Mormon neighbors


#42

I was Mormon for many decades. The pressure the Mormon family gets at their church is unquestionably great. I’m sure they get asked a lot when the last time was that they invited you to church or offered you a Book of Mormon. Mormon friendships often have strings and expectations. The ones that are really good at it will come across as genuine friends but their ultimate goal is to save you.

Mormons don’t have much respect for us Catholics. We belong to the church of the devil. Our church is an abomination. Our leaders are corrupt. We teach the doctrines of man and deny the power of God. Our hearts are far from God. All of this is clearly in their scriptures.

Mormons can be great neighbors but you have to be constantly on guard for their hidden agenda. Take it from someone who has lived it.


#43

In addition to forming your children with the teachings of the Church, I would strongly suggest formation in prayer - especially regarding the Mass. Go thru the fixed words in the Mass text with them and get them to notice Who those words are directed to; that in those Mass prayers they are talking to God. (The Scripture and sermon change weekly; that’s how God speaks to us :slightly_smiling_face: ) Remind them when they enter Church they are coming into the presence of God/Jesus in the tabernacle.

I recall the first time I went to a Protestant service. There was good music and the pastor gave a talk, but when I left there was this sense of incompleteness, a void. And it struck me - “We never prayed!” Talking about God is good, but it’s not the same as talking to God - praying. Catholics do know how to pray!!!

Also, I would suggest stopping with your children to make short visits before Our Lord in the tabernacle - if you can find a church that’s not locked. Or better yet, a perpetual adoration chapel if there’s one in your area. Get them prayer books, appropriate to age, to use as helps. There is a sense of the sacred where Jesus is present in the tabernacle that isn’t present anywhere else.


#44

The Ward (church) is a very big part of their life. I think they want to share it and genuinely care about you.

At some point perhaps have a frank discussion and share that you don’t want to be repeatedly asked to attend their services, that it makes you uncomfortable. However, there may be other family events they sponsor that might make sense to attend. They usually do a good Trunk or Treat and there may be some family picnics that you may be interested in. If you have a boy, their scout troops are usually we run and a good experience.


#45

Possibly, but a lot of what goes on in terms of fellowshipping is a direct result of assignments. Ward members are assigned to make friends with less active and non-members, so you won’t always know if you are someone’s friend, or someone’s assignment. As for me, I don’t want to be anyone’s assignment.

I remember when I announced that I was leaving the Mormon church, within a week, I had over 50 Facebook friend requests from Mormons who knew me but previously could not have cared less about me. I suddenly became a project for my ward and stake family. People who barely said “hi” to me at church were now asking me to lunch and dinner. It was actually sort of funny.


#46

I have been meaning to respond to you for a while but kept getting distracted with other things (and a lot of real life too).

I think what you say makes sense TOO. IRL I have seldom explored the real difficulties I have with Catholicism. The same is true for my faith where I have explored my real difficulties online too. On the Internet, I have been able to engage with folks who will not be scandalized by the things I question and MIGHT be able to provide answers. I worked through the typical anti-Catholic things in a week or so by searching for “anti-Catholic” and “call no man father” (which I choose because I find it to be a particularly stupid anti-Catholic argument LIKE "anti-mormon" “adieu”). But for more complex things I needed to engage with folks who have thought about these things a lot and seldom are these found in local parishes or local wards.

All this being said, it is SIMPLE to find a handful of anti-Catholic and anti-Mormon arguments online. I still maintain a few things. First, you will never understand a faith by engaging it online only. The real believers experience any worthwhile faith in a way that CANNOT be conveyed well online. Second, the anti-Catholic arguments are DECIMATING, until you read the responses from thoughtful Catholic believers. The same is true for anti-Mormonism. Finally, there are untruths and distortions born of dishonest or JUST PAIN among former believers (I would not be a real LDS if I didn’t say that @Lemuel posts about a church I can SCARCELY RECOGNIZE. I have seen SIMILAR things from hurt ex-Catholics that I as one who is also a former Catholic can SCARCELY RECOGNIZE as the faith I left.) If one does not engage true believers, one will never be able to see through this.

I will close with this I just posted elsewhere:

Charity, TOm


#47

Thank you for your thoughtful reply @TOmNossor. I agree it is wise to engage with faithful people to fully understand another religion.

Unfortunately how does one recognize a “faithful person” of a religion that one isn’t a member of? That’s where problems arise in my opinion. I’ve personally met so-called faithful Catholics that are clearly NOT. This is where watching video interviews of people on the internet, listening to radio shows and reading material from authorized Catholic resources helps. You have a better chance it’s authentic, otherwise it’s just some guys opinion and experience. Again, my two cents only. Eventually one has to get off the computer!


#48

ROFL, stop making everything sinister. From my memory everybody active is assigned a buddy family that is also an active member. That they assign a more active member to visit a less active member is more common sense rather than machiavellian.

I don’t think their system builds real friendships between the assigned families but it does build real community. Helping hands will arrive if you need help packing or on another house project. I think the Amish have a similarly strong sense of community obligation.

My main criticism about the LDS on this would be they are 95% focused on supporting members within their community. They feed and clothe their flock but don’t run too many soup kitchens for non-members. I find Catholics much more universal in loving their neighbor, but comparatively inconsistent and disorganized. My fantasy would be combining Catholic virtues with LDS organization in a Parish.


#49

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.


#50

How home teaching works is very different from how missionaries might be used to target inactive members. Every ward has home teachers assigned but they don’t all have missionaries.

You didn’t respond to any of the points I made on how home teaching builds community, I agreed it doesn’t cause true friendship. It’s perfectly natural to try make a ‘good fit’ between the families.


#51

I did not disagree with you. It does build a sense of community. I can’t begin to tell you how many families I moved in or out or had the same done for me. Kudos for that.

They don’t have home teachers anymore.


#52

You just like to disagree I think.

True, they now call them"ministering brother" and “ministering sister”. I can’t discern and practical changes to the program through (or the points I made), just a rebranding.


#53

Sorry you feel that way. Seems as if you were disagreeing with me. But I just know they don’t have home teachers anymore. I dont know if the program otherwise changed or not.

That’s no more disagreeable than Mormons saying that there’s no such thing as Mormons.


#54

The Mormons have this thing called “Family Game Night”, that’s kind of weirdly formally mandated by their religion. I would make sure not to let your kids go to that.

I’ve seen some ex-Mormons and Mormons comment here. But, just so we’re clear, Mormons are not Christians. Its obviously very different than letting your kids play with Protestants, because they’re Christians. Its much more akin to them being friends with atheists or hindus or something. They have a very different religion from Christianity. I think this is understood by most of the people posting here. But, I thought I’d just give voice to it.


#55

I’ve had no connection to their church for years. The article I found indicated they’ve rebranded the practice but not done away with it.

Another link seems to give a bit more flexibility to ‘visiting’ outside of the home. Something that happened under the old branding as well per my experience.

The new ministering program will not always take place in people’s homes or include a prepared message, Holland said.

“We will continue to visit homes as possible, but local circumstances such as large numbers, long distances, personal safety, other challenging conditions — this may preclude a visit to every home every month,” Holland said.
https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/04/01/srr-lds-church-announces-end-of-home-teaching-visiting-teaching/#.XEY4n1xKg1o

It sounds like they will track outreach that doesn’t result in the old ‘visit’ standard and they’ve opened up from requiring delivery of the same lesson topic

Under the new system, Bingham said, “Rather than leaders just handing out slips of paper [with names of members to visit],” ministering will entail “counseling about the individuals and families in person.”

Such ministering can take the form of going for a walk, meeting for a game night, offering service or serving together. It can be accomplished with in-person visits, phone calls, chatting online or texting, sending birthday cards or “cheering at a soccer game.”

Ministering can be “sharing a scripture or quote from a conference talk that would be meaningful to the individual … or discussing a gospel question.” Bingham said. “It looks like becoming part of someone’s life and caring about him or her. … It looks like the ward council organizing to respond to a larger need.”

Apologies if I seemed snippy, I don’t see any evidence they’ve walked away from this basic member outreach practice, just loosened the reins a bit. I fully expect the engagement is being reported up the management chain.


#56

At the risk of being disagreeable, I’ve never heard of Family Game Night. I’m thinking that you meant Family Home Evening. If they do it the way they are supposed to, there will be indoctrination included so yes, it’s best that you probably keep your kids at home. Generally that would be Monday nights.


#57

Thank you for the explanation. I honestly had no clue how the new program worked. I left the church about 5 years ago. Even in those five years a lot has changed. Two hour Sunday services, Elders and High Priests are combined, there’s a new program allowing 6 to 24 months for missionaries with special needs, they’ve retracted their position on darkies, the temple garments have changed … probably a lot of other things I haven’t mentioned. It’s hard to keep up.


#58

I left several years back, was a member for a few years so never held your positions. I liked many of their organization efforts but failed to connect at a deeper level with ward members raised in the church. I haven’t paid attention to changes since I left, just assumed they would continue this practice as it seemed foundational to their ward community.


#59

Ditto that. I stayed in the church for the sake of my family and left just as my youngest son left for his mission to Guatemala. Some people think I was offended out of the church. Not so at all. I was not offended, was not hurt, was not treated unkindly in any way. I just knew it was a lie. Sure, there were knuckleheads who did stupid things but it was not in the least my reason for leaving.

The good news is that my son left his mission after seven months. He was too afraid to admit that he knew it was a lie until he saw me come out. Then he got enough muster to do it himself and I was there for him. It was hard for him, but he made his daddy very proud. Now, he’s a Southern Baptist. I wish he were Catholic, but I’ll accept him being a Christian for now.


#60

And those are the nice things they say and think about us. :expressionless:


#61

Yes, it is called Family Home Evening, I just find it strange how offically codified it is. It has its own Wikipedia Page. Its like Catholics have pages on Vestments or Indulgences. Its just weird. What if Catholics had Marriage and “Every family should have holy recreationary night on Tuesday night”. Its bizarre.


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