Friday, May 9, 2008

Elders again

The Mormons are back on my porch after a few weeks absence and this time they're older (my age) and drove a car and wore suits. My status has been upgraded. I think I'm flattered. The last several ones were still of the bike-riding variety with ties and no coat. That's what I get for asking questions. Of the two that came today it was quickly obvious which was more experienced. The less-experienced started out and after my second or third question the other guy did all the talking. It was really interesting. I enjoyed the discussion and they showed me a few places to read in my Book of Mormon, which I have yet to crack open, though I intend to at some point. Belief intrigues me and I'm curious to see what they base their faith upon.

My main question for them today was: convince me I need your faith. What does it have that I currently lack? What am I missing in my life that the Mormon faith will supply? Sell me! Give me the most compelling reason for belief! They kept returning to "families being together forever" which sure is a nice-sounding promise until I provided an extreme example in which my daughter becomes a Satan-worshiper (boy will I ever get the Google search results with this post...) and they had to agree that yes, if she were to worship Satan, then no, she wouldn't be with me forever. Thank you! They also told me that becoming a believer in the Mormon faith would create a more "full and complete" faith to which I responded that I see nothing lacking in my current faith. It's full and complete enough for me all on it's own without Joseph Smith. Has been for a very long time.

One of the trickiest things in talking with them was our use of nearly-similar terminology. We use the same words but much of the time the word means a completely different thing to me than it does to them. So that took some sorting out.

I wished I had some cold sodas (oh wait they can't have caffeine right? hah. how awkward THAT would have been...) to give them because they were in full suits and it was hot on my porch. I did think of offering them Otter Pops (because this household is rarely if ever short on Otter Pops) but maybe that would have been too juvenile for a couple of dignified suit-wearing gentlemen. We must have talked for at least 20 minutes but I wasn't about to invite two strange guys into my house without Superman here to protect me lest I should suddenly convert to Mormonism and agree to become one of their wives. Because that's what happened to a good friend of mine. (I should clarify: my friend's Christian mom left his dad to marry a Mormon because "God told her to." So Mormonism doesn't sit well with me for lots of reasons. And yes, I greatly simplified the story.)

Also, what on earth do you have to do to become an elder? Be born? Who isn't an elder in the Church of Latter Day Saints?!? Anyone?


  1. A little late here, but I can probably answer most of your questions about Mormonism without actually trying to convert you! :)(Men (and men only) become elders once they've gone on a mission, simple as that. And to go on a mission, all you have to do is sign up. You can't get into the highest level of heaven without (a) being an elder, (b) marrying an elder, or (c) being too young to have done either, which, I don't know, kind of sucks for all those women who go on missions and do their duty to God and church and still need the permission of a man to have a happy afterlife. Mormonism isn't really a good deal for women as far as the afterlife is concerned. I wish you'd offered them a soda. The very best Mormons would refuse (it is about the caffeine) but a lot of them are sneaky and like to pick and choose which rules to live by...

  2. I've done a lot of research on Mormonism for comparative religion classes and my own personal information and have yet to figure out how you become an Elder. I think they sort of elect you to do different jobs each year. It's very confusing.They are allowed to have soda, just not coffee or tea. My friend explained that they aren't allowed to have the tannen. I think it is just becuase Joseph Smith didn't know about soda to ban it. Most Mormons I've known have been soda fiends.