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Posted by: Strength in the Loins ( )
Date: December 14, 2013 05:38AM

I served my mission from 1992-1994. This was obviously just before the internet really started to take off. It was pretty much non-existent in South America at the time.

I was curious how missionaries today deal with the flood of information that is now readily available with a simple Google search today. Are missionaries instructed on how to deal with the hard questions? Or do they only search out the ignorant and gullible who don't ask any tough questions?

I actually thought that I knew a lot about church history as a missionary. Of course everything that I knew at the time came from TSCC sources. I never had an investigator read an "anti-Mormon" source and then hit me with the tough questions.

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Posted by: zarahemlatowndrunk ( )
Date: December 14, 2013 11:48AM

I don't know what the business model is now, but when I was out it seemed the idea was to toss out a bunch of untrained missionaries and take whatever you can get, except please avoid having poor/non-European investigators (Southern Europe, 2005-2007) We were never trained in how to handle tough questions other than to read our scriptures and follow the spirit.

If you get online and chat with the missionaries, I think you'll find that they are as untrained and ignorant as ever. Hence, they probably aren't getting very good numbers.

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Posted by: stillburned ( )
Date: December 24, 2013 10:55AM

Untrained, ignorant, and WAAAYYYY too slow at typing.

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Posted by: Ex-CultMember ( )
Date: December 14, 2013 01:25PM

The modern day church has NEVER trained its missionaries on the "hard" questions. They are intentionally left to remain ignorant. They only let them study out of the scriptures or a handful of church approved books based on gospel basics. They would prefer to keep them in this ignorant state so that they can boldly and blindly sell their crappy product. They can ignorantly deny the truth to non-members and keep their testimonies in the process.

"Stick to the basics!" is all I hear or have ever heard from LDS Inc.

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Posted by: Ex-CultMember ( )
Date: December 14, 2013 01:28PM

They teach missionaries to "resolve concerns" by brushing aside whatever issue the investigator might have and hard sell them on the feelings (aka spirit) bit. If they felt the spirit, then the church is true, if the church is true, then whatever issue they have doesn't matter.

Tunnel vision and circular logic at its best!

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Posted by: southern idaho inactive ( )
Date: December 14, 2013 01:38PM

With laptops,smart phones,tablets etc everywhere isn't missionary work become a sore thing for the morg anyway!!??

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Posted by: topped ( )
Date: December 15, 2013 10:50AM

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Posted by: breedumyung ( )
Date: December 15, 2013 01:31PM

Let us all remember that the ONLY reason for the Mish Program is to further indoctrinate the Mish into The System.

Any 'Hard Questions' discussion at the MTC would be suicidal to the Program.

End of discussion... Next

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Posted by: GeorgeQ ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 04:14PM

Missionary work has got to suck big time. I'm sure they are depressed and eating top ramen. Every investigator goes to via google search and tells ol mishies to shove it I'm not getting baptized.

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Posted by: Eric3 ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 04:19PM

From all accounts, response rate has gone from poor to damn near zero. Sometimes from damn near zero to zero.

As a nevermo, ten years ago I used to enjoy asking 'em to explain to me the major differences between Judaism and Islam. If they couldn't I'd ask wide-eyed: and you're a missionary? Today I would never do that, I just feel too sorry for 'em. They're on a mission to fail. That has got to really suck.

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Posted by: expanded ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 12:55AM

My young close relative just left for his "Facebook/chatting/internet", "come visit the church building", mission in Europe.I can't be more specific for obvious reasons. He was all jazzed of course. I feel sorry for the kid.

I believe the announcement for the lowered age and new style of proselyting was made last spring or summer? We should be hearing from these younger RM's in about a year and a half. Apparently these kids are on a church "network". These are the same kids who have lived on the computer most of their lives. They will figure out work arounds. I'm waiting to see if my "Merry Christmas" email makes it through. I'm family, but not immediate. Unless they've figured out I'm an Ex-Mo poster, there should be no reason not to let the email through. What are my chances?

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 12:59AM

pure torture.

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Posted by: newnameabigail ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 08:48PM

Unfortunately most fo them are still this unprepared as ever.
Talkin from a Cali Mission.
Their given Ipads are having parental control on it and strict filter. (I guess better than china) so no matter what anybody will tell them about, they don't have the chance to proof it. except they were on public library or what ever. They even can't open most newspaperlinks.
they must tell their Facebook and Skype passwords their comps and even Prez. They have to report what they were discussing about in a hidden Facebook group. Also in this group people who bear some kind of "evil potential" will be named out, and any further contact is forbidden. The mishs have to unfriend and shun those ppl. without any further explanation. (I am on that list as well and within one day 23 mishs unfriend me) Also disobedient mishs (caught by flirting) will be named out.
I even wouldn't trust myldsmail. I bet not every mail will make it trough.

Even if they now allowed to use modern technologies they still damned to stay uninformed like in medieval times. They will be even more under control since thirds *prez and comp, former commps* will have access to their official accounts. And this is commonly used. changing the password will bring trouble. deleting chats as well.

I would highly recommend every mish to set up an Google mail account from a clean device on pday or from library for confidential conversation.

Well besides that .... online missionaries are there for low-threshold contacts. First, they should join different Christian groups and pick out possible willing ppl what ended up in disaster for those ppl told them the stuff that they usually shouldn't have know. ^^
They should now ask friends for recommendations. Or go through friends list and contact ppl. (modern door by door)
They should befriend them and lead them to appointments with local mishies for the discussions. One thing is "to show that morgs are quite normal guys", which is difficult for the most of those boys and girls are socially awkward.

When I met my boyfriend first he was totally paranoid for getting spyed out and wasn't even able to talk freely about anything else than the message. He really was afraid that prez could see everything he is doing online. For sure - some were named out for flirting around already. So he were afraid of repressions.

Being an online missionary isn't any kind of fun. They will be controlled, they will be bullied, they don't convert anyone. plus they have the normal rejection in the real world to cope. It's hard for those mostly unexperienced 18yr old kids. I wouldn't trade for one day.

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 09:30PM

I don't ask how many baptisms they had. I ask how many people they discussed the gospel with and then ask out of those 8,000 how many chose not be get baptized.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 09:56PM

I've put this up before but will do so again for illustrative purposes. I'm not religious, knew the church was made up but was going to get married to a Mormon and pretended to go along with it. Well, the marriage didn't happen but they were still trying to get me to join the church. The sisters I spoke with didn't have a clue about what I could easily find out about Mormonism on the World Wide Web:,280759,280821#msg-280821

...When I asked them about people becoming gods or the 1890's style magic Mormon bloomers there was total silence--and they they claimed not to know anything about Joseph Smith having multiple wives or sex with under age girls either...


Dear (Sisters "A" and "B"):

Thanks for at least trying to answer some of my questions. I am a bit disappointed that you weren't able to answer all of them. My mistake was in thinking that the LDS / Mormon church was just another church --- it isn't. Mormonism is a complete way of life--much more akin to Islam (not in theology, but in scope) than a standard basic Christian denomination ( like Baptists, Methodists, etc) . Try to look at this from my point of view. You move to a new place, don't know anyone, and a friend suggests going to church to meet new people. You have heard of the Mormon church but you don't really know much about it in detail so you decide to look it up. What you find is a lot of very strange things so you go straight to the horse's mouth to find out what the straight story is. That's how I wound up contacting you.

I think you are going to have a difficult time trying to get people to join your church. It didn't take me but two or three weeks to find out about the history of Mormonism, how the LDS church got started, inconsistencies between the LDS official story of Joseph Smith's life and the actual historical evidence, strange and different theology, legacy of racism, peculiar practices and so on. When I tried to ask you about these things, you seemed shocked that I would ask about them or didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Here's a sample:

** Misspellings, bad grammar and plagiarism (i.e. whole passages copied from the Bible) in the Book of Mormon

** Smith's neighbours in New York gave evidence that he was con artist and he was actually prosecuted for fraud and disorderly conduct

** A close friend of Joseph Smith named Peter Ingersoll said that Smith told him that he found some white sand in a creek bed after a rainstorm while walking home and wrapped in up in his work shirt. When his family asked him to see it, he jokingly told him in a grave manner that it was the "ancient gold bible from Canada" and all who tried to see it would fall dead

** The few people who actually dared to look in the box that supposedly contained the ancient gold plates reported seeing nothing but bricks or sand

** Smith "translated" the plates by remote viewing -- he put his head in a hat with magic seer stones (commonly used for divination like birch rods) and dictated the text

** Smith used polygamy as a ruse to satisfy his sexual desires and was almost castrated by a lynch mob

** Mormons are not Christians (as they claim to be) nor are they monotheistic. The Mormon pantheon acknowledges many past, present, and future Gods, and one of the basic tenets of the faith says that humans can become gods themselves ("As Man is, God once was. As God is, Man may become..." )

** Mormon temple rituals, robes, and undergarments are no longer secret and details are easily obtainable online.

** According to Mormon theology, when humans were spirits in heaven they fought over whether or not human beings would have free will. One third were in favour, one third were against, and one third were neutral. Those that were in favour became humans on Earth, those against became demons, and the neutral or less valiant third were allowed to become humans but were "cursed" with dark skin.

I have no axe to grind here and I have nothing against Mormons. I was just trying to find out what the truth was. I've been to Nauvoo, IL and I know that Mormons were horribly persecuted for their religion and faced extermination and ethnic cleansing. No one will ever really know Smith really saw or what what actually was (if anything) revealed to him. Was he a flawed conflicted man who was actually chosen by God or did he make the whole thing up? Why the ruse of the gold plates? Did he feel that no one would believe him if he had nothing tangible?

You asked me to pray about the veracity of the Book of Mormon. After speaking with you the other night I was flipping channels for something to watch while eating dinner. A western movie was on Showtime about settlers crossing Utah on their way to California so I decided to watch it. This movie was about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857--a wagon train was attacked by Mormons and the survivors were shot in the back of the head execution style. Only those eight years old or younger were allowed to live (and of course were to be raised as Mormons). I took this "revelation" as my answer. I probably think too much and ask too many questions to join your church.

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Posted by: stillburned ( )
Date: December 24, 2013 11:05AM

You got it almost all right...except the persecution at Nauvoo. Truth be told, historically, there is almost no "real" persecution of Mormons, even at Nauvoo. Usually, it's angry people (often disgruntled Mormons) getting back at Mormons for the sh!t the Mormons started. Great post otherwise...and yep, you ask way too many questions!

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