Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a latter day walk

I was out being taken for a walk by the dog when I saw them. Out of the corner of my eye. "Look away! Do NOT make eye contact, that will only provoke them into attacking. Don't even look in that direction!", I told myself. I focused my eyes straight ahead. They were about a block and a half away from me, if I just kept moving forward, they'd go off in the direction of another scent.

"Hello, ma'am. Just out taking a walk?"


"Yeah, just walking m'dog". *Sigh*, here it comes. The pitch from this young 20's Mormon "elder". I knew it from the telltale signs: the bicycles, the black pants and shoes, the white shirts, the dark ties, short helmeted hair, no tattoos, no facial hair, no piercings: LDS missionaries.

"We're just going around telling people a little about our church", okay, it was clear now that they weren't going to just go pedalling off. I turned and did the eye contact thing, then I looked at his name tag with the etched "church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints".

"Oh. Right, okay, LDS, yeah. We used to live in Utah. We did the 6 or 7 lessons when we were there", I told him, hoping that would encourage him to seek someone else to missionize. He stayed next to me, though, with his cohort right behind. Asked me what I'd thought of the lessons, asked me how long ago it was, asked me where in Utah we'd lived.

We lived in Utah for about 3 years. Although I'm not swayed by the teachings and practices of their church and I'm not impressed by the prophet Joseph Smith and his "revelations", I will say that Mormons in general make for pretty good neighbors. Sure, they had this communal lifestyle that kinda said, "your stuff is our stuff" and "our kids are your responsibility too", but it was tolerable. For about three years.

And one thing that bothered me about living there was that the non-Mormons, the Gentiles, did a fair amount of Mormon bashing. When I'd ask what they knew about the Mormon church, it was mostly gossipy stuff, not actual teachings. They'd always sent the missionaries a-packing.

So when they came to our door, we let them in. We were honest with them up front. We weren't interested in converting, we just wanted to know a little more about what made our neighbors tick. At first, I think they saw us as a challenge, but by the end of the lessons, they knew we weren't to be swayed.

So I told this new guy. No thanks, I wasn't interested in a refresher course. No thanks, I don't need any help around the house. No thanks, fortunately, I don't know of anyone at this particular time in need of spiritual guidance. Thanks, but no.

Lots of good camping there, though... Utah.


Jerry said...

This is what I like to tell them.

Thank but no thanks, I don't buy into the story of how joe found some magic glasses that let him read the gold plates.

I don't buy into Jesus coming back from the dead, hoping a taxi to south america and teaching there.

I don't buy that the native americans are one of the lost tribes of isreal.

I don't buy that the god speaks to your crazy leader guy.

terri said...

I just realized I know nothing about the Mormons... only the gossipy stuff that people talk about. Google time!

Judy said...

The only time I have shaken them was to gladly take their pamphlet and then try to give them one from my church - you would have thought I was trying to burn their skin with it - they WOULD NOT take it.

Very telling.

Jamie said...

I'm with Terri on this one I just realized that I know next to nothing about Mormon's...I too will have to do some googleing!

Mr. Jesus Magoo said...

I talked to an ex-Mormon who told me some of the teachings and I could only shake my head. But then again he was only telling the salacious stuff. I am sure if I were to explain some of the oddities of the Catholic faith to an Unwashed, they would giggle.

I can imagine the conversation with a typical 20 something...
So, dude, like you think you are actually drinking Jesus' blood and chomping on his flesh? And you are cool with that? What kind of sick cult are you people?

Whimsical Ranter said...

While we have our share of Mormons they don't bother me nearly as much as Jehovah's Witness people.