Coming soon to a doorbell near you: Mormon missionaries

June 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

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Here’s yesterday’s “Catholic Answers Live”
radio show in which I discuss some general principles for Catholics who want to evangelize Mormons, especially their missionaries who will, sooner or later, show up on your doorstep, ready to talk religion. Be ready for them!

Also, as an aside, here’s a tract I wrote on this subject many years ago, and here’s an article on “The Great Apostasy” that I mention during the show. (It’s a crucial Mormon doctrine which Catholics should clearly understand so they can zero in on it when missionaries show up at the door).


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12 Responses to “Coming soon to a doorbell near you: Mormon missionaries”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I grew up in a small town in Arizona where there were lots of Mormons, and to me they were always perfectly good people; hardworking, honest, faithful to their religion, etc. The worst that any of us could say about them is that they tended to be pretty boring and didn't seem to have a lot of intellectual curiosity — neither of which is a sin (as far as I know!). But their doctrines remained murky and in their visits to our household, the young Elders always stumbled on the apostasy issue.

    Peter in Buenos Aires

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tom,
    Look up the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 846 and 847. Essentially, outside the Church there is no salvation. But there is an exception for those who don't know Christ and His Church.
    Pope Paul VI put it best, in my view: "Those who through no fault of their own do not know Christ and His Church, yet, moved by grace, seek God with a sincere heart and try to do His will the way they know how, they, too, in a number only known to God, may attain salvation, provided they comply with natural law."

  3. Paul H says:

    Hi Tom, check the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you are not a Catholic you are not automatically condemned to hell, if you share faith and love in the creator. A pious Muslim, Mormon, Lutheran, Jewish, Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian, etc. man will most likely be granted salvation. Once again, check the catechism for a clearer answer. It speaks specifically in this issue. I hope my answer helps you.

    Peace be with you,
    Paul

  4. Tom says:

    If you love Jesus with your whole mind, your whole heart, your whole soul and all your strength and you love all of God's children and you are a Mormon, will you go to heaven? What if you are a Catholic? What if you are Muslim and you love Allah the same way, will you go to heaven? I've asked this question of many people and many faiths.I always get the same answer. What say you?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Two young men (assume they were Mormon as I've
    had visits before)appeared on my doorstep the other day…I waited for them to ring the bell
    but after waiting several moments it never came. Curious I went to the side window and peaked out and saw them retreating down my driveway. Puzzled as to why they did not ring
    my bell I looked again out the same window..and
    noticed what they must have seen…my Mary Garden at the other side of drive which features among the flowers a lovely statue of Our Lady of Grace. Perhaps they felt no use trying here where they "worship"false idols! I was amused that they could so easily be "scared away". Now the Jehovah Witnesses are not so easily intimidated and still leave their tracts
    but also never ring the bell.

  6. joshua k. says:

    There are a couple Mormon missionaries staying in an apartment building between our home and the nearest parish (within 5 blocks of our house), but they never seem to knock when I'm home! I was disappointed last week when I was home alone one day, I was feelin' my theological oats!

  7. Eric Ewanco says:

    Patrick, you discussed the young Mormons who told their Catholic schoolmates they were "going to Hell". I had an extended conversation with a Mormon on an airplane once and my understanding is they don't believe in Hell. Am I misremembering? Or do you think by "Hell" they mean the place of least joy?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, first evangelize Patrick Madrid, then Mormons.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I found that the Mormon missionaries DO like to have discussions and the ones who come to my house seem willing to listen to different theological perspectives.

    Some Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by the other day but only gave me some literature.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great resources. Thank you Patrick!

  11. Joaquin says:

    LDS missionaries frequent my neighborhood; for some reason it seems that my block is in particular need of salvation…

    I often chat with the young guys (who are my age) when I am outside doing yard work. My dog whitey loves to scratch at the reflection she sees of herself on their shinny black leather shoes (I did not teach her this).

    When faced with the Great Apostasy, I often begin by referring to my Church, the Catholic Church, as the Apostolic Church. This always confounds and interests them since they believe that their church is the only one which has "restored" the ecclesial hierarchy of the early church, which is in their articles of faith. I once asked them: "So you mean to tell me that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour, God All Mighty would come to earth found his church, ordain the apostles, and then leave it to fall into apostasy only years later?" It doesn't make sense does it. "The power of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete breathed into the church, why would God so willingly allow the church to completely dissolve from the face of the earth?" This argument seemed to make sense even to the Elders.

    If you have any ability speaking about early church history, the fathers, etc. then you will have a good time speaking to mormon missionaries, as they are almost totally unaware of the history of Catholicism. Try to be open in hearing what they have to say, no matter how outlandish to your ears, and usually they will be open to discussing what your church is about. When I did this a real dialog came about and they began to ask me about the role of the apostles, hierarchy, scripture, etc. for Catholics. At the end of the day they left my house with scratched shoes, and a deeper understanding about what the Catholic Church was about; and hopeful, I pray that a small seed was planted.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have no problems with these polite young men stopping by my door. For orthodox Mormons, this year of evangelizing, they call it Missionary Work, is considered a rite of passage. These youngsters are neat, well spoken, and a credit to their "faith".

    I usually keep a copy of a recent Church bulletin beside the door just for such "visits"; offering to match their evangelization efforts with literature about the Catholic faith. This usually "shuts them up" but sometimes leads to discussions about moral truths.

    Dispite obvious theological differences, many of the Mormon's moral viewpoints match those of the Catholic faith.

    Once I goofed by thinking the word "Elder", from the nametag, was his first name. Thus, I kept calling him Elder. When I looked at the other's nametag (they travel in pairs), I said: "Oh, your name is Elder also?", then quickly realized that "Elder" is their title.

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