Missionaries Knock On Your Door: What to Expect

by
March 2, 2010

You have probably already met a couple of LDS missionaries.  They’re the young men in dark suits and bicycle helmets, or the young ladies wearing skirts; they all have black name tags.  Maybe it was at your front door (or your back door, if you live in Wisconsin), or it could have been on the street, or a gas station, or at a friend’s house.  They waste no time searching for people to declare the gospel to.

Odds are, you didn’t hear their message.  Maybe you were in the middle of repairing your truck, or you were in a bad mood from a long day at the office, or you thought they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Could be you were curious of what they had to say, but didn’t want to let on.  Mostly, you didn’t know what to expect.

It’s understandable.  I hate being blindsided by unexpected surprises; not knowing what’s coming or how to control it.  Missionaries approaching you out of the blue is the epitome of being caught unaware.  My hope with this article is 1) to teach you what you can reasonably expect from these young men and women and 2) to give you some ideas of how to act the next time they arrive.

The Greeting

A missionary’s purpose is to share a vital message with you; it’s so important that they dedicate two years of their lives on their own dimes to come present it to you and your neighbors.  When they are new to being a missionary, they learn quickly how important trust is.  In order for their message to change lives, it must first be heard; for the message to be heard requires a person’s trust.  Establishing trust within 15 seconds at a complete stranger’s doorstep is a truly daunting feat!

From my own experience, I can testify that most missionaries are trustworthy.  They are typically honest, clean, kind, and very respectful of other’s beliefs.  It’s difficult to establish all of this in the first few moments of introduction, but they will try.  They will shake your hand,  introduce themselves as representatives of the LDS Church, give their names with a smile, and ask to be invited inside for a discussion.  The hope is that you will see or feel in them some spark of goodness that will persuade you to give them just one fair hearing.  Sometimes it happens, often it doesn’t.

Imagine that you are at this moment of decision: consider your options.  If you are like me, your gut will tell you to avoid the hassle, avoid the awkwardness of meeting new people and turn them away.  But, if you had a few minutes to weigh the consequences, your sense of adventure might say, “What the heck!  They’re no threat; I’ll listen to ‘em.  I can TiVo American Gladiators tonight.”

I hope that wherever you are, you will decide right now to invite them in next time.  Give them a chance.  If not, at least be civil.  A polite “No, thank you” is exactly as effective as a tirade of verbal abuse at keeping them from returning, so save your energy.

Let’s assume you invite them in.  Once inside, they won’t usually dive right into a religious discussion.  They will chat politely about your family, your job, hobbies, etc.  They will also be glad to answer questions you have about their backgrounds.  Ask them where they are from, what they plan to study in college, how long they have been missionaries, etc.  Again, they hope to establish a good relationship of trust with you.  This isn’t merely a gimmick; they really are interested in you because they hope eventually to become your friends.  If there’s one thing Mormon missionaries believe in (besides their message), it’s that everyone is a potential friend.  There are people I met on doorsteps as a missionary that I grew to love and I still keep in contact with.

Their Presentation

At some point, the missionaries will change the topic to religion and begin the presentation they arrived on their missions to give.  They may request to begin with a prayer in order to invite the Holy Spirit.  Because they are guests in your house, they will allow you to decide who should say the prayer and it’s just fine to pick one of them or to say it yourself.  Do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Many people assume that the message they have to share will basically mirror a typical sermon from their local pastor, about Jesus suffering on the cross and how we can be saved if we believe in Him.  This is central to our beliefs and essential to understand; it will take a prominent role in the lesson, but the missionaries will go deeper into what makes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique.  The message is not only that Jesus saves, but that Jesus speaks.

The lesson is known as the Restoration of the Gospel.  Just as this is the first thing the missionaries teach, it was the first thing we published on this website two years ago.  Go read it! With more familiarity on the topic beforehand, you will have better comments and questions.  You’ll also be better able to listen to the whispering from the Holy Spirit during the meeting.

During the presentation, the missionaries will take turns discussing each topic.  It may sound somewhat rehearsed (because they do rehearse it; the rehearsals help them cover the essential points within a reasonable time-frame; their visit will probably last no longer than 20 minutes unless you invite them to stay longer), but I hope you will recognize that the missionaries really believe it.  They are committed to it.  You can also help them out of rehearsal mode by showing interest and asking them questions along the way.

Future Visits

The missionaries will end their talk by asking you to read from the Book of Mormon, ponder over the message, and pray to God about it.  They really don’t expect you to believe them at their word (you are still essentially strangers after all), but they have full confidence that Heavenly Father will confirm the truth through the Holy Ghost.  They will want to follow-up and see how He answers you, so they will request a return appointment, usually within a week.

My advice is to take their commitments seriously: read, ponder and pray all week.  Asking God if their message is true can do no harm, and it will do plenty of good.  Also, get their phone number so you can contact them if you need to reschedule or if you have questions or concerns that just can’t wait.

They have several more lessons, so they hope you will keep inviting them back after each visit.  Each subsequent lesson will resemble this first one except a bit longer (maybe up to an hour), they might bring along someone from the local congregation, and every visit you’ll move steadily from complete strangers to solid friends.  In fact, I’d wager it won’t be long before you’re asking them to come for dinner.

I’d like to open the comment section to stories of when the Elders or Sisters came to your house for the first time.  What was the experience like?  What did you learn from it?  Have they been back since?  If you don’t have a story to share, invite the missionaries over by clicking here!

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47 Responses to “Missionaries Knock On Your Door: What to Expect”

  1. Darrell

    I was a missionary in Brazil a few years ago. One piece of advice I would give to anyone hesitant to listen to the missionaries would be to at least give them a few minutes at the door and get to know them somewhat. So often I had felt that if people had just given us a few minutes to briefly talk with us, they would have been pleasantly surprised that we were actually somewhat normal people, and not religious nuts.
    I felt like those people that invited us in enjoyed our message, even the ones who were not interested in continuing to meet with us. After all, missionaries are ordained teachers/ministers, and anyone can benefit from having such people pray in your home.

  2. If I became mormon would they help me find a wife and start a mormon family?

  3. Thaddeus

    We’d sure try. :) Have you had missionaries in your home, Daddy? (I feel a little awkward calling you that).

  4. Daniel

    What would missionaries say or do if they came to my door and I did invite them in to hear their message? I am married to a man, and I am also a man. What if I liked the message the missionaries brought into our home? Would they even teach us? What if we wanted to join the Mormon Church? Could we? What would we have to do?

    You tell me to give them a chance, but will they even give me a chance?

  5. Thaddeus

    Daniel, they will give you a chance.

    Mormons get a lot of bad publicity because of our stance on homosexuality, but please understand it isn’t grounded in animosity or fear. We love and respect you. You are a child of Heavenly Father and you have divine heritage and potential.

    Daniel, if you listened to the missionaries and learned from God that their message is true, you would have a vastly different outlook on life. You would be as the proverbial pearl merchant, “Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

    You would have to make a great sacrifice (all homosexual behavior), but with the perspective of eternity and the blessings God holds in store, it would ultimately bring great joy and I think you would understand that at that time.

    I expect my answer is frustrating to you now, though. I’m sorry that it’s frustrating. I hope you will invite the missionaries over and look deeply into it. Please learn from the Lord whether it’s true before you make up your mind one way or the other.

  6. Daniel

    I am frankly surprised by your response. I would have to give up all homosexual behavior? In other words, I would have to get divorced? Who gets custody of our children? Who gets the house? I am self employed, so I get my insurance coverage through my husband. I have to give up health insurance? The only way that I can join your faith is to give up my true love, the one I have been with for years, and that I am legally married to. The one I swore vows of faithfulness to in front of God, friends, family, and state. I would have to destroy my family, and your choice of words for that is that it is “frustrating.”

    Really? What would you say if someone told you to get divorced? What if you had a suddenly vastly different outlook on life and you had to leave your family? How would they feel? How would you feel? How would your bishop feel? Is he even allowed to encourage divorce? This is why I am confused and asked the question. I thought you guys wanted to protect the family, but in order to be a part of your faith, I have to destroy mine. I will invite the missionaries over if they knock on my door, but if they ask me to divorce my husband, I will show them the door, and I believe that is no different than what you would do.

  7. Daniel, you’re right. “Frustrating” wouldn’t begin to describe your feelings. I would be outraged and incensed. My family is sacred to me, and even talking about the possibility of its dissolution hurts me deeply.

    If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have the audacity to ask any such thing of anybody. There’s no way.

    But I’m not in charge, and they aren’t my rules. I have to trust the Lord’s judgment. Prior to baptism, He teaches that we must have faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance. He requires smokers and drug addicts to quit; unmarried cohabitators to separate or marry; polygamists to divorce their plural spouses; Catholics to cease praying to the virgin Mary; and ministers to give up their livelihoods (since Mormon clergy are unpaid). Many Muslims risk losing their lives by renouncing their adherence to Islam and being branded ‘apostates’. In the 19th century, joining the Church meant uprooting from your homeland and moving to America and crossing the plains on foot to the barren desert of Utah.

    Right now, undertaking such a sacrifice makes no sense to you, so I hope you’ll at least try to understand us a bit more. Please read about the Law of Chastity and The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Though I personally would not blame you if you turned your back on the LDS Church, I know that the teachings of God’s living prophets and apostles are true and will give you peace in this life and prepare you for eternal life in the world to come.

  8. Jay

    Kudos to you Thaddeus for your efforts at an even-handed treatment of a difficult subject. My two cents’ worth.

    Current LDS teaching doesn’t just dissuade God’s non-LDS gay children from joining the church, it’s actively driving most of them out of the church after they grow up Mormon. Despite all the protests from senior leaders that gay people are loved and respected, the broader Mormon culture makes them feel just the opposite, and most of them vote with their feet.

    It’s not just “frustrating.” It is that LDS teaching offers God’s gay children no hope of any happiness in this life or the next. It can’t explain where they fit into God’s plan or how they can even exist, if Doc. & Cov. 132 is the whole picture. And the Biblical basis for condemning homosexuality is far more questionable than most Mormons realize.

    So Thaddeus, good job with honesty and saying if you were Daniel you wouldn’t join either, but frankly, a lot of gay Mormons have studied this stuff pretty closely and are no longer convinced that these are “God’s rules” as you claim. If the doctrinal basis were clear and indisputable, more gay Mormons might try to tough it out and more gay people might join the church. But it’s not. So they don’t see the point.

  9. Ben

    Dear Daniel and Jay,

    I think that you have both brought up some great points about how we should treat others, especially others who choose a different lifestyle than we do and I wish to discuss what I understand our perspective is on this issue.

    Daniel, I can understand that you feel that God should accept your family. But, there is one thing that I think is being missed in the discussion. You are saying that you think God should accept your lifestyle unconditionally. You are a child of God, Daniel, as are your children and partner, no doubt about that, and I am certain that God wants more than anything to have you return to him. But, God cannot accept your lifestyle, because you have chosen a life that goes against God’s commandments (Leviticus 18:22) and it is still in force. I did not make that a commandment, nor did Moses, God did. God cannot accept sin of any kind. He himself said, “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (D&C 1:31), and nothing unclean can enter his kingdom (Isaiah 52:11, 3 Nephi 27:19, D&C 109:20, Moses 6:57). Luckily, He has provided a way through the sacrifice of his Son, so we can repent of the sins we commit (D&C 1:32, 3 Nephi 27:19, John 3:16). I know you feel that you are being picked on because of your sexual orientation, but you are not being singled out here. He will not accept a man who has cheated on his wife, or someone who breaks the Sabbath day, or someone who refuses to forgive his brother either, unless that person repents and changes his ways and asks for God’s forgiveness. There is simply no way around it. We either conform our lives to God’s commandments and return to Him, or we don’t, and we go somewhere where He won’t be. I can’t be any more plain or simple. For further discussion about this topic please see Elder Dallin H Oaks talk, “Love and Law.” http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1117-9,00.html

    Jay, I make a special effort to make all feel welcome, for the simple fact that all should feel of the love that God has for them, but that does not mean that I should say, “Oh it is alright, go ahead and break commandments, it doesn’t matter” and that is what I sense you are trying to say. Stephen Stacey in his article on this site, “Hating the Sin, Loving the Sinner” (July 2009) spoke directly about this. Sin is sin, whether it is homosexuality or adultery, or whatever you want to insert. God is not going to bend his rules regardless of what the sin is.

    Certainly though Jay, you cannot say that a person who knowingly and willfully acts in direct opposition to one or many of God’s commandments feels good or comfortable in places or situations where God and his commandments are being taught and discussed. It is that feeling that has driven me to change my life, because I realized my mistake and how glad I am that I did. In addition, I know that I am not the only one who has experienced this feeling. It seems as if you are trying to pin it completely on the members of our church and that is simply not true. If you are going to live in Zion, you have to have to sell your summer cottage in Babylon (to reference a late leader of our church).

  10. saying if you were Daniel you wouldn’t join either

    Jay, please don’t put words in my mouth. I said I wouldn’t blame him, just as I wouldn’t find fault with a Muslim who considered the risk to him and his family too great to join. If I were Daniel, and I knew as I know now that the Book of Mormon is true and that Jesus is the Savior and the leader of the LDS Church, I would join regardless of the cost.

  11. Jason Goodman

    I am not a freak or fanatic, and I won’t “go off” on anyone here, but I am a Catholic Apologist and have a few theological questions for you and I would appreciate an answer from anyone on this:

    The Mormon Church teaches that there is NOT one God, but three, at least among God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we can all be gods of our own planets just like Jesus was when he lived on “Colob”. So my question is if the Mormon church believes this, why does the bible say in so many places that there is ONE God, and even the book of mormon says there is only ONE God?

  12. Kate

    Jason,

    These are good questions.

    I would suggest that the LDS consider God (The Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit) three different personages.

    You seem to understand the difference between “God” and “god” in LDS theology, so I won’t go there.

    I can’t venture to say why the Bible says one thing or another, but perhaps I can help you understand why LDS consider the Godhead to be ONE God. As and LDS, I would suggest that God is one in everything except being. One in purpose, plan, mind, will, etc.

    I know this is a very simple answer, but I think it is the best to your question. You can read more about LDS Christology and Deity in a great book called “A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints” by Robert Millet. It is a wonderful look at LDS Christology written by a true scholar.

  13. Thaddeus

    Jason, thank you for your thoughtful questions. It’s very reasonable that these ideas raise flags. I’ve had some of the same questions, and I have found answers that make sense to me.

    First, God tells us He is One in the scriptures in order for us to understand his heavenly government. It is not a pantheon of gods. To the ancient Greeks, if a prayer to Zeus was denied, their theology allowed them to try a prayer to Hera or Hephaestus. But our Father has made it known through the Bible and the Book of Mormon that such political wrangling is out of the question. He is the final authority and the others in the Godhead (Jesus and the Holy Ghost) are in complete agreement. Their total unity and integrity precludes the possibility of back-door dealings.

    There are other gods in the same sense there is more than one state governor in the U.S. or many fathers in the world. But a given individual has only one governor and only one father. Paul shared this concept with the Corinthians, “…there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we in him” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). That is, there exist other beings called ‘gods’, but they are out of our realm. They are not available to us because they are not OUR fathers or governors.

    As children of God, we believe it is our privilege to ascend by the grace of Christ to receive all that the Father has. We are appointed to be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. We can one day become as our Father is by adhering to the gospel plan. Please read Ben’s excellent article, Becoming Gods and Ruling Planets.

    Oh, and Jason, thanks for not being a fanatic or “going off” on us. It’s refreshing.

  14. Kris

    Some missionaries visited our home for quite a well. They were very kind and considerate young people who did feel like friends. We also have close neighbors who are Latter Day Saints and they are very kind. We didn’t join the Latter Day Saints for various reasons so do they hate us now?

  15. Kate

    I would be very surprised if they hate you! Hopefully, your neighbors are still kind, even if you choose not to join the LDS faith. However, I would also be surprised if the missionaries still visit your home. The primary job of a missionary is to teach those people who are interested in joining the LDS faith and prepare them for baptism; as you have made the decision to not join the faith, their job is finished, and their focus is turned to others who are investigating the faith. I’m sure that they still view you as friends and care about you, but must focus on the job they have been called to do.

  16. Kris, Kate is absolutely right.

    Additionally, the local missionaries are transferred in and out a lot, so if they aren’t visiting, it may just be because your missionaries aren’t in the area and can’t easily contact you anymore.

    Also, if your LDS neighbors aren’t showing their faces, it’s probably not that they hate you; they’re worried you hate them. (Well, “hate” is too strong a word). If they introduced you to the missionaries and you declined their message, your Mormon friends might think you resent them for ‘pushing’ their religion on you.

  17. Riley

    Today two elders knocked on my door and I was a bit shy and pressed for time so I invited them to come back tomorrow. They were much more polite and pleasant than other door to door missionaries, this was my first encounter with the LDS missionaries. I already have pretty strong beliefs about God and his Word but I cannot say I belong to a particular religion. I am very excited and open to many beliefs of the LDS however there are many that I don’t exactly understand and/or necessarily agree with. However I do feel in my heart an eagerness to learn which honestly is odd because no specifc religion has ever really given me this feeling when talking to me about what is the correct faith. I am just a little scared because of the things I read in the booklet they gave me that I don’t exactly agree with. I am very eager to learn what is correct but how can I truly know? Any ideas on key things I should pray about when asking God for clarity? Any key questions recommended that I ask the elders?

  18. Thaddeus

    Riley, that is exciting, and I will be glad to help you any way I can. Email me if you want to talk privately.

    The important thing to remember (and it looks like you’ve already got a handle on this), is that the Lord will confirm the truth in your heart as you ask Him. Read the pamphlet and ask the Lord about the things that make you excited and those things that concern you. And with the elders, be honest. If something they teach bothers you, ask them about it. They are flexible in their lessons and will be glad to clear up confusion for you. So are we. Are there any questions we can help you with?

  19. Spring

    Hello, I still have many things to learn and read, however I just got baptised into the LDS church a week ago after learning praying and studying for almost 2 years now. I have tried almost every major religion out there finding something wrong in all of them. I am only 24 however I have been eagerly seeking the correct religion on my own since I was about 4 years old. I had given up on finding a church and claimed non-denominational, later even had almost given up on life completely when my son who at the time was just over 2 years old who had not been to church didn’t know what a cross was because I had all but given up on everything, brought me a cross when I was laying in a bathtub crying and talking on the phone to someone on a suicide hotline, he gave me that cross and it broke my heart and healed it at the same time. Very soon after that I found the LDS church.

    When I found this religion I had a LOT of questions, however I found it much more like my beliefs than I had heard! Everything in my life from the time I was little from my hopes and dreams to tastes in life seem to fit perfectly into the LDS lifestyle. Since I was old enough to make small decisions for myself (knowing nothing of this religion) I have not liked and not wanted coffee or tea (very strange since thats all my family drinks). In these times where women do any and everything, I always dreamed to be a stay at home mother cooking and cleaning and taking care of my family. I always dreamed of seeing me standing in church with my husband singing and my kids beside me, which if you have been to other churches you know the children get wisked away to nursery’s as soon as church begins. I always asked to have bread and water in church it was something I felt I needed, even in churches who didn’t do that.

    When I started praying about this religion and truely honestly and openly gave my heart 100% to the Lord (not the 10% or 50% or maybe 90% I had before in my life) I FINALLY got that answer I had been looking for all my life. Since I was a kid I begged praying PLEASE show me give me a sign help me find the right way somehow! I finally got that! It is the most amazing feeling and there is no way to describe it other than you KNOW when God answers you, you just KNOW. Then I started recieving from God the answers I was looking for. I knew I had to get married, my husband and I had been together 9 years and have 3 children and were waiting till we could afford a nice wedding to get married. When God let me know I needed to be married I told my husband it has to happen and I prayed for a way to make it happen. It did! We got married on July 24th of this year which our baptism followed in less than a month! This has been an amazing experience and I hope maybe some of this touches someone in just the right way and helps them to come to God. Sorry this has been so long, I just needed to share my story.

    Spring

  20. Thaddeus

    Hi, Spring! Thanks for your story! How interesting and wonderful that you found peace in the Church of Jesus Christ after searching your whole life.

    Where are you from, and how did you meet the missionaries? Did they just show up at your door one day? How long did they teach you?

    Welcome to the Church.
    -Thaddeus

  21. Jimmy Byrd

    I am a truck driver of 14 years. I was not particularly
    religious, but I do believe in God and in Jesus Christ.
    I was introduced to the Book of Mormon and theTeachings
    of Joseph Smith (not ever even hearing of him before).
    After staring at the books on my front passenger seat for
    two months, I finally began reading them. Something
    happened to which I have no explanation. I am NOT an avid
    reader, nor have I attended ANY church of ANY kind while
    being on the road for 14 years. I stopped at an LDS
    chapel in CedarRapids IA, just to satisfy my curiousity.
    By then I had read half the Book of Mormon. To make a
    long story short……I have now attended a Mormon Church
    43 weeks in a row. I was Baptised on Feb 13, 2010 and
    confirmed a member of the church in March 2010. I know
    that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was indeed a Prophet of God, and that Thomas Monson is the only
    living prophet today who heads this church. I never EVER
    imagined this faith could have grabbed me as it has. I am
    grateful, and although now 66 years of age I only regret I
    had not investigated it sooner. Jimmy Byrd
    a JBHUNT over the road truck driver,

  22. hosander

    Jimmy and Spring, those are great stories. I love conversion stories, they always sound so poetic and virtuous.

    Thaddeus, I wonder if it would be possible to create a link on the home page leading to a compilation of all the conversion stories you have throughout the comments on the website? added testimonials?

  23. Spring

    Thaddeus,

    I am from Alabama. I lived in south west Alabama for about a year while there was an LDS church being built right up the road from my house, my husband and I were looking for a church to join, and he was interested in finding out what kind of church that was going to be however we didn’t find out at the time. We moved about 10 miles away into an apartment complex and while moving in the neighbors across the hall stopped and without a thought selflessly said I will be right out to help you with that. Our new neighbors helped us get moved in, and started a friendship. About a week later I noticed 2 guys going in thier apartment several times, finaly I asked and found out they were missionaries. They had us over for dinner with the elders, and a short lesson. After that night the elders started coming to our house teaching us and more than anything answering our 100′s of questions. They invited us to church with them, and we started attending to find out that the church we had lived across from was the one we would soon be attending! We ran into some problems however and stopped attending the church but we kept having the missionaries over 3 to 4 times a week. About a week before we were to move back to south east Alabama (and I was sure the lessons would stop then) I found an old friend online. This friend happened to have just gotten home from a mission as an elder in the LDS church and he lived where I was moving to! God meant for me to stay with this church and provided the way! As soon as I moved back here I ran into the elders in walmart and intoduced myself. My family has been having lessons and going to church there since.

    I guess this is my story from a different angle :)

  24. Thaddeus

    Well, how about that! My brother is serving as a missionary right now in Ozark, AL. Is that anywhere near you? His name is Elder Gillespie, and he’s been there, serving around Fort Rucker since April.

  25. Spring

    I live in Enterprise, and I believe I just met him! he was in Enterprise for a few days. WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!!

  26. gary

    heres what to expect if any missionaries knock on my door.last time some mormon missionaries knocked on my door i set the dogs on them.

  27. Riley

    Why are you even going to
    comment if youre just gonna say something ugly?

  28. Thaddeus

    Gary, how courageous you are.

  29. Thaddeus

    Riley! How about an update? Have the missionaries returned? What have you talked about together?

  30. Spring

    Gary,

    God bless you! I really hope you change your way of thinking and open your mind to learning, and if not atleast open your eyes to respecting your fellow man.

    Riley,

    I hope things are going good for you and that you are learning alot from the missionaries in your area. If there is anything you want to talk about or have any questions when they aren’t around feel free to ask.

    Thaddeus,

    I told the missionaries about meeting you on here right after having met your brother, it’s amazing how people are brought together isn’t it?

    General…

    I found this site somehow not even sure how, but I felt the need to post my story, which I haven’t shared in whole till I posted it here. As I said before, I am not good at writing, so it wasn’t easy. Just a few days after I posted my story on here the missionaries here asked me to write my story of how I came to believe in the morman religion in a journal, which many people will see in the years to come, and I don’t think I would have been comfortable with that if I hadn’t been given the oppertunity to post it here first. God brings everything into our lives for a reason even if you don’t see it at the time. It may be later in the day, the week, the year, or even many years down the road before you see why God did thing’s the way he did in a certain situation, just rest assured if it happens God has a reason!

    A quote I like that I have on my living room wall… God never said life would be easy, He said it would be worth it!!!!!!

  31. Riley

    My baptism is set for the 18th!

  32. Thaddeus

    Woo-hoo! Congratulations! That is the news that makes my heart leap!

    Can you give us any more details? When did you decide on it? Was it difficult? Do you have butterflies?

  33. Congratulations Riley! Making the decision is probably the hardest part of the commitment, once you are set on it, everything will feel peaceful.

    I wish you the best!

  34. Spring

    Congratulations! thats great news. I wish you the best.

  35. cameron

    i met some on my way home to my MTC im a baptist in the UK and i invited them to visit me at college today, they were a little aprehensive that i was trying to convert them, but im just genuinely interested in the revelation of God in other faiths. i have no intention of changing my beliefs, merely streangthening them and gaining a good friendship with fellow missionaries. when the guys i have met go back to Utah, will i be able to stay in contact with them, will they carry on meeting with me if they know i dnt intend to convert? also, one is called eldar love. it seems a pretty strange name, is this a birth name or a name given to him for the purpose of mission? im probabally going to forget to check up on this site again so an e mail would be appreciated :)

  36. Thaddeus

    cameron,

    Elder is his office in the LDS priesthood (we also have deacons, bishops, priests, apostles, etc). Love is his last name. Missionaries use the title Elder.

    Did you end up meeting with them, then? What did you think?

    They are freely allowed to keep in contact with you, and I hope they will. We are also glad to keep in contact.

  37. probro

    One thing I’ve learned is not to expect too much from the missionaries. Don’t expect meaningful answers when you ask them *how* they know it’s all true, and *why* they’re so certain that they’re not deceived. They don’t think in those terms, and if you press them you’ll only make them angry. I once had a sister shout at me that:

    1. I must be a very irritating person.
    2. I am *so* argumentative.
    3. Since I’m obviously *not* a humble person, I’ll never hear the “still small voice”.
    4. I’m not worthy.
    5. The message isn’t for* me.

    I’m not disputing the truth of all this, but I don’t think shouting it at me in the middle of the street did her (or me for that matter) a lot of good. They are only kids really, and they’re not prepared for deep philosophical questions. It’s best to accept that (in their view) they’re only there to deliver a message and that it’s the Holy Spirit who’ll do the real work.

  38. Thaddeus

    probro, you’re right. Missionaries are in their early 20s. Most of them do not have advanced theological degrees and their purpose isn’t to hash out all the philosophical possibilities. We don’t believe that’s the purpose of religion, anyway.
    Of course, I can’t defend that particular sister’s response, but I will say that it is out of the norm and certainly at odds with her instructions. A missionary is, as you say, a messenger. They present what we believe and instruct people on how to find out if it’s true by going directly to God. The most productive way to learn about God is to speak to Him and listen to Him. It has more weight than mere academic analysis.

    Even so, after our missions, many of us do become scholars and we find scholarship to be a useful secondary tool (after revelation) to understanding more about God. If you would like a more rigorous discussion on the philosophical underpinnings of Mormonism, I suggest visiting the Maxwell Institute, the Mormon Apologetics & Discussion Board, or contact your local bishop. Thanks for your comment!

  39. Alex

    I know no one has commented on this in a while, but I think that even if no one reads my comment or says anything back, that just getting it off my chest will help my nerves a little. You see I’m meeting with sister missionaries on Wednesday and I don’t really know what to expect. I’m also very nervous because, while I am a twenty-one year old young woman, I do still live at home and go to school and rely on my parents a lot and they don’t exactly like it. I wasn’t raised attending church, if anything I was raised watching my father try and tell any sort of church goers that came to our door (mormon missionaries, jehovah’s witnesses, etc.) that they were wrong in going to people’s doors and trying to *force* their beliefs onto others. I know I should tell them now, but I think I might wait until I have a better understanding and can better explain my reasoning to them.

  40. Jan

    Alex! How exciting for you! Don’t worry about your nerves, the Sisters will be super nice and bring a nice peaceful spirit with them. Your parents might notice it too, and be okay with them coming.

    Also, don’t be shy about asking questions. They have a set of lessons that they will give you to explain the fundamentals of what we believe, but feel free to interrupt and ask your own questions whenever you want to.

    Tell me what led you to invite them in? What are you hoping to learn from them? Let us know how it went!

  41. Kathy

    I had two young elders come to my door today. I invited them in and they were extremely nice. I used to go door-to-door for work and because we were in the middle of an ice storm I couldn’t let them stand in the cold!
    I am Lutheran and would shame my father if I ever switched religions–I’m not interested in switching but I have a thirst for knowledge. I’m 24, married with 2 children. I work full time and will graduate with my bachelors in corporate finance next month.
    I want to strengthen my faith in general but I know I will not be switching religions….I don’t want to offend them, but I’d still love to learn. Do you think they would still share with me even though I won’t convert?

  42. tgaines

    Kathy that was a wonderful thing you did, and I’m sure these missionaries mothers appreciate you letting them in out of the storm. I’m sure those Elders would love to share their love and knowledge of the gospel with you. I hope you invited them back.

  43. DEAR FOUNDER,

    I BRING YOU GREETINGS IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME FROM KENYA…..I  AM SO HAPPY TO LET YOU KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING IN KENYA…..I AM PASTOR JOSEPHINE . I HAVE 3 CHURCHES {156 MEMBERS }AND CARING 45 ORPHANS WHO ARE UNDER MY CARE…..I HAVE SEEN YOUR WEBSITE  AND INSPIRED WHAT YOU ARE DOING THERE BY INSPIRATION OF HOLY SPIRIT.  I AM WRITING THIS EMAIL TO YOU TODAY, YOU ARE DOING REALLY WONDERFUL MINISTRIES. LORD IS RICHLY BLESSING YOU ..  I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR WEBSITE HERE IN KENYA AND PRAYING NOW THREE MONTHS AGO.,.  I AM  SO SO HAPPY FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING IN THE VINEYARD OF THE LORD . PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR US AND HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THIS POOR MINISTRY IN KENYA ….IF THE LORD WILLS, PLEASE COME AND PREACH IN OUR CRUSADES SPEAK TO PASTORS/ LEADERS CONFERENCE AND HEALING REVIVALS TO SAVE PERISHING SOULS IN KENYA.THANKING YOU ….

    HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

    MUCH LOVE

    JOSEPHINE

  44. Renagade

    Why is book of mormon only based on american places. And why are black people cursed?

  45. Thaddeus

    Renagade, these are some good questions to ask the missionaries! I’ll do my best, but a face-to-face meet-up can do much more to clear up these misunderstandings.

    The Book of Mormon actually begins in a Middle Eastern setting. A family of Jews is commanded by God to flee Jerusalem. They construct a ship and sail to the Western hemisphere. From then on, all of the action takes place in the New World (probably meso-america).

    Black people aren’t cursed. They are beloved children of God. See this article for more details.

  46. Amber

    I had 3 missionaries at my doorstep.

  47. Jodie

    Amber,

    Sometimes a mission president is left with an odd number of missionaries to give assignments to.  Different mission presidents handle this type of situation in different ways.  When I was a missionary, my first mission president tried to ask someone to stay a few weeks extra or go home a few weeks early to compensate.  My next mission president just assigned three missionaries to work together somewhere.  I think that is probably the most commonly found solution.  In fact, there are three missionaries working together in the area I live in right now.

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