Truth in Love Update

Mark Parsons (Nampa, Idaho, USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Mark Parsons serves as Mission Expansion Missionary for Truth in Love Ministry, helping it carry out its twofold mission – 1) Proclaiming Christ to Mormons and 2) Empowering Christians to Witness. Previously, Mark pastored congregations in Georgia, Florida, and Wisconsin. In addition to his parish roles, since 2010, Pastor Parsons has been the Chief Content Curator of Bread for Beggars . In July of 2020, Mark and his family relocated to Nampa, Idaho. They are having fun exploring their new state, especially the mountains and rivers. Most mornings, Mark rises well before the sun to get in a marathon training run while listening to podcasts about Mormonism or the great gospel content available from the Bread for Beggars podcast network.

How do you carry out a mission to rescue someone who doesn't even know they're a captive and is entirely comfortable with their conditions?

How do you help someone who is finally ready to leave it, escape from a culture that has encompassed every aspect of their life?

How do you communicate clearly and effectively with someone who speaks the same or similar words as you do, but with entirely different meanings?

What does it take to see someone whose life and beliefs are opposite and opposed to yours not as an enemy, but as a victim?

How do you speak the truth in love to a co-worker, friend, or family member in a way that builds bridges for future conversations rather than barriers that block them?

Those are the just a few of the MANY essential questions that the Truth in Love Ministry (TILM) team wrestles with as it carries out its two-fold mission: 1) Proclaiming Christ to Mormons and 2) Empowering Christians to Witness.

TILM's Distinctive Approach to Witnessing

Through decades of practice and countless conversations, the Truth in Love Ministry (TILM) team has developed a distinctive, biblical approach to address the unique challenges and opportunities of witnessing to Mormons. Our "Build Bridges Not Barriers" approach, which colors everything we do, is also the tile of our keystone witnessing training program. In this program, we lay out five biblical pillars to address the unique challenges and opportunities faced when witnessing to Mormons.

Five Biblical Pillars in Witnessing to Mormons

      1. See Mormons as victims - not enemies
      2. Treat Mormons with genuine love and respect
      3. Focus on Mormon stress points
      4. Speak the Mormon language
      5. Witness Christ rather than debate Mormonism

These five pillars have been tested and refined over the years. Thousands of Christians have used them and have been amazed at how well they build a bridge to Mormons – a bridge they repeatedly walk to share the wonderful news of Jesus. They are explained in more depth in our online course, Build Bridges Not Barriers, one of the many media resources Truth in Love Ministry offers freely to empower Christians to witness to Mormons.

Adopting a World Mission Mindset

As I have been learning how to witness to Mormons, I genuinely feel like I must take on the mindset of a world missionary. I must master a new language and a culture with its unique history and customs.

To learn Mormonism, I have been working through TILM's incredible print and online training resources, reading Mormon doctrine books, listening to podcast interviews with prominent Mormons, and talking with past and present Mormons as well as those whose are actively witnessing to Mormon family members, friends, and others.

What I have come to realize in a short amount of time is that those lost in the darkness of the lies perpetrated by Mormonism are among the people groups in the world least evangelized with the true gospel of Jesus Christ and are a mission field desperately in need of more well-trained missionaries.

Thankfully, I am surrounded by a team that embodies this world missionary mindset as it exhibits TILM's five core values to carry out TILM's two-fold mission 1) Proclaiming Christ to Mormons and 2) Empowering Christians to Witness.

Our Core Values

      1. Reliance on the Power of the Word
      2. Urgency to Reach Mormons
      3. Compassion to Understand Individual Mormons
      4. Excellence in Glory to God
      5. Flexible in Outreach

When a team has a collective set of intentional core values and lives them out, incredible things can happen. Our core values actively guide our mission and ministry mindset. Whether we are making short term plans for social media campaigns or long-term goals for the entire ministry, these values guide and direct us.

So, the question you are probably asking at this point is: How does Truth in Love Ministry use media to carry out its two-fold mission?

I am excited to tell you and SHOW you how in the videos below. FIRST, watch the INTRO/OVERVIEW video in which I will walk you through TILM's three resource websites and our social media pages. SECOND, watch the WAYS WE ARE USING MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY TOOLS videos. THIRD, read on below to learn about some of the exciting initiatives we are working on and something specific that you can pray about for Truth in Love Ministry.




Individual Presentations

Mission Expansion Missionary Pastor Mark Parsons

Social Media Messenger - Molly

Creative Content Coordinator - Tasha

Founder and Author - Pastor Mark Cares

President - Pastor Jon Leach

Communication Coordinator - Gina

Office Manager - Danee

Database Manager - Casi

Marketing Consultant - Alli

We hope and pray that these videos have given you a valuable overview of how Truth in Love Ministry uses media, communication, and technological tools to carry out gospel ministry. Below you can learn about a few more media-based initiatives we are working on and about one specific area of our ministry to pray about for us.

Some of the Media Based Initiatives We're Working on These Days

    • Giving Tuesday—December 1, 2020

      • On Tuesday, December 1, we will host hourly seven-minute live broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube, and covering various areas of our ministry.

      • In addition to raising awareness about Truth in Love Ministry, we will be raising funds for our Light OF the World Christmas campaign and other ministry initiatives.

    • Light OF the World Christmas Campaign—December 2020

      • This initiative will play off and counter the LDS "Light the World" campaign, which focuses on the works of man rather than the works of God at Christmas.

      • It is centered around a paid Facebook ad campaign targeting six countries worldwide that have high Mormon populations.

    • God—The Ultimate Humanitarian Series—Winter 2021

      • As part of our efforts to help explain the truths of the Bible to Mormons and those coming out of Mormonism, we are producing short videos based on the book God—The Ultimate Humanitarian. The 20 chapters of the book and corresponding videos explore God's amazing love for humanity as it considers 20 different facets of this love.

      • Each chapter/lesson page will include:
        • Options to engage with the content based on the user's preference – by watching a video, downloading audio, or reading the video's transcript
        • Summary points and discussion questions
        • Free chapter downloads and encouragement to request a free copy of the book
        • Links to related posts and an option to ask follow-up questions (which we will use as future content—through blog posts, webinars, podcast Q&As, etc.)

    • Crossing the Chasm Book Launch—Winter 20/21

      • There is only one bridge to God. Jesus said, "I am the way" (John 14:6). Tragically, Mormons don't realize the bridge they're on will never reach God. God can use you to change that.

      • Crossing the Chasm explains the differences between these bridges. In their new book, Mark Cares and Jon Leach offer practical tips you can share with Mormons, so they too can experience the confidence of standing on Christ alone.

    • Be Ye Perfect Podcast—Spring 2021

      • As part of our "Mormon Process" to proclaim, explain, and connect (which you can learn more about in the "Please Pray for Us" section below), we plan to launch a weekly podcast.

      • Although proclaiming Christ to Mormons will be the primary purpose of this podcast, it will also serve as a valuable resource in empowering Christians to witness to Mormons.

PLEASE PRAY FOR US — The Mormon Process

Our team has been meeting regularly to study, evaluate, and brainstorm effective ways to move Mormons along our "Mormon process" (proclaim, explain, connect). The Lord has blessed our proclaiming (seed sowing) with millions of reaches this past year. Our organic audience on Be Ye Perfect's social media platforms has also increased dramatically.

The Lord has also supplied us with an audience to explain (go deeper) with thousands of Mormons signing up for our Be Ye Perfect email list. The challenge is figuring out the right pace to take with them and the materials we create, mainly because they are all at different places. Some are mildly curious while others are ready to leave the LDS Church. The big question is how to give each what they need and still make this scalable so we can minister to more than a handful. One step in this direction will be the short videos introducing each chapter of the book God the Ultimate Humanitarian and a weekly podcast. Another step is identifying various segments of this audience and sending specific messages to each segment.

Our team is also wrestling with seeing what "connects" looks like. Over the years, we have become convinced ex-Mormons will need to be part of a local Christian fellowship. But how do we equip them to pick a group/church to connect to? How much instruction do we give them? And what form should this instruction take? How do we make the "connecting" part of the process scalable? What would a non-local church "supplemental Christian community" look like?

Many future initiatives will be driven by the answers we arrive at in connection with the "connect" phase of the "Mormon Process."

Please keep these important discussions in your prayers.

We genuinely thank you for taking the time to learn about Truth in Love Ministry.

In the discussion below, please ask us to explain more fully any area of our ministry or how we use media for gospel outreach.

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Tim Meyer 2020-10-20 2:16:52pm
Scary that the Mormon church grew by 325,000 in 2019. So happy to have Pastor Parson to lead us in reversing this trend and start winning with the Gospel!
Mark Parsons (Truth in Love Ministry) 2020-10-20 5:10:17pm

Thanks for your comment.

It is a scary number that includes children born to current Mormons and converts. Each Mormon missionary averages only six converts a year, but when there are 40,000+ out there each year, the numbers are staggering. Can you imagine if we were able to engage WELS/ELS members as active missionaries of the true gospel message?

Have a blessed day!
Judith Kuster (conference moderator) 2020-10-29 3:03:05pm
Mark, I am very impressed with all the resources you provide for a dedicated and enthusiastic team and also for the people who are Mormons to learn and understand the differences taught by their church. I think I have only really met and visited with one individual who was (is?) Mormon when I was on a national board that met quarterly in person and she became a friend during the 3-years that our terms coincided. We often roomed together. Our visits about religion and life-style were always respectful and interesting. We learned of the differences, but both felt a personal bond in the direction our lives were taking and that our faith-base was very important. That was at least 30 to 35 years ago and after our mutual board membership was over, we lost contact and I only remember her first name.

One thing I learned the result of leaving the Mormon church was that person would be abandoning their family and if people did that, they were pretty much ostracized and disowned, no longer welcomed by their family or former friends. I know the passages that one who loves father or mother, etc. more than me is not worthy of me, but for a very close and loving family unit and friends your whole life, I can imagine there is a lot of pain on both sides. If that is still what happens, what plans are there to help the new convert?
Mark Parsons (Truth in Love Ministry) 2020-11-03 10:52:00pm

Thank you for sharing your personal story and for the great question. The issue of Mormons leaving behind their culture is one that we keep in front of ourselves daily. We are making every effort possible to provide resources and relationships that can provide Mormons with a support community as they exit the LDS culture. We are working on creating several sets of resources that will serve this specific purpose. In this resource, we plan to address some of the issues and challenges of leaving behind the LDS culture and finding a new church home. In many ways, they experience what early Jewish converts did. I try to think about it from that perspective and find biblical guidance in the way we communicate and support.

Cindy W (Faith) 2020-11-01 1:08:46pm
I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
Blessings on this ministry to precious lost souls!
Mark Parsons (Truth in Love Ministry) 2020-11-03 10:46:18pm
Thanks Cindy!