Follow-up: Christian church doesn’t allow LDS parents to become Cub Scout leaders

We blogged about this story here at Mormon Coffee last week, but it is still very much in the news. A big hubbub is being made because a Mormon couple was not allowed to become Cub Scout leaders at a pack sponsored by a North Carolina Presbyterian church. Christ Covenant Church, which is about 10 miles from Charlotte, said the couple’s two boys (ages 6 and 8 ) could continue attending but the parents would not be able to become leaders.

“I can’t believe they had the audacity to say, ‘You can’t be leaders, but we want your boys,” the mother told an Associated Press journalist. “Are you kidding me?” she added, “Do you really think I’d let my boys go there now?”

Hmmm. I’m sure this wasn’t the only question raised by this very passionate mother, so as a follow-up to last week’s blog, let me predict a few more questions this mother might raise, and provide answers that make rational sense:

Question:  Aren’t Mormons Christian?

Let’s let several Mormons answer this question:

William O. Nelson, director of the LDS Church’s Melchizedek’s Priesthood Department:

“Some who write anti-Mormon pamphlets insist that the Latter-day Saint concept of Deity is contrary to what is recognized as traditional Christian doctrine. In this way they are quite correct.”

BYU professor Robert Millett:

“If an acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity makes one a Christian, then of course Latter-day Saints are not Christians, for they believe the doctrine of the Trinity as expressed in modern Protestant and Catholic theology is the product of the reconciliation of Christian theology with Greek philosophy.”

15th church president Gordon Hinckley:

“As a church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say.”

So, in essence, Mormons want to be called Christian while denying the very essence of what defines Christianity, i.e. the doctrines of the nature of God (Trinity) and Jesus.

Question: Isn’t denying this family the right to become leaders illegal?

One Mormon commenter to last week’s blog suggested that the courts will have to decide on the current controversy in North Carolina. However, the Cub Scout pack is run by Christ Covenant Church, and thus the church should be allowed to make an important decision such as this. As the Associated Press article points out, the church “is within its rights to deny the (family) leadership positions.”

Question: Isn’t this decision immoral?

The boys were allowed to stay in the pack, as they should have been. However, the parents desired a position that would have involved authority over these children, many of whom were certainly children of the church’s members. In response, the parents made the decision to withdraw their children, even though the kids apparently enjoyed the activities. Is it just me, or does pulling them out because the parents didn’t get their way sound just a bit selfish?

Here’s a final point with an illustration. Being new to our Utah neighborhood, our youngest daughter was recently invited by some nice LDS neighbors to a weekly craft group that takes place at a near-by house. We were specifically told that the group is not affiliated with the LDS Church, and while the leader is true-blue Mormon, no overt theology (i.e. Mormon doctrine) would be taught during the projects. It was all about being creative and having fun with other neighborhood kids.

Imagine my surprise when my daughter came home last week and explained how the leader was teaching the craft lesson from the LDS Standard Works. At one point, the leader exclaimed, “Isn’t it wonderful how someday all of us will be gods? You all believe that, don’t you, children?” My daughter was the only one not raising her hand.

I have a choice. I can allow my child to continue attending, perhaps after talking to the leader and voicing my concerns.  Or I could decide not to allow her to attend, maybe even trying to start my own group. But for me to demand that I ought to be allowed to lead the group is not even an option. If it is, then maybe I ought to see if the local LDS seminary (a one-hour daily church school for high school students) could use some volunteer help. After all, I have 17 years of Bible teaching experience aimed at that very age group and even own a teaching credential. I wonder how my offer would be received.

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39 Responses to Follow-up: Christian church doesn’t allow LDS parents to become Cub Scout leaders

  1. falcon says:

    Eric,
    The situation with the craft group points up a real problem that Mormons have. They are seen as being dishonest. Their's is a real bait and switch sales approach. In-other-words, they lure people in either by with holding information or giving misinformation in order to attract people. It's not uncommon for people to join the Mormon church thinking they are joining just another denomination of Christianity.
    Mormonism is built on a lie and is nourished by deceit. It's a religion that thrives on "the end justifies the means". They will say they are Christians and present themselves by using Christian terms and all the while know that the listener is applying the information through a totally different life experience. The Mormons think that if they can just get the person in the door and feed them Mormonism in small bites, that eventually they will be totally seduced.
    The result, of course, is rage and anger when people find out they have been duped and misled. I guess Mormons are content with the small percentage of people who actually stay in Mormonism and a still smaller percent that actually become temple Mormons.

  2. Verne Brown says:

    Though I think unintentionally, this couple is resorting to tactics used by atheists and homosexuals against the BSA. Falcon makes a good point – end justifies the means. They make no qualms or apologies if/when the reverse occurs (gentile leadership in LDS sponsored organizations), but squeel to high heavens on something like this.

  3. Jeff B says:

    Mrs. Stokes statements are disgusting to me. At this point I don't even think it's about her kids but about their own selfishness as you pointed out.

    It slightly reminds me of the woman who sued McDonalds because the coffee she spilled on herself had burned her. Pathetic.

  4. Violet says:

    I recommend Releasing the Bonds, a twelve-part series on YouTube, presented by Steve Hassan, an ex-Moonie at an ex-mormon conference (2008 I believe.) Its not about the religion so much as the culture. They are taught to mislead because they are not their true selves.

  5. wyomingwilly says:

    It's a shame this episode made it into the media. Perhaps the good that comes out of it would be
    that the public is informed of just how vastly different Mormon doctrine is from traditional Christian
    faith.

    ww

  6. f_melo says:

    She´s using the media to play the "victim" card, and mormons will probably use that to try to convince people Christians are persecuting them because they are the true church and the devil doesn´t want it to succeed… as they usually do.

    That may even become one of those (blind)faith-building little stories(taken out of context) used almost every single General Conference.

  7. falcon says:

    It's the deception that really bothers me. The example Eric gives regarding the neighborhood craft club is really despicable. These are kids we're talking about here. I'm surprised Eric's daughter didn't raise her hand out of peer pressure when the god question was asked. Looks like he and his wife are doing a good job of cult proofing their kids.
    Here's the thing about cults in general. The more convoluted, repulsive and just plain dingy an idea is, the more cult members will embrace it. They've gone over the line of reason and believe they are on a higher spiritual plane. Accepting these aberrant notions is part of the giving themselves over to the cult. They believe they are special because they have this deep spiritual insight that average people don't have. It's a process of indoctrination and Eric's daughter was treated to it first hand.
    Read the stories of how people who leave Mormonism are pursued by the LDS hit squads. Cults don't just let you leave. They'll bang on your door, use family members to get to you and accuse you in a back handed way of having succumbed to deep serious sin or predict that something morally diabolical will be visited on anyone who leaves.
    When my daughter was growing up, I cult proofed her because I know how cults prey on young people. She used to joke that maybe all of the positive attention might not be all that bad. She knew though that she'd have to string them along because once they find out your not a prospect…….pooooffff……they're gone.

  8. As a Mormon, I didn't really care whether mainstream Christianity considered me a Christian or not. I had my set of beliefs, and didn't care to quibble over what label to assign to that set of beliefs. If pressed, I probably would have maintained that I was a Christian while acknowledging that there were many who would disagree with me.

    I guess I'm trying to get to the larger point that Mormons will usually self-identify as Christians, and honestly so. However, they do so according to a Mormon definition of the word. Do they believe in a being bearing the title the Christ? Of course. Do they believe this being is the one depicted in the New Testament? Of course. If you stop your definition of Christianity there, then yes, they are Christian. If, however, your definition of Christianity includes anything doctrinal, then the differences start to add up. Do Mormons believe in a triune God? Emphatically no.

    Anyway, whatever. I'm still of the opinion that it really doesn't matter whether you choose to consider Mormons Christians or not. I do think that if you start adding doctrinal positions to your definition of Christianity, you need to be honest enough to exclude other religious groups who fail to meet that definition. Jehovah's Witnesses come to mind. If I'm not mistaken, they hold that Jesus and God are separate individuals, and that Jesus is not God. Further, they share many cult-like attributes with the LDS church.

    One thing I don't understand is the relationship between the BSA and sponsoring organizations. It seems almost like the sponsor (the Presbyterian church, in this case) "owns" the troop in a sense I don't get. While the troop is part of a larger organization, the parent organization seems content to allow individual troops to determine membership and leadership rules. I guess it functions a little like a franchise or something.

    So, all that said, I find myself in a somewhat similar position as that of the parents in the story. I am an atheist, and as such am pretty explicitly excluded from participation. This stings a little, as I was a scout as a kid, and have lots of great memories of scouting, but ultimately I don't think it's something worth getting too worked up about. The BSA has always maintained a very generically religious philosophy, and they've been straightforward about it. If they don't want anything to do with me, then fine, they won't see a dime of support from me and… that's it. I'm not going to cry to the media about being excluded, I'll just enroll my kids in other activities that don't make religion a prerequisite.

    I imagine some of the butt-hurt the parents felt was because of the LDS church's long history with the BSA. US-based wards usually sponsor a troop, and as such Mormons are accustomed to full fellowship in scouting. To be turned away by an individual unit when the parent organization clearly has no problem with their participation probably seems unfair to them. But they're in the wrong. Can you imagine a Presbyterian being permitted to serve in a leadership role within an LDS-sponsored troop? I didn't think so.

  9. Violet says:

    Its been years for me and I am still not over the deception. Not giving someone all the information, to me, is the same as a lie. If my husband forgets to tell me he has a girlfriend, that is a lie. The absence of truth, is a lie. And I tell my children, to lie, is cowardly.

  10. Murdock says:

    A leader of a craft group talks to children about becoming gods?

    Please provide the name, address and telephone number of the craft group leader that you say did this. I will have someone there in Utah see him or her to verify your claim.

    "Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down into hell." 2 Nephi 9:34

  11. f_melo says:

    wow, the mormon police is here… tell on him, and do it fast!

    otherwise you´ll be thrust down into hell 🙁 )

    lol

  12. f_melo says:

    "Wo unto the liar"

    poor Joseph…

  13. mossface,

    What saddens me about your story (if I read it correctly) is that you started out as a Mormon, and ended up as an atheist.

    I've quipped here before that Mormonism has been converting Christians to Atheism since 1830, but that's because I believe it has held forth a God (or gods) who is (are) unbelievable. If the Mormon gods can spawn Joseph Smith, then they're not worthy to be called "gods".

    (Before you start throwing sharp objects, please be assured that I'm writing figuratively, like Jesus' statement in John 8:44).

    For me, the hypothesis of God is the only truly satisfactory explanation for the universe and our place in it. Who (what?) else lit the blue touch paper that set off the Big Bang, for example?

    Another thing is that I can't fully explain God. I actually consider this to support my belief in Him. In my thinking, if I could shrink Him to fit into my understanding, He wouldn't be God. If there is a God, He has to be 'bigger' than the entire cosmos. Anything less, and he's captive to the laws of the cosmos just like any other creature (something that Mormonism has completely failed to comprehend), and he would not be able to do what God does, which is to bring something into being by simply speaking to the void. By contrast, we have to engineer solutions (I'm an engineer by profession).

    And, I find the work and person of Jesus intriguing and irresistible. To me, the idea that God would become human and then pour himself on our behalf until there's nothing less is sublime. As is the idea that Jesus shows us what it means to be fully and wholly God and fully and wholly human. What the "Son of Man" says to me is that people matter more than systems of religion. This is a God worth worshipping.

    I accept that you might not see this as 'proof', but I hope you can acknowledge that I can say the same about all the 'disproof' I have seen. I also hope that you can see that I'm trying to look beyond my own subjective experiences for signs of God, as far as it's possible for a subjective human being like myself do so.

    I'm curious. If there was a God that you felt you could believe in, what would he/she/it look like?

  14. Murdock, Please be serious, You and I both know That JS lied so much it was not funny, also LDS lie all the time, I keep issuing this challange and no LDS has ever taken me up on it because they know deep down inside I am correct.

    Come to my house, I will call the local Mormon ward have two or more MM's sent to my house and ask them questions, watch them lie. It happens way to often. The only thing is, You cannot tell them why you are their, otherwise they wont say anything, And I will not tell you what local LDS church I am calling so you cannot give them a heads up. You ready yo come over?

  15. falcon says:

    Moss,
    We Christians, who get involved in apologetic ministry, are a picky bunch. Let me take you back through history by means of Christian History magazine to give some perspective to this and show our motivation.
    "In our own heretical age, the dispute between Athanasius and Arius may appear to be a splitting of hairs, but it was not so at the time. The historian Gibbon was amused by the thought that Christianity almost floundered on the controversy between 'homoousios' and 'homoiousious', the fate of humankind hanging on a single iota. But the difference between Christ the mediator and Christ the God is a very real one, and whether Christ is of the 'same' substance (homo-ousios) or a 'like' substance (homoi-ouisos) to God the Father is a matter of importance to all Christians, not only theologians. Arianism brought Christ down to earth, making him at once inferior to the Father, and more popular. Following Arius, a person could believe that Christ was no more than a great, virtuous, and superbly godlike hero." (Christian History, Issue 51)
    So the Church met in councils and separated the wheat from the chaff as far as the basic foundational doctrines of Christianity were concerned. Mormons make the mistake of thinking that because men met in councils to hash out these matters instead of having a 'prophet' reveal it, that these believers weren't guided by the Holy Spirit. Mormons are stuck with some embarrassing ramblings from men whom they say are prophets but from whom they also shrink from and declare that they were just expressing their opinions and not revealing the mind of God.
    The council at Chalcedon in 451 set forth the definition of who God is and has become classical orthodoxy. Against the Arian heresy it was affirmed that Jesus was truly God. Against the Apollinarian heresy that Jesus was truly man. Against the heretic Eutyches the Church said that Jesus' deity and humanity were not changed into something else. Finally in answer to the Nestorians the Church said that Jesus was not divided but was one person.
    In the end the bottom line is that the Church affirmed certain truths that were articulated from the time of the apostles. Jesus was a normal human being. He could, therefore, fulfill the demands of God's righteous law. Jesus could suffer and die. Because Jesus is truly God, his death/sacrifice satisfies divine justice. In-other-words, God himself provided the sacrifice.
    There's a reason why we Christians get so worked-up about these things. The salvation of mankind depends on it. We believe that we should hold people accountable for what they teach in regards to the Christian faith.

  16. Sarah says:

    I was writing the other day on another article, about my friend who is LDS. And I mentioned her insistence that the BoM is the most correct book in the world and called her on it. And she side-stepped the issue of "translation" and said yeah, she knew changes have been made, but they weren't important. When before she had flat-out told me otherwise. Talk about misleading!

  17. f_melo says:

    and the mormon leaders are more than happy not only to instruct people to think that way, but to make sure they keep them in the dark about what it is they´re really doing.

    Just read Holland´s talk from the April conference, when he says that the BoM has probably been the most attacked religious book of all time. Talk about self-delusion… or was he intentionally misleading to "promote" faith? I personally believe the second conclusion is the right one, but somehow i could be wrong, and Holland could actually believe that stuff for real.

  18. Sarah,
    Before you do another thing, Give Murdock your friends address so he can get some "Honest" LDS police over to rectify the issue of a LDS member being misleading. Murdock made it clear this type of stuff does not happen and will not be tolerated.

    Then Ask your friend why she all of a sudden changed positions on where she stands. I honestly think we stand a better chance of the angel Moroni bring us the Golden plates to examine before Murdock comes to take me up on my offer, or LDS start clearly stating what they believe with out smoke and mirrors.

  19. F_melo said,

    Just read Holland´s talk from the April conference, when he says that the BoM has probably been the most attacked religious book of all time.

    This guy is either a liar, or very self deluded. All you have to do to prove him wrong is ask a few questions.

    1. Why was the Bible used in schools years ago and then removed by law? But not the BoM. It was never used in public schools.

    2. The vast majority of Atheist website attack the Bible, and people who believe it. They rarely mention the BoM. They do, but it is like the Bible 99 percent of the Time, and the BoM 1 percent. Why might that be?

    3. I go to college and know people who do, they never allow us to mention the Bible, the BoM they view as a joke, you can mention that and no one is bothered. You mention the bible and thats fighting words.

    4. Mention the Bible and say it's Gods holy word to pretty much anyone in passing and unless they are a true Believer you get people mad.
    Mention the BoM and unless they are LDS or Christian, they either give you a dumb look or dont care.

    So nope, this guy is clueless or a liar.

    Dont believe me on number 4, go back and look how people in politics are treated if they mention the Bible as the word of God. Then look at the responses if the mention the BoM. If they mention the Bible they might not get elected, if they mention the BoM, People ask questions, like, what is it, or who are the LDS or what do they teach and believe. Why is that? Because people understand what the Bible is and what is claims about God and the Bible it's self. No one really knows much about the BoM.

  20. Martin said

    I'm curious. If there was a God that you felt you could believe in, what would he/she/it look like?

    You might have noticed this also, But in my personal experience I have noticed when this question is asked of atheists the God they believe in if he/she were real sounds a lot like them.

    It's like this, Well if God were real, then they would not allow the death penalty, or we would not eat animals, or they would allow women to be pastors.

    Funny how the same people that say this stuff Are against the death penalty, or against eating meat, or are women who feel women should hold roles of senior pastors, or they are Homosexuals therefore there god would never condemn that lifestyle.

    Thats my experience with people when I ask that questions. The God they would hold to if he/she were real seems an awful lot like them on many points.

  21. f_melo says:

    You don´t have to convince me – but i got to say this, as a mormon the things did not understand i´d just ignore, because of the "testimony" of the spirit, that told me it was true regardless of the facts.

    Now that i don´t count that as confirmation for truth anymore, i was quite overwhelmed with the amount of criticism against the Bible – i have to be honest, only God knows how i left mormonism to become a Christian. Once i knew the church had lied to me about many things they also could have lied to me about Christ – that helped as well, and the works of great apologists who helped me understand some of the real issues behind the whole evoluton vs. creation deal, and the archeological problems with the Bible(no evidence of a huge number Israelites leaving Egypt, date of the destruction of Jericho, etc.), preservation of Bible text, what translation to use, etc, etc, etc.

    When i compare that to the Book of Mormon, there can´t be the same amount of criticism because the Book of Mormon has no historicity to be disputed, no cities have been located, no artifacts, no Solomon temple found in the Americas, no language that resembles anything described, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    There´s no comparison. The Bible is a true book dealing with real events that took place in real locations many of them identified. Everyone can see the manuscripts for themselves, and archeological findings such as the dead sea scrolls prove its integrity.

    The Book of Mormon is a fantasy. Evidences for it: Nada. nothing.

  22. f_melo says:

    Actually i forgot – The Book of Mormon does contain one evidence. Chiasmus… but that doesn´t mean anything even though mormons will tell you it proves the BoM is an ancient text.

    That´s been refuted so long ago i´m still amazed they haven´t given up on it yet.

  23. falcon says:

    When it comes to defining who is a Christian, a very simple test is to judge not that they say they are (Christian) but by what they believe and then of course how they conduct their lives. Someone who is born again by the Spirit of God, walks by the Spirit of God. If however, we judge people generally by their conduct, there are all sorts of people who live by Christian ethics and morals who aren't Christians. They simply have good behavior and their lives are rewarded by the good seeds they have planted in their lives.
    Mormons make several crucial errors in supposing that their religion is Christian. The first error is in thinking that "real" Christianity was lost with the death of the apostles. The problem with this are two fold. First of all there is no evidence that Mormonism existed in the first century. That was Joseph Smith's excuse for offering himself up as a prophet. The problem is, his followers then, as today, don't bother to check any of this out. That's what happens when people establish their commitment to Mormonism and Smith on the basis of a feeling they imagine came from God.
    The second error Mormons make is their claim to have a living prophet who gets high level revelation from the Mormon god thus supposing that Christians don't have living prophets who are also hearing from God. I contend that there have been living prophets in the Body of Christ from the beginning of the Church in the first century to this time. In articulating the guiding doctrines of the Church, prophets spoke as the oracles of God. Their writings are available to us.
    Mormons can't even get the most basic of their doctrines straight relative to the Mormon god. Orson Pratt said that when a person becomes a god they have all knowledge, as gods. Brigham Young rebuked him and said that the gods are constantly evolving and progressing in more knowledge. Bruce McConkie, known as the man who modern Mormon leaders would look to for doctrinal clarification, agreed with Orson Pratt. There are sects of Mormonism that claim that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet. Other sects believe that the Mormon church had a sort of apostasy in 1890 with the great manifesto ending polygamy. And it goes on and on.
    Mormons would do well to come to Jesus who is living water and will quench their spiritual thirst. He is living bread and will satisfy their spiritual hunger. This Jesus is not a god, but He is God. The only qualified Savior who can grant eternal life.

  24. Eric Johnson says:

    Murdock, why would I get you or the authorities involved in a situation that I need to take care of myself? The lady is, I'm sure, very sincere, and for all I know, she may assume my daughter is LDS. My daughter enjoys the time with the neighborhood children, so I don't want to isolate her. This is a very difficult situation we're still trying to determine. One, my daughter may only be 11, but she's had a pretty good education about Mormonism. Two, she's sharp and can take care of herself. We're actually not worried about her wanting to convert. We're more concerned that we were told–albeit not by the leader herself but from other moms–that the purpose of this group is not for evangelism's sake. There have been 9-10 my daughter has attended, and except for this time, the crafts have not been centered on Mormonism. Finally, the purpose in mentioning the story was to make a point, with no intention of getting this lady in trouble with other neighbors or, gasp, the captial C church. As for your 2 Nephi 9 quote, are you insinuating that I (or my daughter) is lying?

  25. falcon says:

    In Eric's articles, there are a couple of different points. One is; since Mormons don't subscribe to basic orthodox Christian doctrine, should they be allowed to serve in leadership positions in a church that is orthodox Christian in its beliefs. The second issue highlighted in the most recent article dealt with a neighbor who was not forth coming regarding her motives in having neighborhood children join a craft group. I've mentioned previously that as my daughter was growing-up, I took the time to cult proof her. Here are some of the characteristics and techniques cults use to seduce prospects.
    1. A self appointed leader, claiming a special mission.
    2. Deception in recruiting.
    3. Showering of love and attention of prospects (love bombing).
    4. Do not reveal all doctrines up front.
    5. Rigid standards.
    6. Claims to be an elect group.
    7. Keeps members unaware that there is an agenda to control or change them.
    8. Exerts mind control through thought control techniques.
    9. Forbids contact with family or former friends.
    10. Restricts free thinking or questioning.
    11. Forbids reading of unapproved literature.
    12. Instills members with fear and guilt to keep them from leaving the group.

    These groups also keep their members busy and occupied with cult activities. The person becomes a slave to the cult and their leaders. Fear is a major control technique. In cults a person looses their power of self-determination. They are no longer free in what they do or think.

  26. FullDisclosure says:

    Brilliant summary. Printing comment to show my second grader. My fifth grader can grasp the concept of 'psychology of mind control' or 'group think'. Will read to my second grader. Anything I say, comes across to him as anti-friend or [filtered profanity or slur] but that is not true. I grieve for my 'happy' friends. We were 'love bombed' for years and my eight year old and I still feel attachment. My second grader though has been witnessed to for so long, he has shunned his other friends except for his mormon friend. His friend was baptized, everything revolves around the 'church', boy scouting, his dad is a bishop. The more I explained key differences, the more my second grader retreats and is loyal to his mormon friend. I feel like I am competing. Motherhood. I pray a lot for my son and do a lot of smiling when I feel like screaming.

  27. Gail Owens says:

    Cults do this they lie in order to get people into their group. We recently had a cult member from the Campbellites join our (evangelical) home school co-op. They lied about their Church etc. My Husband and I were the only evangelical's in the group that stood for the truth. They were accepted an fellow Christians when their group, does not accept non campbellites as Christians, and believes in BAptismal regeneration.

    As an ex Mormon I can tell you that Mormons are told lying is ok as the end justifies the means.

  28. falcon says:

    This is full bore spiritual warfare. I know that may sound way dramatic but that's exactly what you're dealing with; not only your son's loyalty to his friend and his bishop father, but the psychological manipulation and the spirit that is behind Mormonism. I would advise that you put the full armor of God on your son as is outlined in the Book of Ephesians. What I mean is to assure that each part of that defensive armor is developed in him and that the one part of the armament, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is spoken into your son's spirit and mind.
    This sort of thing really bothers me because it is a form of seduction. It's disrespectful to you as a parent. I might go so far as have a private meeting with the father and lay out the parameters and witness the gospel of Jesus Christ at the same time.

  29. wyomingwilly says:

    FullDisclosure, I'll be praying for you and your family .

    ww

  30. falcon says:

    My friend Andy Watson was telling me about a guy he knows who was living up in Salt Lake City. The guy isn't a Mormon but while living there he had a number of Mormon friends. He said that the Mormons had an interesting strategy of inviting he and his wife over for dinner and right when they finished eating, as if on cue, the Missionaries would just happen to show-up at the door, dropping in as it were. Well it was all pretty transparent and as a technique was actually pretty lame.
    I think that the Mormon zeal to get another scalp to hang from their belts is misguided, to put it lightly. It shows Mormonism to be deceptive and the people dishonest. I don't know if a Mormon gets extra points for selling the meeting, but I'd think that being honest would be a virtue they would want to cultivate. I suppose it's an "ends justify the means" kind of mentality.

  31. f_melo says:

    That´s actually a suggestion given to members in those trainings/instructions on how to share the gospel.
    I remember hearing about that a few times. To invite friends over and without telling them invite the missionaries, or watch a church video, etc…

    Some members do realize that´s deceptive though, and prefer to tell their friends they are inviting them to a family home evening…

  32. Just do what I do, read and do your homework about the Mormons, then when they come over talk to them openly and if you feel they are lying, say so. Then either they will stop coming by and black list you or they will hear the truth and leave Mormonism.

  33. falcon says:

    The reason that we Christians come on so strong about LDS recruitment techniques is because what we are talking about here is a different god. Mormons won't be up front about the fact that their religion is polytheistic in nature and bears no resemblance to the God who reveals Himself in His Holy Word the Bible. We're not talking about some incidental doctrines that split hairs between denominations. We are talking about the most basic thing within a religion, "Who is your God?" If a religion can't be up front and honest about that, if they are ashamed to proclaim the news that they recognize the existence of millions perhaps billions of gods, if they have to resort to stealth approaches to shield their belief system, then we have to do everything we can to make sure that people are informed of these facts.

  34. FullDisclosure says:

    It is a form of seduction. Thank you. Your words mean so much to me. I feel it is full bore spiritual warfare too. Father is a neurologist. I was a word processor (now a stay at home mom). Talk about words falling on deaf ears. Yesterday I printed all your comments and am keeping a scrapbook. The ones that really spoke to me were 'ends justify the means' (the small bites approach), Chalcedon 451 'that Jesus was not divided but one person, 'they believe they are special because they have this deep spiritual . . that average people don't have' (my friend said her children came straight from God – conversation regarding pre-existence and spirit children) ie. mine were not, and my very most favorite was your 12. items regarding characteristics cults use to seduce prospects, especially forbids unapproved literature and restricts free thinking. My friend cannot make one decision alone (needs complete approval from church, family, spouse, church member.) Even recipes come from the church. No newspaper, cable tv, church approved books from library. I am not kidding. My most favorite was how LDS conduct their lives. My friend leads perfect life yet is completely anxious in a deep and real way. Any valid argument is followed up with Mormon scholars disproved that. Its a 'I do not have to think because someone else did all of the thinking for me so I may do other things. I explained to my son that their Heavenly Father and Jesus are two separate beings. Our path is directly to Jesus and he is our Savior who was perfect, sinless in our place because we cannot be. We believe we are saved by faith, through Grace, in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not by works that no man may boast. We do good works because we love god, not so that God will love us. He loves us completely and cannot love us any more than he does at this very moment. My friend is incredibly strict with 'authority'. You do as I say because I am your mother and authority but sometimes the kid needs to do something because it is the right thing to do and because he 'loves' his mother. I know this is splitting hairs, but someone out there knows what I am saying. Some authority cannot be trusted and that is where God gives us common sense, a 'gut' feeling. We should not deny this because not only is it a survival mechanism, but always trusting in authority figures, is what makes good cult members too.

  35. f_melo says:

    "My friend leads perfect life yet is completely anxious in a deep and real way."

    You brought back some memories. I was pretty much a perfect mormon, but my life was pure anxiety, i was miserable inside because i was restrained to do things the church way in regards to my personal life due to family pressure. My goodness, i would be worried if a drink i bought had caffeine in it… as a teenager that was worse, because even the kids at church were "evil" and wanted to lead me astray(into the bishop´s office for worthiness interviews).

    my life was pure hell, but people thought i was a role model. Pharisees indeed.

    "Some authority cannot be trusted" i had a Bishop who tried to seduce women… and that guy was bishop for a long time… yet, you can´t question his authority, he still called of god…

  36. You can take them to the Bible and show them what Paul wrote about how he was the Jews, Jew, He was the best of his Class so to speak, he was better than everyone, he was pretty much perfect in the eyes of his peers, Yet he says that all this is garbage in the eyes of God and his works and following the law only lead to death.

  37. setfreebyJC says:

    FullDisclosure, it is wonderful to meet you, and hear you. Praying for you and your family as well. God is so good!

  38. I'm not sure you're asking quite the right question. I don't require God to conform to my particular ideas about how I'd run things, or like things to be before I would believe. I disbelieve because the evidence appears to be at odds with the hypothesis.

    As an example, many Christians believe the story of Noah to be literally true. Global flood, two of each terrestrial animal, a single family of survivors, and so on. However, science finds no evidence of such a flood. Many of the theoretically verifiable claims of Christianity have this problem. The evidence doesn't fit the hypothesis.

    Describe to me a God whose description is in harmony with physical reality (increasingly so as our understanding of the universe expands), and you may have I God in which I could believe.

    All apologies to Mr. Johnson. I have ranged a bit further afield than the Boy Scouts.

  39. There was a recent study performed wherein people were asked to report what they felt the will of God was on a given issue, and they overwhelmingly reported the will of God to be very close to their personal preferences. I submit that theists are as likely to do as you describe as atheists.

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