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HappyJackWagon

Ballard- Baptismal Challenge

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3 hours ago, ALarson said:

Note the word "some" in my statement.  I've also stated the I know people had varied experiences on here, etc.

I've never stated that ALL have experienced this on their missions.  I know yours was near perfect 😉

(And that's great!  I loved my mission as well....but did experience pressure to baptize and numbers were very stressed and very important.  We all had a variety of experiences).

My son's friend told us he didn't like the pressure he received on his African mission, remember it distinctly. I guess another mission president got it wrong or they themselves felt pressured. This was in 2006-2008.

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2 hours ago, JulieM said:

But if some posters on here can figure it out, I believe at least a few leaders could do the same!

I haven't seen any convincing evidence that anyone participating in this thread has 'figure[d] it out.' All I have seen is some simplistic (not to mention dubious) finger pointing at church materials which haven't been in circulation for 50+ years. 

 

Quote

It’s not difficult to discern or track (there are not too many choices or sources to look at for the cause.). 

I disagree. Like any other behavior, there are a myriad of things that contribute to the cause.

For example, my family was reading the other night about the day of Pentecost. The Apostles were filled with the Spirit, spoke in tongues, and gave a fairly short message about Jesus Christ; after which, thousands were baptized. The Book of Mormon contains similar stories where tons of people are baptized at once. Same with modern missionary accounts. Missionaries who convert large numbers have been lionized; how much of that cultural attitude do you think is responsible for missionaries thinking that baptizing a lot of people = being a great missionary?

Since missionary work is primarily assigned to males, how much of the practice is driven by the biological male tendency to compete and out-perform each other? Seriously, pick just about any activity, and guys will find some way to turn it into a competition. That's why your husband loves sports much more than church socials - because he knows how to win at basketball; it's harder to 'win' a social event. 

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Amulek said:

Since missionary work is primarily assigned to males, how much of the practice is driven by the biological male tendency to compete and out-perform each other? Seriously, pick just about any activity, and guys will find some way to turn it into a competition. That's why your husband loves sports much more than church socials - because he knows how to win at basketball; it's harder to 'win' a social event. 

Why would you state that?

(It’s not even true!)

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I haven't read this thread, but feel very adamant that missionaries still continue to attempt to get a baptismal commitment too early!  But the previous 2 lesson commitment goal was really ridiculous... I served a 2-year stake mission (when they still had such missionaries) and felt the same way... and felt this practice contributed greatly to the low retention rates.  The majority of investigators not only didn't have enough time to learn enough of the gospel to truly gain a testimony... but to try and say they were or were not feeling the Spirit was ludicrous.  

My step-father agreed to investigate the Church because my mom asked him to... He told the stake mishes that taught him that he would listen to the discussions because my mom had asked him to... "But don't think you're going to baptize me!!"...  There were nine lessons and each week they came to give a discussion, and would answer his questions, leaving him with prayer and reading assignments.  Being the honorable man he was, he did his part and studied everything they gave him, prayed, and asked questions on their next visit.   The weeks went by, and at the end of the 7th lesson, my dad asked to be baptized!!  And he was a faithful, active member the rest of their lives... he fulfilled many callings, including at the stake level.  Their last calling was as ordinance workers in the Los Angeles temple.  My sis and I were sealed to him and my mom in the SLC temple in 1955, a year after he was baptized. 

I shudder to think of what would have happened if two kids tried to get him to commit to baptism on the 2nd visit...

GG 

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31 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Why would you state that?

(It’s not even true!)

It's just something that is stereotypically true. I did not mean to cause any offence. Please feel free to substitute "husband" with "average man" instead. 

 

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4 hours ago, JulieM said:

Not always, I agree.  But if some posters on here can figure it out, I believe at least a few leaders could do the same!  It’s not difficult to discern or track (there are not too many choices or sources to look at for the cause.).  This has been a practice and problem for a very long time and I can’t believe leaders haven’t looked for the cause (and been able to figure it out).  And an example was given above involving a general authority.  So at least he knew and that’s one who was corrected early on.

But that’s just it; they don’t have it “figured out.”  All they’re doing is guessing, like anybody else. A jaundiced supposition is not the same thing as having it “figured out.”

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13 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

But that’s just it; they don’t have it “figured out.” 

Oh, I think they do.  They know what instructions to give to help avoid it happening as much in the future too.  That’s progress!

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4 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Maybe we should just settle on the idea that Ballard misspoke. I can live with that, in spite of my opinion. 

Yes, I agree.  And, there’s no shame in that since it happens to us all at times!

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47 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Oh, I think they do.  They know what instructions to give to help avoid it happening as much in the future too.  That’s progress!

When I said they don’t have it “figured out,” I meant the people in this board who you claim have it “figured out.” They’re just guessing — as are you. 

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As promised here is a letter I came across written in 1980 by one of the then current Apostles. It was written to the young man's father. I took out identifying features for obvious reasons. I suspect there is more going on to this young man and I have no clue as to how he turned out. I just love how this Apostle is more concerned with the young man, rather then defending whatever went on, he is "mourning with those that mourn" I was struck by his sincerity

“I spent a little time with your son, XXXX, this afternoon. I was embarrassed because I was not as alert as I would have liked to have been. I am suffering from an acute case of jet lag, just returned from three weeks in Asia. However, I felt like we had a good talk. He evidently had a very unsatisfactory mission experience. He brought with him the bulletins issued to the missionaries of his mission. His was one of those high pressure situations which invariably are difficult for a sensitive young man. I advised him to get rid of those bulletins and not to look at them again. Each sight of them brings back memories of his unhappiness as a missionary.

I have asked him to do one or two things and we have made an appointment for him to come in again on XXXX. He has been a long time getting into his present frame of mind and this will not be easy to change. However, I believe he can be turned around. I am confident that he has a testimony beneath his philosophical shell. I shall try to stay close to him and make every effort to help  him turn around “

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Baptize fast...get membership numbers up...tithes in...and brainwash as you go...kind of like being born in the covenant.

Inappropriate.  Take a break. ~Mods

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6 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

 

Wow!

This topic has raged on for several days, and I have offered my opinion as well. 

Maybe we should just settle on the idea that Ballard misspoke. I can live with that, in spite of my opinion. 

Why don't we settle on the idea that you don't know that he misspoke and that you unknowledgeably impugned his honor.

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1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Baptize fast...get membership numbers up...tithes in...and brainwash as you go...kind of like being born in the covenant.

There it is!! The one thing this thread was missing! :)

 

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1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Baptize fast...get membership numbers up...tithes in...and brainwash as you go...kind of like being born in the covenant.

The last three comments are uncalled for. 

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12 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

The last three comments are uncalled for. 

I would broaden that to this entire thread. 

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Even though this discussion went off the rails, there were a few interesting questions raised:

-How converted should you be in order to be baptized?  Who gets to decide?  I've seen strong new converts leave within a year and weak new converts still going strong.

-Does pressure for missionaries to meet goals hurt or help the work?  Even though many missionaries may have negative feelings about "numbers", does it help motivate them to work harder and smarter?  Rely on the spirit more or less?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Baptize fast...get membership numbers up...tithes in...and brainwash as you go...kind of like being born in the covenant.

You feel the way you do about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its doctrines, practices, and leaders.  Fine. I hold a much different view about the Church of Jesus Christ and about those doctrines, practices, and leaders. I'm inclined to live and let live on that score, since neither one of us sees the world at it is, but, rather, as s/he is.  This post, however, doesn't become you.  In any event, such a view doesn't even make logical sense: Baptizing someone (too?) quickly is one thing.  Positing that such things happen solely to benefit the bottom line of the Church of Jesus Christ when such members of-record-only aren't likely to pay tithing for any sustained period of time in any event is, frankly, ridiculous.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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59 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

The last three comments are uncalled for. 

I’m not sure which ones you’re speaking about, but once this discussion got going, it was interesting, imo.  I love hearing different missionary experiences and I think most were polite and civil even when disagreeing.

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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Why don't we settle on the idea that you don't know that he misspoke and that you unknowledgeably impugned his honor.

I stepped away from the board for a few days while spending time with family so I don’t know all that has transpired. 

As you know, I think it is clear that President Ballard misspoke. 

But I’m curious, is identifying an error made by an apostle “impugning his honor”?  Or is that comment of yours referring to other statements?

I ask because if we can’t identify errors made by our apostles and prophets than they might as well be considered infallible. 

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4 hours ago, gopher said:

Even though this discussion went off the rails, there were a few interesting questions raised:

-How converted should you be in order to be baptized?  Who gets to decide?  I've seen strong new converts leave within a year and weak new converts still going strong.

-Does pressure for missionaries to meet goals hurt or help the work?  Even though many missionaries may have negative feelings about "numbers", does it help motivate them to work harder and smarter?  Rely on the spirit more or less?

These are good questions. 

I feel like President Ballard was attempting to attach some more granularity to the answers.  To a degree, even the Nov 2015 handbook additions we’re doing that. 

Good discussion to have. 

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51 minutes ago, rockpond said:

attach some more granularity

Please explain meaning of this phrase

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5 hours ago, gopher said:

Even though this discussion went off the rails, there were a few interesting questions raised:

-How converted should you be in order to be baptized?  Who gets to decide?  I've seen strong new converts leave within a year and weak new converts still going strong.

-Does pressure for missionaries to meet goals hurt or help the work?  Even though many missionaries may have negative feelings about "numbers", does it help motivate them to work harder and smarter?  Rely on the spirit more or less?

Regarding the first question, I dare say we would see such variation even where missionaries were conscientious about ensuring readiness for baptism. Isn’t that the lesson of the parable of the sower?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rockpond said:

I stepped away from the board for a few days while spending time with family so I don’t know all that has transpired. 

As you know, I think it is clear that President Ballard misspoke. 

But I’m curious, is identifying an error made by an apostle “impugning his honor”?  Or is that comment of yours referring to other statements?

I ask because if we can’t identify errors made by our apostles and prophets than they might as well be considered infallible. 

Early on in this thread, President Ballard was accused of disingenuousness, “gaslighting,” etc. That goes way beyond merely saying he misspoke (which, by the way, is a thing I don’t see how you could know. You don’t know any better than anyone else whether Church leaders know how the things President Ballard decried got started. All you can do is guess). 

Add on: Your last sentence is wrong. One can accept as a given that a person is fallible without being able to cite specific errors or without engaging in active fault finding. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, JulieM said:

I’m not sure which ones you’re speaking about, but once this discussion got going, it was interesting, imo.  I love hearing different missionary experiences and I think most were polite and civil even when disagreeing.

The last three comments in Jeanne’s post I quoted. Uncalled for.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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9 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

The last three comments in your post I quoted. Uncalled for.

You mean Jeanne, not JulieM

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