Friday, October 23, 2009

Chatting With Mormons!

I just received an email from a blog regular and, I have to admit, chatting with Mormons (Mormons? What's the extra "m" for?) does look like fun!

He claims he was on the "Atheism" site and saw an ad for Chatting with Mormons and was tempted (by the devil, obviously) to visit it.

Here's his chat transcript: (Though I suspect if time was spent on planning the direction of the conversation, one could have endless amounts of fun! Sure, take that as a challenge!)

(The top of the chat says: You are speaking with Kerry, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Information provided in this session is to provide assistance only and is not an official statement of the Church.)

Kerry: hey , this is ashley and kerry, what brings you to the site today?
Visitor: questions (and an ad)
Visitor: I was raised Catholic but left the faith at about 17 or 18. What is different about moronism?
Kerry: ok great, we're here to help in any way we can
Visitor: I have a couple friends who are Mormons but some of the story seems a bit unbelievable.
Visitor: I am looking for a community of like-minded people so I thought I'd come check it out.
Kerry: what is it that seems unbelievable to you? we can start from there
Visitor: Joseph Smith, really. Much of that story seems a bit odd. Mind you I've only heard it from only semi-educated mormons (they wouldn't be theologians by any stretch of the imagination - just followers of the faith)
Visitor: The special undergarments, the story of the garden of eden being in the US, natives being the lost tribe of israel, are a bit strange, too, I must add.
Visitor: Aside from that, my two friends are awesome people and I don't think they'd be the type of people to be swayed by a bunch of made up stuff. They probably just don't articulate well.
Kerry: how old are you ?
Visitor: 23
Visitor: They are 23 and 27.
Kerry: that's a good age
Visitor: I'm enjoying it!
Kerry: especially to look into finding the truth
Visitor: Yeah, I think I need to give it an honest go.
Kerry: im sure your friends know what they are talking about and are strong in their beliefs too. we're glad you're willing to 'give it an honest go'
Kerry: we're missionaries from the church and we
Visitor: To mormons, how old is the earth?
Kerry: are here to help explain some of our beliefs and help you make that step yourself
Kerry: missionaries in your area can also come over and explain more to help you understand the gospel of jesus Christ which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and then enduring to the end.
Kerry: i don't think the 'mormons' have a definite answer to how old the earth is.
Visitor: But evolution is accepted and the like?
Kerry: we have no stand on evolution either way
Visitor: good, because I'm studying biology and I'm having a hard time with the idea that the earth is only 10,000 years old
Kerry: i can imagine with your search that you're also finding a balance between school and religion
Visitor: that is important
Kerry: it seems that you are open minded and willing to learn though
Kerry: what do you know about Joseph Smith
Visitor: Yeah - just not so open minded the my brain falls out.
Kerry: haha you have personality too, that's good
Visitor: Well, from what I understand, he claims to have found some gold tablets and, with the help of a stone (?) was able to translate what was on the tables. (Did anyone else see the tablets?)
Kerry: we are wanting to meet with you more than just today to help you understand at a pace (so your braind DOESNT fall out)
Visitor: His wife got upset that he was cheating on her (taking another wife?) so she destroyed the translation and he started over.
Kerry: yes, actually 11 others were able to see them. in the front of the Book of Mormon there is the testimony of three witnesses and the Testimony of eight witnesses which you can read
Kerry: that part about Emma (his wife) isn't true.
Visitor: oh, that's good to know
Kerry: he didn't start over. after the first 116 pages had been translated, his scribe Oliver Cowdery wanted to show them to his family.
Kerry: he took them and then a mob came and stole them. they planned to change the wording, have Joseph Smith retranslate them and then try to prove he was a false prophet because it wouldnt have matched with the one they had possession of
Kerry: God told Joseph not to retranslate it for the safety of the truth.
Visitor: of course he would!
Visitor: two copies of the truth would be a bit much?
Kerry: tell us about it! we're slightly short on time at the moment but we'd like to set up a time tomorrow when we can tell you more about Joseph Smith and help you understand this story better.
Kerry: (especially if one was changed so that it could make out there was no truth in the first place)
Visitor: good point
Kerry: so is tomorrow good for you or maybe sunday?
Visitor: Tomorrow isn't going to be good. I am going to church with on Sunday (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) but what about Monday?
Kerry: monday sounds perfect! where abouts are you at? we have to make sure of time differences when we set up a time
Visitor: I do like the Mormon story better - the story about Jesus seems so absurd. At least Joseph Smith actually existed.
Kerry: i'm sorry, i don't understand
Visitor: I'm in the Eastern Time Zone
Kerry: what time is it there now?
Kerry: what is your email address so we can send you a link to the chat page for monday
Visitor: You don't understand about Jesus? In the Catholic church, they believe in a guy named "Jesus" who was born (well, they haven't decided when he was born, really - it could be a couple possible dates, years apart) of a virgin, died on the cross, etc. but there exists no evidence of him actually ever living. Are you not familiar with the Catholic story?
Visitor: It's 2:55PM here.
Kerry: yes, i am familiar with the catholic beliefs. there seems a lot we can talk about on Monday. When you go to church, you'll hear Jesus mentioned a lot. He is the son of God and did come to earth. he allowed us to return back to live with God.
Visitor: Oh.. so you believe that crazy Jesus story AND the odd stuff about Joseph Smith? That's not possible. (Please don't tell me you actually do have magic underwear too?)
Kerry: so on Monday, does morning, afternoon, or evening work best for you?

The conversation goes into them setting up another discussion for Monday. I hope we get to see the results of that!

I love the story about the translation going missing and that Joseph wouldn't retranslate it. I've heard a number of excuses on that.

Sadly, the Mormon story is batshit crazy. It is only crazier than the Christian story because they believe that one too!

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