How I Resisted Becoming A Mormon

Last night, the Mormons came to visit us. As I mentioned  in a previous entry, Dave had invited them, after talking to them at a bus stop… Which freaked me out slightly (when I found out) but nobody in this house is normal, so I just went with it.

The Mormons arrived early and looked VERY young. Clean-cut, polite, friendly boys, in ties (of course), who smiled with the serene faces of people who KNEW they had the answer. Brandon mostly hid upstairs, getting ready for Cadets but stopping intermittently, to sit with his head in his hands, going “What the hell are my parents doing NOW?”. By the time Bran left, the Mormons had settled in and he was glad to get away.

The Mormon approach to evangelism seems to be made up of three things – spreading the gospel (according to Joseph Smith), a bit of gentle hypnotism and some hard sales techniques:

The gospel part of it was… I don’t want to be too rude but frankly I thought it was funny. Please look into it for yourselves. I love the idea that after The Ascension, Jesus didn’t just go to Heaven – He flew to America and taught Americans all the same stuff he had taught before, including a reprise of the Sermon on the Mount.

The “sales” part of the visit was very off-putting. The Mormons kept trying to dictate to US what was going to happen. They asked us if we would be prepared to be baptised into their Church, if we believed their scriptures. The obvious answer to that is “yes”. But then they somehow ignored the IF and started arranging for us to be visited three times a week, to be prepared for baptism on the 24th of July. WTF? We put paid to that notion, saying they could leave their literature and a telephone number, but nothing else should be planned yet. The last time I experienced somebody trying to “close a deal” in that way was years ago, when an American neighbour was brow-beating me into buying cleaning goods, from Amway International. It didn’t work then.

The scariest part of their visit came in the middle. It was the part where they seemed to be trying some hypnosis techniques on us. We had to read part of their scriptures with them and then close our eyes and listen to the next part. We were told in advance that as we sat there, eyes closed, we would feel the Holy Spirit filling us and making us feel wonderful. I think that’s called “the power of suggestion”. Then one of them described a scene and asked us to imagine we were there and what it felt like (which seemed like another classic hypnotic technique, to me).

He told the story of Joseph Smith, being visited by God and Jesus. A pillar of light descending, two “Personages” appearing, brightness and glory all around ending with “… hear Him!” and then a loooong silence. All this time I had been sitting there, eyes closed, thinking “They’re trying to hypnotise us!” – so (and when I told David this, after the event, he said it was proof that I was utterly insane) I filled my mind with the most silly, funny, unlikely “message” the Holy Spirit could give me.

“DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES?” I imagined the fake “Holy Spirit” asking. “DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES? DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES? DOYOUWANTSOMESAUSAGES? DOYOUWANTSOMESAUSAGES?”. By this brilliant method, I made myself immune to hypnotic suggestion, blocked out any artificially induced “revelations” and also made myself laugh a bit (inside). Dave actually did do what they asked but didn’t “feel” anything much. As he said later; the Catholic Church had been trying to brain-wash him all through school and that hadn’t worked either.

Finally they left, giving us a pile of literature and a quick prayer on the way out. They were nice enough but being Mormon isn’t for us, which I think they knew. When Brandon got home from Cadets (however) we did pretend to be newly converted Mormons, for at least five minutes. You should have seen the look on his face – it made the whole evening worth it.

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38 responses to “How I Resisted Becoming A Mormon

  1. whatigotsofar

    I’ve always felt that Mormonism is just another example of how Americans have to make everything Americanocentric. Of all the “magic” things that Jesus is said to have done, all of the miracles (which for the most part I do believe) I cannot bring myself to believe that Jesus visited America. I can believe the Virgin Mary appeared in a taco in Mexico, but I cannot believe Jesus flew to America.

    If the religion provides you with faith and the ability to be peaceful to mankind and helpful and in general good people, then it’s good.

    I can suspend my cynicism in regards to religion, but I just cannot wrap my head around Jesus visiting America. I mean, really? Why America? Of all the centres of various Christian sects, why America? Has Jesus ever visited Rome? Constantinople? Moscow? Canterbury? Not to my knowledge. But he found the time to cross the Atlantic.

    • I agree. It does sound more like their “unique selling point” than anything else.

    • If Jesus visited America why did the Church have to kill so many Indians trying to convert them? It seems they would have already known Him. Somebody doesn’t know their history.

      • The Native Americans were red as a punishment for not listening to Jesus when he flew to America. If they had converted, they would have become white. So when the white people showed up, God wanted the red ones to be subordinate to the white ones. (It went something like that.)

  2. But did you ask them about the underwear?

  3. Mormons… another thing that makes me cringe at being lumped into being an “American”
    Can I convert to being Southern Canadian? Please?

  4. Be prepared! If you gave them your number, they’ll ring you daily! If you didn’t, they’ll drop by likely every third day. They won’t go away until you point blank tell them to piss off. At least, the ones I made the mistake of inviting home didn’t.

    If you want a good giggle, though, check out this Mormon cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFZ1jVO3-OE

  5. Well, we all know that you haven’t really “made it” until you’ve come to America and hit it big. Jesus knew this, just like The Beatles did. So he touched down in the middle of the American desert and put on a show.
    *sigh*
    I swear all Americans aren’t bat-poo crazy.

  6. Everything I know about Mormons I learned from a South Park episode. It may have been more accurate than I originally suspected.

  7. They’ll be back… they always come back.

    Mormon missionaries are usually post high school & pre college, they take 2 years off in between to become missionaries and are sent off to a separate church from the area they grew up in to do their door to door salesman thing.

    The hypnotism and use of a ‘guided journey’ presentation method is something they started doing after failed infiltration and indoctrination efforts back in the 70s and 80s of New Agers & Neo-Pagans.

  8. Holy crap. All was well until I got to the “DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES?” bit. Now I have to clean my screen and wonder what’s wrong with you.

    I’ve never been visited by Mormons. They’ve stopped by my door, but Catholicism has kept them from entering. Now that I have 4 asshole dogs, no one even comes to my door.

  9. Melanie tries to call me subtly David too. I’m not standing for it.

    I couldn’t use the sausage technique. After a few seconds I’d be yelling “yes, yes i want them all” which the Mormons would wilfukky misinterpret, and then they’d get me before I could explain I was fantasisinabout pork based products.

  10. I had some Mormons visit at random once, as they do. Their first question was whether I’d read the Book of Mormon, and I think it threw them I bit when I said “yes, I have, quite recently, and there were some bits I couldn’t understand, could you explain?”

    I’d been on a course, staying in a very dull hotel that supplied a Book of Mormon instead of a Gideon’s Bible. So I’d read it.

    Once they managed to escape, they never returned, and from what I see of religious groups wandering around the place and consulting clipboards, we’ve been black-listed.

    • Hahaha! I’d like to have done that but I’m afraid I had very little idea of what they were about. That’s why Dave invited them really, to learn something new.

  11. ROFLMAO! I can’t believe you did that to your son! That’s so funny! LOLOL

    Well, at least you had a nice visit with strangers, right? :)

    • Yeah, right. It was a lovely evening with my new buddies.

      We like to keep Brandon on his toes – I don’t want him to start feeling secure, like some kind of wimp. Hehehe.

  12. Yes! I want Sausages!

  13. So mischievous to do that to Brandon, lol!

    My experience with proselytizing Mormons is different than what you described. I didn’t have the guided hypnosis thing ever. They just talked and we read the King James Bible a little. Once they set up a demonstration of some idea using small plastic cups stacked in a pyramid. They took me out for ice cream and then to Hill Cumorah and the actual house of Joseph Smith! (I live not far from Palmyra, New York.) I went to their church and had communion even. I should add that I was severely depressed at that point in my life, and would have listened to anyone who offered “help.”

    If they keep returning and you need to get rid of them without conflict, just have alcohol on your breath in their presence.

    • Oh gosh, you really DID get involved! I don’t think they are horrible people, I just think they are trying too hard. Joseph Smith sounds a bit dodgy to me and if I am going to follow the Bible anyway, I don’t see why I’d need him to put a spin on it for me.

  14. After reading a bit of the Book of Mormon, I wondered why it was written in the English of Shakespeare’s day (like the King Jame’s Bible) instead of modern English. I did bring up that issue when talking to the Mormon missionaries, but they were mum on that point.

    • Dave had pointed that out to me, too. I think we can safely say the whole thing is nonsense. But if the lifestyle makes them happy and keeps them off drink and drugs , I guess worse things could happen.

  15. See, because Brits don’t keep guns like we do over here, you miss out on the magic of Mormon Season. We’re allowed to bag 6 of them per season without going over the limit. You have to be careful though, Jehovah’s Witnesses look a lot like Mormons and if you shoot them out of season they’ll take your hunting license away.

    • Hahaha! They dropped by today (they were “in our area”). They asked me if we had been reading the Book of Mormon, what we thought of it and if we had any questions. I told them I found it incredibly racist.

      “Which part is that?”
      “The part where people who didn’t side with Jesus were turned BLACK skinned. And the bit where good people could be turned white again”.

      Looong silence. Followed by,
      “I can’t really answer that. But you seem to have read it quite a bit then?”.

      “Yeah. Why did JS make his translation sound like Shakespeare (all old-fashioned), when in fact, it wasn’t the way people spoke in his time at all? Did he hope it would sound more religious?”.

      “Again, I can’t really answer that. Have you prayed about this yet? Have you both prayed over what to think?”.

      “Not yet – we’ve been reading it, to see what it ACTUALLY says”.

      “Ah.”

      “Bye then, thanks for dropping by! See you soon!”.

      HAHAHA!

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