The First Catholic — Mormon Dialogue
Patrick Madrid vs. Elder Gary Coleman
“Which is true? The Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity or the Mormon Doctrine of Eternal Progression?” and
“Was There Really a Great Apostasy?”
In this historic and gentlemanly debate, Patrick Madrid becomes the first Catholic apologist to formally debate an official representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church). President Coleman was at the time an LDS Mission President in Southern California. He has subsequently been called to serve as a General Authority in the LDS Church (Quorum of the Seventy).
This exciting exchange was held in 1990 at a large Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before an audience of approximately 600 Catholics and Mormons. In this respectful yet hard-hitting exchange, the Catholic and Mormon positions on these two central issues are carefully laid out and then critiqued & defended. The LDS Church teaches that in the first few centuries of the Church, there was a complete apostasy that resulted in its utter failure, collapse, and disappearance until it was “restored” in 1831 by Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, Jr. Patrick Madrid uses Scripture and the facts of early Church history to show that this is theory is not true. The section on the Trinity provides a spirited exchange in which the LDS speaker offers a critique of the Catholic doctrine of “One God in three Persons” and argues for the Mormon Church’s doctrine that there are many Gods (“a plurality of Gods”). The audience Q&A section at the end of the debate is very illuminating! Many Catholics have used this dialogue set as a helpful apologetics tool in discussions with their Mormon friends. Informative, eye-opening, and exciting!
2 audio CDs