Friday, May 22, 2009

Chatting with a Mormon Missionary: Take 2

"You are speaking live with Tyson, 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."

(Chat 1 with Spencer)

Tyson: hello Angie how are you today?

Me: I'm doing well Tyson. How are you?

Tyson: Oh im doin just fine. Do you have any questions for me?

Me: Yes. I want to know how you know that Mormons are right and Muslims are not.

Tyson: Well do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Are you a Muslim?

Me: Well a lot of other people do. I think it's pretty likely that a man named Jesus lived in Israel and had followers. No, I'm not a Muslim. I'm just trying to understand Mormonism better.

Tyson: ok well thats exactly what we believe in. We believe that Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem mankind

Me: redeem them from what?

Tyson: we believe him to be the son of God and only through Jesus Christ can we return to our father in heaven again
Redeem them from their sins.

Me; I see. You believe that Jesus is god's son and that we need him to go to heaven. Where is heaven?
And what do you mean by sin?

Tyson: You see, Jesus Christ Suffered for all of our sins and through him we don't have to live with the guilt of having them anymore

Me: Okay well that's all right. I don't have any guilt about sins. So I guess I'm okay

Tyson: God has given us commandments and when we disobey these commandments, we are distanced from him

Me: the commandments in the bible? or the koran? or int he code of hammurabi? (I know this isn't a holy text, just made me giggle to include it, as he probably has no idea what it is)
How do we know these commands come from god?

Tyson: the commandments are found in the bible and we know they are of god because they were revealed or told to prophets on the earth that we can read of in the bible and learn of their teachings

Me: so which commandments in the bible? ALL of them?
and aren't prophets just men? How do you know they are telling you the word of god, and not just what they think?

Tyson: A commandment is from God and when we disobey any of His commandments we need to be forgiven

Angie: but how do you know it's from god? I don't feel like I need to be forgiven just because I eat shellfish and the bible says that's a command from god.

Tyson: yes the commandments are found in the bible and we know these men are prophets because they were called of God and had the authority to preach the words of god
We can know for ourselves if these words are truough through praying to our heavenly father and asking him

Me: So if someone says he's a prophet, you believe everything he says? I'm just trying to understand

Tyson: no i ask my Father in heaven if the words these people say are true and i can reieve a witness through the holy ghost of what is the truth

Me: god speaks to you when you pray to him? how does he do that?
and if you have to check with god to verify the prophet's words, what is the point of having prophets at all?

Tyson: yes he does through the holy ghost. i want to share with you a scripture that talks about prayer and how we can receive an answer
(Here he gives a link that opens to THIS verse from Moroni) (Link lost - apologies)

Me: there are a lot of holy books and prophets though. how do i know this one is the true word of god, and not the qu'ran written by the prophet Muhammad?

Tyson: did you read that scripture i sent you a link for?

Me: it basically seems to say that if i ask and i believe that god will tell me if it's true, than the holy ghost (?) will explain it to me?
It seems like you have to believe it's true before you ask if it's true. that doesn't make sense to me.

Tyson: what you need to do is believe that God will answer your questions and then you ask him and he'll answer your question through the holy ghost

Me: okay, so the first step is to believe in god, then to believe that he'll answer my questions, and then to ask him and the ghost will answer for him?
Well how do you know that you are worshiping the right god? I don't want to make the wrong choice, because in ever religion god gets upset when you worship a false god

Tyson: the holy ghost answers your questions through a feeling or prompting in your heart

Me: what kind of feeling?

Tyson: I understand that you want to make the right choice and i know that if you ask God with a sincere heart, with real intent you will receive and answer. its hard to explain but the feeling will be a warm feeling deep within your heart that somehow you know, without a doubt, that it is the truth
will you do as this scripture says and pray to God and ask him if this is the correct church

Me: But how will i know which god to pray to? i know that you have faith and i want to know how i can be sure before i make any kind of commitment
okay, but which scripture do I use? The book of mormon? the bible? the koran? I want to know BEFORE I pray to any god that I'm picking the right one, and they all have holy books that say you're only supposed to pray to them

Tyson: well there is only one God and he is our father in heaven

Me: but how do you know he's the one god and not a false god?

Tyson: well you can pray to God and ask him which book is the correct book
because i have received an answer in my life
i know that he lives and he loves every one of us and will answer our prayers

(At this point my ride called to say he was on his way, so unfortunately I had to wrap up the conversation. Once I left though, I kept the applet open so I could get his final words)

Me: I have a ride coming soon, but I'd like to talk you to more. I want to follow the truth
(This is no lie. It's also why I'm an atheist
That's great that you know that. How can I know it? My Muslim friends say Allah loves them and answers their prayers

Tyson: thats so good to hear and i want you to pray tonight and ask God if this is the truth and ask him if the bible is the word of God
will you do that?
well its an answer only you can recieve for yourself

Me: well no, because i don't know that he isn't a false god, so that's not a risk i'm willing to take without more information
What do you mean I can only receive it for myself? How will I know it's not just thoughts in my brain, or the devil?

Tyson: I know that this church is true and that you will know for yourself that he is a true god through that answer. God answers prayers and he will testify to you what you need to know
i challenge you to kneel down and ask him in faith that he will answer your prayer and i know you will recieve and answer

Me: Tyson my ride is here. I'd really like to talk to you more before I accept your challenge. Will you email me? my email address

Tyson: will you do this for me? just try it and see how you feel
when you come on again to chat just request Tyson and hopefully ill be here to chat

Me: I don't hink you can learn what is true and what is false just by feelings. Feelings are wrong all the time.

Tyson: its not a feeling
its an undeniable witness that this is the truth
it is a prompting from God and will exceed any other feelings you might feel
I have experienced this in my life and i want you to just try and youll know
iknow youll be bless greatly in your life and you are so close to knowing the truth
i want you to try this and know for yourself it is true

So what have I learned this time? Well, I bounced around too much. I should have kept him on any one point of questioning, instead of just throwing bluster at him ala christian evangelists. I really wish I had followed up on "What is the point of prophets if you have to check what they say with god?" Also, not all Mormons are completely dolts at spelling as the last one was.

To be continued... Mwhyahahaha! (I don't know why evil laughter seemed appropriate - it just did. Maybe it was an "undeniable feeling" that "isn't a feeling"?)


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