My neighbors are Mormon and they have invited us to go to their church one day and said they’d love to go to our church, too. We are both practicing members of our faith with no intention of converting, yet we have noticed subtle hints that they’d love to convert us over the years. I don’t want them to think we are interested in switching, but it would be neat to get them to go to a Catholic Mass for the first time. Thoughts?
Their asking is not a simple act of good-will of a neighbor. There is the agenda to try and convert you to Mormonism.
I would ask them what the deep intent of their heart is. Are they praying for you to convert? Ask them straight out.
I would ask PrettyGirl if she too is praying for the Mormons to convert to Catholicism?:shrug:
I wouldn’t recommend doing this. if you do, make sure you go to Holy Mass before you go there.
While it is true they may gain something from attending a Catholic service, you would gain nothing from attending one of theirs. They lack the Truth, they definitely lack the Eucharist, and therefore their service will also be lacking; it would essentially be a waste of your time to go listen to the stories of their false prophet.
I sure am, all the time.
You could do this if you’re aware that it is a recruiting drive. Sort of like listening to the timeshare presentation to get the two free nights in Las Vegas even though you have no intention of buying. But also realize that these people are, like timeshare salesmen, really good at breaking down defenses.
Odds are you’ll find all the things the typical Catholic parish tends to lack. Like a strong sense of community. Dad at church with the family. People introducing themselves and welcoming you.
Personally, I wouldn’t do it. It will just cause you to go to Mass the next week and start noticing the weaknesses in your parish. The point of the wedge, camel’s nose under the tent, whatever you want to call it.
Your Mormon neighbors mean well. You each think the other will benefit from experiencing “true” religion. You each think the other suffers from error.
Unless you’re willing to consider the merits of another church, I suggest you steer the relationship with your Mormon neighbors into safer territory.
The best way to do this is to let them know you understand what they are trying to do, and let them know how you feel about your own church. Tell them that you understand the desire to share what is believed to be true, and that you feel the same way.
The Mormons hope that, if you attend their worship service, you will feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost and possibly have a desire to learn more. That is the first step. This will open the door to visits from missionaries. They will want you to read the Book of Mormon and then pray about it. If you sincerely pray about it, the Mormons believe that God will answer your prayer and witness to you through the Holy Spirit, in unmistakable feelings, that the book is true. If it’s true, the Mormons will tell you, then Joseph Smith must have been a prophet, and the Church he founded must be restored Christianity. You will have a testimony given by God Himself of this, based on the Book of Mormon. This is the Mormon conversion process, and it’s what your neighbors hope for you and for everyone.
Chances are that, far from feeling the converting power of the Holy Ghost, you will find Mormon worship odd. Likewise, the Mormons will find Catholic worship very strange. Neither of you will be edified by the religion of the other.
Given that knowledge, you could explain to your Mormon neighbors why you are Catholic.
What sort of message do you think your children would take from this?
This is very similar to what happened to me,…the only difference, they took advantage of us and the situtation we were in to convert us…We lost a child due to a miscarriage at 4.5 months…and both my wife and I were devastated with our loss. I think it was a really sick way of taking advantage of our emotions to try and convince us to convert…Our Holy Mother, on the other hand, visited me in my dream and I told my wife, no!!! Please dont trust them…they are all about converting you any chance they get.
Have you been subtly hinting that you would like for them to convert?
No offense intended, but not a good reason not to go to the Mormon service. I feel an incredible sense of community in my parish and if you don’t have that in yours then it is up to you to begin to create it. Start a welcoming committe. Suggest things that will bring about a sense of community. It sounds like you’re saying “don’t go there because you’ll see how bad our Church is and how good the LDS is”. If that is the truth then we should all become Mormon. The reason the OP should not go is because it is a religion started by a false prophet and is therefore a false religion. If one is going purely for social reasons then have a picnic, but you don’t have to attend their service.
Our kids at still toddlers so if we were to go we’d leave them with a sitter after going to Mass. No way was I going to let them in on grown up matters.
Anyways, thanks everyone. I really had a feeling that they have been trying to convert us over the years. We have the most similar family values to them out of th whole block so I figured it would only be a matter to time. Now I just need to word a charitable response.
“thanks for the invite, but we at convicted that the Catholic church is the true church that Jesus Christ established. If you guys want o come over for dinner and talk about of faiths that would be fun.”
As others have said, it is probably an attempt to convert you. Obviously, Mormons believe Mormonism to be correct in the same way the Catholics believe Catholicism to be and, in the same way we do, think that ideally everyone would convert to their faith. This is not a bad thing, so long as you’re prepared for it, since it also opens up the possibility for you to present your faith to them. This could easily lead to discussions about faith between your two families, and in discussions (that go anywhere) it is necessary that both sides have their say - or, to put it another way, no one will listen to you if you don’t listen to them.
Me and a good protestant friend of mine have each been trying to convert each other for the past 10 years, and while neither of us have succeeded, we have each learned a lot about the other person’s faith and about our own - I learned that faith alone is a bit more nuanced than I had originally thought (though he has yet to convince me that it’s right), and I managed to convince him that we do not worship saints and that praying to them is not entirely insane (though so far as I know, I haven’t convinced him to actually do it), etc.
So it can be valuable for both of you. Again, so long as you’re as prepared to defend your faith as you have to assume they will be to defend theirs. Just be aware that in any sort of conversation of this type, there will be arguments that sound convincing which you will not be able to immediately respond to and will have think about and research and, if you are willing and able to put in the effort, this can be good.
As we say about math, the best way to learn something is to explain it to someone else. It can be a good thing. But if it goes beyond a simple visit to each others churches and turns into a series of discussions, you’ll need to be prepared.
And if you think you can discern truth through “feelings” then I think you should find a spiritual director to help you. I might “feel” that I can fly, but when I step off of that ten story building the objective truth of gravity will win every time.
I would politely say thank you, but you can’t attend their Temple because you can’t miss Sunday Mass and the Holy Eucharist.
It just sounds like a bad idea to me.
Not offended at all. What I’m saying is it starts out innocently.
True story: My best friend was raised Dutch Reformed and never seemed especially religious. His wife was raised Baptist, and her father is a preacher at some Independent Baptist church in the deep south. He got a job out of state and moved. They had neighbors who were Mormon missionaries. She felt sorry for them - maternal instinct I guess - and invited the boys over for dinner, sewed buttons on their shirts, that sort of thing, and they got sucked into the LDS church, despite I don’t know how many Rosaries I prayed and several days of fasting. Him, I could see. The LDS belief that the church got corrupted way back fits well with his Dutch mentality. The wife? I even asked him if she was as convinced as he was, or was it that she missed the sense of community. He admitted that he didn’t know.
As for forming a committee and so on, it’s not practical for me. I drive over 30 miles to Mass, as the closest parishes to me drive me crazy. I started a thread about it a while ago about how I wish I could go to a local parish, and got blasted for it. So that part will go unaddressed.
Fair enough question, but Catholics as a whole are not nearly as evangelical in dealing with their neighbors as Mormons are.
One of the tenets of the 3 fold mission of the LDS church is to “spread the gospel”
Mormons are far far more active in evangelizing that Catholics are. Catholics tend to be far far more passive, in my experience