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Straight up or shut up


jkwilliams

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Saturday night the missionaries came for dinner. We have fed many companionships over the years, and I’ve always bitten my tongue and said nothing about my issues with the church. Part of it is that I haven’t wanted to upset my wife, but I also just don’t want to get into it with strangers. 

It’s been difficult sometimes, as I’ve had to sit silently being lectured by a kid about how obviously I have worthiness issues, etc. Last night the subject came up, and I remembered Scott Lloyd’s signature about preferring anti-Mormons straight up. So, I simply said I don’t believe, making it kind of pointless for me to attend. After a few moments of awkward silence, we went back to talking about where they come from and other safe subjects. 

It went well, but I still wonder if it’s the right thing for an apostate to be so blunt with the missionaries. I’m not asking for approval or comment on me personally, but  what is the proper etiquette? Is it bad form to speak up or to shut up?

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Also, I can't imagine anyone thinking that you shouldn't tell the missionaries that you don't believe, so there would be no point in coming back. Would people prefer that you pretend that you believe --- or that you attend, even though you don't believe? 

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6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Saturday night the missionaries came for dinner. We have fed many companionships over the years, and I’ve always bitten my tongue and said nothing about my issues with the church. Part of it is that I haven’t wanted to upset my wife, but I also just don’t want to get into it with strangers. 

It’s been difficult sometimes, as I’ve had to sit silently being lectured by a kid about how obviously I have worthiness issues, etc. Last night the subject came up, and I remembered Scott Lloyd’s signature about preferring anti-Mormons straight up. So, I simply said I don’t believe, making it kind of pointless for me to attend. After a few moments of awkward silence, we went back to talking about where they come from and other safe subjects. 

It went well, but I still wonder if it’s the right thing for an apostate to be so blunt with the missionaries. I’m not asking for approval or comment on me personally, but  what is the proper etiquette? Is it bad form to speak up or to shut up?

I see nothing wrong or impolite with explaining that you simply don't believe. I think awkward silences can be helpful when they prompt improved communication. What seems unusual to me is that the subject of your personal worthiness keeps coming up.

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That was the nice way to handle it considering he's telling you such a thing in your home while you're feeding him dinner.  Does he have a disorder or something? If a missionary said that to my dad (who hasn't gone to church since I was 4 or 5), I would have said something to him. Although my dad would have bitten his head off first like he did with a missionary who was an obvious con artist.  Next time he came by, my dad yelled that he wasn't welcome in his house. I was thrilled because I couldn't stand that guy.  Major con artist.  He was in my husband's mission and that guy was legendary for a while. 

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If missionaries come to my door...I straight up tell them I have resigned.  They are free to discuss still or ask questions, but usually go on their way.

If I see missionaries on my walks or in the store, I always ask where they are from...if they are okay...just friendly conversations..but I stay pretty true to myself.  I don't want to hurt young men/women.  It seems like trapping...but I cannot be someone I am not.

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11 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I see nothing wrong or impolite with explaining that you simply don't believe. I think awkward silences can be helpful when they prompt improved communication. What seems unusual to me is that the subject of your personal worthiness keeps coming up.

Beats me. It’s usually either worthiness or “your work must conflict with church.”

I still think it’s best not to get into specifcs. 

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19 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Saturday night the missionaries came for dinner. We have fed many companionships over the years, and I’ve always bitten my tongue and said nothing about my issues with the church. Part of it is that I haven’t wanted to upset my wife, but I also just don’t want to get into it with strangers. 

It’s been difficult sometimes, as I’ve had to sit silently being lectured by a kid about how obviously I have worthiness issues, etc. Last night the subject came up, and I remembered Scott Lloyd’s signature about preferring anti-Mormons straight up. So, I simply said I don’t believe, making it kind of pointless for me to attend. After a few moments of awkward silence, we went back to talking about where they come from and other safe subjects. 

It went well, but I still wonder if it’s the right thing for an apostate to be so blunt with the missionaries. I’m not asking for approval or comment on me personally, but  what is the proper etiquette? Is it bad form to speak up or to shut up?

Sounds good to me.  

Had a ward brunch on Saturday.  I sat with a gentleman who hadn't been to church for years and I got to hear his story.  It was a good chat.  In the midst of it, missionaries approached, and he said "hey guys, you can save your spiel.  I've heard it all many times before.  No need to waste your time on me.  I know who I am and what I want. But, thanks for trying.  Just please, take me seriously with this.  I don't need to go over it again with new kids trying to figure out a new angle that has been attempted many times before."    

It worked.  they stiffened up and were like, "Oh" and moved on.  I was like, "nicely done" with an approving head nod.  Sadly no one else, essentially,  talked to him either.

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12 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

That was the nice way to handle it considering he's telling you such a thing in your home while you're feeding him dinner.  Does he have a disorder or something? If a missionary said that to my dad (who hasn't gone to church since I was 4 or 5), I would have said something to him. Although my dad would have bitten his head off first like he did with a missionary who was an obvious con artist.  Next time he came by, my dad yelled that he wasn't welcome in his house. I was thrilled because I couldn't stand that guy.  Major con artist.  He was in my husband's mission and that guy was legendary for a while. 

It’s not a big deal. They seem like they’re trying to help, and some of them seem to think the only reason a high priest wouldn’t attend is “you don’t feel worthy.”

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Oh my heck..you guys are not going to believe this...just had missionaries at my door...so sweet...and yes, I was honest and let them know only the specific...one was from Bonneville here in Utah and the other from South Carolina.  We had a nice chat.  They are going to look for my bakery sales at the store.   I have never had this happen before though...one asked my name..and then my last name...oh my...are they going to look me up somehow????

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Just now, Calm said:

If he is there as a missionary, sure...if he is there as a guest for dinner, not so much.

If they want to act as missionaries in calling someone to repentance, they should schedule it for a different time.

I'd say that a missionary is always a missionary.  If you invite them into your home you shouldn't expect them not to be. 

And just as telling someone that you're not attending church because you don't believe can be done in a nice way, calling someone to repentance can be done likewise. 

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7 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

I'd say that a missionary is always a missionary.  If you invite them into your home you shouldn't expect them not to be. 

And just as telling someone that you're not attending church because you don't believe can be done in a nice way, calling someone to repentance can be done likewise. 

That missionary does not have stewardship over jkwilliams.  I don't see where it would be his place to call a member of the church to repentance.

If an inactive member expressed to a missionary the desire to return to activity, I would think he should recommend they talk to the Bishop if there was any type of repentance involved.  Just because someone is no longer active does not automatically mean they have something to confess.

Edited by ALarson
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11 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

How?  Maybe they'll ask the bishop or another ward leader about you.

I don't know...there are no Bishops here that know me..I have moved since the resignation...just wondered if the internet is bigger for missionaries than I thought????  I really don't care...I am their friend no matter.

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9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

  Just because someone is no longer active does not automatically mean they have something to confess.

If someone who has been baptized and committed to attending church is not attending shouldn't they repent of that?

Edited by ksfisher
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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

Saturday night the missionaries came for dinner. We have fed many companionships over the years, and I’ve always bitten my tongue and said nothing about my issues with the church. Part of it is that I haven’t wanted to upset my wife, but I also just don’t want to get into it with strangers. 

It’s been difficult sometimes, as I’ve had to sit silently being lectured by a kid about how obviously I have worthiness issues, etc. Last night the subject came up, and I remembered Scott Lloyd’s signature about preferring anti-Mormons straight up. So, I simply said I don’t believe, making it kind of pointless for me to attend. After a few moments of awkward silence, we went back to talking about where they come from and other safe subjects. 

It went well, but I still wonder if it’s the right thing for an apostate to be so blunt with the missionaries. I’m not asking for approval or comment on me personally, but  what is the proper etiquette? Is it bad form to speak up or to shut up?

I like how you handled it.  You were honest and I imagine most missionaries (and people in general) appreciate honesty.  I find it odd (and offensive) if anyone (missionary or anyone else) would just assume you had a "worthiness issue".

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1 minute ago, ksfisher said:

If someone who has been baptized and committed to attending church is not attending shouln't they repent of that?

It's not this missionary's place to call a member of the church to repentance.  He can invite the member to return to activity, but any necessary confession or repentance process should be handled by the Bishop who does have stewardship over those who are members of his ward.  

 

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1 minute ago, ALarson said:

It's not this missionary's place to call a member of the church to repentance.  He can invite the member to return to activity, but any necessary confession or repentance process should be handled by the Bishop who does have stewardship over those who are members of his ward.  

 

Letting someone know that they need to repent is way different than asking someone to confess a sin to you. 

I disagree that missionaries should not call members of the church to repentance. 

In most missions missionaries are asked to work with church members as well as teach nonmembers.  In doing so they are acting under the direction of the local bishop who holds the keys to member-missionary work for that ward. 

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9 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

Letting someone know that they need to repent is way different than asking someone to confess a sin to you. 

I disagree that missionaries should not call members of the church to repentance. 

In most missions missionaries are asked to work with church members as well as teach nonmembers.  In doing so they are acting under the direction of the local bishop who holds the keys to member-missionary work for that ward. 

Yes, part of what they teach are the steps necessary for repentance, baptism and preparing to receive the Holy Ghost.  But they shouldn't go to dinner at a member's home as a guest and call this member to repentance (and assume they have a "worthiness issue").  That is not their place.

I think we're talking about two different things here.  I'm referring to the specific case in the OP.  You're talking generalities and I agree that repentance is part of the process for some to join the church (or return).

 

 

Edited by ALarson
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