Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What is it that makes the Mormon missionaries so unflappable? —Disgustin' Justin

It's true. Every other type of street evangelist, I have been able to annoy. Including the ones whose faiths promote meditation. And with reference to a previous question, my success rate with Scientologists is 100%. Not so with the missionaries of the LDS. They just stand there smiling.

Mormons, this atheist grudgingly salutes you.
Hey, great username. Are you a Garbage Pail Kids fan?

So were you really impressed by this nonanswer to your questions? They may just not have known what to say, or didn't want to look foolish or appear to be doubting in front of their ever-present companion. Also, the mishies are taught this scripture from the Book of Mormon:

3 Ne. 11: 29
For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

In other words, they're taught not to argue, and instead just "bear testimony." Pretty welcome advice to most kids on missions, given how little they likely know about the world outside Mormonism. And it's a pretty effective strategy for the most part. Think about it, you say, "Joseph Smith was a convicted con-man who married little girls and couldn't translate Egyptian to save his life."

And they say, "I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, and you can know too if you'll sincerely pray with faith."

There's nowhere to go from there. They haven't engaged anything you said, and in their minds they're satisfied because they've been taught that bearing testimony will confound you.

Anyway their lives are hard enough without all the cog diss in their heads. Let 'em finish their missions and then they can google this stuff later.

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