LDS (Mormon) wheelers and dealers coming over tonight at 7 PST. What would you ask them?

by sabastious 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • RubaDub

    You could ask them whether or not the people who died in Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected.

    Rub a Dub

  • Phizzy

    Yup Rubadub, the JW beliefs (ever-changing) are as wild, wacky and inaccurate as the LDS/Mormons beliefs, a ping-pong of false doctrines would not achieve much though, and I think Sab would find it difficult to keep a straight face whilst pretending Dubrubbish was worth considering.

    I think the best approach was suggested by an earlier poster , ask them what would make them doubt their religion is the truth.

  • sabastious

    Hey JWN, last night the Mormon's came over for a second visit. Prior to coming over they called me and asked if they could bring over an older man who they felt would be able to field the questions better. They said that I had especially difficult queries (go JWN!) and that they felt having this person there would help smooth the discussion out. I agreed and they came over to my house at 7 PST last night. The meeting lasted until 9:30 and was quite riveting. The man they brought seemed he was in his mid 40's and had been through the Mormon missionary work when he was young. This visit was about 90% the older man where the younger missionaries sat almost like an audience who spoke up every once in a while. This guy was a Mormon powerhouse and I could not help but respect his rabid pursuit of the "hard questions." A true defender of his faith rather than the "shake the dust off your feet" JW approach. I can't deny that was a breath of fresh air to see a fellow true believer sitting opposite to me.

    Is it wrong to be Catholic?

    His answer to this question was a resounding no. Much throughout the discussion they used a buzz term called "there is truth in all religions." It did seem to be a rhetoric because it was always followed by an assertion that the Mormon church was the superior religion of the day. However they went to great lengths to validate any form of spirituality that has ever been known to exist.

    Is LDS the only true Church?

    They paint them selves as the superior church less so than the truest church. They seem to believe that they have "most truth" which would make them the one true church. However they like to focus on their reasoning why they are the "church of today" or the "church of the country." They paint themselves as better, but they will try to back up with reasoning as to why that is rather than just a blanket assertion. The man told me that they don't demonize other forms of spirituality and so I asked them if they would consider me a friend if I openly prayed to the god Horus. They all replied that they would think that was weird, but that beliefs aren't something that they hold as a requisite of any kind. In fact one of them said they would pray with them and honor their perspective on God. I told them that I believe that Holy Spirit and Chi are the same thing and they all let out sighs of relief and wholeheartedly agreed with me. I then asked them what ratio of people in their church would agree with me and the lead guy said that 30% would agree and if you told them in "Mormon speak" then you could get 70% to agree with you. I then asked how many would consider me a threat and consider standing away from me? He said about 1 in 10 would do that, but he really made a point to disavow himself from the people who acted in such a manner.

    The older man brought up Islam and the Quran. He said that the Mormon beliefs include that book and that prophet as something God was doing. So they argue that they don't believe in a "single true church of today", but they do believe in a "superior church of today" which should in turn encompass all religion that precedes it. Which is what Mormonism seems to be attempting.

    Is the Book of Mormon inerrant?

    The older man said that the Bible has been exposed to be errant. He said that the Greek that is used in Revelation is bad grammar. So, he argued, if the Bible is the word of God and it contains errors then that would make the BOM subject to the same rule set therefore errors should be expected.

    What do you have to say about the accusations of Joseph Smith including his alleged con artistry?

    We talked briefly about this and I got the idea that he was aware that a person who leans on rational rather than faith could argue strongly that brilliance and con artistry could and is the explanation for the BOM. His argument seemed to draw one of two conclusions which was that JS was either a brilliant fraud or he was a man of God. And if he is a man of God then that God is the same God who wrote down the Bible. This could be called a false dichotomy within a strict rational standard. But given the body of reasoning and evidence I think it would safe to call Mormonism the "Mormon Theory" for the sole reason that they make attempt to take into consideration all known factors. One of the "Anti-Mormon Theories" would be that Joseph Smith was a brilliant fraud who studied up on some very complex stuff for his time and even ours. The man brought up this "French book" he called it that was the only known reference to something that is found within the BOM. So that's a good example of the "brilliant fraud" vs "man of God" argument.

    Have you seen the Mormon South Park episode or the play that resulted from it?

    The man said that he had seen the episode and that he laughed at it. He was trying to argue that he didn't find it offensive and felt it health to laugh at ones self. He said that "Mormon's believe in a lot of hooey." He made a point that all three Mormon's in the room had false beliefs. He then said that they want to be able to shed them when the time is right which is a very Zen Buddhist philosophy. The Zen Buddhists have a teaching that the human mind should be able to believe something wholeheartedly and then cast it aside as nothing later down the line if need be. There is an old Zen story of two Monks walking down a path and come to a creek with a woman standing beside it with a long dress on. The woman desires to cross the creek, but doesn't want to get her dress wet. So the first monk grabs a hold of her and they all walk over the water together. Then she is set down and they part ways. A few hours later the second monk is very agitated and finally speaks up. He tells the first monk that it was breaking the law for him to touch the woman in the way that he did. The first monk then tells the second monk that he had put the woman down hours ago, but that he (the other monk) was still holding onto her in his mind.

    The story is to illustrate the Zen philosophy that their are always exceptions to laws that are put in place and that when those exceptions come the law needs to be put aside and the right thing needs to be done.

    What disqualifies a Mormon as legitimate once they have been inducted into the organization?

    I told the three men my story of exiting the Watchtower and they squirmed in their seats and winced in mental discomfort. The type of shunning that the Watchtower does was not known to these people. The two missionaries were from Utah and the man was from my local community in Northern California. It was fascinating to see people who have families and will always have them no matter what they do shift in their seats at the thought of what so many EX JW's go through every day of their lives.

    They described their ex communication policy to me and it is indeed harsh. But I believe in brigs and that's what it seemed to be. What changes a common brig into a death camp is a sociological phenomenon that we are still studying. To me their description was more a spiritual penance rather then the cruel beatings the Watchtower gives their people. They said that they don't even know who is excommunicated and who is not, at least in their church. They said there is no public humiliation like what I was describing with stories from the Watchtower. I told them that you could go to a meeting one night and lose a best friend forever. We often talk about the struggles of the ones that are ostracized, and rightly so, but there are other victims too. Some people are too afraid that they would get shunned so they feel forced to shun. So you can literally go into a meeting one night and have a friend ripped from your arms and sometimes that person never comes back. To these men that sounded like the fires of hell and the shifted in their seats at the thought.

    Cofty and TD. Your questions were answered in detail by the older man, but by memory I fear I will misrepresent him. He said that he was involved in the Wikipedia wars and still is to a certain extent. He agreed that the internet has changed everything and gave me his sites. Instead of trying to argue his points I'd rather just link his content:

    When they left I could tell they really wanted me to be Mormon and they invited me to the church. I told them that I hoped they could understand, but that churches scare me and that I don't see myself in any of them any time soon. After the stories that I told them they seemed to understand, but genuinely felt sorry that I was raised in an environment that would make me hate church. It was interesting because to them church is this benevolent thing, but to me it's like thinking of Star Wars' Mos Eisley.


  • OnTheWayOut

    You be careful, Sab. The JW's that helped my conversion were pretty good at smooth talking. I think the guy was very honest, but the truest church is still loaded with errors, according to him.

    As far as laughing at oneself, I find it very healthy but it often shows one how to improve. That South Park episode definitely showed JS to be a con artist. "Brilliant" is a point of view. It seems the world is full of Joseph Smiths in religion and politics.

  • sabastious
    You be careful, Sab. The JW's that helped my conversion were pretty good at smooth talking. I think the guy was very honest, but the truest church is still loaded with errors, according to him.

    Indeed. I tried my best to remain skeptical while also trying not to offend and they seemed to appreciate it.


  • sabastious

    I forgot about a story that the older man told me. He said that a while back he was preparing a funeral talk for a family that was split down the middle on faith. One half was JWs and the other Mormons so he was going to be speaking to both. So, he decided to contact a JW connection he had and he gave her his talk and asked her to edit it so that it would not offend Jehovah's Witnesses. She made the changes and sent the talk back to him. He said to his surprise when he started giving it at the funeral that all or most of the JW's left when right he started talking. He said it that is must have been because they believed in not listening to anything other than their own church. So, in the end the offense was really given to him moreso than the Witnesses who attended the split funeral who didn't know he had went through trouble to try not to offend them. Actually one of their own was trying to help not offend them too. Fascinating, but sad, psychology at work there.


  • sabastious

    Hello JWN, I had the Mormons over last night and the older man came again. We spoke for about 2 hours and again it was a very interesting experience. Before they came I had the Anthony Morris III video and the Watchtower's new dvd about obedience up. I was eager to get their take on them since the videos are so obviously (at least to me) cult indoctrination material.

    The Mormons believe that Scripture, like the type that is spoken about in 2 Timothy 3:16, can be easily defined as the writings of Prophets. So they believe that God works through his prophets which in turn explains how God's role works through the world of men. They are very heavy into their alleged prophet: Joseph Smith.

    Cofty brought up a great point about plagiarism that was handled in a specific manner the last time we met and I brought it up at this meeting as well. Scott, the head Mormon there, said that Joseph Smith was a member of a Christian chruch of his time and therefore was aware of some of what was being uttered by divine means when he was writing the BOM already. He said that Smith must have "went ahead" of the angel when the angel started into a "block of scripture" that he had previously memorized from his religious upbringing. Therefore that serves as one logical explanation for certain blocks being verbatim copies of the ones from the Bible. I find the explanation lacking personally. He also used a similar line of reasoning to explain the book being written in Jameson English. He said that he would naturally write down what he felt most comfortable in which was Jameson English.

    However, most of what he had to say was very interesting and I made sure to continue explaining the JW organization to them and drawing comparison. They have always been very apt to draw the comparison and make attempt to clear up any misconceptions. I told them that the JW religion basically calls all religions that are not them from the devil himelf. He kept asserting the notion that they believe there is truth in all religions. I asked him if they go out of their way to find those truths and connect it to their own doctrine and he admited that it's just an assumption rather than something that can be found in their doctrine. It seems like a public relations type of thing to say, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Public relations with entities similar to yourself is an important skill to master.

    I really focused the conversation on the topic of hating on other religions and they seemed genuinely appalled by the idea. I told them about how the Watchtower controls every aspect of the members life right down to the amount of facial hair on their faces. I told them about the Malawi scandal and how the GB basically asked for the death of their own members in the name of their neutrality doctrine. I explained that not only do they tell you how you can wear your face they also tell you when you can die and when you can live. I could see disillusionment in their faces at the idea of pinging these men at the top for what to do in those types of situations. They kept asking, "What right do these men have to do this? Who do they speak for" and other things of a similar nature. I told them that they belive that the Revelation trumpet horns points to their conventions many decades ago. I explained the two class system, which seemed to intrigue them, and many other Revelation/Matthew 24 based JW doctrine and they had to agree that it all sounded delusional. I told them that my father would always tell me that we were going to be doing mass graves at any point in my childhood. He had a back hoe and everything. We were going to be mass grave diggers for droves of dead sinners. They all shook their heads in disappointment over this.

    I then took them over to my computer which had the two videos mentioned above ready to be viewed. They said that the Governing Body member looked like he was trying his hardest to be sincere, but couldn't help but come off creepy. They felt sorry for Caleb and the older man said, "One man's magic is another man's religion!" He didn't like the idea of being so against the general idea of magic. When the shrivelled up Adam and Eve was put in the kids face we all couldn't help but chuckle to ourselves. We tried to be respectful, but it's not possible to be when viewing something that is obviously a dangerous weapon being showcased by some serious dudes at the top of a mind control cult.

    I haven't yet really got into the whole cult thing. I felt that I should't just come out swinging and call them a mind control cult, but they are well aware of the accusations. The very fact that they are being lumped in with the Watchtower has them squirming. I hope that more religionists out there could see the deepest blackest part of what they are capable of so they can tone it down. So many people merely lack information and the perspective on it. Once they get that many will see the blackness and impurity that the Watchtower is and strive to move away from anything in themselves that would lump them in.

    As far as conversion goes they have told me several times that they don't want to convince me to be a Mormon. They tell me that's not what they are all about and that they want me to have an actual experience that makes me believe Mormonism to be true. They said that if they can convince me to be a Mormon then someone else can convince me out of Mormonism. It's a very interesting approach. They simply sit back answer questions and hope the person feels compelled to join. So far it's been a good experience and I look forward to more visits. We have only scratched the surface of what there is to talk about.


  • designs

    The elders must be better at PR than when they were giving us the full court press to join back in the late 50s.

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