Proselytizing for Optimum Productivity

An email from a former Mormon (I’ll call “XM”) arrived in my inbox. He was disturbed over a video he found on You Tube. In the video, (now) LDS President Thomas Monson instructs LDS missionaries on how to find investigators (people interested in learning about the Mormon Church with a eye toward membership).

XM wrote,

“…listen closely at who he wants the missionaries to target. First he tells them how to ‘set the stage’ [with members] by using ‘loaded language’ (Mind control tactic #6 of 8 Lifton) and addressing the ‘sacred science’ (Mind Control tactic #5 of 8, Lifton). Then he goes on to [clarify] who he wants the missionaries to talk to by asking the member family, ‘first, who do you know who has recently lost a loved one; second, who do you know who has welcomed a newly born child to the family; third, who do you know who has recently moved into the neighborhood; fourth, who do you know who has trouble coping with their teenage children?’ All four of the examples have a common thread, all the people are in a vulnerable position and have just had an emotional or challenging experience happen in their life. Doesn’t it seem odd that the LDS organization that claims that it represents God would use [these] predatory practices?”

If you can get past the strong language he uses, XM raises a point worthy of discussion. Note that Mr. Monson talks about the “best way for a Mission to achieve its optimum productivity.” He says it won’t happen if the missionaries casually ask members for referrals. The missionaries need to find people who are at a vulnerable point in their lives in order to be successful.

XM wrote,

“I call these predatory practices because Monson does not ask for people who are: one, Stable in their Jobs; two, have a stable family life; three, who do you know who has raised their family in an honest fashion; and four, who do you know who is looking for the truth. Why would Monson want the missionaries to go after people who have experienced a major change in their life? We all become weak from time to time, emotional stress tends to take its toll, this is when the missionaries strike.

“The reason is surprisingly simplistic. People who have experienced one or more of the life changing or challenging events Monson describes are generally more open to hearing language that is best described as cult like language. Robert Lifton and Alan Hassan describe this technique as ‘Love Bombing.’ Love bombing is basically killing them with kindness. It is easy to conclude that someone who is having an emotional event in their life, who is feeling lonely, or confused by a situation, would be open and more receptive to a cult’s advances.”

When I first watched this video of President Monson, I thought, “Well, hurting people need the Good News and hope that Christ can bring into their shaky lives.” But then I realized that Mr. Monson is not suggesting that hurting people be ministered to in the name of the Lord. He’s not suggesting that the LDS missionaries bring them the hope and peace of Christ. He’s suggesting that these people be used to achieve optimum productivity for the Mission.

XM explained,

“It is completely appropriate to reach out to families and individuals who are experiencing life altering events; as a matter of fact it is important to be the friendly neighbor and friend. Most people help out or lend a shoulder to cry on out of the goodness of their heart. The difference here is that Monson has the intention of converting those families and individuals. The perceived concern for the family or person is conditional, the missionaries have an ulterior motive; that is to baptize. Jesus died for our sins, with no strings attached. It’s just disheartening that the organization that claims to be the ‘one true church’ has to resort to manipulative tactics that prey on people who are already having a tough time.”

People in the midst of these life-changing circumstances are tender. They’re afraid. They’re frustrated. They’re at the end of their ropes or feeling a heavy weight of responsibility. They don’t really need answers to questions about where they came from or why they’re here. They don’t need pressure to join the “One True Church” with all of its burdens piled on top of their already overloaded backs. They need their burdens relieved, their fears calmed, their hopes renewed.

They don’t need to become a statistic that allows an LDS mission to “achieve its optimum productivity.” They need Jesus–the one and only answer for their souls.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 11:28-29


Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.


About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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125 Responses to Proselytizing for Optimum Productivity

  1. subgenius says:

    David W
    DJK info came from his book – 4th edition.

    yet another bending of words by the Ev. Baptism is essential to salvation (true for all of us here) but the website nor LDS doctrine state that you have to baptized into LDS church…simply because Baptism alone does not make one a member. You should get with other Ev posters and hone your fabrication skills….and yes, I still have suspicions about JJM.

    all this talk about only through suffering can one truly learn is simply hogwash.
    is nothing learned in a shared smile with a baby?
    is nothing learned with helping a person in need….etc….

  2. bfwjr says:

    Ralph said:I do care if she decides not to believe in the LDS church anymore, but that is her prerogative and decision.
    OHHH sure.

    sub said: hogwash,
    is that what your talking about with the lather,rinse, repeat?

    sub yet again:I still have suspicions about JJM.
    shes Hogwash too?

  3. Setfree,

    I ask because there is a famous quote were he says something to the effect that it has been his experience that the majority of people in church (based of those in his churches) were not Christians. And those are Ev churches! D. James Kennedy did not have a fluffy gospel.

  4. Ralph says:


    Thanks for the kind words. Just know, I did not share for sympathy or anything like that, I was just trying to let a person going through a rough time know how I overcame a rough time.

    I believe that your life would be difficult for me to live in comparison to what I live now. Why? Because in the Bible it says that God is faithful and will not put us through anything we cannot handle without His help. Well, God believes that I can handle this which is why He has given it to me. However, He does not believe that I could handle the problems you have in your life so He has not given them to me. So all is relative and just as difficult as the next person.


    I don’t know what you mean by second annointing because I don’t remember hearing it myself.

    But if you are saved now, then what is the point of Judgement Day where all are judged? Wouldn’t you be able to skip the judgement and go straight to heaven without passing go and collecting $200? And because those who are saved are already known it stands to reason that those damned are already known – so the question again – Wouldn’t they be able to skip the judgement and go straight to hell without passing go and collecting $200? That would make things much quicker and easier for God in the long run.

  5. bfwjr says:

    Ralph said:I don’t know what you mean by second annointing because I don’t remember hearing it myself.
    It must have been in a dream I had, sorry.

    Ralph said:But if you are saved now, then what is the point of Judgment Day where all are judged?

    Must have been in that same dream.
    Best to you and the Mrs.

  6. rvales says:

    Everyone will be judged and those not found righteous will be condemned. If God is judging any of your works you will be condemned because they are not good enough. If he judges any of my works i will be condemned because none of them are good enough…But because I am in Christ God will look on me and judge Christ’s works because only he is righteous and by faith will his righteousness be counted to me. Romans 3:21, 4:5-6 and a whole host of others I’m too tired to list.

    So Ralph how do you think judgement day is going to look for you? Will God say ‘Ralph you did pretty good, you tried hard and you slipped some but you were able to follow my commands 75% of the time and since you have faith in Jesus you’ll have the add’l 25% counted to you?’ This is my understanding of the Mormon ‘after all you can do’ gospel. Is this an adequate understanding (I believe it’s been explained on other threads here as needing $20 to buy something, only having $15, and Jesus paying the add’l $5)

  7. setfree says:

    Ralph, this is what happens because we are using the same words to describe something totally different.

    rvales did an excellent (and brief!) job of explaining that we will all be judged, but those of us “in CHrist” will be judged by HIS WORKS, which were perfect.

    I listened to an interview, just recently, with a guy who left the church and became a Christian. The interviewer asked “what do you miss most about the LDS church?” The man said something really interesting and accurate.

    He said that if you’ve been in the dark all your life, sure, there must have been things you can enjoyed. But once you’re out in the light… you can look back and see that nothing you ever knew before compares to what you have now.

    That is what we’re dealing with here, I know from having had the same experience

  8. grindael says:

    The “second anointing” or ‘calling and election made sure’ evolved over time. It was first called the Second Comforter, and was a requirement of the apostolic calling in the early days of smith’s church. It was first said to be having Jesus appear to the person to be his constant companion, and he would reveal to them ‘the mysteries of the kingdom’ and give them infallibility. The anointing is now relegated to a ceremony that only apostles can recommend that someone be ‘nominated’ for, usually old men and their wives. It was done by candidate recommendation of a stake president, but this was discontinued in the 1920’s.

    Bruce McConkie in ‘The Promised Messiah’ quotes Cowdery: “In the general charge to all of the Twelve, Elder Cowdery said: “It is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven to yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony of God will NEVER SUFFER YOU TO FALL, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven. “Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief: and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination IS NOT FULL AND COMPLETE till God has laid his hand upon you. WE REQUIRE AS MUCH TO QUALIFY US as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid his hands upon his disciples, why not in latter days?”

  9. grindael says:

    Has this changed in the mormon church? If the 15 ‘prophets’ are special witnesses to Jesus (having SEEN him) should not all mormons believe them when they preach over the pulpit? This would sure clear up the Mary Thread. (But try getting an apostle or prophet to admit to any of this today – they won’t because then they would be held accountable. Joseph F. Smith at the Reed Smoot hearings denied he ever had a ‘revelation’ except a testimony that mormonism is true). But He lied about polygamy…so…perhaps he had Jesus there telling him to deny everything! Those danged Gentile Yankees!

    Here is the doctrine laid out by joe himself:

    “After a man so devotes himself to righteousness that his calling and election is made sure, “then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter,” the Prophet says. “Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and HE MAY HAVE A PERFECT KNOWLEDGE of the mysteries of the kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions — Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.” (Teachings OTPJS)

  10. grindael says:

    The “first anointing” refers to the washing and anointing part of the Endowment ceremony, in which a person is anointed to become a king and priest or a queen and priestess “unto the Most High God.” In the second anointing, on the other hand, participants are anointed as a king and priest, or queen and priestess. When the anointing is given, according to Brigham Young, the participant “will then have received the fullness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth.”

    Thus, the Second Anointing differs from the “first anointing” (part of the Endowment ceremony) in that, the first anointing promises blessings in the afterlife contingent on the patron’s faithfulness, the Second Anointing actually bestows those blessings. According to McConkie, those who have their Calling and Election made sure “receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life. . . . [T]heir exaltation is assured.” (Mormon Doctrine, Page 109)
    So yes, this does take away from Christ’s judgement. It gives the men in smith’s church the power to ‘ordain’ men & women to exaltation without a judgement. (They get their ‘kingdoms’ later with their ‘free pass’ by joe & adam-god).

  11. falcon says:

    It’s not just a matter of the LDS church hiding behind a smokescreen of confused language trying to get the general public to think they are ev. Christians, but it’s also a matter of the LDS church hiding who the Mormon god is and the works-righteousness program of the fraudulent “restored” gospel of the false prophet Joseph Smith.
    We see by the video presentation that the Mormon gospel is spread in a dishonest way attempting to exploit people in their most vulnerable moments. I can’t think of a stronger word than despicable to describe these tactics. “The ends justifies the means” comes to mind here. Once sucked into the program, the recruit finds out that in order to reach the highest level of the Mormon Celestial kingdom, they have to contribute a significant amount of their income as a buy in to the temple where the work is done to obtain the brass ring of godhood.
    This religion has been a con job ever since Joseph Smith hauled out his magic rock and convinced people he saw things he never saw. The legacy of the fraud continued with the seduction of women who were promised, along with their families, entry into Smith’s heaven. Exploiting and confusing people for the gain of the organization is part and parcel of the Mormon experience.

  12. bfwjr says:

    Hey Free,
    “listened to an interview, just recently, with a guy who left the church…” Have you got a link to this?
    I look back at my escape and what is weird to me is that I knew of Gerald and Sandra Tanner and their ministry, but I never went to see them because had I been so indoctrinated that they were the bad guys. It would have saved me a lot of grief. My “built in Mormonism” was constraining my search for truth. What should have taken months,took years. This was just pre internet days. I was living in SLC and had only one Christian friend.

  13. setfree says:

    bfwjr, actually, yeah, i was hoping to share it, cuz he says lots of terrific stuff

  14. bfwjr says:

    thanx. Happy to see your Mother wised up, it would give me great comfort if my would…I think it’s just a matter of time.

  15. subgenius says:

    read the whole Bible..especially the part about judgement and the book of life etc….

    pay particular attention to the part where Jesus says that He won’t know anyone that does not know Him.
    One does not even get to be judged without “knowing” Jesus…so this begs the question as to what He is judging, and the scriptures are pretty clear about that…do not assume the apostate doctrine of the “easy way”
    …and ask yourself why names can be written and erased from the Book of life…a crucial hint to “free agency”.

  16. Ralph says:

    Rvales and Setfree,

    You must have a different Bible to me. This is what I read in mine –

    Matt 12:35-37 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Our words will condemn or justify us, not Jesus’)

    Matt 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Note ‘his works’ NOT ‘His works’)

    Matt 25:31-46 Especially vv 40, 45-46 where Jesus says it is their doing (ie inasmuch as YE have/have not done; NOT inasmuch as I [as in Jesus] have/have not done) that rewards them with “And these [the ones who did not help others] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” These verses bring in the importance of faith in Jesus and its expression in our works – ie faith without works is dead.

    Revelation 20:12-15 This states clearly that “they were judged every man according to their works.” Not Jesus’ works. These verses refer to everyone who lived on this earth as it discusses both those who have their name in the Book of Life and those who do not.

  17. JJM wrote

    It is the answers to my questions that I am finding are leading me not to be stronger in my faith but away from it.

    Faith in what, or whom, JJM?

    If its faith in yourself, or faith in your religion, or faith in your church, or even faith in your ability to have faith, then you’re going to get shaken to the very core of your being.

    Put your faith in the person and work of Jesus, the Uncreated One, who shakes everything that is created:

    At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
    Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

    Heb 12:26-29

    But please know this, that this same One bore your suffering in his own body

    But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
    We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth

    Isaiah 53:5-7

    No-one loves you like He does. No-one is as capable of delivering you, because what He does, no-one can undo

    I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
    I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?

    Isaiah 43:11-13

  18. JJM and Ralph,

    I’d like to thank you both for opening up your personal experiences here. I’m sorry that Ralph felt that he got a hard time from some of the posters here as a result.

    However, the Ev posters here have a valid point, and if JJM stays around long enough, I hope she sees it.

    With Mormonism, its all about the Mormon Church – everything gets subjugated to the church (which is the central topic of this thread).

    Except, that its not all about the Historic Mormon Church, because the popular version of Mormon Church History taught by the Mormon Church is radically different from the history written in the Mormon Church records. A mind trip maybe? That’s why I am not a Mormon.

    With Christianity, its all about Christ, who has already subjugated all things to himself by the Cross (Col 2:15). The question of what you do about it flows from the question of whom this Christ is, which is why you need to see the historic Christ as reliably witnessed in the Bible.

    Unfortunately, you won’t get this vision of Christ from the Mormon Church.

  19. rvales says:

    Ok Ralph and Sub

    When you stand in judgement how do you think you’ll fair? When God says ‘I dunno…I don’t think you climbed your way out of the introductory level’ what are you gonna say?

    If you want the law God will give you the law…but trust me you don’t want the law because you are not good enough! Your hearts are black, selfish and cold. You aren’t alone in that affliction we are all born this way with hearts of stone. The irony is that for Jesus to be magnified and glorified I don’t have to do more….I have to do less because it’s only when I shrink can he grow and abound in my life. So keep meeting your callings and exhausting your endless genealogies (which I believe we are advised against 1 Timothy 1:4) and continue to do all you can do. It will get you know where because all any human is capable of doing is sin. Even so called ‘good people’ are sinful. You see sin isn’t so much the outside action, it’s a heart matter. I pray that someday you’ll see that God- The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit wants you to rest to realize what was done on the cross and that there is no glory that you can add to it.

  20. falcon says:

    Thank you very much for posting the testimonies of those young men.
    Christians don’t ask much of Mormons, only that they be honest about the history, doctrines and beliefs of their religion. Mormons have a well deserved reputation of being dishonest and hiding what the real history of their church is and what Mormonism believes specifically about the nature of God and salvation. Mormons know very well that their ability to get people into the baptismal tank lessens with the more people know about Mormonism.
    I thought the comment attributed to a BYU professor that “Mormons can believe whatever they want, they just can’t teach it” is an interesting inside observation.
    Why do Mormons feel they have to hide what the believe and use ev. sounding terms when they know those terms don’t mean the same thing in Mormonism? It’s just very plainly to deceive and fool people. That’s really Intro to the Cults 101 for anyone involved in Christian apologetics.
    To repeat; Mormonism started as a fraudulent religious sect by a fraudulent prophet and continues in that tradition today despite attempts of the SLC Mormon church to present a Norman Rockwell picture of the religion.

  21. J.J.M. says:

    I had to leave yesterday to make cookies for young womens, but I am still listening.

    Martin from Brisbane

    I have never considered being agnostic or worse atheist, I meant my faith in the LDS church. I could never imagine believing that their is no God; what would be the point of being here except to just live and then die. The thought does not appeal to me.


    Thank you for at least being kind.
    I always try to let my husband be in on any decisions that I make but talking about any doubt or even about illness is a forbidden topic in my house. He is a reasonable man but not about religion. And I let him push me away when it comes to illness because he feels a guilt over our sons illness that I cannot fathom. He even thinks that I should hate him. I wish that he would realize that I would never blame anyone, least of all him.

  22. rvales says:


    Read What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey see if your husband can/will read it as well. Grace, Forgiveness, and Love are really foreign and hard to accept concepts to humans and the idea that someone doesn’t hate you when you hate yourself is almost unimaginable. My husband had a huge breakthrough when he was able to accept that I didn’t hate him after what he had done to me and that helped him start to grasp that God didn’t hate him either. I’ll be praying for you and your husband.

  23. falcon says:

    rvales…..excellent points. The basics of the Christian faith are contained in that well known and often repeated Bible verse, “For God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Your right. It’s difficult for folks who have contempt for and not a lot of personal self-regard to imagine God loving them unconditionally. God doesn’t include a lot of add ons to His gospel. It’s all pretty simple; man’s sin separates him from God; we can’t close the gap even a little bit by trying to be good because God demands sinless perfection in order to be in His presence; when we acknowledge our sin re. repentance and receive through faith the free gift God offers us of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, we have peace with Him and eternal life. Our behavior from that point on provides an outward witness of God’s inner grace extended to us. We are declared “not guilty” because Christ received whatever punishment we rightly deserve, on the Cross.
    There are no religious rites or ceremonies or “works” involved in the Good News.
    We’re sinners, we repent, we receive God’s gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus, we walk then according to the Spirit and not the flesh out of gratitude for what Christ did for us. If we do fall, He is faithful to forgive us.
    Mormons and those caught in legalism can’t even begin to understand the freedom we have from the tyranny of religion.

  24. setfree says:

    Ralph, the answer to your question above, I believe, comes with “rightly dividing the word”.

    Which means

    You can’t pick up the Bible, read a verse, and assume it applies to you. You have to take into consideration who is speaking, and to whom.

    Jesus primarily spoke to the Jews. The Jews were still under “the law”. When Jesus talked to them, before He died and rose again, He was all about fulfilling the law and the prophets.

    The young man who came to Him saying that he had lived all the commandments since his youth? A Jew. He was trusting in his works, so Jesus made it clear that that wasn’t good enough. Are you telling me, Ralph, that you have kept all the commandments since your youth? If you had, and you told Jesus, and He said “Not good enough”, wouldn’t you be upset? And yet Jesus was trying to get him to realize just how IMPOSSIBLE it is to achieve God’s standard of Righteousness. Which is why ONE MUST STOP that kind of thinking, and become reborn (born of the spirit) in Christ.

    Check out this verse:

    Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace”

    What does that say to you Ralph? Did you know… it currently applies to you.

    Christ is become of no effect unto Ralph, because you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace.

    You want to be in this position? Or do you want to quit seeing yourself as macho man for trying trying trying, and hand the reigns to Jesus?

    Jeremiah is not a happy book… it’s all about judgment and being taken captive, etc. Check out what it says

    Jer 48:6-7 “Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness. For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken (into captivity)…”

    This verse isn’t about you Ralph, but it shows the heart of God.

    Those who trust in their works will be judged by them, and found unworthy

  25. setfree says:

    Last night when I went to bed, the conversation out here was on my mind, and this is the song that was playing to go with it. Thought you might like to read the lyrics:

    “I heard an old, old story,
    How a Savior came from Glory,
    How He gave His life on Calvary
    To save a wretch like me
    I heard about His groaning
    Of His precious blood’s atoning
    Then I repented of my sins
    And won the victory.

    O Victory, in Jesus
    My Savior Forever
    He sought me and bought me
    With His redeeming blood

    He loved me ‘ere I knew Him
    And all my love is due Him
    He plunged me to victory
    Beneath the cleansing flood

    (I won’t do the whole thing, but here is the next verse)

    I heard about His healing,
    Of His cleansing power revealing
    How He made the lame to walk again
    And caused the blind to see
    And then I cried, “Dear Jesus!
    Come and heal my broken spirit”
    And somehow Jesus came and brought
    To me the victory!

    By the way, repenting of my sins… unlike in Mormonism, this does not mean overcoming my sins. It means that I see myself as unworthy, and “change my mind” (the literal translation of repent) about the idea that I can be, can do, without God. You heap your mess at the foot of the cross, and let Him make you a new creature.

    God bless today!

  26. falcon says:

    A request to our exMormon posters:

    Could you please share what you wish you would had known about Mormonism before you joined…..or if you grew-up Mormon, what were the questions that led you out of Mormonism?

    I’m asking this because the video demonstrates, that the best prospects for this sect are those who are in a current state of emotional turmoil and vulnerability. The boys on the bicycles show-up tap, tap, tapping on these folks’ doors with what seems to be answers to their current situation.
    What aren’t they told?
    This is why Mormon John P. Dehlin’s presentation titled “Why people leave the LDS Church” is so compelling. It can be viewed at:

    It’s worth the forty minutes or so it takes to view.

  27. mobaby says:

    Scripture indicates our works will be judged. Does our salvation depend in ANY way on our OWN works? No, not at all. Everything we have done that is not of God will be destroyed.

  28. setfree says:

    Falcon, I’ll bet I knew 1% as much about Mormonism while I was in it, as I do now.

    But to answer your question, the thing that was most disturbing to learn about, for me, was the temple stuff. I had a waaaaaaaay different picture built up in my mind (from what I was taught in Primary, etc).

  29. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, do you realize that when you say that everyone will be judged for their works that you nullify Jesus’ death on the cross? Either Christ paid for sin, or He didn’t. I have gone over this before. The bible clearly teaches that Christ’s death on the cross cleanses us from all sin. What are we to do with 1 John 1:7-9 and 1 John 2:1-2 and many other verses? Jesus paid the penalty for our sins (propitiation) on the cross and is interceding for us before the Father. Those who Christ is interceding for are those who are saved by His grace. The words “whole world” in 1 John 2:2 are not to be taken as all people in the world, for we know that all people will not be saved (the idea of a general salvaion through resurrection is not true, for the bible clearly teaches that some will be damned), but means people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation, not just the Jews. If those who come to faith in Christ will still be judged and punished for their works, then the Father has either not recognized Jesus atoning sacrifice, or there are those for whom Christ died and is interceding, but the Father is ignoring Christ’s intercession. To say that Christ only paid for the sins that you cannot make up for yourself by good works is erroneous. The penalty for sin is death and punishment in Hell. Unless you atone for your sins through that means you have no other currency by which to pay your debt. Good works don’t pay for sin. Theoretically, good works only mean that you haven’t committed sin. You still have to pay for past sins, and sins you will commit in the future.

    Water baptism doesn’t cleanse from sin, it is symbolic. The washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit is what cleanses from sin by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. Eating bread and drinking water doesn’t cleanse from sin either. Communion is a remembrance of the new Convenant in Christ’s blood, not a saving ordinance.

  30. Mike R says:

    When I was involved in researching Mormonism
    to better understand their particular beliefs,
    which was from the late 1970’s to the early
    1990’s, I communicated with Christian ministries,
    read Mormon publications,and talked with Mormon
    missionaries.I will say that these young men and
    women are very respectful in their behavior( I
    only met one which I would call arrogant). I have
    to try and separate the individual from their
    message, and especially how they proceed to “sell”
    that message.They were trained by those who they
    completely trusted.
    I obtained a blooklet published by the Utah Christian Tract Society, entitled,”Enticing Words
    of Man’s Wisdom” subtitle: A survey of the Mormon
    Missionary Mind-Manipulating Methods.
    It goes thru the LDS manual,”The Uniform System
    for Teaching Families”.Seven manipulative devices
    appear in loaded questions designed to maneuver the prospect,’Mr Brown’, into the response that
    will lead him eventually into membership in the
    LDS church”
    These sales techniques are: 1.Feeding the concept
    into the question.2.Mis-direction questions.
    3.Attitude building. 4.Desire stimulation.
    5.Testimonial reinforcement. 6.Feeling development
    7. Emotive closing.

    It appears the whole program is feeling based,
    excessively so. This seems to me why Mormon
    leaders would want missionaries to seek out those
    who might be more susceptible to the sales methods
    of these young men and women.

  31. falcon says:

    Thanks for the link about the Mormon temple. I began reading it and will continue. I’ve also listened to two of the presentations by the former Mormon missionaries and will get to the rest. It’s one of the most compelling sagas I’ve heard. MC posted a video of these guys about a year ago and I was hoping to get more information about them. I’d like to talk to that Baptist minister and find out exactly what he said to get the one young man to begin considering the claims of Christ according to the Bible.

    Excellent presentation above but as always we are stuck with the realization that Christianity and Mormonism are not the same thing. Our Mormon friend doesn’t esteem the Bible in the same way we do. To a Mormon, the Bible is just an error filled jumble whose writers conspired to leave Mormonism out of the presentation.

    Mike R,
    Good information. I’d like to get a hold of that “Enticing Words…….”booklet.

  32. JJM commented

    I have never considered being agnostic or worse atheist, I meant my faith in the LDS church. I could never imagine believing that their is no God; what would be the point of being here except to just live and then die. The thought does not appeal to me.

    Thanks for your engagement here. Please stick around.

    I should have said that I am praying for the peace and well-being of you and your family, but I got pre-occupied with theology in my post (maybe I’ve been here too long).

    I didn’t think that you were attracted to atheism (you wouldn’t be here if you did). However, I do think there is a difference between having faith in created things (me, my church, my faith) and having faith in the Creator.

    What the ex-Mos will tell you here is that faith in Jesus is radically different from faith in the LDS Church.

  33. Mike R says:

    Hi Falcon,

    If you contact Bill/Aaron/Sharon they’ll give
    you my e-mail address.I can send you a copy.

  34. bfwjr says:

    Falcon asks:
    A request to our exMormon posters:
    Could you please share what you wish you would had known about Mormonism before you joined…..or if you grew-up Mormon, what were the questions that led you out of Mormonism?
    BIC. The always “pat” and canned answers you received when you had a question about the church or its teachings. Even at a young age I saw them a breath-takingly stupid.
    That combined with, the endless half truths, twists, spins,and outright lies that makeup Gods “one true church” when I took a little time to look into them. The never ending guilt trips and goofy rules and regs. The realization that a true God wouldn’t foist this kind of bunk on his own creation. I was an oddball kid in the sense that I would spent hours in bliss contemplating a God I knew was real, but didn’t recognize at Sunday school. I had learned early on not to share this in a Mormon household. I had one brother I could confide in and at some point we came up with the “God is an Idiot theory” This consisted of a PeeChee notebook we hid in the attic and wrote down the stuff we learned at church we could not possibly swallow (most of it). We felt if we believed this stuff, we would have to believe that God was an Idiot, and we could find no evidence for that outside of LDS teachings. hahahaha sorry, I haven’t thought about that in years.

  35. bfwjr says:

    Another thing we shared was the absolute conviction that there was no man between us and our maker and we could see no reason that he would not reveal himself to us. I have no memory where those ideas came from, they were just there. We still went along because our parents and all the swell people we knew in the church couldn’t possibly be wrong.
    I find the above ideas, “most likely to elicit a response” for my still-Mo friends/family when and if you can get them to switch-off their “autopilot” mode.

    BTW the latest response I’ve gotten: “Who cares if it’s all made up, Don’t ya think it a nice way to find Christ?”…autopilot alert.

  36. falcon says:

    In the two years I’ve been posting here, I’ve been drifting to a Calvinistic view regarding election. Stories like the ones you’ve shared are nudging me even closer. Andy Watson and I talk about this often as we are both in the same boat. Now in the end it doesn’t really matter because it’s God’s program any way. Andy was telling me about a Mormon who was on the way out of the program and said that even as a little kid he didn’t believe the Mormon view on the nature of God. He knew it wasn’t true. Now where does that come from?
    He drifted out of the church and eventually found God and is born again to newness of life in Jesus Christ. Why do some Mormons get it regarding God almost instinctively while others cling to Smith’s fraud?
    I didn’t mean to start an Armenian vs. Calvinist theology discussion here because while I find it interesting, it makes no difference what someone believes regarding this. The important thing is knowing who God is and what He did for us through Jesus Christ. The rest is just an intellectual exercise.

  37. Ralph says:

    Hei Martin,

    I didn’t think that I was getting a hard time, I was just having some fun and being sarcastic. Without the actual voice inflections, etc from speech, its a little more difficult to pick up sarcasm in writing. Besides, I knew that the comment made was not to listen to me about the LDS church, not about my life story.


    Yes, Jesus did tell the rich, young man that keeping the commandments was not enough. However, He did not teach the rich, young man that he did not have to live the commandments any more either. He told the man that after that there was more to do, which was to sell all that he had and give it to the poor and then follow Jesus. These 2 things are in themselves works, are they not? If the rich, young man truly believed in Jesus, then this would be easy for him to do and to show faith, as faith without works is dead.

    Jesus taught in Matt 7:21-23 about this very topic. He divides the world into 4 groups. The first division those who recognise Him as ‘Lord’ and those who don’t; in other words those who believe in Him and those who don’t. So faith in Jesus is first. But then He divides the group of believers again – Those who do the Father’s will and those who don’t. These are the actions/works people do because of their faith. We find more about these actions/works in Matt 25:31-46 where Jesus says that His sheep will feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc. This is following the COMMANDMENT (John 13:34) Jesus left us when He was on this earth – Love one another as He loved us. If it is a commandment from Jesus then doesn’t this explicitly mean that it is a necessity to live and not a suggestion?

    But as I keep saying our faith in Jesus Christ is what saves us, BUT our faith will be judged by the works that we do because of our faith. They are interdependent of each other for our salvation because a person cannot have one without the other that is why it says faith without works is dead. And a dead faith cannot save.

  38. falcon says:

    Let’s back up a little bit here so we can put this into context. You seem to want to use Christian language and terms and over-lay them on the Mormon program. Which is fine I guess, but don’t call the Mormon program “restored” Christianity. History is not on your side and you know it. You also know that the Mormon church lies when it gives its rap on the Council of Nicea in regards to the Christian church’s long held historic view of the nature of God.
    But that aside, what I need to know is, is faith in the Mormon jesus enough for you to get into the Mormon Celestial kingdom and become a Mormon god and rule your own Mormon planetary system? In Mormonism you have to buy all points of the restored gospel including faith in Joseph Smith, faith in the Mormon church, faith in the current apostle and faith in the BoM and then faith in the Mormon jesus. A Mormon also has to buy their way into the Mormon temple where they perform “works” in order to qualify for the Mormon Celestial Kingdom. So I guess I’ve answered my own question. Faith in the Mormon jesus is not enough, but you do a good job Ralph of disguising all of this to sound as conventional as possible in the traditional Christian sense of things. I think you need to take a look at joining the Community of Christ. Remember Ralph, you can believe whatever you want to in Mormonism, just don’t teach it!
    In Christianity, it’s faith in Jesus Ralph. That’s all!

  39. Ralph says:


    I said our faith in Jesus will be judged according to the works that come from it. Without faith in Jesus one could live a perfect life but will not gain the CK. It’s that simple. Our church teaches that faith in Jesus will allow us to believe in the prophets that He has sent us (ie JS, BY, etc). Our faith also leads us to want to go to the temple to learn more about Heavenly Father and His plan for us. Our faith makes us want to give up sin and repent and then be baptised. I could go on, but the main point is it should be our faith that drives what we do. It is through our faith in Jesus that we do our works and it is through these works that our faith will be judged.

    But going on your last statement “In Christianity, it’s faith in Jesus Ralph. That’s all!” I take it you believe that all the murderers and rapists and adulterers that claimed a belief in God before they started their life of debauchery are saved as well and will go to heaven. That is salvation through faith despite works. At least Martin Luther agrees with you on this point.

  40. setfree says:

    Ralph, it seems to me like you didn’t “hear” what I said above, so I want to try a different approach, if you’ll let me.

    You said “as I keep saying our faith in Jesus Christ is what saves us”

    The LDS church claims “salvation” has two parts (correct me if I’m wrong)
    1- you get to be resurrected. This is a ‘universal’ thing, meaning that everyone will be resurrected. So, technically speaking, part one of LDS Salvation says Jesus made it possible for some people to be resurrected to outer darkness, right?
    2- you can “overcome sin” by having faith in Jesus. So, part two of LDS Salvation says becoming perfect is possible by having enough faith.

    You may not like what I wrote, but am I correct so far?

    So in your last paragraph, if I can reword it, you’re saying that faith in Jesus is what enables us to do the required works . If you don’t have enough faith in Jesus, your works (or lack thereof) will show it come judgment day, and so it’s the pile of works you have to present to God that will show how much faith you had, and determine what? Which kingdom you go to, or if you go to outer darkness. Right?

    Is this representative of what you are saying?

  41. setfree says:

    I seem to be a half-step late here, and I suspect this note will be too. But I’m going to tell you how easy it easy to see that you’re holding to the wrong gospel Ralph.

    The first two people, what did they choose that SEPARATED THEM FROM GOD? They chose to know right from wrong, good from evil. The other choice was the tree of life, which would have given them what? Life with God, forever.

    Their kids, what happened? One brought THE WORKS OF THEIR HANDS, THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABORS as an offering to God. God REJECTED IT! The other one brought an animal sacrifice. The animal sacrifice was the “type” given of God’s perfect Lamb that would come to save us. You know what happened when he brought, symbolically, JESUS, to offer to God? God ACCEPTED IT!

    Mormonism has the whole thing convoluted, right from the beginning, literally. It has always been about Jesus and His own Righteousness, not ours.

  42. subgenius says:

    well said and a thoughtful honest description.

    “So in your last paragraph, if I can reword it” – this really summarizes the Ev approach here. whether with scriptures, anecdotes, or honest opinions, the Ev relies on rewording to make their logic “sensible”.
    this tactic is transparent to the famous “lurkers” on this board.

  43. falcon asked

    …what were the questions that led you out of Mormonism?

    I’d like to hear from the ex-Mos too, but I’m not expecting to find a “magic bullet”.

    Speaking from the perspective of a never-been-Mo (but has been exposed to it at a fairly intimate level), the main issue that will keep me out of Mormonism (or any other cultism, for that matter) is the issue of integrity verses compartmentalism.

    By integrity, I mean a paradigm that robustly addresses every aspect of life, death, the universe and everything. The paradigm of the One who has created all things and sustains them by His powerful Word fits into this, as does the Christology of Jesus being the image of the invisible God (e.g. Col 1:15-23).

    By compartmentalism, I mean something that works in some contexts, but not in others.

    I saw the beginnings of compartmentalism in a former church of mine. We would discuss whether it was appropriate to require non-Christians to comply with certain behvioural norms (e.g. no sex before marriage). I got concerned by the kind of thinking that said the Christians should comply with a higher standard of behaviour. Since when did God’s good laws become dependant on someone’s religious orientation? If it is good for Christians, it should be good for everyone else, and vice-versa.

    This, however, is a fairly benign example. What I see in Mormonism is what happens when compartmentalisation is not only left unchecked, but positively fostered. Some examples:

    * the descendant of James Talmadge, when Aaron challenged him about the virgin birth responded by saying (effectively) “its too sacred, let’s not go there”

    * the LDS approach to church history; “that was then, but this is now”

    * the LDS attitude to the Bible; “we believe it in some contexts, but we don’t in others”


  44. bfwjr says:

    Falcon said: the important thing is knowing who God is and what He did for us through Jesus Christ.
    Amen, and I don’t ever want to detract from that. Jesus Christ is THE message, the Good news.
    Falcon asks:little kid he didn’t believe the Mormon view on the nature of God. He knew it wasn’t true. Now where does that come from? Where does art come from, music?
    One of my good friends is a psychiatrist and likes to say “we are all the same but we are all different”. Bottom line,the Bible tells us God the Father is no respecter of persons, and he does not show any type of partiality or favoritism to anyone he has created.

    Why do some Mormons get it regarding God almost instinctively while others cling to Smith’s fraud? Fear, comfort zone,lazy, fear, and more fear. For some the escape is nothing more than a “bad fit.”

  45. subgenius says:

    since all sorts of nefarious “conspiracy” theories are floating around on this thread , let me offer this
    JJM = Jesus Joseph Mary
    and the posts are not from an actual active Mormon with an identity crisis.

    the real insult here is the assumption, not that missionaries are predatory, but that “investigators” (at any stage or mentality) are somehow so incredibly vulnerable and gullible.
    This more demeaning than anything else.
    As for President Monson’s “optimizing productivity”, we have simply followed the instructions given on how to be “fishers of men”…but I suppose the other alternative is to be a ‘catfisher of men’ – you know, lay there and catch whatever floats in your mouth.

  46. subgenius says:

    just to clarify….
    the “instructions” I speak of above are the Scriptures and as taught by our greatest teacher and savior Jesus Christ.

  47. rvales says:

    The most telling thing the LDS say is ‘our works’ ‘our works prove our faith’ It’s all about what you do to prove to Jesus that you have faith. What the Bible tells us is that it’s the Holy Spirit working thru us. God proves our faith in Him because when we have faith in him and are saved the Holy Spirit (God) lives in us and works thru us. God does the work!!!
    We have faith in Jesus–>The Holy Spirit (God) lives in us–>The Holy Spirit (God) works through us–>God’s will be done. As soon as I believe and hand the wheel to God he does the driving! He is not my ‘co-pilot’ he is not my navigator…He is in control. I do nothing. He works through me. In the Mormon script God gives them the ‘treasure map’ thru the atonement and they have to faithfully follow the map to find the treasure and get to be with God…the more able they are in following the map to the letter the closer they get to God.
    I hope this makes sense…my husband is watching The Maltese Falcon nearby and my thoughts are having to talk over Boggie. But the bottom line…I don’t do good works, God does HIS work thru me when I let go and let him.

  48. …ctd…

    The end result is that the Mormon can agree with you in EVERYTHING you say. Then, the very next minute, package it all up, store it away in a compartment, and get out a different package with a fundamentally different paradigm. The discussions we’ve had here about the One God/Many Gods issue illustrate this comprehensively.

    I’ve actually witnessed this. When I talked to a Mormon Bishop about Jesus being the True Temple (see Rev 21:22). He agreed with me, but AFAIK, he’s still a Mormon Bishop.

    We’ll also get the same response from Mormons when we talk about the character and life-story of Joseph Smith. Or the “Translation” of the BoM. Or the succession of the Mormon Prophets. etc etc etc.

    No matter how well we expose the story for what it is, they will simply package it up, put it in one compartment, and live in another in their religious and public lives.

    I had been at a loss to explain how the cult does this, but recently I think that Mormonism provides a ready-made mechanism in its secret/sacred paradigm, which is fostered and reinforced by the LDS Temple Rites.

    Perhaps this is best illustrated by the candidate standing at a curtain over a door, shaking the hand of someone who is hidden on the other side. The message this projects is that you can live in one “room/compartment/space” while embracing something else in a totally different “room”.

    So, Mormons can intellectually “jump” from one space to another, depending on whatever they choose. And there’s no need to transport the features of one “room” (e.g. the Bible) into another “room” (e.g. the teachings of Joseph Smith). At its extreme, its institutional schizophrenia.

    That’s my diagnosis. I don’t know what the cure is, other than to keep proclaiming a Christ who created ALL things, who will judge ALL people (the living and the dead), for ALL they have done.

    You can’t keep Christ locked away in one “room”. He demands access to your WHOLE life.

  49. falcon says:

    Ah Ralph,
    Your key words, “claimed a belief”. Ralph, anyone can “claim” anything, it doesn’t mean they are saved. That’s what James was writing about in his epistle and classic teaching on the faith/works paradigm. I’m not going to go over the Christian faith/works position. You’ve been told it dozens of times over the past two years and you still don’t get it, or more accurately, don’t want to get it.
    In Mormonism, the Celestial Kingdom cannot be gained solely on faith in the Mormon jesus. You have to do “stuff” including paying the Mormon church 10% of your gross income to buy a ticket into the temple where you do more works in the hopes of getting into the Celestial Kingdom and becoming a god.
    Let’s review: the first century Church had no points of Mormonism in it. Mormonism can’t be found in the Bible or in the history of the Church. You’re in a tough spot Ralph. You’ve chosen a fraudulent gospel by which you hope to work your way into becoming a god. That’s OK, but don’t call it Christianity and it can’t lead you to eternal life. Mormonism isn’t a perfect counterfeit but it’s an effective counterfeit.

  50. subgenius says:

    you must know that when someone is trying to “find” their life, they usually just need to have someone believe in them, someone to love them. And that is what the true gospel empowers a missionary with. The accuser can not provide this same message. The accuser can only distract from the true comforter and appeal to an “easier” route. An LDS missionary who is true to his Faith is able to believe in others and others know the truth of this…it can not be faked or grifted. This is why the LDS missionary program is one of the more sincere programs, not just for the investigator but also the missionary, because that program is sincere and based on the true Gospel.

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