With the coming of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City, the LDS Church has announced that it and its members will not engage in any proselytizing during the event. There will, however, be efforts to educate the public about the Church and its beliefs.
Is it education or proselytism when a visitor is given a Book of Mormon and encouraged to read and pray for confirmation of its truth? How about if he is encouraged to fill out a missionary referral card?
At what point does educating become proselytizing?
If the LDS Church is going to give out Books of Mormon and ask people to pray about its truth and/or ask visitors to fill out a missionary referral card they will be proslytising. I have been studying Mormonism and visiting with LDS missionaries for a number of years. To my knowledge, the Book of Mormon teaches very little about the LDS Church. When I pray about it I don't feel anything. When I study it and try to back it up with facts, I hit a brick wall. The only recorded facts are in the Book of Mormon, its not like the Bible where much collaborating evidence can be found in other sources. When the missionaries visit they are only concerned with bringing you and your family into the church, they really don't teach very much about the Church and its doctrines. They usually can't answer my questions, except in a superficial way.
If the LDS Church's aim is to educate they should be giving out books that address both the pros and cons of Mormonism, and not just books by Mormon authors. If you want someone to make an informed decision you have to give him all the information he needs, both good and bad. As they say in Spain,"without information there is no liberty."
To answer the second question, educating becomes proslytising when the information received by the visitor is geared to push him into a decision for the LDS Church. -RM (non-LDS)
i believe that educating and proselytizing are separate things. yet in this case i believe there is a bit of deception involved and this is only my opinion; i am not stating it as a hard fact. i say this because if you pass out the book of mormon you are trying to educate someone with what you believe, yet when you ask them to fill out the form so they can contact you this is where they plan at some point to start to proselytize people. i believe the mormon church uses lots of deception. i do not believe all mormons do this, but i do believe all mormons are deceived. i also believe the mormon church does not encourage people to think for themselves. i have spoken with many mormon missionaries and when i challenge them with something they either leave or go and ask the stake president and come back with a generic answer. i can tell by the response that it was not something the mormon missionary gave any thought to. example: i mention things from the journal of discourses, yet the missionaries come back saying "the president says we don't use it because the church did not publish it." yet gospel principles is published by the mormon church and it lists the 26 volumes of the j.o.d. as books cited. funny how it is used when they want, not when i want. also the king follet discourses is considered j smiths greatest teaching and it's in the j.o.d. yet the church wont use it? yeah right. for further talks you can reach me at [email protected] -RB (non-LDS)