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.
To Nate: (my replies decide where they want to go on the page)...anyway:
I don't really want to choose any label, not because of my feelings about the labels so much as anyone who reads that label decides what it means about me, and our translations of such labels may be entirely different. I might call myself something one day and it mean something entirely different to even myself the next. If there was a specific one that fit me, I am pretty sure that it wouldn't fit anyone else, and the same goes for everyone. As unique as a DNA strand, that's how I might see people's labels as anything helpful. There are just too many things that matter to one person and one of those things alone can shape what you are to the world and if weak enough it could change how a person sees their self. But I do also 'hope that someday, the simple label of atheist will also have a totally neutral or positive association in everyone's minds...' But then again, us realist's know that the possibility is as likely as the labels of sexuality, race, age, mayo preference, etc. having a totally neutral or positive association in everyone's minds.
A bit from a TED Talk here. Start at 8:00 if you want.
Thank you I'm enjoying it right now =) I want to be a TEDster haha.
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 =)