More specifically, I have sat in bishop council meetings with leaders from each organization, elder's quorum, relief society, primary etc. and they have discussed a certain member or other whose "heart seems to be softening." They ask who the person is already friends with, who lives nearby, who has kids the same age and basically, who can be asked to become friends with this person to try to encourage them to come to church. They have also talked about assigning a whole family to someone when the inactive has children, and asking the children to make a special effort to be friends with the children of the inactive at school. Unmistakably and very clearly, they are assigning someone to kiss up to and befriend a certain person and their family for the express purpose of making them want to come to church. And this sort of thing went on in several different wards in different areas, not just in one rogue ward in the morridor.
CA girl Wrote, in part: ------------------------------------------------------- ... > they have discussed a certain member or other > whose "heart seems to be softening." ======================== I'd love to speak up in one of those meetings!
Yo, Bishy darling...
Small, teensy-weensy correction here, okay?
That's their brain that is softening, not their heart.
The heart will become quite hard; petrified, in fact, but the brain'll be nice and squishy and ripe for manipulation and programming. Perfect!
They use it to try to reactivate "less active" members and hold on to new ones. However most people can tell the difference between real friendship and these forced imitations of friendship, so "friendshipping" is largely a failure--most new members go inactive shortly after baptism and rarely do less active members become any more active.
It's called "fellowshipping" isn't it? At least when it is directed at a non-member. It's real and I was a target. For a long time, I thought my next door neighbors were fellowshipping me and my 2 kids. Later, I mentioned this to another neighbor I was friendly with, and it turned out that SHE and her family had been assigned to befriend us. It's an icky, icky feeling to know that there was always an agenda to the friendship. I guess it would be waste of time to be friends with someone without an ulterior motive of conversion. Jeebus!
It can be really unsettling when someone who has been trying to get close to you suddenly stops those efforts and begins treating you like dirt.
Then you find out that it's because the former 'friend' was released from that job and was given a new calling. I think it should be mandatory that in such instances the 'friend' must go to the target to let the target know. Seems only fair!
As a YW president, it was my job to do the friend-making a lot of the time. I didn't really like it.. especially as some of the girls didn't really like all the church contact. It was hard to call them and invite them to things because I knew they didn't want to go.. felt a lot like harassment :/ I was assigned to do it though, so I did for the most part. But when girls actually wanted to be there, it was fun. I was the oldest, so I was kind of the big sister, and I still hold my little beehives dear even tho they are grown up now :) Such sweet young women! Not all wards are blessed with a lack of cattiness and drama... We were lucky to all be friends and not exclude. But I do remember many awkward phone calls/contacts.
Strange, KiNeverMo, that you should start this thread. I received a Christmas/Friendship card today, from a TBM neighbor, and she wrote a little note inside:
We don't see each other often enough anymore! "Lets do Lunch!" For Sure! I miss you! Love, (name)
She and I have lived in the same houses for over 15 years. Never have we gone to lunch, or had more than a few sentences of conversation. The only times I've been in her house, were to take dinners to her when she was sick.
--Suddenly, she misses me?
I'm curious if other people can see through this friendshipping scam.
I take it you were never a mormon because otherwise you would not ask. Inactive mormons or investigators or new members are frequently assigned friends. And even where not strictly assigned this kind of behavior is widely encouraged and condoned.
The Mormon church teaches and supervises the assigned friend idea and it trains members to informally take on the role whenever they deal with a potential contact. If the target person does respond and visit church, their Mormon "friend" receives high praise and attention for their initiative.
It used to be that mormons were encouraged to make friends with someone they thought should join the church. After building up a relationship they would spring the church on them.
Around 1999 or so, they changed to focus from creating target relationships to manipulating existing relationships into missionary opportunities. The reason? Manipulating an existing relationship seemed more sincere than befriending and then abandoning someone.