Sinister? I’m just telling it how it is. You can take it as sinister if you want . . .
I was in several bishoprics. I sat through hundreds of PEC/Ward Council/Welfare meetings (the structure is different now, so I don’t know what they call them anymore). This would be a very typical kind of conversation:
The full-time missionaries in the ward report on their progress. They announce that the Parker family will be coming to church today. They have had three missionary discussions. They are in their late 30’s and have two daughters, ages 16 and 13. The Young Women’s president will say, “That would be a perfect match for Sister Simpson’s family. They have two teenage daughters as well. Casey is in Laurels and Jessica is a Mia Maid. I’ll talk to Sister Simpson this morning and assign her to this family.” Everyone nods their heads in agreement.
Sister Simpson, unbeknownst to her at this time, has been assigned to be the Parker’s friends. Now, Sister Simpson will undoubtedly accept the assignment and it might go well and it might not. Many of the new or prospective members I got to know were not idiots and could tell from the beginning that they were the targets of an assignment. Their families they were paired with had nothing in common with them and they ended up finding other friends, anyway. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m saying it’s basically scripted. More often than not, it’s not genuine. But it gets the job done. The goal is baptisms. There’s a huge push to get baptisms. Numbers mean everything to Mormonites.
They don’t typically try to ram the Mormon church down your throat. Their members are trained in that respect. Start out with just being good neighbors. Take them a cake. Help them repair a car. Babysit their kids. Invite them to dinner. Easy does it. Little by little, invite them to church. The women are encouraged to invite them to a Relief Society Homemaking activity where they will learn to make Christmas decorations. The men will ask the men to come out to an Elder’s quorum activity or take the boys fishing or camping. There will be fun Primary activities for the kids. It’s all part of the scheme. Once you get them involved in these innocuous activities, the heat gets slowly turned up. Then it’s an introduction to the missionaries. Just casual at first. Then the missionaries, who tend to be a little overzealous at times, will urge them to take the discussions. At the “assigned” friend’s house, of course. Then it’s Sunday church. Little by little, inch by inch. It’s all carefully crafted. It’s like boiling a frog. It’s like the Mormon scriptures say, [Satan] leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.