Meeting With The Missionaries

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Ilovechrist77
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Joined: 08 Nov 2011, 21:42

Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 29 May 2015, 16:17

About an hour ago, I had a great meeting at my apartment with the missionaries. Very nice young men. One was from St. George, Utah and had been out for eleven months. His second was from Vegas and had been out for seven months. Anyway, we had some great chitchat and they shared with me a neat little church video about a bishop in London, England that was from Jamaica that talked about his testimony he gained from the Book of Mormon. Anyway, they asked me if I would pray to have missionary experiences and I said I would pray for them. However, I didn't share with them any of the beliefs I have after having my faith reconstruction in the church. When I feel prompted I look for ways I can share the gospel with others, but it's hard after having a faith reconstruction. It's hard enough when I had a more simple, black and white faith to share the gospel with others sometimes, but it's even harder when my faith is more complex and nuanced. This is how my faith was in the past: When it came to the prophets and apostles, I used to believe that they would never be guilty of preaching false doctrine, although I knew they weren't perfect. Local leaders, I believed they were guilty of that. Now after having a faith reconstruction, caused by a faith reconstruction after reading about more open church history, I believe the church teachings are still true, the prophets and apostles teach true doctrine and false doctrine, the leaders (General Authorities and local leaders don't always lead the church in the right direction), and the scriptures (even the Book of Mormon, the most correct book) teaches true and false doctrine. It's my job to learn to decipher through the Holy Spirit what those true doctrines are and aren't. One huge advantage of that is that I have stronger relationship with Christ than I ever had before, which has helped to me so immensely in my recovery from sex addiction. Anyway, sorry for the long post, but how do all of you share the gospel with others after having a faith crisis or faith reconstruction?

Roadrunner
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Re: Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by Roadrunner » 29 May 2015, 16:53

I share the gospel with others by trying to live a good life and through service.

I can't in good conscience teach something I don't believe. I try to be honest without making the church or the missionaries look bad, but when I'm asked a straight up question I answer it candidly. So far the missionaries have only asked me to go out once. I don't think they liked the way I answered questions about the word of wisdom. I basically said to interpret the scriptures how he felt appropriate.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by SilentDawning » 29 May 2015, 18:38

This is on my mind right now as we taught someone in our home. My attitude is that I won't actively proselyte people. But when they show desire through their own experiences, and want my involvement, I will give it. Today I did not sit in on the discussion, but I was there before and after building a relationship.

I guess this is consistent with my kind of agnostic, balanced, neutral approach to things as I've gotten older...there seem to be very few issues on which a person needs to take a public, contrarion stand if you think about it. And when you do that, it causes a disruption in your inner peace.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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DarkJedi
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Re: Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by DarkJedi » 29 May 2015, 20:15

Pretty much what Roadrunner said. I don't carry around a sign that says I'm Mormon and I'm sure there are lots of people I know or work with who don't know. I don't hide the fact, either - if someone figures it out or learns it from someone else, I'm fine with them knowing. I do try to live a good life and treat others kindly and with respect. As was mentioned by someone in another thread, I am inclined to ask someone else about their beliefs if they ask about mine, turning the tables and showing interest in their beliefs. Like Roadrunner, if someone asks me a direct question I give an honest answer without trying to cast the church, missionaries, leaders, or members in a bad light. I will sometimes say things like "the church stance on the subject is X, but I believe Y" (gay marriage for instance). When it comes to things like evolution I say the church has no official stance - which is a catch-all because surprisingly the church has an official stance on very little. I now tend to focus more on my testimony of Christ than I probably would have in the past, I think other Christians, especially, appreciate that. With non-Christian friends and associates, the testimony focuses more on God.

This may go without saying, but since I believe the gospel and the church to be separate entities, I don't find the need to share the gospel very often - almost everybody I know has some form of the gospel (most have most or all of it). I figure if someone wants to know about the church or specific church teachings, they'll ask - and get the honest answer referenced above. I am not inclined to share the church as much as the gospel.
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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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 May 2015, 06:28

I had a long conversation about the Church and Mormon theology a couple of days ago with someone who is involved in formal Cathoilc Studies - because he asked and wanted to know. It cleared up some misconceptions he had, and I mentioned a couple of times that I am not stereotypically orthodox.
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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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 30 May 2015, 18:05

Thank you, guys, for the advice. I'm discovering more in more after my faith reconstruction that when I do share my faith with others I have to do it in ways to true to my current spiritual life, not the current spiritual life I had before.

startpoor
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Re: Meeting With The Missionaries

Post by startpoor » 30 May 2015, 18:20

I think of sharing the gospel as a two way street where I talk openly about my church and beliefs and learn of the beliefs of others. I don't try to convert anyone. Just talk. It is a very uplifting experience. If I thought mormonism might really benefit someone, I might recommend it to them. But I would probably not start with the missionaries.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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