Here is my translation of the 10 tips:
- “Be a friend” = Pretend to like people so they will think you’re nice and they will want to know “why” you are nice. Then spring your religion on them, ’cause what else are friends for if not to deceptively pretend to like people so you can shove religion down their throat?
- “Ditch the lingo” = Pretend you are more like other Christians than you really are by learning to speak the way they do.
- “Stay on message” = Stay on the “milk” message – Mormons are nice and you’ll have a happier family if you join. Don’t discuss what Mormonism is really like or what Mormons actually believe: god lives on a planet near the star Kolob; Joseph Smith instituted polygamy so he could sex it up; the church owns dozens, if not hundreds, of for-profit subsidiaries, including malls and ranches; Mormons mistreat women, gays, and blacks; Native Americans are Jews, they just don’t know it and their DNA is hiding the evidence, etc.
- “Trust” = This is a repeat of #1. Basically, pretend to be trustworthy so you can use “friendship” as a tool to convert people. Sure, there is that idealistic notion that friends are people who just genuinely care about you because of who you are. Mormons don’t buy that. Friends are targets for conversion (or are automatically gained through holding membership in common). Friends are instruments and tools, not people.
- “Pray” = Fall prey to confirmation bias. When some completely random event occurs that allows you to try to force your religion on someone else, claim that is a prayer answered. Ignore the 10 trillion other random events that do not lend themselves to this opportunity. Ergo, prayer works.
- “Invite” = Ditto #1 and #4. Though, with this one, he is also throwing in the old, “Feel free to strain your “friend” relationships with awkward invitations to church.” Sure, you have to work with those people every day, but what’s wrong with a little workplace awkwardness in the pursuit of converting the world to Mormonism.
- “Plant seeds” = Ditto #1, #4, and #6. However, this one includes the notion of randomly throwing “seed” around your social network… All the better to annoy people in your social network.
- “Community Involvement” = I’m handing this one off to Jesus, one of my favorite mythical characters, “Watch out! Dont do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, dont do as the hypocrites doblowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, dont let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6.1-4). Ever heard of “Mormon Helping Hands“? (FYI, the link is a Google News search showing all the trumpeting of their good deeds in the media.)
- “Use humor” = What better way to get yourself into your friends’ good graces than to humorously mock THEIR religious views? Come on! This is brilliant stuff here.
- If you find yourself talking to a fellow Christian, you can try this line: “What are services like in… THE CHURCH OF SATAN?!?!” (1 Nephi 14:10)
- Or this zinger for a Jew: “How is that temple reconstruction going? We Mormons can’t wait until it’s rebuilt, so you can all weep and lament the fact that you killed Jesus!” (D&C 45:51-53)
- “Access the keys of heaven” = This one is just weird. It sounds like he’s recommending you pawn off the responsibility on your ward council. Perhaps the smartest suggestion of the bunch!
Is it just me, or do these suggestions seem both anachronistic and dishonest? Anachronistic because people just don’t do this crap anymore – religious ecumenism requires that people be tolerant of others’ religious views and not try to convert them. And dishonest because it is using deception to convert people.
Anyone else want to take a shot at translating the 10 tips of passe member missionary work?