Is deliberating causing someone to have a crisis of faith

a sin?

When I say a crisis of faith, I mean along the lines of showing them how their church is wrong?
I think of those who are Mormon and others like them, in the non-Catholic forum.
A spiritual work of mercy I know is fraternal correction and teaching the truth is good. But what if it causes a crisis of faith, even identity, to the point that they don’t even believe in Christ anymore, which is common for those who leave the LDS faith

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With Mormons, you need to be extremely careful. Most are incredibly sweet and loving. It’s like telling a child that the Easter bunny doesn’t exist. Trying to tell them about the contradictions in their faith is like shooting Old Yeller.

It’s also somewhat pointless. Most LDS won’t even listen to anything that critiques their faith. They think it’s “anti Mormon” so they simply won’t listen.

Is it sinful? It could be.I deeply regret being a jerk to two LDS missionaries I encountered. I was arrogant, obnoxious, rude and condescending. It happened years ago and I still feel awful about it. I was such a wretch to these poor kids. I feel so guilty about it.

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Point them that their church is wrong, but no need to dispair, because there is the TRUE Church of Our Lord which is right here, the Catholic Church, where you can not only hear Our Lord’s words but meet Him personally, in the Eucharist, what could be better than that?

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Mormons do not take criticism well, in my experience. One of the main tenets for them is this concept of the ‘two nations’ meaning Christ preached at the one nation and the other nation (the Americas) was preached too and this teaching was discovered only centuries later. Never mind the many holes in this concept I pointed out that at the time of Christ there were many nations, not just one and some of them were preached to long after Christ had resurrected. They had no argument to counter, just walked away from me. I am not aware that any crisis followed, I suspect not.

Though this made me chuckle, I would have to disagree. Mormons are not children or puppies, they are rational, often well educated adults. In my experience they often know more about their faith than most Christians do. Maybe you’re projecting this view on them because that’s the only way you can rationalize why they believe what they believe?

I’m projecting the view because I was an active LDS for years. I was even sealed in the temple with my spouse. It’s based on my own experiences with the people who share that faith. Great people, amazing people-so nice and so sweet. But the average LDS has either no idea about the numerous problems with their church or, if they know about it, are in total denial.

Edited to add some more and further explain myself.

Really? That’s interesting, don’t the children go to an hour of catechesis type class every morning before school? You’d think they’d have a firm grasp on the faith?

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Also a former Mormon here. And yes to their seminary in the mornings before school. They do learn their doctrines, but what is not readily taught is the real history of their faith, but rather a white-washed version. Their leaders have done a bit better at being transparent some areas, but still much is not acknowledged.

In fact there have been faithful scholarly members of their church, who, in the interest of history, have tried to set the record straight. Grant Palmer, recently deceased, comes to mind, who was a member of CES (church educational system) who did just that with a book that looked honestly at the LDS history, and wrote about it. He was disfellowshipped. He still remained employed by the LDS church’s educational system and the church never disputed what he wrote, but most members would claim what he wrote was “anti-Mormon”.

Anything that takes an honest look at Mormonism that doesn’t put them in a good light is labelled “anti-Mormon”.

I’m grateful that we Catholics can look at all the bad that that happened in the Church and be honest about. We are encourage to be honest about our history; not white wash it.

Anyway, I often wonder about the crisis of faith many Mormons experience when they come to see how much they have been lied to about their history etc., that is why I asked the question.

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It is okay to share the truth.
Not as an exercise in “gotcha!”
Not to show off how smart you are and how dumb they are.
Not for the spiteful fun of seeing their world crumble around them.
But gently, remembering you’re actually on the same side, learning about the Truth and waking the path side by side.


AngelaMarie stole my thunder with her beautiful and 100% accurate answer.

If an LDS does any research on their own and it contradicts the official party line, they better keep it to themselves. They are told to stop looking at “anti-LDS” information. Any research, no matter how accurate it might be, that contradicts what the LDS church teaches is called “anti”.

AngelaMarie mentioned Grant Palmer, and she’s exactly right. Jeremy Runnells is also another good example of someone who did research and was excommunicated for it, even though technically he resigned at the end of his church court.

I’m just so glad the Catholic church doesn’t hide their history. It’s wonderful to be in a church where history , the good and bad, are freely discussed.

Edited to add more.

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Offtopic, but everytime i read LDS i misread it as LSD at least ONCE, that would explain some of their outlandish doctrines, tho


I don’t know. Is Elijah guilty for mocking the priests of Baal?

"Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” -1 Kings 18:25

My question isn’t about mocking or making fun. It is about causing someone to have a crisis of faith, which there is a difference.

I don’t see how someone else could be responsible for that, other than Joseph Smith himself. Simply talking about him or his doctrine doesn’t make another person guilty. The Church has engaged in pointing out the wrongs of an opposing belief since the beginning… be it with Jesus against the Pharisees, Paul, or Justin Martyr.

There is no doubt you are right about such a crisis. The problem is understanding how to avoid such a psychological pressure when the person is a stranger. Purposefully “pushing buttons” to cause grief and distress is clearly wrong.
Of course sincerely loving the other is the buffer preserving us from intentionally causing distress. This is a charism of evangelism, a gift for conversion given by The Spirit. Prayer and discernment are the tools to unlock these gifts endowed by the Sacraments.
Is anyone aware of how to cure my hypocrisy and free these gifts in my life?

I think it’s kind of arrogance on our part to think we have the power to either convert or to cause atheism. Both highly personal acts (and grace, in the case of conversion). I think even an atheist would shun this - it’d insult their own sense of pride that got them there in the first place. As much as I’m saddened by their opinions, the one thing I’ll give them credit for is pride.

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So true! It’s the height of arrogance to think that you can change someones mind. I used to think that way-that I could convince someone of my side politically or religiously. After all, just by talking and listening to **me ** surely anyone would see the error of their ways! I was so arrogant and obnoxious back then. I’m ashamed of myself!

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Now you try to convince people that there is no way to steer the car on the track of a life devoid of free will. What makes presenting this argument less arrogant?

We’re called to plant seeds, but like Jesus’ parable, it isn’t our fault if some get choked by thorns or don’t establish a root.

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People generally believe what they want to believe. We can plant the seeds, and we should, but you are right again-it’s not our fault if some ignore us.

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