Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Prophets And Politics

“Do you believe there are prophets living in the world today?”

Excuse me? I begged the pardon of the two well dressed young gentlemen who so greeted me when I answered the front doorbell.

“Do you believe there are prophets living in the world today?” the young man in long-sleeved white shirt and tie asked again unflinching.

Again, I asked for clarification. I did know already where these young men came from. There is a Church of the Latter Day Saints near where we live and the church requires that its young members do missionary work for two years. Why they have to do it just a few streets over from their place of worship is beyond me. Missionary work to me conjures up images of Africa, India or some island in the Pacific.

So the young man referred to the prophets in the Bible, like Moses. Had I heard of him? Well, yes, of course. Then did I believe there were prophets like him living in the world today?

Now I could have become irreverent here. My blogging buddy Hoss speaks often of reincarnation and seems to have inside knowledge on the ways of the world. I thought about mentioning him, but said instead, “I don’t know.”

That was the opening the young man wanted, so he could preach to me a moment about The Church of the Latter Day Saints and its living prophet, Gordon Hinckley, the modern day leader of the church. I listened politely, then I thought, being a brave one, I would change the subject from religion to politics.

“Are you guys rooting for Mitt Romney?” I asked. Romney, who is a front-runner to become the Republican nominee for President, is also a Mormon.

“The Church of the Latter Day Saints does not support any political party or candidate,” the young man replied, as if anticipating my question.

Okay, okay—I should have seen that coming. But I pushed him, asking whether he was personally supporting him, maybe even campaigning for him when he wasn’t doing missionary work.

“Our only work right now is for the kingdom of God,” he responded.

All right, he had his message and he wasn’t going to be pulled off topic. He gave me a card and invited me and my family to worship services. I did explain to him that I had my own faith, but asked if the local church had a website that I could check out if I wished. They didn’t.

They were very polite and courteous. I did not feel uncomfortable talking to them. Still, I think it’s my wife Wendy’s turn to answer the door next time a pair of well dressed gentlemen come calling. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been by before too, and they’re due back any time.

P.S. Upon proofreading this, Wendy said she will not answer the door if the Jehovah’s Witnesses return. Oh, well.


Blogger Peter said...

Does Wendy proofread the comments too Dave?? if so ; "No fair Wendy".

4:44 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

I think I'm w/ Wendy Dave-I never answer the door unless it's someone I already know. That's what my peephole is for. And Sunshine. She only barks if she doesn't recognize the scent of the person on the other side.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Movementarians said...

A new and better life awaits you on our home planet, Blisstonia. It's known for its high levels of bliss.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Well Dave, now you have hit on a topic that I can discuss with you. I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for 29 years. When I was pregeant with my first child the missionaries came to our door and talked to us. I guess you could say that they hit us up at the right time. We wanted to bring our daughter up with good moral values and we were looking for a family oriented church. I was raised Baptist and my husband Prespertarian (sp).

To make a long story short, we joined the church when our daughter was only 5 months old. It was the best decision we ever made and I don't regret it one bit.

Do I believe there are modern day prophets? Yes! Why would God just quit sending prophets to the earth? The biggest question for me was, "Is Joseph Smith a prophet?" Once I studdied up on the subject, I came to the conclusion that he was a prophet.

As far as the missionaries go, they are not "required" to go on a mission but they are encouraged to go. My daughter decided to go on a mission and she was sent to Salt Lake City, of all places. Those missionaries are not allowed to watch TV or listen to the radio. They are allowed to call their families only twice a year, on Mothers Day and at Christmas. The missionaries that are out of the country are allowed to email their families but those in the US only get snail mail. Their mission is to teach the gospel for two years. The girls (21 yrs. old) go out for 18 months. I have seen 19 yr. old boys go out and come back men. It is a real growing experience for all of those that go out. It is truely amazing to see.

The church does have a website that you can go to the find out questions about the church. It is: www.lds.org Go on over and take a look at it and see what you think.

Hope that doesn't sound like a lecture, just giving you a few facts.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LUCY--Thanks for the clarifications there. I suspected that I had some blogging buddies out there who might belong to this church.

9:11 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

Dave - I have to admit, like Wendy, I ignore all well dressed men coming to my door since my dating days ended.
Spiritual I am, but I keep it to the inner sanctions of my own heart.
Most conventional religions including my own (catholic) scare me.

Be well.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I understand that the Latter Day Saints is one of the fastest growing chruches in the country. They are very family oriented.

7:32 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

We had a power surge a few months ago and it took out our intercom system (which is also where our door bell chimes are generated). As a result... they had to take the unit out and it took them over a month to repair and replace the unit. What a nice quiet couple of months we had. But now... we'll actually know when THEY ARE OUT THERE!!! ~ I should have just said; "DON'T replace it... I like the quiet!" ~ jb///

2:11 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Glad you noticed, Big Dave. My latest prophecy is that Paris Hilton will someday get old and in the way; well, that's what people say....

4:01 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I met a prophet at my new job last week, or so he says. A few months ago he predicted that the secretary would quit and move to a place where it snows, and she handed in her resignation letter today. Apparently, she's moving back to NYC. Now, does that make him a prophet or someone who knew what was coming?

7:46 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Pooks and I often ask these folks in for coffee - if we're not busy, of course - and ask them how're they're doing. Yes, even the JW's . . .

We politely only need to refuse their material once, with smiles on our faces, tell them what our beliefs our - or lack thereof - and invite them again for coffee on non-religious grounds. We've yet to see any return, but we're perfectly willing to do so.

I suppose past or modern-day prophets all depend on a matter of provable prophecies. But we'll invite them for coffee, too. ;)

9:48 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Did they mention my name, Dave? ;)

12:33 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

We don't get Mormons in this neck of the woods, but we do get JW's on occasion. I'll usually take their literature, tell them I don't have time, and say "thank you." But what I really want to know is this: They keep saying only 144,000 people (JW's, I assume) are going to make it into the Kingdom of God. Well, forgive me for questioning this but...haven't there already been at least 144,000 JW's that have died throughout history? I'm really confused about that one.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Matty said...

Big Dave,
Nice post. Not wanting to insult anyone I won't say a thing...but there are several Jehovah's witnesses that will never darken my doorway again.

4:09 PM  
Blogger MSU gal said...

I have J witnesses at my door every Sat. morning like clockwork. B-girl gets frustrated because I refuse to open it. I did a couple of times and learned my lesson.

As for the "do you believe" question...I am sure when faced with it my answer will be "yeah and they all appear to be false!"

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

A few years back before I retired from teaching, two young missionary women from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, asked to volunteer in my classroom. I carefully and emphatically explained that there could be no mention of God or their mission. Bless their hearts, they agreed and were true to their word. As it turns out both were from large families and used to children. They were so helpful and so sweet with my third graders.
I am not the most religious oriented person, but these two made me think most pleasantly of the Morman Church.

On the other hand, I frown on anyone who comes to my door to preach to me or to engage me in religious dialogue. I value my space and I consider that knock on the door as an invasion of my privacy. If I need to pray, I will do it my way and on my own terms.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

I'm a Mormon magnet.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

We only get JW here in our neck of the woods--I don't answer the door either.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

You're nicer than I am when they show up at my door.
AND hey....where's Doogie during all of this? He's supposed to be earning his keep by keeping THEM away!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Spidey said...

When I was a youth, I used to tell those evangelical types that come knocking on the door that we were practising Satanism and were in the middle of a Satanic ritual, come back later.

Of course, I could only say that when my parents weren't home. Now I just tell them that I became an atheist because I don't like door-to-door Christians.

Not very nice, as many churches teach that part of being a Christian is going door-to-door for visiting and trying to help others. I like to think that if God is testing their faith, I am helping God.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:04 PM  

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