Utah is among the leaders in some of the worst statistics tracked in the US- suicide, antidepressant use, pornography consumption. It also boasts some impressive claims about entrepreneurship, financial success, and economic development. What kind of culture produces successful people with remarkable drive and ambition who can’t stand to live another day? People who appear healthy and attractive, but inside are broken and dying? When something looks good from the outside but is rotten at its core, it is a clear sign that the outer beauty does not come from what is inside. Utah was founded on and has centered around the teachings of the Mormon church, and those teachings are what created this unique environment of external success but internal turmoil. Mormonism literally demands perfection from its followers. Our vision is for people to have a chance to hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which replaces a performance standard with unconditional love and real grace.
The gospel- literally “good news” of the Bible does not demand that someone meet a certain threshold before grace applies, it offers it to people who recognize their sin and choose to accept grace as a gift from a loving father. A common Mormon objection to the Biblical gospel is that it’s too easy to be forgiven- “mercy cannot rob justice”. The answer, we know, comes from James 2:13, which says “mercy triumphs over judgment”. The miracle of the Biblical gospel is a God who acts like a good father- showing love and grace to his children while also giving them freedom, and always desiring them to honor him and his wise plan for the world he made. Salvation is adoption into God’s family, and our vision is for as many Utahns as possible leave their abusive situation and choose to be adopted into a loving family. The staff of Tri-Grace Ministries have been doing this since 1991, and we will be joining them as missionaries, reaching our to college students and community members alike to introduce the people of Utah to Christians who can share truth with them.