had held a variety of positions, including director of the Interfaith Witness Department of the North American Mission Board, professor of missions, professor of evangelism and dean of theology. He has written another book “The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism” in addition to “Mormonism Unmasked.”

In the course of the workshop, these guest speakers will share from their experience how to most effectively witness to those of the LDS faith.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Sessions will be held at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at 5001 North Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, Mo. 64118. For more information, please call 1.800.944.MBTS (6287) or 816.414.3733, email agilmore@mbts.edu, or visit the MBTS Web site at www.mbts.edu.