"Chat Live with a (Mormon) Missionary"... fails.

I found this site this summer when I started to do my research on the LDS faith… and have only found it a joke. I mean, the people who are on the other end of the wire are completely serious, but the questions I ask and the responses I get often elicit an “Are you kidding me??”

The “chatting” is supposed to help lead people to the “Restored Gospel”, but whenever I ask a hard-to-answer question (and there are pl-enty!), I’m either asked if 1. I’m Mormon and have prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true, or 2. If I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. My response is usually a tame “no, but I’m interested in learning more about your faith” (100% true), to which they reply that I will have that special feeling that will tell me that the Book of Mormon is true and/or Joseph Smith is a true prophet.

Trying to tell them that a feeling is the least subjective proof for a complete way of life (Mormonism) has never worked.

So to all those Catholic/Mormon apologists… converts… or even Mormons themselves, my questions is: How do you start a real conversation with these 20-somethings (at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah) that is based on the FACTS of history, science, etc. and not just on a “burning in the bosom” feeling?

At one point, they put me on with there supervisor, who has called me twice, and we’ve talked for a few hours about differences in our religions. But the subjects have been too broad, thus making the conversations go practically nowhere, though he did end up asking me not to go back on because the site “isn’t the right venue for that kind of discussion.”

So there you have it. What do you do now? My community is full of wonderfully nice, wholesome Mormons, many of which are close friends, but I simply cannot figure out how to approach them with the truth. :frowning:

If you want to learn the facts of the history of the LDS Church, then don’t seek out the LDS missionaries. Instead, go to a local LDS Institute of Religion. Most college campuses have one. Or go to a local LDS genealogical library. Almost every city in America has one. Tell them what you are seeking and they will help or refer you.

The missionaries are there for one reason: to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and baptize. That’s it. Sure, they do service as well because that is the example of Jesus Christ and his disciples. But did Christ and his disciples sit down with the Jews to go over the history of Israel, the errors (if any) in the Torah, and so forth?


And neither should the LDS missionaries (though some like to dabble in it).

well, if they expect to convert people, why wouldn’t they know? And Jesus would correct the Jews over and over again about the irrelevance of the Jewish law in regards to salvation.

When I go on there, I know I’m not there to change their minds… but perhaps, I can get into a discussion about WHY they believe what they believe, besides the general feelings that they get. So how do you do that? How do you have an actual discussion with them? :confused:

You will probably be not too surprised to hear this but there’s almost nowhere in the world where you can go to tell everybody they’re wrong.

Whoa tortdog! The reasonable person standard is taking a big hit here!

Mormon pantheology is NOT a conclusive presumption. Don’t go around tossing out these flippant statements about Jesus and what he did or did not do unless you have a reference in the New Testament.

And not that spurious tome: the book of mormon with its KJV ripping of Isaiah.

Mercy! and a member of the bar!


Haha that’s not exactly my point. Like all Christians (Catholics :wink: ), I feel an obligation to the share the truth, but I don’t know where to begin with the LDS. How do you get past the “I’ve had many religious experiences that confirm my testimony. I’ve prayed and the Holy Ghost has shown me that the Book of Mormon is true.”

You know what I’m saying? :slight_smile:

You can’t. Just don’t talk about religion or history with them. They think that they have the power to write history the way they like it and that is what they base their religion on. Just let them know that you are unconvertably Catholic, witness to them with your actions. Be open about your Catholic-ness, and how you live your faith. Someday, they will come to you with questions.

LDS culture is schizophrenic, just like its earliest leaders.

Well then, honestly and respectfully.

You can’t expect that from the missionaries; or at least, it is a mistake to expect that from them. There may be the odd missionary who is interested in that type of discussion; but most are not, and are not supposed to be. Their job is to call mankind to repentance, and testify of the good news of the Restored gospel, and to invite all to come unto Christ. In modern LDS scripture the Lord has counseled the elders of the Church to “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation” (D&C 6:9; 11:9). In another place the Lord has stated: “of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost” (D&C 19:31). Again in another revelation the Lord has said: “this is a day of warning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days” (D&C 63:58). The LDS Church knows how to preach its gospel better than you do. They don’t need any advice from you how to do it! :slight_smile:

Believe it or not, this is also the counsel that the Lord gave to His early disciples when He sent them to preach the gospel; but that is now obscured in our current Bible, because of what has been omitted from it. We are indebted to the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) for restoring many of those missing pieces. Everything that is typed in red italics in the passage below was added by Joseph Smith; emphasis mine:

JST, Matthew 7:9–13:

  1. Go ye into the world, saying unto all, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come nigh unto you.

  2. And the mysteries of the kingdom ye shall keep within yourselves; for it is not meet to give that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls unto swine, lest they trample them under their feet.

  3. For the world cannot receive that which ye, yourselves, are not able to bear; wherefore ye shall not give your pearls unto them, lest they turn again and rend you.

  4. Say unto them, Ask of God; ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

  5. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

If you want to debate and argue with LDS over doctrinal issues, you first need to examine your conscience to see why you want to do it. If you want to tell Mormons how wrong they are; or if you are out to mock them or even convert them; then talking to the missionaries is not exactly calculated to yield you the expected results. Some place like CAF is probably better suited for that purpose. If you have honest but serious and difficult questions to ask LDS, as an honest inquirer, then I would suggest that you write them down in a clear and succinct manner, and discuss it with your local LDS bishop, stake president, or mission president. If you want to have a less formal discussion with Church members about them, then a place like here, or better still where many more Mormons are likely to found such as MADB, might be better suited to your purpose.


Zerinus, thanks for responding!

A missionary, by definition, is out to promote their own religion. How could they expect to do that if they do not know WHY they believe what they believe? And I’m not just talking those burning feelings either.

It’s odd to ME that you say that most missionaries are not interested in discussing the theology and subsequent proof for what they believe, because they ARE out to convert people. Personally, it would take a little more than a few Bible verses (taken out of context), and the testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet to get me to believe that “the gospel” needed to be restored. But I suppose that could be just me. :shrug:

Wait. Do you mean they know how to preach their own gospel better than I know how to preach their gospel?? I would expect so, if they’re the ones preaching it. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not familiar enough with their doctrine and history that I can’t talk with them on the same level. :slight_smile:

Okay, the points that you were, I guess, trying to make with your citations are completely moot in this thread, because you are quoting from a “translation” of the Bible that I do not accept as truth.

True, it’s always good to examine one’s conscience before stepping on controversial territory, however, that is not an issue here. Any novice apologist, like myself, is always taking advantage of opportunities to ask the hard questions, especially when something doesn’t make logical sense. Like I said before, I have many friends who are LDS, and it’s because I love them that I even decided to learn about their faith. Mocking is out of the question, because, no matter how silly a certain doctrinal concept is to me, they believe it’s true, so in mocking them I would completely lose any credibility.

Conversations begin and end with one’s own relationship to God, therefore, I can only be a catalyst (at most) in someone’s decision to convert. This is my own mission with missionaries (:)): To get them to start thinking outside of what they’ve always believed, because, as millions can and will “testify”, there is soo much more.

Thanks for the advice. You sound like the supervisor I mentioned in the first post. My question is then: What is the purpose of “Chatting Live”? Asking “serious and difficult questions” is what I would expect it’s for… because, if those questions are answered satisfactorily, it would make sense that a “conversion” would follow.


I will tell you what is wrong with that. You are trying to tell Mormon Missionaries how to do their job! Well, if they are not doing their job properly (in your estimation), why should you worry about that? That is their problem, not yours! If you believe in Mormonism, and think that you can do a better job of preaching its gospel, then by all means, join the Church, and preach it according to how you think it best should be done! If you are not interested in doing that, then I think your criticism of how Mormons do their own job is a bit out of place. The best answer that one can give to that is to say, Thank you for your advice! We will look into that, and if there is anything we can do to improve our performance will implement it. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice. You sound like the supervisor I mentioned in the first post. My question is then: What is the purpose of “Chatting Live”? Asking “serious and difficult questions” is what I would expect it’s for… because, if those questions are answered satisfactorily, it would make sense that a “conversion” would follow.

Thank you again for your acvice! Maybe you are right, and the Church isn’t doing a very good job of it! If you are really concerned about that, you are welcome to write a letter to the Church headquarters, and present them with your suggestions on how they can improve! I am sure your suggestions will be gratefully received.



I appreciate your (name removed by moderator)ut. If you’re views represent even a small fraction of your LDS brothers and sisters, it’s beginning to make more sense to me as to why it’s so hard to engage in serious and logical discussion on the facts of God’s Truth. No one feels obligated to.

Like I said before, I would expect that this wouldn’t be the case, which is where my question stems from.

Again, thanks for answering my question from the LDS perspective :thumbsup:

Well, instead of arguing about how Mormons aren’t doing their own job properly, why don’t you present your questions, and let’s see what they are made of? What is it that you are so anxious to discuss with the missionaries?


Same problem we hae with Protestants who adhwere to Sola Scriptura.

I just wodh I could get a Mormon to explain this Jesus and Satan were brothers stuff.

Sure :slight_smile:

My question is usually something like this:

Since the LDS faith depends on the “fact” that there was a complete apostasy of the church, how do you explain articles like this?

I didn’t just link you to an article to be vague… it’s just that they do a much better job of explaining the problem than I do :wink: There are several more where that came from, friend.


Good! I have just the article you need to answer your question! Click here to find out. :smiley:

I have to go to bed now. See you later! :slight_smile:


Of course, after Zerinus in his blog defines ‘apostasy’ as being ONLY authoritative teaching and apostolic succession, he quotes mormon sources which contradict him and claim ALL Christians and ALL Churches (Catholic and Orthodox) and denominations are apostate.

Consistency has never been zerinus’ strongpoint.

But then again, with that wacky pantheology to work with, maybe we should give him a “C” for effort.


Not to mention the erroneous mormon belief that because a person believes in the miracles of God, that a person will, and should, believe anything.

We are directed to test the spirits, to reason together, not be a gullible believer in any claim that arises.

Ironically, this is one of the claims that mormons use in their house of cards, otherwise known as, the “great apostasy”. That is, that all Catholics were so gullible that over time we left the truth for other claims. Because we believe any heretical claim, all was lost.

And here we have yet another heretical claim, that tries to entice us with the very error that it is founded on. “You can believe anything that is claimed to have come from God. If you don’t accept our claim, then why do except the claims of the Apostles, or even Jesus Christ Himself.”

Deceptive words from those who have been deceived.

Why Mormons, do you not accept the truth of the Church that Christ founded during His ministry? If you believe that God can “restore” truth, why do you not believe that God can maintain a living truth? If you believe that God can part the Red Sea, why do you not believe the truth of the Real Presence? Do you believe that Catholics are so gullible to believe these things, yet, we are not gullible enough to accept the lies of Joseph Smith?

Thanks to both RebeccaJ and Rbt Southwell for their defense.

The thing that I found most interesting about zerinus’s article was this: "We know that it apostatized* because we can see that the same church, with its original doctrinal and organizational characteristics, no longer exists in the world*; but putting an exact date on it will not be possible for obvious reasons. "

(Emphasis mine)

Now, I’m reading this 2 volume set called “History of Dogmas” by J. Tixeront, which systematically lays out, well, the history of the dogmas of the Catholic Church :smiley: And as I’ve been reading these books, I’ve found that the Catholic Church is (ready?) the same church now as it was back then! In fact, he starts with the dogma of the Holy Trinity.

I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to quote from books, being fairly new to internet forums, so I’ll default on not until I find out otherwise. In the meantime, see if you can pick one up and take a look, zerinus. :cool:

I realize I didn’t make any point except to say “you’re incorrect and here’s a book to prove it,” which doesn’t sound as convincing as the actual historical data, but if there’s a problem, I’ll certainly address it :slight_smile:


There are certain types of people who don’t like to think for themselves. They like to let other people do the thinking for them. They are usually very nice kind of people; but their unwillingness (or inability) to think for themselves makes it impossible to for someone to engage in a serious and rational gospel discussion with them. That is because in order to discuss the gospel (or anything else that is controversial) with someone, you need to be able to do so out of your own intellectual resources, not out of someone else’s. It is not possible to debate with someone by riding piggyback on someone else’s intellect. You will have to do it out of your own intellect—or not do it at all. You appear to me to be one of those kinds of people. You started off by pointing me to an article in CA (without putting any intellectual (name removed by moderator)ut into it yourself); and when I gave you my response to that, you are now referring me to a two volume book! That is not a discussion. It is not debate. If the authors of those books or articles want to debate what they believe with me, they can come here and do so themselves. They don’t need you to do it on their behalf.

And I am really curious to know what you were hoping to achieve by seeking such a discussion with Mormon missionaries on the LDS website? Were you thinking of telling them to go and read 20 books to prove to them how wrong they are? Are you serious about that? Well I don’t blame them, nor am I in the least surprised that they don’t want to discuss anything with you. What a terrible waste of time that would be.