Monday, 6 April 2009

21 Questions about Mormonism – Mission or Metaphor?

To find out what this series is about look here.

Q: Why do Mormons go from door to door?

A: Christ admonished his disciples to take the gospel to the world. The Church follows that admonition and sends missionaries throughout the world.

C: So much might be said about mission and Mormonism. The Mormon missionary programme is youth-based and might be said to be a youth programme as much as anything. It is not especially effective with recent convert growth at a modest 2-3% per annum and over 300 Proselyting hours per convert, a retention rate of some 20-30% and missionary numbers dropping by up to 14% in the first decade of the 21st Century. The average activity rate worldwide is no more than 35% and approx. 1million are awaiting confirmation of resignation at any given time. The average growth in the UK is 1.55% and attendance 30%.

Mormons do not operate missions other than where there is already an established Christian, especially Evangelical, presence. They cannot be said to break new ground and much of what they do simply duplicates work already established by larger and older Christian missions. Christian missions will open doors and Mormons walk through them. Christian missions establish a presence and good will in the community and Mormons trade on that good will. Christianity builds a house and Mormonism moves in. It is more parasitic than proselyting.

Mormon missionaries are a good shop window however. This leads us to ask whether this is true mission or simply an attempt to create a positive Mormon metaphor in the world. How often have we heard ill-informed Christians express admiration for the young men and women missionaries of the Mormon Church? How often do the true missionary endeavours of the Christian Church go unheralded?

Previous Posts:

Mormonism: A Cult?

Jesus: God the Son, or the son of a god?

Kolob: Where God Lives?

God, Mary and the 'S' Word

Jesus in America

What Every Mormon Wants: godhood

Mormon Women

Mormon Secret Underwear

More Than One Kolob?

In Black and White

The Elusive Gold Plates

The Mormon Java Jive

Coming Up:

Family of the gods

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