Missionary WORK! The work of bringing souls to the corporate entity known as the Intellectual Reserve. I was brought up to think that missionary work was the most noble and worthwhile pursuit. Now I think of it as a nuisance. The reason I now think of it this way is because I now realize what it really is! It is door to door salesmanship. But it is not just any ordinary product being pushed (nay heartily wedged) through my door, rather it is acceptance that your life must suck since you are not as happy as those two clean cut, 1960's era, IBM reps standing at your door. Since you don't enjoy their level of happiness, they are more than willing to share with you what will bring you up to their level. They have a message of joy, hope and peace that will change you forever!
It will change you all right...it will make you a self righteous, ethnocentric prick who is willing to forsake friends and family in order to lay up a mansion for your self in heaven. A heaven where a man can have multiple wives and spend eternity making babies to populate his own world and start the cycle of life on a new planet all over again. Who needs close friends and relatives to be by your side, when you can just make more of those affiliates through procreation! Procreation is apparently the key to eternal happiness. As long as it isn't enjoyed too much, and only really used for making babies, then it is OK anyway.
Here's what I don't understand; so members of the LDS church are quick to point out that if a person leaves the church, that they can't seem to leave the church alone. Gee, I wonder why that could be? So let me get this straight. Members of the church work themselves into a frenzy over the idea of spreading the gospel to all those ungodly heathens that apparently would accept the truth (that they perceive themselves to have) if they just knew about it, but then whine and complain when former members attempt to share a message with them about how screwed up their beliefs are?! Life's a bitch ain't it. The thing I want to say to members of the church when they say that I can't just leave their precious beliefs alone is that I'll stop when they stop. I'll leave you alone as soon as you stop knocking on my door with your smug and certain passive aggressive insults designed to make you feel better, but designed to make me feel bad until I agree with you. You can't have it both ways folks. I guess now I understand why it seems that churches attempt to inoculate their members by telling them how ridiculous and weird the LDS church is in their beliefs. They are fighting fire with fire.
It never really occurred to me as I was out for two years going door to door attempting to convert others that, while the people who let me in their door were just being nice or genuinely wanting to hear the nice message that I was advertising, that what I was really doing was telling them that their beliefs were wrong and that I had what they needed. How pretentious and arrogant of me to think that! I had no idea what kinds of things these people had been through in their spiritual quest. Nor did I care. My only goal was to get them to associate any good feelings they may have had in their life up to that point, with what I was trying to sell them on. I manipulated those people for my own selfish purposes. I'll say, once the idea of you having the ONE AND ONLY TRUE CHURCH ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH is abandoned, I have begun to see how selfish and arrogant this whole attitude I was sportin' really is.
And, of course, I wasn't anti-anything. I was only anti-everybody outside of Mormonism. And, while I didn't usually resort to ad hominem attacks of all the other religions, I did essentially tell people that they were wrong for believing what they did. And, I had all the reasons laid out for why they were wrong. Here's the short list;
- They didn't have a mouthpiece for God that they believed was on the earth today to receive God's precious counsel for them - aka profit (spelling intentional). (No they just believed that God would communicate with them directly if He had something to say...silly rabbit)
- They didn't have a cool story about how Joseph Smith got an answer to his prayer, which included Godly and angelic visitations and the restoration of God's REAL church on the earth. (No, they don't buy Joseph's story when they learn that it all came from a known con-man, whose story changed over the years, and whose motives were power and lots of sex)
- They didn't have a true understanding of who God is and who God wants us to be. (No, they had their understanding which, truth be told, is equally valid and perhaps even more valid than my naive concept interpreted through rigid orthodoxy)
- They didn't have additional scripture. The Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price represent proof that God must love Mormons more than everybody else. (No, they don't accept additional scripture...especially when that scripture is mostly a plagiarism of the Bible and the rest a fantasy about the early 19th century version of explaining where the American Indians came from)
- They didn't have legitimate priesthood authority to exercise God's power. (No, they don't need some permission slip to believe that they can see God working in their lives)
- They didn't have temples where eternally required ordinances can be performed for everyone living and dead. (No, they just have their plain old houses of worship where no one is excluded from coming and partaking because they haven't paid enough to the church. Again, the perception and teachings of the church are what form the need for these edifices to be only for the privileged [aka "worthy"] and the work that goes on in them. In fact, many find what goes on in the temple to be offensive when they find out that their dead relatives are being posthumously converted to Mormonism and the living are being pressured to go along with something that they aren't even allowed to know until after they make the commitment to proceed)
No, outsiders to the Mormon faith don't have any of these things, so their beliefs must be fallen and in the dark. Too bad all those poor souls that have hopes and fears just like all of us can't be respected enough to be listened to for what they have to offer. Instead they are continually put down and criticized as inferior to the further light and knowledge contained in the teachings of the LDS church.
Mormons really love missionary work alright...as long as that work isn't being performed on them. If that is the case they feel it OK to ostracize, censor and label you as someone who is an "Anti". Hmmm, this kind of makes all the other religions that put up with the antics of the LDS in their missionary efforts look very charitable, kind and forgiving of those who leave their faith for the lies of the Mormon church. How Christian of them.