A couple nights ago I was hanging out with 2 of my good friends. One of them shared with me his beliefs on why the Mormon religion was a cult. I know, we’ve all had these friends. He admitted that he was not fully educated but proceeded to give me his reasoning. One reason was that we change our beliefs all the time. I do not understand this and I asked him to clarify he said he didn’t know but he knew Mormon people – and our beliefs change. The only example I could think of was Polygamy which was a very long time ago and there have been multiple general authorities address this issue in which I would have referred to if necessary. But I kept my mouth shut and kept listening. He continued to explain that we brainwash our children at such a young age and that’s just ridiculous. He also shared with me that he disagreed with parents disowning their children from the family and damning them if they leave the religion. I’m not sure where he got that one. The next one was that he didn’t agree with us giving 10% of what we earn to our bishops. I told him that the bishops didn’t collect a penny from what we donated to the church. He told me that he knew a bishop who had more money than he knew what to do with – and he thought that was odd, and wanted to know where that money came from. I explained to him that there are very wealthy people who are Catholic and Presbyterian and there are very wealthy people who are LDS who are NOT bishops. He still thought it was fishy. His last argument was why we had to send people out to join our cult. He wanted to know – if it was so good – why everyone didn’t want to join without having to be approached or convinced. He didn’t agree with us sending out people to convince everyone to join.
While this was going on – I had an intense internal argument. I felt like a spinless limpy noodle when I keep my mouth shut. Inside I clearly know that he is wrong. My heart screamed at every point he brought up. I wanted to just open my mouth and tell him why we teach our children at a young age to love the Savior and how to live the Lord’s standards. It hurt my heart that he thought we were a cult and that anyone would give the slightest impression that parents disown their children if they chose to leave the church. Inside I was boiling that he was attacking my beliefs. He was attacking what I stand for. He was mocking my religion. Quite frankly it hurt. I didn’t like it. I should have calmly explained to him why we believe what we do and why we do the things we do. However – I had the feeling that it wasn’t worth it. I could not reason with him. He didn’t want to listen. He didn’t want to be educated. I didn’t feel like I could make strong enough points to shut him up. I wish I knew my scriptures better so I could’ve spouted off references and shown him doctrine to back up my beliefs. But… for some reason I just didn’t think it was worth it. I don’t know why. I just felt like I needed to let him finish and move on with the conversation. I did just that. I nodded and said ok after every argument.
When I got home that night and I was laying in bed I was praying. For strength – next time to be able to teach someone without getting in an argument. I felt like I was on the defense and there was no reasoning with him. I knew that. Every single point that he made I knew with my whole heart that he was wrong and misled or given incorrect information. I am glad that my spirit is not tempted or intrigued by these ideas. I am glad that my testimony is strong enough to know why he was wrong. I do not agree with any of these ideas nor do I want to hear more about them. My feet are planted firmly on the ground – metaphorically speaking.
The wise man is to the foolish man as the rock is to sand.
Live. Laugh. Love.