Dear Mr. Spencer,

I am a Christian who has been "targeted" by Mormon missionaries.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I accepted an invitation by family friends to go to a Mormon picnic. I happily agreed - who doesn't love a picnic? I am a very curious person, so I began asking my friends about Mormon beliefs - just some very basic questions: Are you part of the Protestant movement? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, etc.

I was introduced to the young, good-looking Missionaries and found it impressive that at such a young age they had the maturity to give up two years of their lives to serve God. My down-fall was telling my friend how attractive I found one particular missionary to be and how I was so impressed with their life decision.

I was invited over to their home the following weekend to watch the televised Mormon Conference - to help "answer some of my questions." I went and who should also be there? The two young missionaries I had met the previous week (looking back, I believe their attendance was deliberate).

I watched this event for two hours, and with great interest. Not because I agreed with what they preached, but because I find religion (as a general topic)to be fascinating. I am very secure in my faith, but I must confess, I was very naive in thinking they just wanted me there to watch TV.

The missionaries began their "spiel": Do you believe Christ is A Son of God. My answer was, "Of course!" Didn't catch onto the "A" instead of "THE." "What do you believe about salvation?" I said, "I believe salvation comes from admitting one is a sinner and accepting the Lord, Jesus Christ, as one's personal savior." Their reply, "So, you think you are saved by grace?" My reply, "Absolutely."

I could go on and on with the basic conversation. They were not too willing to go into great detail with my questions, but rather said they wanted to sit down with me in six (or so) sessions, for 45 minutes at a time to discuss God, Jesus Christ, The Book of Merman, etc. I was still naive about them and agreed. THey mentioned they'd explain "where we came from before we were born." I said, "BEFORE we were born?????" I was told I'd get that information later on.

Well, needless to say, the very next day I went to a Christian bookstore and got information on Mormonism - I was just shocked. FIrst of all, those well-trained missionaries were using their skills on me - and I didn't even realize it, for in my mind, I was just being curious. In their eyes, I was their next convert!

I was shocked to learn about the planets and their gods and their view on Jesus Christ (brother of Satan???!!!). I spoke with a Christian friend about this situation and expressed concern that I had agreed to sit with these missionaries and hear about the Mormon church. Her advice was to "run far, far away." We concluded that I am really not well-versed enough to "do battle" with these Mormons, especially by myself.

Herein lies the problem: my two Mormon friends are wonderful people and good friends of the family. I do not wish to offend them by refusing to meet with the missionaries. I also don't want to refuse the offer and be told, "You must hear all about how Christianity is warped and twisted and how the Mormon church is the only true church. Are you afraid to hear the truth?"

I am interested in your opinion on how to refuse this offer and maintain our friendship.

Thank you!!

REPLY

J. E.:

I think it is very justifiable for you to say, "You know what, I really do not want to listen to the missionary lessons. I am comfortable in my faith. I do feel a responsibility to share what I believe and to have a discussion with friends about my faith. So if _you_ want to sit down with me (without the missionaries or other outsiders) to discuss these matters, I'd be glad to do that."

Then just ask him to respect your feelings on the matter.

If you are pressed, you can say, "Well, I would be glad to listen to a debate between the missionaries and a knowledgeable Christian pastor, if such an event occurs. But I don't want a one-sided presentation designed to sell me on joining any group--not even Amway. (smile)"

Hope that helps.

Send me you postal address and I will send you some print material that may help.

Jim Spencer