Feelings, Cults and Hypnotic Foolery

It’s me, Jared, back at the helm. I hope you enjoyed and were provoked in your thoughts by my wife’s comments below. If any of you have something to say or just rant about, email me and I’ll consider giving you guest blog privileges.

Speaking of guests, my wife and I had two rather interesting ones in our home last night. Elder X and Elder Y from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints paid us a visit. I had never really talked at length with Mormon missionaries before, so thought this would be a good opportunity to see what their “pitch” was.

After two hours, we had barely scratched the surface of Mormonism, and I was left with both anger and sorrow. I was angry that these people were out spreading this falsehood in such a manner (which I’ll explain later), and sorrowful that these two kids didn’t know any better.

My strategy from the outset was not to attack the book of Mormon or the Mormon religion, but to attack its claims of adherence to the Bible. The trouble with their presentation is that they try so much to sound like Christianity. To the untrained ear, we believe many of the same things. I had to press them for them to reveal differences. Their theology (when using the Bible) is based on some very liberal interpretations of a few abstract verses used, of course, out of context.

Many things they were at a loss to explain based on anything else–they simply said, “we feel like this is the way it is…”–with little basis. The strangest thing that happened last night was when Elder X quoted, from memory, an entry from Joseph Smith’s journal. He held up a painting of Smith, supposedly being enlightened, and spoke with a slow, rythmic pace. My wife said she thought that he was trying to hypnotize us. Following the quote, he asked us how we felt as he read the quote. I deferred the question to Lori to avoid saying it sounded rather hokey.

To summarize the whole event, I am thankful that I believe in a God who has left us something more substantial than mere feelings or sentimentality, which Mormonism seems to thrive upon.