LDS vs Catholic Evangelization

Hi everyone! I’m interested in your thoughts regarding Catholic evangelization vs Mormon evangelization. Of course, as Catholics, we’ve heard a lot of talk this year about “The New Evangelization,” but I’ve yet to see much evidence of it in my community. In the meantime, I’ve become good friends with some members of the LDS church in my community, and the way they live their faith is incredibly admirable, and frankly, nothing like what I’ve ever experienced in the Catholic community.

I’ll even admit that I’ve been tempted to go check out Mormonism because of how deep a connection my LDS friends seem to have with Christ and how service is at the very core of their lives. They regularly volunteer as a whole family, they study their faith deeply, and place family absolutely first in their lives (unlike many Catholic families I’ve encountered). Not to mention–they all seem so happy and hopeful!

One more point–the LDS presence on social media is strong and youthful. Although most of my Facebook friends are Catholic, I see very little Catholic content on my social media other than the usual political statements regarding abortion :rolleyes:. Overall, the Catholic messages I see are negative (political rants) rather than joyful, and this bothers me. I’ve spent this past year noticing these differences between my own Catholic community and the LDS community that is very strong where I live. So what gives? Why does the Catholic community seem so stodgy and negative as compared to the LDS community, which seems so youthful, energetic, and positive?

Of all the protestant sects, Mormonism makes the least sense to me. I live in Manhattan, with the city’s mormon temple only about ten blocks away. Everyday, the elders are out riding the bikes and hitting people up to hear the good word of Joseph Smith smh

You say Mormons are youthful. OKay, perhaps that is the case. The Catholic Church is ancient… in the good way. Who is the prophet of Christianity? Jesus Christ, true God, true Man. Not A nineteenth century Freemason who led a community that was chased out of New York.

Not to say that Mormons are bad people. Their views of Christianity, however, have always been radically off base.

I totally agree with you on the basis of Mormonism. I can’t get behind the historic narrative or the beliefs regarding men becoming as God (and God once being man). I’m definitely not swayed by the theology, I guess I’m looking at the culture and every day faith of the LDS members that I know. I just wish we had more of that spirit in the Catholic church, and it bothers me that the New Evangelization seems to be all talk.

Could be the demeanor of your parish? Be the change you want to see. Talk with the pastor. Maybe start a fellowship board.

I agree. I wish the Catholic Church would make it a requirement that all parishioners must get involved in some ministry or at least a social club. I understand the Mormons require it.

Yes, LDS members are required to attend certain functions and ministries. It is built into the culture, and perhaps we do need more required participation in the Catholic church.

I even notice a difference in the way Catholic radio differs from BYUTV–I listen to Immaculate Heart radio every day, but often I change the channel because the programming is so overwhelmingly a forum for abortion rants and marriage politics. I am obviously pro-life, but geeeez. On the other hand, I’ve been watching BYUTV and the commercials are so life-affirming and positive, and the religious programming is the same. No foaming-at-the-mouth Fox News junkies to be seen. Quite refreshing and uplifting in my eyes–and something that I want more of in my life.

I have tried parish-hopping and have lived in 3 different diocese, but Catholic culture is pretty much the same throughout. Very private (which somewhat works for me, as I am an introvert), but also very lonely. And not in touch on social media, or widely read blogs, or teaching our kids to live a life of service on a regular basis.

Since every Mormon I’ve met has been a decent, family-oriented person, and seemed to be a good Christian, I might have once been attracted to the LDS…

BUT, their theology is so really really strange, that I could never consider being a Mormon. I once thought LDS was simply another Protestant denomination, until I did a little research. Almost seems pagan to me, considering their view of the nature of God.

No offense to my LDS friends, I still believe they are good and faithful followers of Christ’s teachings.

Even so, I’m not even sure they could be considered Christian (?) What do you think?

Yes, Mormons are very good with evangelization. They have very good children programs, youth programs, and seminary (every devoted LDS high school student may attend). If you want to see a change, be that change for your own parish.

Mormons say “every member a missionary” and some feel guilty if they do not pressure their friends to come along to activities. As a Mormon you look bad (especially the young men) if you do not serve a mission. A missionary is required to give their numbers after each day (how many contacts, discussions, baptism commitments). There is a lot of pressure and once people are converted, they are ignored or forgotten. I’ve seen it a lot.

I’ve seen Catholics who are devoted to their belief and their faith is admirable. It is just they are not as trained to “sale” the religion. That is entirely okay with me. It is not fake friendship until I convert. Catholics are realistic. That is actually refreshing.

Yes, the LDS appear to be joyful on the outside. This is the outward appearance. Inside they may be suffering to try to keep an image. Look inward. I was given into deep study but was given a whitewashed version of a lot of things. Catholics don’t whitewash, of which I’m soooooo grateful. If you join the LDS it will only be for the social reason. They are so good with that. The “theology” is a whole other story.

LDS are not considered Christians by protestants and Catholics. My baptism is not considered valid. Whatever church I join, I’d have to be baptized.

Yes, it appears to be family oriented until someone leave the church and you are not part of the “eternal family”. At my LDS temple wedding my brothers (ex-Mormon) and non-LDS friend were not allowed. They only came to the reception afterwards.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many great LDS people and I miss the social part of it. It is just the “theology” that you speak of that gets to me.

Not to be mean-spirited but I don’t see Mormon theology as being Christian. In the main, they are fantastic people though and I like them very much. We who are supposed to be Christian should put more of our faith to work though like they do. That much I’ll agree with.

Some of the nicest people I’ve known have been Mormons. *And *some of the nicest people I’ve known have been Catholics. Mormons have a nice and wholesome facade to present to the world, but their doctrines are pure heresy, and in my opinion, Satanic in origin. They hold Eve in much higher regard than Mary. You know Eve, right? The woman who disobeyed God and brought sin and death into the world? That Eve. She is lauded in Mormonism, while Mary is just a gal who got preggers by “God” who actually did the horizontal tango with her, physically. Disgusting.

KendraM, thank you so much for sharing your view of the Catholic faith as a former LDS member. It really helps me to hear positive things about the Catholic church in the sense that we allow for questioning and a realistic viewpoint. While I’m struggling with where I belong, I would like to be the change I want to see in my church, it’s just hard to start that kind of cultural shift when I’m the only one who seems to notice that it’s lacking.

Hey Virgo,

The only real difference between LDS and Catholicism is in doctrine; I.e. the only thing that’s keeping our parishes from being energetic, joyful, youthful, and mission-centered is us.

Still, there our more than a few Catholic havens in the US in this mold; the Newman Center at my college campus is a perfect example. I’ve taken part in their “Rosery Runs,” where we jog around campus while praying the Rosery :). Since we’re in Oklahoma, the priest here sometimes organizes Catholic skeet-shooting or paintballing outings. The Bible studies are active, we do liturgy of hours, random charity lunches, organize mission trips and prayer groups outside abortion clinics, food drives, daily masses, camping trips, etc., etc.

Negative and stodgy are the last words I would use… The tree-topper here this Christmas is a blowup of Pope Francis’ head (see thumbnail). :cool:
I often think to myself how good it is to be Catholic. :slight_smile:


Oh Gregory, that sounds fantastic! I have heard of some active parishes with great programs for young people, but most of the ones I’m thinking of have programs that are for young adults, and as I’m 39 I’m usually just past that mark. :wink: I’d love more family-oriented groups that stress volunteer service, study programs, and the like since I have two young sons that I want to get excited about their faith the way that their LDS friends at school are on fire for theirs. I’m going to look around online for programs that you mention, perhaps I just need to explore more outlying parishes from my own.

I can’t really think of anything worse than forced socializing and forced Christian service is an oxymoron.

Mormons are very good at fellowshipping. True and devout Mormons live their religion daily. It’s not just a Sunday thing. It’s an entire lifestyle.

Mormons are better at evangelization than Catholics, as a whole.

“Charity, furthermore, cannot be used as a means of engaging in what is nowadays considered proselytism. Love is free; it is not practiced as a way of achieving other ends. But this does not mean that charitable activity must somehow leave God and Christ aside.” [Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas, Est 31]

"The Church’s missionary spirit is not about proselytizing, but the testimony of a life that illuminates the path, which brings hope and love. The Church—I repeat once again—is not a relief organization, an enterprise or an NGO, but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share this experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the Lord gave us [Pope Francis, Message for World Mission Day, May 19, 2013].

My opinion is, that LDS go overboard the other direction, that is, their evangelization is proselytism.

Living in Utah, Catholic families work pretty darn hard at providing Catholic socialization for their children. For the same reasons as you, but with more urgency I think because of the constant targeting of non-Mormons, including children, for conversion.

Our parish has both Girl and Boy Scouts, a parish school and children’s choir, with seemingly endless activities going on at the school. Serving in our parish ministries, such as serving lunches. Maybe look at scout troops in a Catholic parish or sending the kids to Catholic school?

Great points about forced socialization; I wouldn’t really want that in my church and I feel that friendships should come naturally.

I also will look into Catholic youth activities for my kids, such as the scouts. My 2nd grader is enrolled in catechism and my Kindergartner will be starting next year. I do want them growing up with other Catholic kids, although I experienced Catholic school and found the kids and parents to be rather snobby–but then, it was a wealthy parish and I was from the other side of the tracks! :stuck_out_tongue:

I honestly don’t even know if catholic evangelizing exists where I live. I know it apparently happens in poor countries but I’ve never encountered it where I live. I think Catholic evangelizing might be involved in some of the very poor communities (like going to shelters poor) where I live but I’ve never heard of them reaching out to the middle class really. The only religious group that ever bothered to knock on my door and seek me out were Jehovas and some small baptist church. I can’t speak about mormons since I’ve never encountered them where I live.

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