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So The Mormon Missionaries Came Around To My Place Today...


BendyLine
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I invited them in to talk after telling them I was an atheist. (By the way, it felt good to tell someone openly in person besides my wife that I'm an atheist.) I probably talked more than they did, though. I guess I was more interested in hearing about how they operate than what they believed, so yeah. They're coming back on Tuesday. The only real time we butted heads is when one of them told me we all know there's a God we have to answer to (phrasing it as "I know it, and you know it"). I replied, no, we do NOT agree on that. I also think they may have been a little offended when I didn't bow my head while they were praying. We probably spent most of the time chatting about Mormonism with me asking questions about them and what they believed (mostly confirming what I'd heard from other Mormons, I didn't get into the wacky stuff). For the most part, it was a friendly conversation. 

 

Really, they come across to me as naive kids. I mean, at 32, it's not like I'm a sage elder or anything, but at 20 and 21 you've still got a hell of a lot of stuff to learn about the world, and I know a lot of these guys grew up pretty sheltered (and from what I've heard about Mormon missionaries, they keep them pretty sheltered too). 

 

Anyway, they left a tract and are coming back on Tuesday (they didn't have time to answer all of my questions), and in case we dispense with the chit chat and get into theology sometime, I'd really like to beef up on my information about Mormonism. I probably know more than the average non-Mormon who hasn't been around them much. So are there any ex-Mormons around, or maybe people who are more familiar with Mormonism than I am, who can give me some pointers when talking to these guys? Or maybe point me towards a resource of the kinds of arguments these guys tend to employ?

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Thanks for taking one for the team.  Every minute they spend with you is a minute they can't spend bugging somebody else.  Just don't turn yourself into a martyr.

 

I'm not sure what your goal is for these conversations but if you want to help them then I would stick to talking about your own history, about how you were religious, how it doesn't really matter which con job you were part of, and how religious life makes people sheltered so they miss out on so very much.  You won't change these guys but you could give them some ideas that might help them if they ever deconvert.  Maybe do some research on ex-Mormon websites to see how Mormonism specifically harms Ex-members.

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I've also chatted with them in Ireland and they were really nice boys.  One of my bestfriends is also mormon although she is a bit liberal and drinks coco cola.  It is in my opinion a form of brainwashing.  I was super interested to know about the rules of the missionaries and read the rules and such and it is really really strict about what they can and what they can't do.  I mean to be honest I admire them in their undying faith, it must be nice to not have to question everything but alas they could not convince me.  

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I got to see "The Book of Mormon" musical (written and produced by the same guys who do"South Park") in Washington, D.C., back in July.  It was hysterical!

 

Here is  the You Tube video of the song "I Believe" from the Tony Awards show.  The lyrics are great, and - according to what I've read - a pretty accurate depiction of what Mormons believe.

 

"I Believe"

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I actually have a few weeks worth of experience debating Mormons. A few different occasions. The real sticking point of the doctrine is the translation issues - chip away at that, and they've got nothing.

 

Since they believe that Joseph Smith got the real deal revelation from God off those gold plates, then anything you can find in the language of the Book of Mormon that shadows the dodgy translation of the King James Version is a blow to the belief structure. My favourite tactic is to point out Islam as a counter-example. If there are problems in the clarity of any translation - and they have to concede that there are, because it's the whole foundation for their belief - then why translate it at all? Why hide the plates away? Why is there no transparency? Why does the language of the Book of Mormon make the same mistakes found in the King James Version - issues with pronouns, for example. Islam doesn't have that problem, because their holy book is still in Classical Arabic. There's a lengthy preface in any (guaranteed tandem with the original side by side) translation of the Quran apologising for even translating it, and encouraging the reader to learn Classical Arabic - which they believe was the language of the revelation in the first place. Scholarship on the Quran and interpretations is also much more transparent and better attested. For Mormons, the killer argument is to attack the whole concept of making a new revelation in translation at all. It just perpetuates the same distortions and politically-motivated errors that they say necessitated the revelation to Joseph Smith in the first place. For proof of this (only works with mainstream Mormons, not the polygamist kind) point out the changes in doctrine - over less than two hundred years. Polygamy being a great example - why go back on the word of God, anyway?

 

Mormon missionaries like to point out how similar they are to mainstream Christian beliefs, and leave more embarrassing points, like magic underwear, polygamy and the soul children thing, and the belief that Native Americans are one of the lost tribes of Israel out of it, at least until the target it hooked. Of course, modern DNA and archaeological evidence can handily dispatch their contentions on that last point. You can sabotage this effort to slide under the radar, by disputing the beliefs that diverge the most from mainstream Christians right up front. Happy hunting!

 

Invite them in for something like lemonade, or herbal tea like chamomile, since they can't have drinks with caffeine in it.

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Read The Book of Mormon, before they return. Have you read it? Read it. 'Nuff said.

 

Maybe when they return, play them the interview with Mr. Deity (former Mormon), or play them some Mr. Deity vids. You're doing this for them. 

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...they left a tract

 

Next time ask them to leave some 'gold tablets'.... Oh wait.... those went missing.....

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I'd really like to beef up on my information about Mormonism. I probably know more than the average non-Mormon who hasn't been around them much. So are there any ex-Mormons around, or maybe people who are more familiar with Mormonism than I am, who can give me some pointers when talking to these guys? Or maybe point me towards a resource of the kinds of arguments these guys tend to employ?

 

Well, you probably won't change their minds. The whole purpose of their mission is not to convert you, but to drive home their own faith--i.e. to further their own brainwashing (a former LDS missionary told me this).

 

Next time they show up, have your computer and flat screen hooked up and show them this:

http://www.iamanexmormon.com/2011/05/this-is-how-i-discovered-truth-my-name-is-chris-and-im-an-ex-mormon/

 

He's a friend of mine--an ex-mormon. Remember, their mission isn't really about you--it's about their own spiritual journey.

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Joseph Smith was a fraud and a charlatan.  Learn a little bit about his life and share this with the Mormons... I'm sure they won't know about any of it.  Unfortunately, they won't believe it, either.  My understanding is that they are not allowed to use the Internet, read the news, or research anything while they're on their mission.  Maybe you could ask them why, if their religion is 100% accurate, that their church would be so afraid of them investigating non-church-approved sources?  The truth shouldn't have anything to hide, right?

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I invited them in to talk after telling them I was an atheist. (By the way, it felt good to tell someone openly in person besides my wife that I'm an atheist.) I probably talked more than they did, though. I guess I was more interested in hearing about how they operate than what they believed, so yeah. They're coming back on Tuesday. The only real time we butted heads is when one of them told me we all know there's a God we have to answer to (phrasing it as "I know it, and you know it"). I replied, no, we do NOT agree on that. I also think they may have been a little offended when I didn't bow my head while they were praying. We probably spent most of the time chatting about Mormonism with me asking questions about them and what they believed (mostly confirming what I'd heard from other Mormons, I didn't get into the wacky stuff). For the most part, it was a friendly conversation. 

 

Really, they come across to me as naive kids. I mean, at 32, it's not like I'm a sage elder or anything, but at 20 and 21 you've still got a hell of a lot of stuff to learn about the world, and I know a lot of these guys grew up pretty sheltered (and from what I've heard about Mormon missionaries, they keep them pretty sheltered too). 

 

Anyway, they left a tract and are coming back on Tuesday (they didn't have time to answer all of my questions), and in case we dispense with the chit chat and get into theology sometime, I'd really like to beef up on my information about Mormonism. I probably know more than the average non-Mormon who hasn't been around them much. So are there any ex-Mormons around, or maybe people who are more familiar with Mormonism than I am, who can give me some pointers when talking to these guys? Or maybe point me towards a resource of the kinds of arguments these guys tend to employ?

They are probably programmed   I'm not being .mean or nasty here.  Mormons and others often do this      They accomplished their goal.  To get another meeting.   That is -probably the limit of their knowledge   You talked  but they controlled the conversation guided the direction . Please tell me if I'm wrong  or right after Tuesday's meeting

 

"They will have some one replacing one of them or you will have three visitors."

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Mormons are nice decent folk in my experience.  I don't have time to talk to them about their faith, though.

 

How decent can one be that is at your door trying to "sell" you their religion? You didn't invite them and anyone else showing up to sell anything would be breaking the law in my state. Individually they may be decent people as a group they are a menace.

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I've noticed that it is easy for one brainwashed victim to recognize when another brainwashed victim from another cult has been brainwashed. bill

 

And for the rest of us not in that boat we can easily see it sinking out over there while we row towards mental freedom... I got a life line here if they would just grab the damn thing. It is called reason. Sucks when someone robs that from you before you have a choice as a child. Any adult who falls victim to mormons and their door to door style shit is naive weak or mentally faulty. All you have to do is read the book of mormon or look at people like Mit R. and realize how fucked they all are.

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I invited them in to talk after telling them I was an atheist. (By the way, it felt good to tell someone openly in person besides my wife that I'm an atheist.) I probably talked more than they did, though. I guess I was more interested in hearing about how they operate than what they believed, so yeah. They're coming back on Tuesday. The only real time we butted heads is when one of them told me we all know there's a God we have to answer to (phrasing it as "I know it, and you know it"). I replied, no, we do NOT agree on that. I also think they may have been a little offended when I didn't bow my head while they were praying. We probably spent most of the time chatting about Mormonism with me asking questions about them and what they believed (mostly confirming what I'd heard from other Mormons, I didn't get into the wacky stuff). For the most part, it was a friendly conversation. 

 

Really, they come across to me as naive kids. I mean, at 32, it's not like I'm a sage elder or anything, but at 20 and 21 you've still got a hell of a lot of stuff to learn about the world, and I know a lot of these guys grew up pretty sheltered (and from what I've heard about Mormon missionaries, they keep them pretty sheltered too). 

 

Anyway, they left a tract and are coming back on Tuesday (they didn't have time to answer all of my questions), and in case we dispense with the chit chat and get into theology sometime, I'd really like to beef up on my information about Mormonism. I probably know more than the average non-Mormon who hasn't been around them much. So are there any ex-Mormons around, or maybe people who are more familiar with Mormonism than I am, who can give me some pointers when talking to these guys? Or maybe point me towards a resource of the kinds of arguments these guys tend to employ?

 

You may not be an elder but I was at a restaurant the other day and saw two Mormon missionaries eating lunch. They had name tags that said "Elder" on them and they could not have been older than their 20s. That struck me as funny.

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I invited them in to talk after telling them I was an atheist. (By the way, it felt good to tell someone openly in person besides my wife that I'm an atheist.) I probably talked more than they did, though. I guess I was more interested in hearing about how they operate than what they believed, so yeah. They're coming back on Tuesday. The only real time we butted heads is when one of them told me we all know there's a God we have to answer to (phrasing it as "I know it, and you know it"). I replied, no, we do NOT agree on that. I also think they may have been a little offended when I didn't bow my head while they were praying. We probably spent most of the time chatting about Mormonism with me asking questions about them and what they believed (mostly confirming what I'd heard from other Mormons, I didn't get into the wacky stuff). For the most part, it was a friendly conversation. 

 

Really, they come across to me as naive kids. I mean, at 32, it's not like I'm a sage elder or anything, but at 20 and 21 you've still got a hell of a lot of stuff to learn about the world, and I know a lot of these guys grew up pretty sheltered (and from what I've heard about Mormon missionaries, they keep them pretty sheltered too). 

 

Anyway, they left a tract and are coming back on Tuesday (they didn't have time to answer all of my questions), and in case we dispense with the chit chat and get into theology sometime, I'd really like to beef up on my information about Mormonism. I probably know more than the average non-Mormon who hasn't been around them much. So are there any ex-Mormons around, or maybe people who are more familiar with Mormonism than I am, who can give me some pointers when talking to these guys? Or maybe point me towards a resource of the kinds of arguments these guys tend to employ?

They are probably programmed   I'm not being .mean or nasty here.  Mormons and others often do this      They accomplished their goal.  To get another meeting.   That is -probably the limit of their knowledge   You talked  but they controlled the conversation guided the direction . Please tell me if I'm wrong  or right after Tuesday's meeting

 

"They will have some one replacing one of them or you will have three visitors."

 

 

Every denomination of Christianity is just brainwashing. Church is the center for brainwashing. The pastor is the primary brainwashing facilitator.

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Thanks all for the input.

 

I don't really have a "goal" in talking to these guys... I think a big part of it is boredom from the days of my recent unemployment. I know I have little chance of deconverting them (and I don't really want to) and they sure as hell won't be changing my beliefs. I don't want to beat them over the head with my beliefs or try to humiliate them either. My main goal in studying up on what they believe is that I don't want to be caught by surprise by something I don't know about them. I have a feeling they may end up bringing in another "elder" elder, as I can't imagine older folks sending these kids off against an open atheist by themselves. 

 

I guess I just enjoy having a friendly conversation with people who believe different things than I do. It just makes me feel better about the world somehow. The other night I was taking a cab home from downtown Austin, and during my conversation with the driver he mentioned that he didn't drink because of his religion. I politely inquired about it, and he told me he was a Muslim, and we had a nice polite conversation about his religion. I got to learn some things I didn't know about Islam, and although I can say with 99.999999 percent certainty that I will never be a Muslim, I'm fascinated by religious culture, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn about one that I didn't know much about (from the inside). 

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Thanks all for the input.

 

I don't really have a "goal" in talking to these guys... I think a big part of it is boredom from the days of my recent unemployment. I know I have little chance of deconverting them (and I don't really want to) and they sure as hell won't be changing my beliefs. I don't want to beat them over the head with my beliefs or try to humiliate them either. My main goal in studying up on what they believe is that I don't want to be caught by surprise by something I don't know about them. I have a feeling they may end up bringing in another "elder" elder, as I can't imagine older folks sending these kids off against an open atheist by themselves. 

 

I guess I just enjoy having a friendly conversation with people who believe different things than I do. It just makes me feel better about the world somehow. The other night I was taking a cab home from downtown Austin, and during my conversation with the driver he mentioned that he didn't drink because of his religion. I politely inquired about it, and he told me he was a Muslim, and we had a nice polite conversation about his religion. I got to learn some things I didn't know about Islam, and although I can say with 99.999999 percent certainty that I will never be a Muslim, I'm fascinated by religious culture, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn about one that I didn't know much about (from the inside). 

 

That sounds to me like a good enough reason to want to talk to them. It broadens your own education and life experience. I like that kind of conversation, too, if it can be done peacefully without anyone getting "hot under the collar."

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Mormons are nice decent folk in my experience.  I don't have time to talk to them about their faith, though.

 

How decent can one be that is at your door trying to "sell" you their religion? You didn't invite them and anyone else showing up to sell anything would be breaking the law in my state. Individually they may be decent people as a group they are a menace.

 

To be fair, their intentions are pure and honorable given what they believe is true.  We understand rather easily that they're caught up in the throws of deceptions and delusions, but it is not so easy for a person to overcome that and escape.  Many of us are hard-wired in a sense to be prone toward that ancient mystical mind, one simply has to look and see that the sweeping majority of the human race believes in god.

 

So for them, they really do think that Mormonism is the truth and that following it's teachings and precepts is a sure-fire way to the good life.  Now putting ourselves into their shoes, if this were actually true it would be a good thing, in fact a GREAT thing to do.

 

However, they just happen to be wrong though unknowingly so.  To me, just like in a court of Law if you want to convict someone you have to prove Mens Rea (criminal intent) and I see no malicious intent on their end.  Just good people who are deep in a powerful delusion that if we're all honest.. isn't too destructive.

 

Hope this helps,

CA

 

 

 

diidn't mean to post this reply please delete it.

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Thanks all for the input.

 

I don't really have a "goal" in talking to these guys... I think a big part of it is boredom from the days of my recent unemployment. I know I have little chance of deconverting them (and I don't really want to) and they sure as hell won't be changing my beliefs. I don't want to beat them over the head with my beliefs or try to humiliate them either. My main goal in studying up on what they believe is that I don't want to be caught by surprise by something I don't know about them. I have a feeling they may end up bringing in another "elder" elder, as I can't imagine older folks sending these kids off against an open atheist by themselves. 

 

I guess I just enjoy having a friendly conversation with people who believe different things than I do. It just makes me feel better about the world somehow. The other night I was taking a cab home from downtown Austin, and during my conversation with the driver he mentioned that he didn't drink because of his religion. I politely inquired about it, and he told me he was a Muslim, and we had a nice polite conversation about his religion. I got to learn some things I didn't know about Islam, and although I can say with 99.999999 percent certainty that I will never be a Muslim, I'm fascinated by religious culture, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn about one that I didn't know much about (from the inside). 

 

That sounds to me like a good enough reason to want to talk to them. It broadens your own education and life experience. I like that kind of conversation, too, if it can be done peacefully without anyone getting "hot under the collar."

 

 

Maybe once but time after time of them showing up just reminds me of how brainwashed and deluded they are and makes me want to help them which is something that never really works out for them. I just shut my door but they go and keep on ranting.

 

I guess I am just not that fascinated by voluntary ignornace anymore in my life. I see it and them for what they really are and they can hide behind their little mormon suits and ties. It changes nothing. They are trying to make people the same victim they are to their religion. I say they are commiting a crime even though the law does not. You have a right to your religion. You should not ever have a right to trespass to try and SELL it to others something that in my state no salesman can do unless "god" went with them first.

 

Mormons may as individuals be decent persons. As a group they are a menace.

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Even after I deconverted, my parents threw a little hissy fit when they found out I had talked to Jehovah's Witnesses who came around. It was stupid. JW's are so much like Xians--actually, even more conservative than most--that there is zero chance I would consider joining them. I hate the way fundies flip their lids over cults that are just branches of their own cult.

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Even after I deconverted, my parents threw a little hissy fit when they found out I had talked to Jehovah's Witnesses who came around. It was stupid. JW's are so much like Xians--actually, even more conservative than most--that there is zero chance I would consider joining them. I hate the way fundies flip their lids over cults that are just branches of their own cult.

The only thing worse than someone that doesn't believe what you do is someone who believes ALMOST, but not quite exactly what you do. That's why I suspect Christian fundies get their knickers in a twist over fundamentalist Islam like they do...

*chuckle*

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