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.
I love this. Thank you. I think this will really help me to solidify my standing. I'll let you know how it goes. =)
I'm a christian but not an LDS so I am not speaking for them etc.
I would ask what you hope to acheive by meeting up with them? What is the point? What do you want to get out of it? Is it to show willing to your husband? If so then may be you just need to talk it over with him. Is that you just can't say no. In that case get your husband to say no for you, or leave a telephone message / email.
It doesn't seem that your motive is to find out about LDS in order to see if you want to join them. Your certainly not going to change their mind. So I am not sure why you are going through the motions? Its fair enough that they are talking to you as you agreed to them coming over, but if its not what you want then just say so. They may well have better ways to spend their time also. Perhaps they have lots of people to see who are genuinely interested and you are monopolising their time unfairly.
Just some thoughts. I think being straight and up front is the only way to be in most things.
She isn't hoping to achieve anything. She was the one approached without knowledge of what the fact that they were going to attempt to convert her. They were the ones pushing for meetings not her. She isn't trying to change anyone's mind and certainly isn't attempting to. She only wanted to spend some time with her husband and share with him something that he cared about, which was hijacked by the motivations of other people who can't keep their nose where it belongs: out of other people's lives.
"They may well have better ways to spend their time also. Perhaps they have lots of people to see who are genuinely interested and you are monopolizing their time unfairly."
I think they know exactly how they are spending their time. If they were interested in spending it with someone else, they wouldn't have been so pushy in the first place and would have asked upfront if she was considering converting.
The whole point of her post was to ask for advice on how to extract herself from the situation as best as possible. If you are going to give advice then do so, but don't bandy about half-insinuated accusations that she is purposely taking up these people's time in an attempt to deconvert them.
Sagacious Hawk, thank you =)
For Trevor (excuse the replies being out of order): Thank you for your comment. As Sagacious Hawk so correctly backed me up (thank you), I am not hoping to achieve anything except to be able to live my life. And ya, they were very available to come over any time and often. This is what they want to spending their time doing, but to call it unfair of me to monopolize their time would be to assume I was able to chose my actions carefully, which obviously I'm not the best at when on the spot. One of those things in life one needs to practice, like cooking or not killing people.
Sounds to me like you are caught between a rock and a hard place. I can understand your hesitation to cut them off.
In my experience, these buggers are very persistent. I am technically still a member of the Mormon church, though I am now an atheist. The only option may be to try to tell them politely you have decided to keep your religious views private and do not wish to discuss them any further.
Thank you, Mabel =)
I agree 100% with Mabel, they are very persistant and they don't take NO for an answer. They start by meeting at your home twice per week to talk about the Mormon book and how Jesus went to America, they keep you entertained with their delusions and before you know it you are inside a pool holding your breath while getting baptized.
Believe me they were aware that you were not a member before they approached you. They keep marriage and family records religiously (that's why they are such a good source for genealogy study). Basically the pastor had you profiled and now they made it their mission to get you baptized. They won't stop so easily.
As Trevor said you won't accomplish much by meeting with them, the only thing that will happen is that you will get deeper and deeper.
Talk it out with your husband, and be prepared for when they start pressuring him too.Mormons are very into "marry your own kind ONLY" and how your marriage is NOT valid because it wasn't in the temple.
You are stepping into dangerous ground if your husband REALLY cares a lot about that religion and lifestyle. Be wise and try that this wont bring drama into your marriage.
Thank you and for bringing my awareness to the probably obvious "trick" ways of theirs. I need to stop being so naive. I am vaguely aware of the potential dramas that may come from this issue, but need to continue to be open with my husband as he has been to me and I need not make drama where it wouldn't have been. I always worried about the temple marriage, too seeing as how to get one I would have to be dishonest in my beliefs. He was always aware of my beliefs, but one I forget is to believe him in what he says and stay strong in my beliefs in case I need to stand by them for any reason. Thank you.
hahaha thank you
Lets examin that for a second. She went to their church, and agreed for them coming over, and she is then a victm?! Strange world you live in! I can empathise that she didn't have the courage / strength of character to say 'no thanks', there are times when we say yes but mean no because its a situation we feel uncomfortable in. Granted. But whats really silly is al this demonising the LDS when she went to their church and then agreed to them coming over!
My typical 'religious mind set' is no more than 'take responsibility for your own actions and give the benefit of the doubt to others unless you have good personal reason not to". Thinking "how dare they talk to me in their church and come over when I say yes" is less than that to my mind. There is no victim here.
T: I do sympathise that its hard sometimes to get out of something when we have said yes but meant no. I have done it myself. I am not actually trying to point the finger at you, I am really just trying to counteract the "those evil religious people' mentality in this thread. I think its right to be reasonable whether you are religious or not. And of course as a christian I have no particular friendship with LDS which I think is a cult.
Nate, a bit on the meaning of the word cult.
A lot of words have different nuances (semantic range) of meaning and the context in which they are found is decisive for understanding the meaning correctly.
If you read all the definitions of the word 'cult' you will also see that it means:
"a quasi-religious organisation using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents" which is in contrast to mainstream and even state religion (UK church and state issue. Our Queen is the head of the church).
Of course it also means: "Something that is fashionable and significant by a group" Which can have no religious connotations at all. Also "intense interest in an idea" which atheism would come under! In popular usage it also refers to movies, cars and some rock groups.
The context in which I used the word "cult" should show that I meant it in the narrower, first sense above. I hope thats helpful, its been an issue for me in preiovusly doing a degree in theology which included studying literary, form and redaction criticism in the context of the original documents of the Bible to establish origin and original meaning.