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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » If Al Qaida were like the Mormons (Page 3)

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Author Topic: If Al Qaida were like the Mormons
Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
However, in the next life - when I learned that their message was correct, I would indeed be grateful that they tried.

You seem to be assuming that everyone would choose to follow your religion if they found out it was true. I don't think that everyone would.
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gnixing
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No - I am under no false pretense that everyone will accept the Gospel - but they will one day know that it is true. Satan knows the Gospel, but he did not embrace it.

What I am claiming is that they will indeed be grateful that I did not shirk my responsibility to share the Gospel.

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erosomniac
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I'm leaving this thread - it's making me remember why I despised the prosletyzing religious.
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gnixing
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quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
I'm leaving this thread - it's making me remember why I despised the prosletyzing religious.

Ok.
Someday, maybe you'll be grateful that I tried to give you a different perspective.

Needless to say - I think I've made my point as to why Missionaries should ignore Do Not Solicit signs.

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Boris
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Actually, you've come off as more of an arrogant snob, gnixing. And I say this as a fellow Mormon. The purpose of missionary work is not to sell one's beliefs. It is to share something that has brought joy into the lives of many people in the hopes that people will hear and understand it so that it can enrich their own lives. The fact that so few missionaries get that was one of the things that caused me the most grief on my mission. I was never comfortable ignoring No Soliciting signs simply because I knew the people at those houses would not be happy to see someone they didn't know knocking on their door. That's a very bad starting point for any religious message about peace, love, happiness, and respect for one's fellow men. I have, however, seen a few really good missionaries who had a deep, caring attitude with people, who were willing to let everyone know how important the gospel was to them in a very respectable way. Those were the most successful ones that actually made an impact on the people they met. The others were just selling Kirbys.
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Cashew
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I served a mission from 1973 - 1975 in Australia (a very hard place to tract)and I really came across very few who were "just selling Kirbys", as you put it, Boris.
The vast majority of us did really care about the people we were contacting and teaching. There was more of an emphasis on stats then than there seems to be now too, but we still knew why we were there and how crucial our message was. When we did ignore a No Soliciting sign it was a considered decision based on our thinking that what we had was important enough to cause offence to deliver it, and we were prepared to receive the occasional angry response.
I've seen people who reacted angrily (and sometimes violently, including one guy chasing the missionaries down the front path with a broom) initially, be disarmed by the genuineness of the missionaries contacting them, and later express gratitude that the missionaries didn't pay attention to the sign on the gate.
Of course I've seen the opposite as well, but seems to me that the possibility of the one overrides the risk of the other.

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Cashew
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By the way I agree with you Boris about gnixing's arrogance. I think he's very young though...
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Rebuke
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I have been ghosting these forums for some time now, perusing topics without 'clearing my throat' in an attempt to guage the community to see whether or not participating would be a useful and productive investment of time. Yet after having absorbed many of the intellectual, spiritual, and moral debates taking place within Orson's delightful little ether, I think (for the most part) all of you have shaped these forums into a refreshing pool where the intellectually thristy can visit for a sip.

So before I share my thoughts: hello, and it's nice to meet you all.

Coming to the point: this has been a lively and entertaining debate examining issues that (in the typical internet debate spirit) has sprouted and given birth to many other issues that are dissected in turn.

Given the fact that many of the people participating in this discussion have very strong feelings concerning these issues, I don't expect my thoughts to have a particularly lasting effect (at least no longer than it takes for someone posting below me and mow this down.

So here it is...


Someone once told me 'there is no truth: there is only you, and what you make the truth.'

Is this a sweeping universal standard? No. Largely in part because there are precious few of them to go around. But the underlying wisdom I took from this statement is that the world through your eyes is made up, held together, or torn asunder by nothing more than the confines of your own perception. Perception is unquestionably one of the most itegral and complicated aspects of our existance. One man's evil is another man's good, with the only speration being your own perceptions.

Yes, it can be argued that evil is evil, and good is good, because we cling so strongly to the idea of a supreme archetype seperating the two, but it's not about blurring the lines between good and evil, it about the individual creature walking along the surface of a tiny planet and what he or she percieves to be that seperation. And, ladies and gentleman an arguement aimed toward this statement can only be made because your perception
either differs from my own, or is in allignment with what I have to say.

Our perceptions are what govern us, and our free will is what allows us these differences in allignment to begin with.

It is a principal that may allow an Islamic Fundamentalist to detonate himself on a passenger bus carrying 30 young woman to the nearby University because some of those women failed to cover thier visage in public. That may be in direct contention with his religous beliefs, calling him to act upon what he percieves to be the appropriate and just coarse of action. His beliefs, which have been shaped and molded by his core perception of the world around him.

I put this scenario forward as an example of two conflicting perceptions, perceptions which by nature are abstract, but also indistiquishable in respects to the conviction of the wielder of those beliefs.

We may continue to debate whether something was right or wrong, what motives justify or excuse, or lessen any given action, but I tell you now that it's pointless to allow yourself to get excited over an arguement that clearly falls under the absolute jurisdiction of ones own perception. Because in the end all you have to look forward to is sore fingers.

But otherwise, I still enjoy reading well crafted arguments, and despite what you may think, this is not an arguement. I'm merely stating that this debate (however entertaining) has only a very small probability of getting anywhere if temper is allowed to interfere with good reason.

And on another note, a debate centering so keenly on perception (inherently among the most complicated and abstract of our inner workings) is libal to take the shape of a hampster on a wheel.

[ October 02, 2006, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: Rebuke ]

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Rakeesh
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I seem to recall something I read somewhere about the free will and choice of humanity as being an integral part of God's plan. I guess you weren't paying attention to that part, though.
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Megan
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I will say this: as an "unbeliever," I would be far more likely to listen to a missionary with an attitude like Boris's or Cashew's than one like gnixing. I'm not saying I'd convert, or even investigate, but with the first I'd actually listen to what he had to say. The second would get a polite (though possibly somewhat chilly) request to leave my property immediately.
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katharina
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I don't understand why people are so eager to believe the very worst of people. It makes me sad to see it.

It's like it's a point of pride to say these terrible things. It's not engendering to a respectful atmosphere. It's too bad.

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lem
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quote:
No - I am under no false pretense that everyone will accept the Gospel - but they will one day know that it is true. Satan knows the Gospel, but he did not embrace it.

What I am claiming is that they will indeed be grateful that I did not shirk my responsibility to share the Gospel.

*switching in Mormon Mode*

There is truth, boundaries, and tactics--how you present yourself. If I wanted to be a really good anti-Mormon, I would create a user-name like gnixing and use Mormon doctrine to support my Mormon positions. That would piss off a lot of potential converts. Oh the arrogance!

However, most Mormons are not like that. Most missionaries don't have an excuse to be like that. Altho the core of what gnixing said is true (for the faithful Mormon), most do not act like him/her.

There is a book called the Missionary Guide that teaches you how to be a good Missionary. You read it every morning. It teaches wonderful things like how to BRT "Build Relationships of Trust" in the short period of time you've made contact with someone.

It also covers basic selling techniques like dress, appearance, voice tone, voice inflections, drawing boundaries, and respecting boundaries. It does emphasize being direct and honest and not to be afraid of the truth, but it also teaches you to respect others and rely on the Spirit.

I still contend, despite what Paul says, that because we live in a society that separates commercial sellers and political/religious/charitable activists, there is a pre-established precedent where missionaries can feel like they are being respectful by ignoring no-soliciting signs. I don't not believe their position is arrogant or rude. There are more specific signs that are not as ambiguous to missionaries as no solicit signs.

Most missionaries accept that someone is "not ready" to hear the message if their home and heart is truly closed. A simple no-solicit sign is too ambiguous--thanks partially to the society most missionaries grow up in.

The way gnixing presents the gospel feels like thick sticky goo being poured on me that can't be scrapped off fast enough. Wow, that makes for a great anti-Mormon.

The truth is most Mormons don't (or at least shouldn't) come across that way because they appreciate that the spirit opens people's heart--not any one person's badgering or efforts. There is a qualitative difference between not shirking and harassing. Gnixing comes across as one of those arrogant harassers who “knows better” then you.

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Megan
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Kat, are you referring to my post? If so, could you tell me what terrible thing I said? If not, then just pretend this post doesn't exist. [Smile]
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katharina
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Megan, I'm not referring to yours. [Smile]
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Megan
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Okie dokie. [Big Grin]
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lem
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quote:
Gnixing comes across as one of those arrogant harassers who “knows better” then you.
I do want to point out that I am not trying to be against Gnixing. I enjoy his/her posts on hatrack. I am talking about specific posts in a specific thread.

I am also a little sensitive to gung-ho proselyters because I encountered that from so many people when I left the church. I react more strongly to Mormonism then I would another religion because leaving it completely requires thick skin, as so many people don't accept your decision and continue to try and get you back.

I apologize if I came across as anti-gnixing.

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Scott R
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When I was a missionary, 'No Soliciting' meant 'No Tracting Here.'

:shrug:

I understand other missionaries felt differently. I wasn't so attached to tracting that I felt the need to split symantical hairs over the meaning of 'to solicit.' There were plenty of places to tract-- and the elect are as likely to be in a place that allows soliciting as one that doesn't.

Move on, Elders, move on.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Cashew:
I served a mission from 1973 - 1975 in Australia (a very hard place to tract)and I really came across very few who were "just selling Kirbys", as you put it, Boris.
The vast majority of us did really care about the people we were contacting and teaching. There was more of an emphasis on stats then than there seems to be now too, but we still knew why we were there and how crucial our message was. When we did ignore a No Soliciting sign it was a considered decision based on our thinking that what we had was important enough to cause offence to deliver it, and we were prepared to receive the occasional angry response.
I've seen people who reacted angrily (and sometimes violently, including one guy chasing the missionaries down the front path with a broom) initially, be disarmed by the genuineness of the missionaries contacting them, and later express gratitude that the missionaries didn't pay attention to the sign on the gate.
Of course I've seen the opposite as well, but seems to me that the possibility of the one overrides the risk of the other.

Of course, I served in Boise, Idaho, so the situation was slightly different. Many of the missionaries really did care a lot about the people. But there were a lot of them that didn't care so much about the people as they did about the numbers. In the place I served, if someone didn't know what a Mormon was or how to contact them, they probably also lived in a cabin in the middle of nowhere and trapped small rodents for clothing and food.
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Silent E
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"I find it mind boggling that you wouldn't distinguish between people who were likely unwilling to listen to you and people who had gone out of their way to tell you to stay away."

But with a "no solicitors" sign, I don't really know if they are telling me (as a missionary) to stay away. I know that some, perhaps many, people that put up such signs mean to include missionaries, but I have no reason to believe that all of them mean that, or even that most of them mean that. I think that a lot of people have a very clear division in their minds between salespeople and others.

That's why I said that a "no missionaries" sign WOULD be a deterrent. I would NOT approach a house with such a sign, because then there really is no question that they don't want to talk to me. With a "No Solicitors" sign, there is merely a certain probability, which, as I said, is already the case with 95% of people without signs.

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gnixing
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There's a reason I refrain from posting on Hatrack.

Regardless... I don't see how any of you can possibly have a clue to my "style" of proselytizing. I was presenting an explanation as to WHY a Missionary should feel free to ignore a Do Not Solicit sign. Not HOW they should proceed at the door. Is this arrogant? No. It would be arrogant for me to say that only Mormon Missionaries should have this luxury.

Do I think ALL missionaries should ignore the sign? No. Only those that truly feel that their message will make someone happy, even if they reject the message.
Did I ignore the signs on my mission? Sometimes.
Was I considered offensive? I don't think so, neither do the many people who became my friends where I served.
Did I baptize a lot of people? No. Not a single one. I wasn't out to baptize, I was out to share a message that I believe is valuable to everyone. The people I knew that got baptized did so on their own. I was just there to be their friend and help them understand WHAT I believe, and WHY I believe so strongly.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Do I think ALL missionaries should ignore the sign? No. Only those that truly feel that their message will make someone happy, even if they reject the message.

I wonder how many missionaries are attempting to spread a religion that, deep in their hearts, they think will make other people miserable. [Smile]
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MandyM
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I used to have a really funny sign on my door that described in detail who should knock and who shouldn't. My computer is in the front room and I can't tell you how many times I would see someone come to the door, read the very long and very entertaining sign and walk away chuckling. It gave them a lift and it kept them from knocking on my door. It did mention that in our house we had already found God and were very happy with him. We also invited anyone peddling Thin Mints to be sure and knock loudly!

That worked fine until one day a salesman ripped it off my door, threw it under my car and knocked anyway. I saw him do it from my window. I wish my dog were meaner. [Frown]

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Artemisia Tridentata
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I liked the sign that the Archbishop of Morelia had made for the people in his area of responsibility. It was more the the point.
"This home is Christian. We reject the Mormons and all other Communist Propaganda." Now tell me you don't understand that one.

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JennaDean
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*snort* A.T.

Hey, Mandy, I'd have hated to have any Girl Scouts turned away by a no-soliciting sign, too - gotta have those cookies.

Did any of y'all see the little Mormonism cartoon that came out in ... some magazine or other?

A picture of the local Mission Office with the following sign on the door:

"Trespassers will be proselyted."

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BlackBlade
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How about this scenario folks.

In Taiwan they have huge housing complexes apt/condos/houses sometimes. The only way you can get in typically is if you ring a doorbell and get buzzed in by a tenant, otherwise the security guard tells you to shove off.

Some of the complexes do away with the security guard and just have a door that wont open if you don't have the code or unless somebody buzzes you in.

Strategies Missionaries use to enter 101.

1: Metal Gear Solid (aka Ninja) Style: You sneak your way in over a wall or past the security guard when he is distracted. Go door to door hoping to find somebody interested and NOT somebody who calls the security guard and gets you evicted. If you are desperate enough, proselyte with the security guard as he escorts you out (its worked before).

2: Button Mash: (No security guard just security door) If you hit enough of the doorbells from the door panel somebody inevitably just buzzes the door open without asking who it is. You then proceed to go door to door.

3: A Friendly Face: Visit a complex where there is a member or somebody you are already visiting. Get them to buzz you in and go door to door from there. A security guard can't stop you if somebody buzzes you in, but he can evict you he finds out you are not in fact visiting the tenant who let you in.

4: (BlackBlades unexplained method). There was a HUGE complex in one of my areas but there was a security guard and I personally did not like sneaking into complexes. I didn't like the idea of the security guard getting fired or in trouble because I had snuck into the complex. He'd be mad at the missionaries and less apt to listen to our message. The soul of a security guard has at least SOME worth! [Wink] Anyway, I prayed with my companion that the security guard would not stop us from entering. We waltzed up to the door in plain view of the security guard and he just stared at us as we walked through, he had a troubled look on his face but his mouth was firmly shut, we figured we were gold since he didnt stop us. We tracted the entire complex in one day (I told you it was big) I do not recall if we had any success, I am sure SOMEBODY setup a time for us to come back.

When it comes to housing complexes with security guards, should missionaries be prevented from tracting them? Is it wrong to use peoples willingness to simply open the security door as a means to tract a complex? If a member of a complex allows you to enter is it immoral to take advantage of that and visit the other complex tenants?

Bear in mind that its quite easy to think "I have the most important message in the entire world to share with others, these people in the next life would be upset with me if I simply let a locked door stop me from trying to share it with them.

What do you guys think?

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lem
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quote:
"Trespassers will be proselyted."
That is funny!
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TomDavidson
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BB, aren't a number of those strategies explicitly illegal? They would be in many areas of the U.S.

--------

quote:
Anyway, I prayed with my companion that the security guard would not stop us from entering.
I find this deeply troubling, particularly in your description of the guard's struggle to speak, as it suggests that God negated that guard's free will at your request. Is that remotely ethical?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Artemisia Tridentata:
I liked the sign that the Archbishop of Morelia had made for the people in his area of responsibility. It was more the the point.
"This home is Christian. We reject the Mormons and all other Communist Propaganda." Now tell me you don't understand that one.

Let me translate it "This home is Christian, I have poisoned my flocks minds with anti Mormon/Communist rhetoric and told them its best to simply keep a closed mind, I dare you to try and undo my hard work."

99% of the time I see somebody with anti Mormon paraphernalia it was because their MINISTER had told them "All they needed to know about the Mormons" and 99% of the time it was pure hyperbolic untrue garbage that they would be better off having explained away even if they did not convert.

Its a stupidly old practice that if you can't face the docterine of the sect honestly, its better to spread lies so that people are misguided into feeling emnity for it.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
BB, aren't a number of those strategies explicitly illegal? They would be in many areas of the U.S.

This is Taiwan Tom, no loitering laws, and housing complex codes are not firmly established its largely played by ear. You would NEVER hear of a complex suing the missionaries for entering illegitimately, they would simply evict the missionaries and tell them to buzz off.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I dare you to try and undo my hard work.
Well, if you take them literally, what they're really saying is "don't try to undo my hard work." Would you respect that request?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
BB, aren't a number of those strategies explicitly illegal? They would be in many areas of the U.S.

--------

quote:
Anyway, I prayed with my companion that the security guard would not stop us from entering.
I find this deeply troubling, particularly in your description of the guard's struggle to speak, as it suggests that God negated that guard's free will at your request. Is that remotely ethical?
Oh I am not AFFIRMATIVELY stating God helped us in that situation. He may have he might not have. In either case the security guard was fully aware of our presence and that we had entered. He could have stopped us any time that day but he did not.

Assuming God HAD in fact assisted us couldn't it be looked at this way "An all knowing God who knew no ill would ever come of it, simply caused the guard to not stop us (think Obi Wan Kenobi and the Storm Trooper at Mos Eisley) we spread our good message to all the tenants of the complex thus fulfilling our responsibility to the people, and we left. No harm was caused.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I dare you to try and undo my hard work.
Well, if you take them literally, what they're really saying is "don't try to undo my hard work." Would you respect that request?
I am one of those people that if I saw a sign that said "I am NOT interested in Mormonism, missionaries please do not disturb me." I'd probably leave a note, inviting them give us a fair chance.

I would NOT knock on the door and challenge their convictions.

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kmbboots
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When going door to door for "get-out-the-vote" political activities we were told to assume that "no solicitors" meant us.
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lem
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quote:
Its a stupidly old practice that if you can't face the docterine of the sect honestly, its better to spread lies so that people are misguided into feeling emnity for it.
quote:
99% of the time it was pure hyperbolic untrue garbage that they would be better off having explained away even if they did not convert.
Since you are so in-tune to what anti-Mormon garbage is and value correcting misconceptions, would you enlighten us and pick what you consider the three most used anti-Mormon assertions are and dispel them for us?

As someone who left the church with what I believe to be an open and intellectually honest mind after a sincere, prayerful search, I am curious what you think the reasons are. Hint: Adam-God was not one of them—but I guess that could be in the top three for people in the Bible belt.

EDIT: Spelling.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
quote:
Its a stupidly old practice that if you can't face the docterine of the sect honestly, its better to spread lies so that people are misguided into feeling emnity for it.
quote:
99% of the time it was pure hyperbolic untrue garbage that they would be better off having explained away even if they did not convert.
Since you are so in-tune to what anti-Mormon garbage is and value correcting misconceptions, would you enlighten us and pick what you consider the three most used anti-Mormon assertions are and dispel them for us?

As someone who left the church with what I believe to be an open and intellectually honest mind after a sincere, prayerful search, I am curious what you think the reasons are. Hint: Adam-God was not one of them—but I guess that could be in the top three for people in the Bible belt.

EDIT: Spelling.

99% leaves room for those who honestly just disagree with the docterines of the church and leave. Would you categorize yourself as an "Antimormon?"

As in you not only disagree with their ideas, you think they damage society and should be contained as long as its done within a moral framework?

Iem: I am not interested in discussing what MOST people misunderstand about the Mormons here, at least not at length. If you want to do it by email, just let me know. I might be willing to slacken my claim of 99% down to 95% [Wink]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
An all knowing God who knew no ill would ever come of it, simply caused the guard to not stop us...
I'm not qualified to say how important Free Will is as a principle, but I've always heard -- perhaps incorrectly -- that it's very important to Mormons.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
An all knowing God who knew no ill would ever come of it, simply caused the guard to not stop us...
I'm not qualified to say how important Free Will is as a principle, but I've always heard -- perhaps incorrectly -- that it's very important to Mormons.
It is. But it certainly does not mean that God who is all knowing could not influence things so that everybody comes out better.

Group of people say they are going to kill everybody who believe in Christ the next day. God causes all the would be murderers to fall asleep and not wake up until the believers have had a chance to escape. Or lets use the Bible.

Peter is in jail and going to be executed. That night an angel appears and takes off his shackles, the guards sitting next to Peter do not wake up. The door to the cell is opened for him, Peter walks out of the prison and out of the city and goes to the home of his friends.

Surely the guards got in trouble for allowing their prisoner to escape. Tom would you object to anyone doing ANYTHING over the heads of somebody to accomplish the greater good?

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Scott R
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I've always been bothered by the Jedi Mind Trick, specifically because I'm Mormon.

BlackBlade:

Context, man. It's important. You weren't in prison. You were filling time up with a less-than-effective proselyting tool.

God does not abrogate people's free will.

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lem
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quote:
99% leaves room for those who honestly just disagree with the docterines of the church and leave. Would you categorize yourself as an "Antimormon?"

As in you not only disagree with their ideas, you think they damage society and should be contained as long as its done within a moral framework?

Anti-Mormon? I support my wife going to church. I hope she leaves it. I think she will be happier out of it. I certainly am. However, that is her call and her salvation. We both appreciate we can and are honest with each other.

Our son is only two. I grew up in the church. I will be honest with my son in what and why I believe. I have faith he will reject it and develop a good heart, but I will support his adult decisions. He certainly will have both role models to choose from. I do take from Mormonism a strong appreciation of agency.

quote:
Iem: I am not interested in discussing what MOST people misunderstand about the Mormons here, at least not at length. If you want to do it by email, just let me know. I might be willing to slacken my claim of 99% down to 95% [Wink]
Fair enough. I was ready to delete my post anyway because I didn't want this to go into an anti-Mormon tangent. I don't want to lock another thread and the Cards are good hosts.

Since we are throwing stats that can't be backed up, I will suggest that 99% of people who leave do know the doctrine. Probably 25%-40% of those who refuse to hear about the church or don't join it act that way because of a misunderstanding of doctrine. The other 60%-75% don't need the message or know enough true things to want to pass.

I also think that if every member understood church history like BYU professors with burning testimonies, the church would have a much higher then 50% inactivity rate. I don’t discount you can know church history and have it strengthen your testimony, but I think the average person would be more disturbed then enlightened.

I guess it is all what you focus on.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I've always been bothered by the Jedi Mind Trick, specifically because I'm Mormon.

BlackBlade:

Context, man. It's important. You weren't in prison. You were filling time up with a less-than-effective proselyting tool.

God does not abrogate people's free will.

I was not filling time Scott, I had ALOT of success during my mission due to tracting. I was smart enough to know that tracting was not the ONLY way, but it was not useless, or even less effective.

Again note I did NOT say, that God SURELY allowed me to enter the complex. I prayed that perhaps the guard would let us in so we could have the chance to share our message. Whether God had anything to do with it I do not know, but the guard did not stop us and he was not mute, I talked to him when I was leaving the complex.

Would it really be too hard for God to make a security guard "Simply not care" that we were entering so that a huge number of people would have a chance to hear what we had to say?

edit: Whenever missionaries pray that God "Soften the hearts of those they meet so that they might be more willing to listen" Is that really the serious crime of "Please remove their agency so that we can manipulate them as we so desire?"

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Scott R
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quote:
Would it really be too hard for God to make a security guard "Simply not care" that we were entering so that a huge number of people would have a chance to hear what we had to say?

edit: Whenever missionaries pray that God "Soften the hearts of those they meet so that they might be more willing to listen" Is that really the serious crime of "Please remove their agency so that we can manipulate them as we so desire?"

Keep in mind the methods that God uses to "soften the hearts." Not at any time has He done so through coopting someone's free agency. More often, people have experiences that lead them to question, wonder, or long for a spiritual experience. And then the missionaries show up...
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Would it really be too hard for God to make a security guard "Simply not care" that we were entering so that a huge number of people would have a chance to hear what we had to say?

edit: Whenever missionaries pray that God "Soften the hearts of those they meet so that they might be more willing to listen" Is that really the serious crime of "Please remove their agency so that we can manipulate them as we so desire?"

Keep in mind the methods that God uses to "soften the hearts." Not at any time has He done so through coopting someone's free agency. More often, people have experiences that lead them to question, wonder, or long for a spiritual experience. And then the missionaries show up...
Just saying if God is willing to put people to sleep in order to save a LIFE. He would probably be willing to incapacitate somebody benignly so as to save a SOUL.

edit: Scott I think I pretty much agree with what you are trying to say. I believe if God was willing to force even 1 person into accepting the gospel he would probably be willing to just force the whole of humanity. He is not willing to do either.

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Rebuke
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*chuckle*

Actually, I'm not completely sure whether my last post here is invisible, or whether my foresight about being 'mowed over' came to pass, but discarding that; would it not be far less taxing to assume that this guard was simply apathetic? It seems that speculating on the motives and/or actions of God would be far more complicated than acknowledging the simple fact that the gaurd didn't see you as a threat, wasn't all that bright to begin with seeing as he's a gaurd in a very distraught and downtrodden country, or he simply didn't give a hoot. I'd bet you dollar to dohnuts that in his time there, he'd seen stranger things than two gentleman in black ties with nametag's looking suspiciously close to foriegn contracted building inspectors. It's not even a far-fetched notion that this fellow was used to having to 'look the other way' in situations he didn't fully comprehend because the inherent danger of his profession and the looming threat of the underworld.

Then again, divine intervention is a much more interesting idea to toy with, isn't it?

Just a thought.

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Stan the man
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I'm sure it wasn't invisible. Just that the others were so intent on getting their point, if they had one, across to someone else. It's a vicious cycle.

By the way: Welcome to Hatrack! Proud to be the first to say that one.

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gnixing
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Now that the conversation has shifted gears once again. I'd like to say that personally, I think proselytizing is an inefficient and poor method of sharing one's religious views. Does it work? Sure - but probably not often enough for it to be a wise method.

My arguments last night were about the reason WHY I believe that it is ethical, moral, and not deserving of shame for a missionary to engage in proselytizing where a No Solicitiors sign is present.

I don't believe it is ethical or moral or wise to break the law for proselytizing.

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Verloren
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In the Netherlands, I never had to worry about this infamous No Soliciting sign because people there had signs that (translated) said:

"We don't buy anything at the door, and we are already converted!"

I always thought it was funny, and kind of sad that people felt so intimidated that they had to put signs like that up. I always tried to be respectful and courteous, even to the gentleman who physically removed us from his doorstep right in front of his little boy (I won't go into any more detail on that).

Anyway, back to your quibbling.

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lem
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quote:
I always thought it was funny, and kind of sad that people felt so intimidated that they had to put signs like that up.
What makes you think they are intimidated? I don't see the connection.
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Megan
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Maybe they just don't want to be bothered. Go go privacy!
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rivka
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Agreed, Megan.

gnixing, it's a good thing I already like you. Because if my introduction to you were your posts in this thread . . . Let's just say I'll forgive your theoretical missionaries, but I still won't be opening the door. And I will be calling my neighbors to let them know we have "visitors" -- if one of them doesn't call me first.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I always thought it was funny, and kind of sad that people felt so intimidated that they had to put signs like that up.
I think it is kind of sad that you feel people who put up signs warning off proseltizers are intimidated by them. This is not at all necessarily true.
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