A NOTE FROM THE THOMPSON'S...
Our call to ministry in Utah began in 1990 following a week of teen camp in central Utah. We were packing our van, preparing to leave, when a missionary pastor named Jonathan Edwards said, “As you travel down highway 89, from Ephraim, Utah, to Page, AZ, see how many Christian churches you can find.” We took the challenge and as we travelled 275 miles through 23 rural Utah communities we could not find even one Christian church. We were SHOCKED! When we arrived back in Phoenix it seemed as though Christian churches were on every corner and the Spirit of God challenged us, “If you leave here, someone else will take your place but who will go to Utah for Me?” Jamie and I answered, “Yes, LORD, we will go.” One year later our amazing Utah adventure began.
Since 1992 my family and I have been reaching Mormons for Christ in the rural town of Ephraim, Utah. Ephraim is located in the heart of the Mormon kingdom in the very center of the state of Utah. Sanpete County, where we live, is a true mission field with less than 1% of the population being Christian – easily 95% are Mormon by birth with about 78% claiming active membership in the LDS Church.
Our first 13 years in Utah were spent planting and pastoring the Ephraim Church of the Bible (EphraimBible.org). Then 10 years ago, we shifted our focus to Mormonism evangelism and have been building Tri-Grace Ministries ever since. There are many facets to TGM: First and foremost, we are an evangelistic outreach ministry to Mormons; Secondly, we teach and train others to evangelize Mormons; Thirdly, TGM hosts and provides leadership to the Solid Rock Christian Club on the Snow College campus in Ephraim (the only Christian club at this predominantly LDS state college); And finally, TGM offers a variety of internships for individuals interested in: evangelism; college campus ministry; Christian coffee house ministry; and service internships.
We often liken our mission in Utah to the Biblical story of David and Goliath. Just as the shepherd boy David, in his human frailty was no match for the giant Goliath, even so we have no human strength to stand against the massive Mormon machine – but like David, we have a great GOD! We are struck by the fact that David did not walk onto the battlefield with the intention of irritating Goliath, his goal was to slay the giant. Even so, we are not in Utah to irritate Mormonism, we are intent upon the downfall of this false religious system. Some may say that our goal is ‘pie in the sky’ but we believe with God all things are possible. And, honestly, we see cracks in the foundation of Mormonism and they are growing ever larger.
DON’T GET THE WRONG IDEA ABOUT OUR UTAH MISSION—Our battle is not with the Mormon people. we love Mormons! The LDS people are merely sheep who have been led away from the true Shepherd by false prophets. Our real battle is with the ‘wolf’ and his false religious system that has been devouring sheep for the past 175 years. Our ministry to the LDS people is as gentle and non-contentious as we know how to make it. We pattern our efforts after the Apostle Paul’s admonitions found in 2 Timothy 2:23-26, “Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
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