I have found myself in discussion mode with the elders of our local LDS church without realizing the implications of such an agreement. Basically while attending a service with my husband, who is a member, (I love him and want to spend time with him while he is home as he works away from home, even if that means attending church), before we could leave after the service we were caught by the eager elders. Of course they had to ask if we were both members...grrr, why, why do they have to go there...and because I have this problem, (I can't be dishonest), I of course said that I was not. They asked if I would mind having them over to talk about stuff and me not liking conflict or confrontation or negativity said I would not mind. I didn't realize that this would begin a formal schedule of something they have been thoroughly trained for. I however only know how I feel, but like singing in front of strangers, when confronted with the questions I close up and can't speak the logic I believe. After one evening of apparently "The 1st Lesson" they had scheduled a second in less than a week from then, which I had to reschedule and haven't yet because I don't feel ready to do so. 

How can I respond to their planned/taught questions respectfully and honestly so that they cannot deny my rational thinking and conclusions I have come to? I am not trying to offend or start anything that may get my husband treated negatively. 

I may edit this later if I find a better way to bring my question to the "support group" however for now, I just really want some help. 


I told the elders I don't know if I'll want to reschedule the discussions, but that in truth, I'm not ready for regular discussions/lessons. I said I am actively investigating/building the foundation for what I believe, but that at this point any questions I have, I can just go to my husband and I thanked them. They thanked me for my honesty and then invited me to 'continue to please pray to God and ask ....and blah blah blah' and promised me an answer that its true soon and then said I should totally have them back over for dinner soon. I wasn't surprised, but glad to have been able to say what I needed. I will be strong and honest with them, and anyone, anytime my beliefs are questioned. 

Thank you for your help. I am grateful to have a safe place where I can ask for it. 


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Smarmy is a new one!  I don't mean to be, however, I do have a keen sense of humour that I don't always communicate well.

It probably goes back to the story of the scorpion and the swan - it's just your nature.


Not sure what your on about here Nate.  My comments were not based on theism or atheism being true or false, and certainly not based on supporting LDS.  I don't think I did anything sneaky either.  It was just a comment about what I thought was appropriate in any situation.  Its usually much better just to be honest and say, "no thank you".   My bewilderment was how everyone seemed to think the lady was some kind of victim - which I can't see that.  Except of course that I do understand that some people find it hard to say 'no' in any situation.  Thats a security and character issue not a religious one.  I did say this to the lady directly and sympathised saying I have done the same thing in the past too.   None of my comments were actually religiously motivated on this thread.  I think your being a tad sensitive Nate.

Thats a security and character issue not a religious one.

@ Trevor - Yes, like being hesitant  in order to give yourself time to figure out the best course of action. That is what T is doing. You talk as if that is a bad thing. She does not have a "character issue."

I suggest Mabel that Trevor knows exactly what you mean, it's what he's doing rather than responding to John Major's post last week refuting Trevor's arguments.

I've no doubt he'll respond that that's what I'm doing as well, but not so - I had a reply ready for his latest post to me, when it became time for my mid-morning nap. That having been accomplished, as soon as I have lunch and a siesta, I'll get back to him. He's just not that high on my list of priorities.

@ Arch - Yes lol. At least Trevor has hung on this long and is coherent enough to motivate me to respond to his posts. I wish more Christians would come to debate here and stick around longer than the usual two or three posts. My theory is they try to engage but this causes doubts and that scares them, so they run away as fast as their little cyber feet will carry them.

I certainly prefer Trevor's approach to Michael's. Trevor's a little smarter than the average bear, and a great deal more so than a lot of theists who visit this site.

I'll get back with him this afternoon sometime - having just created my universe (again!), this is my day of rest.

Thats what I like Mabel, an atheist with a sense of humour!  Keep it up, you bring colour into the world.



There wasn't anything backhanded or manipulative about it, it was barefaced, up front humour.  I wouldn't expect anyone to seriously take it as a compliment, but as intended - humour.  I enjoy humour Nate, even when it is directed at theists - if it is actually funny that is. 

Hi Mabel, you may well be right. What I was trying to get at / counterbalance was the tone of the replies that the lady was getting that portrayed her as a victim and the LDS people as evil.  It wasn't meant to be particularly personal, I am not attacking her, and if it is a character issue I softened that by saying I have done the same thing in different situations.  Its understandable, but it doesn't make her a victim.  In this particular case the LDS people don't seem to have done anything underhanded or wrong.  As I said, not that I am an LDS fan.  No offence intended though.

I say forget point-counterpoint. Sure, informing yourself about the origins of their belief system (and the origins of that belief system, and the origins of THAT belief system, etc, etc) and the nature of all creation works. But like you've said, it takes a great deal of dedicated practice and even then (for me anyway) it can sometimes be difficult to maintain clarity-- because even with tools like anthropology and neurology in your belt, you're still trying to systematically disassemble a congested mountain of millennia-old complexly layered machinery. So I think you should do like Socrates, Jefferson, Buddha, and 5 year-olds; empty your mind and question everything. Your responses should start with who, what, why, when, or where. Critical thought in the form of academic humility. Genuine curiosity as opposed to overt challenging. Don't be a politician. You have to rise above that. Be a journalist, interview them as if you're reporting on some new tribe discovered in the Amazon, find out about their creation stories and rituals. Just let yourself be fascinated by their strange and barbaric culture from a purely academic standpoint, and graciously make that intent known. Without sounding condescending if you can.

You seem nice. That should go a long way, right?


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