How to respond to missionaries

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SamBee
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by SamBee » 20 Nov 2020, 02:39

They can do barely anything here due to our rules. They certainly can't visit homes. I don't know the current ones very well other than I had to tell them off last Sunday for letting people in the chapel... I explained people have to book ahead (according to law), and we have a number limit. They were letting strangers in... I told them that a) if someone tests positive, we have to contact every single other person on that list and b) we can be shut down by the government if we violate the law (as happened with a chapel in a neighboring stake). It is actually very serious.

There is of course the complete hypocrisy of how supermarkets are never implicated as spreaders but houses of worship are scapegoated by the media here.

To be honest, much of the time I can't be bothered with missionaries. Some are nice kids, others not so nice (I've had a couple be rude a couple of times). Other times they make fools of themselves. For example, a non-member friend used to ride the same bus as them and would overhear them having inappropriate conversations - including them discussing which investigators they would sleep with! 😲
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Nov 2020, 05:52

I was talking to a friend in the ward who also mentioned he got a call this week from the missionaries. Although he sometimes complains about the missionaries pressuring him to share with his friends, he does answer their calls and he talks to them. Turns out apparently this particular call was the missionaries trying to get us to share Pres. Nelson's "message of hope" with our friends and then inviting them to speak with the missionaries. He's not forthright enough to tell them he doesn't intend to do that (even though he did complain about the pressure), which will likely only lead them to continue to call in the future. I told him they had called me as well but I didn't answer and didn't return their call. If that's all it is I may be off the hook for some more months just because I haven't responded (and now don't intend to).

FWIW, I honestly don't think anyone outside the church gives a hoot about what RMN has to say any more than most members care what the pope has to say.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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grobert93
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by grobert93 » 20 Nov 2020, 09:07

DarkJedi wrote:
19 Nov 2020, 11:24
grobert93 wrote:
19 Nov 2020, 09:55
IMO you owe the missionaries nothing. They will, after all, transfer out eventually and forget about you. That's the reality of serving. You're just a name on a list of people to be contacted every 6 months. Take nothing personal of it, they aren't losing sleep worrying about getting in contact with you. They're losing sleep over failing to contact enough less actives, for failing to bring back enough "lost sheep". For failing to baptize enough people. That's what's on their minds. So, you choose if you want them to contact you or not. That's your own choice. But you already know what they will do and say. You've already made up your mind. Why waste your or their time? I understand there is guilt, and that means the church's toxic culture of pressuring us to care about the missionaries is still strong. Don't give in. The church owes the missionaries much better than this.
I agree I owe them nothing which is good because I have little to offer them. They can contact me because I choose to leave basic contact info available on Tools so ward members can contact me if they wish. One approach would be to not respond to the missionaries' calls/messages which I am perfectly capable of doing without guilt. They have not been pesky, this is the first contact attempt at least this year (I can't remember when the last time was but it was well before COVID). Maybe I'll wait until they become pesky, hoping they don't become pesky.

I'll be clear I don't have any guilt in relation to this, although I know people who do/would. I only feel bad for them on a human level because I wouldn't want to be in their situation.
I'm glad you're standing your ground.

As a former missionary, I certainly do understand the feeling of being human. It sucks being a young inexperienced boy expected to act like an adult for two years. It's painful thinking about.

DarkJedi wrote:
20 Nov 2020, 05:52
I was talking to a friend in the ward who also mentioned he got a call this week from the missionaries. Although he sometimes complains about the missionaries pressuring him to share with his friends, he does answer their calls and he talks to them. Turns out apparently this particular call was the missionaries trying to get us to share Pres. Nelson's "message of hope" with our friends and then inviting them to speak with the missionaries. He's not forthright enough to tell them he doesn't intend to do that (even though he did complain about the pressure), which will likely only lead them to continue to call in the future. I told him they had called me as well but I didn't answer and didn't return their call. If that's all it is I may be off the hook for some more months just because I haven't responded (and now don't intend to).

FWIW, I honestly don't think anyone outside the church gives a hoot about what RMN has to say any more than most members care what the pope has to say.
As one who left, I can affirm that the rest of the world basically doesn't care about or even notice the minuscule noise the church makes. It's just another church making noise.When the church becomes predictable with their "messages", the rest of the world filled with scientists, historians and academics don't pay attention.

Minyan Man
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by Minyan Man » 20 Nov 2020, 21:47

How to respond to missionaries.

Under normal circumstances, I like to support the Missionaries in our ward. Plus, it is interesting to talk with them.
Their calling is hard enough as is, under normal conditions. In our ward they do not have a vehicle so they use public
transportation or we drive them. Currently, our families can't visit because of the pandemic. We told them not to come
for safety reasons. We haven't seen them since Christmas last year.

So, how can I justify having the Missionaries over? I can't & I won't.
IMO, the church should put the missionary program on pause & send them home. They did it with temple work, for the most
part.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Nov 2020, 12:38

Honestly, I accept their invitation and find a way to teach them a perspective from the scriptures they hadn't considered previously. We have had some long, fun conversations (including about mistakes missionaries make in the way they teach the Gospel) - but I am confident enough to do something like that and not be worried about it. I have had a lot of missionaries thank me for our conversations over the years.

I also am VERY direct when they get to friend referrals. I tell them, honestly, that neither my wife nor I can come close to even being seen as trying to preach in any way at our jobs. I tell them we try to serve others and are not shy about telling people which church we attend, but we also do not push in any way. I tell them I believe in personal inspiration and that I do NOT believe in "missionary programs" or that others should tell me how I should approach sharing the Gospel. I tell them I agree with the apostles who have said we should do what we are comfortable doing, so I do not and probably never will agree to follow a structured program someone else develops - then I grin and say something like, "So I won't do any of the next ten programs missionaries tell me about in the next few years."
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by SamBee » 21 Nov 2020, 15:21

DarkJedi wrote:
20 Nov 2020, 05:52

FWIW, I honestly don't think anyone outside the church gives a hoot about what RMN has to say any more than most members care what the pope has to say.
Maybe not RMN himself, but it is not a bad idea. I have noticed it has been getting some positive feedback from non-members on Facebook when it refers to non-church matters (although as I say elsewhere I don't agree with one or two of the choices).
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Nov 2020, 06:40

I have in the past told missionaries in very clear terms that I would not be participating in any programs or referring anyone to them in the near future because there was no one to refer - no new people I have met, etc. I have also used the the idea that everyone I know who isn't a member knows I'm a member and if they want to ask the questions I answer and I try to lead a life that makes it clear I am Christian. But like here in the written word, in real life in the spoken word I can come off a bit more gruff than I mean to be. That's really where I'm coming from here. But again, I think I'm off the hook for the moment unless the missionaries intend to push the hashtag give thanks thing to which I have an easy out - I don't have any social media.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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DarkJedi
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Nov 2020, 18:16

So they didn't give up, they called again today and left a message. They didn't have enough to do here pre-COVID so it's just worse now. I get that and know they're bored.

So i am composing a text response explaining how busy i am, how I have limited social interaction especially with non members and Curt's "I don't do programs."
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Katzpur
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Location: Salt Lake City

Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by Katzpur » 22 Nov 2020, 19:44

DarkJedi wrote:
18 Nov 2020, 13:30
I don't really have many issues with doctrine per se (at least what I consider doctrine) my issues are more with church culture and policy.... "There are some cultural aspects of the church that trouble me and I disagree with some policies, such as the treatment of LGBTQ people."
I didn't realize that was the case for you, Jedi. That's exactly how I feel. The culture and the politics just drive me stark raving mad. On the other hand, I'm pretty much on board with all of the doctrines.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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DarkJedi
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Re: How to respond to missionaries

Post by DarkJedi » 23 Nov 2020, 06:24

Katzpur wrote:
22 Nov 2020, 19:44
DarkJedi wrote:
18 Nov 2020, 13:30
I don't really have many issues with doctrine per se (at least what I consider doctrine) my issues are more with church culture and policy.... "There are some cultural aspects of the church that trouble me and I disagree with some policies, such as the treatment of LGBTQ people."
I didn't realize that was the case for you, Jedi. That's exactly how I feel. The culture and the politics just drive me stark raving mad. On the other hand, I'm pretty much on board with all of the doctrines.
Oh, dear, maybe I'm not communicating as well as I thought I was! :oops:

I did not end up saying that in my text to the missionaries. I left it with I'm very busy including a long daily commute, I have little social interaction exacerbated by the pandemic, I don't like programs or projects, and I am severely limited at work. But I told them I'm happy to talk them about other things, all they have to do is make an appointment (dropping the hint that I'm not going to drop everything and answer their calls).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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