mormon missioanries

When The Mormon Missionaries Come Knocking, Part 1

This last week I was up at my parent’s place on a work trip. My parents live a couple of hours north of me, about 20 minutes from the office where I work (remotely mostly). Now and then, I’ll head up and visit the office and my parents. Something happened on this visit that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It was towards the end of the day, and my Mom had a procedure, so I was at home making dinner. After a few minutes, there was a knock on the door, and when I opened it, two Mormon missionaries were standing there.

I knew these were the Mormon missionaries that have been consistently stopping by. Before I get into what happened, I want to share some family history with you to help set the scene.

A Mormon, Baptist, Atheist, and Jew

What do a Mormon, baptist, atheist, and jew have in common? They all lived under one roof in the 90s. And that was my house and my family. My brother converted to Mormonism when I was 14; my Dad raised me in the baptist church (the few weekends we spent with him); my stepdad was born an orthodox jew and later became an atheist, and my Mom had left the Christian church. The dinners were really fun.

When my brother converted to Mormonism, believe it or not, it tore our diverse family apart. My Dad spent a year trying to change his mind, and they eventually stopped talking. My Mom read every book there was to learn about Mormonism and how they treated women, and she tried to take that route with my brother- telling him she raised him to treat women better than that. My stepdad took the high road and offered a neutral place for all of us to land, and I…I watched it all.

I had a lot I wanted to say, but I was too scared- would my brother cut me off as he did my Dad? Would he distance himself even more from our family? Would he yell at me as he did, Mom?

So I watched our diverse and blended family ultimately fracture. My brother stayed away from home as much as possible, I visited my Dad alone, my Mom poured herself into work and bike riding, and I retreated to home where I was mostly always alone. Nobody was home. Nobody talked anymore.

So I Prayed

I’ve always been a homebody and an introvert. In the 90s, this wasn’t as widely accepted and known as even a thing as it is now. I spent a lot of time at home, and a lot of that time was alone. I didn’t mind; it was peaceful and quiet. And, when nobody was home, I prayed. I prayed for our family on my knees and often. I even took my Moms expensive olive oil and would put a cross over every door and pray over every door, often. I don’t know that the oil did anything, but it felt more powerful. I would rebuke the enemy, walk through the halls and stairs, and declare our home one of Christ. I would beg God to heal my family and bring them to Him.

28 Years In the Desert

My brother eventually graduated high school and went on his Mormon mission. Watching my Dad weep with his face on the airport glass window is something I’ll never forget. The car ride leaving the airport was deathly quiet. Being dropped off to take an American history test (that I aced) felt weird. Mom gave me a note to excuse me if I needed to go home and cry, but I didn’t want to go home because I was scared to look in my brother’s room. Our house was three stories- my parents were up on the top level, and my brother and I were at the bottom. I was going to be ultimately and utterly alone down there. I cried myself to sleep for weeks after that; I missed knowing my brother was right there.

When my brother came home from his Mormon mission, he did what good Mormon men do- found a bride and had kids. We weren’t invited to the wedding and weren’t a big part of the kids’ lives.

Over the next two decades, there was more family division and strife, more fights, and some good times. There was war, deployments, deaths, and births. And we miraculously clung together through all of it. Barely.

Answered Prayers

After 30 years of prayer for my family, God worked a miracle only He could do- my Atheist stepdad was called to Christ, and he accepted the call. He accepted Jesus as his lord and brought my Mom back to Jesus. Praise God, right? Right! This is worthy of a book, not a section in a blog, but it’s essential for this blog and the Mormon missionaries visiting my parents.

When Mormon Missionaries Come Knocking

Now that there is some context, you can see how this visit from Mormon missionaries isn’t welcome. I know nobody likes it when the Mormon missionaries come knocking, but I was incredibly protective of my parents and the home I was in. So, I opened the door.

Le sigh. I saw their name tags, white shirts, and complete and total innocence in their young age. I was 41 now, not a scared and heartbroken 14-year-old. I was even more confident in my salvation and the word and even more protective of my family.

I don’t say this lightly or to be funny, but I thought, “not today, Satan. We’re not going there. You’re not winning this. No. Not on my watch.”

“I’m Not Very Nice”

I warned them. I told them I wasn’t very nice. And it’s not that I am unkind, but I have righteous anger and hate for how the enemy uses Mormonism to condemn people to hell. I told them I disagreed with their church and that I watched Mormonism rip my family apart and victimize my brother and those like him. I told them I didn’t want to have this conversation, but they, or maybe God, wanted us to have that conversation. These poor Mormon missionaries.

We talked about many things I will write about in other posts, but the one that is on my heart now is the interpretation of one verse.

“Faith Without Works is Dead”

Mormon Missionaries

I’m sure you have heard this verse as it’s a popular one among Christians and Mormons. However, there’s a huge distinction between how Christianity.

In our discussion at the door, these two Mormon missionaries brought this verse up to convict and convince me I was not living the truth.

Two main verses talk about this:

James 2:20:
Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

And James 2:26:
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Mormons and therefore these Mormon missionaries believe that you have to earn your salvation, and they use a passage like this to manipulate people into believing it.

However, what these two missionaries failed to realize and what I wish I would have pointed out (but my 12-year-old traumatized self was at the door, not the confident adult self) was that those passages are talking about FAITH. Not salvation. It’s literally right there.

Faith without works is dead.

If you look up the word, “dead” in its original language and context, it means “useless.”

Of course, our faith will mean nothing and be useless to the kingdom if we do not bear fruit and be obedient to Christ’s calling.

However, it doesn’t say salvation is dead or null and void. Salvation is not earned. Salvation is a free gift.

I could go in depth and do an entire bible study on this, but there are entire ministries out there that have done that already, and they do a far better job than me.

If you would like to see referencing verses and some word study- head over here.

Mormon Missionaries Will Manipulate You

By bringing up this one verse these 19-year old Mormon missionaries were trying to convince me I was not saved like I thought. And if you’re not careful, you could fall for it. I reminded the missionaries that we are saved by grace and not of our own works, so that noone can boast. I also remind them that our works are evidence of our faith, not a way to salvation. The Mormon missionaries reacted.

Then, they did something that completely shocked me.

One of the missionaries asked me to read the Book of the Mormon. I declined, making it clear how I felt about Mormonism. I also reminded them that God calls us to guard our hearts and minds.

He then replied, “don’t you think your pride is getting in the way of reading the book of Mormon?”

Woah, there 19-year-old that’s never lived on his own nor supported himself or experienced anything outside of the cult of Mormonism. You’re talking to a 41-year old mother of two, wife of one, and sister of a Mormon. I’ve lived more life than your left thumb has. While this was a comical assertion by this man-child, what was concerning was how it was a power manipulation move that abusers often use to control people.

Mormon Missionaries Will Attempt to Shame You

Of course, I have pride. Of course, you have pride. These Mormon missionaries took something as common as pride and tried to use it to manipulate me into doing something I didn’t want to do. Which, ironically, is a classic tactic among cults. It’s like saying I have left leg, real original.

Don’t Be Fooled

However, most people who didn’t grow up seeing all the manipulative things the Mormon church will do to control its people would fall for this tactic. They would instantly feel “gosh, yes, maybe. I don’t WANT TO BE PRIDEFUL. And if I decline, I will only prove them right. But if I read the book of Mormon, I’m doing something I am uncomfortable with.”

See the manipulation? See how they are shaming you in one breath and manipulating you in the other? See how they are banking on the goodness of someone to get them to do something they don’t want to do?

There is No Shame in Christ

Mormon Missionaries

Remember- shame is not of Christ. We are forgiven and washed anew! There is no shame in us anymore. If something shames you or someone, it’s from the enemy.

It’s also reminiscent of the snake in the garden. “Did God say not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Surely He did not say you would die….”

The Mormon Church is Riddled With Shame

You may not know it, but the fact two 19-year old Mormon missionaries saw no problem in trying to shame me into submission is evidence enough that Christ is not the center to their beliefs. It’s also evidence of the constant abuse, mind games, shame games, and manipulation prevalent in Mormonism.

What does it imply about their theology that they had to try and use shame to get me to submit? How often has that very tactic been used on them growing up? And how many times did a Mormon missionary use that to convert someone? And did they use that on my brother, who had an innocent and pure heart for God when they found him and converted him?

I Stood Up To the Lies of the Mormons, Finally

In this moment, God gave me such clarity of what was happening. I have to believe it was divinely planned- for the missionaries to show up while I was home alone at my parent’s house. All those feelings, pent up for 28 years, came out. I put my foot down, and though I probably could have been kinder, I don’t think it would have done what a firm truth can do.

“You are blasphemous and not welcome here. Do not come back to my parent’s house. And if you do, they will be ready to speak to truth; I will make sure of it.” I then mumbled something about Zion being in Missouri laced with the F-word.

I know that seems mild. I know that seems okay. But to 12-year-old me, it was me overcoming years of silence. Years of fear. Years of sorrow and pain as I watched this cult destroy my brother and my family.

And now, I can’t stop. I won’t stop.

You’re Not Alone

If you’re 12 old me right now, being a fly on the wall as your family (unperfect as it is) falls apart and fights because of Mormonism- I want you to know you’re not alone. If you’re the sister trying to hold everyone together and bring reconciliation, I was too. If you’re 41-year-old me and still begging God to heal your family fully, I’m there. You are not alone.

This blog, not this post but the entirety of this blog, is not meant to be a back-and-forth of scripture and what words mean. This is a true account of what I have experienced in life and how certain things like cults, Mormonism, divorce, abuse, and all the other sins out there wreak havoc on our families.

And ultimately, this is for my Mormon brother. You may never see this or know it’s about you if you see it. But I love you, and for 28 years, I have fought for you. And I’m not going to stop.

Parts 2 and 3 are up!

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