Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The missionaries stopped by to give a lesson...


Sunday, I was laying in bed, taking a nap when the door bell rang.  My teenage son opened the door, and invited two LDS missionaries into our home.  They had made an appointment with my wife to give our family a lesson.  But I'm certain they came to teach the less active/non believing husband what the bishop felt I needed to hear.  I'm positive he assigned them to visit.  This is the 6th time they have stopped by our house.  The previous times, I avoided them by driving around the street--I know pathetic.  After sitting down, and building a relationship of trust, which I initiated, they began to teach my family about the restoration of Jesus' church.  

It was a painful process to sit there in silence while these two 19/18 year old missionaries sat across the room and explained why there was a need for a restoration of Jesus' church.   It was a very slick sales pitch.  I should know, I served a  mission and then taught at the MTC in Provo for two years.   This is kind of how  the conversation went;

Elder 1:  "What happened to all of the apostles of Jesus Christ?"

Me:  "They were all killed, except John the Revelator.

Elder 1:  "That is correct--all but John the Revelator.

Elder 2:  "That is why we needed a restoration, because there was no one who had the priesthood authority.

Me:  Loud eye roll.  (Thinking to myself,  what about John the revelator, why restore things if he was still here.  Also weren't the 3 Nephites running around fixing wagon wheels and telling people to get food storage.  Not to mention there were other men that still had the priesthood alive on the earth).

Elder 1:  Looking at my teenage son,  "How does that make you FEEL knowing a loving Heavenly Father loved you enough to restore His gospel back on the earth?  (Feel free to insert appropriate Heart Sell music here).

All in all it was a surreal experience.  These two young men, in the prime of their lives, could be finishing college,  working for a career, or just having fun.  But instead,  they are in my living room--on their own dime, trying to sell the church to a non believing husband and father.   That is really all the church has left-- slick sales tactics used by teenagers (who just graduated from high school)  to generate an emotional response in an individual.  Then by manipulating those emotions, commit the individual to make life altering decisions.   It is high pressure sales 101. 



This experience bothered me for several reasons.  The first is the emotional sell they tried to use.  It was all about conjuring up positive emotions.  The binding questions they asked--there was really only one correct answer you could give.  They would then link those emotions to the holy ghost--testifying of truth.

 The second aspect that was bothersome to me, was the techniques used to generate the emotions.  The questions, the pauses, and the "looking into our souls" by the missionaries was too much.  It reminded me of fast and testimony meetings where there is the long, uncomfortable, silence between  speakers.  I think the Elders were trying to get us to FEEL their words.  That by using silence and awkwardness, the holy ghost would speak to my soul.  

The last tactic-- was asking for individuals that needed the positive message of the Mormon church.  They specifically asked about those that were struggling in life.  Again a sale technique, pounce on the individual during a difficult time. 






All the Mormon church can offer is "hope" from their message.  And that is if you buy into the message at all.  The discussion the Elders gave was a very superficial, feel good lesson.  To me that is all Mormonism can propose,  a superficial belief system.  Once you start looking below the surface,  you realize Mormonism's serious flaws.




 It is no different than any other religion or belief system out there.   Hope that a universal being will bless their lives.  Bless them with ease and comfort.  It is the same as believing in Santa Claus.  Believing in Santa makes everything extra special--but it is our parents to end up doing everything.  Same with religion, we do all the work and some unknown entity gets all the praise.   People don't need  a middle man to address "God".  Churches have taken advantage of human's need to believe in something, to make this earth experience mean something.  And these organizations charge a lot to divvy out the "blessings".  Most of which are just more work and stress in the member's life. 


The Mormon church is a corporation/business like any other business.  They market, advertise, talk up their product and sell what they have. 




To quote Elder Packer in general conference 1990;

 “Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (2 Ne. 9:50; italics added.)

Except 10% of your income, the majority of your weekends, and a lot of stress and worry.



 But to quote the holy man Bono from U2,  

"the god I believe in, isn't short of cash mister."

CS 





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