Mission Guilt – Using the Pray Now Approach

When someone who’s served a LDS mission leaves the Mormon church, they generally feel an amount of guilt for the people they have shared “the gospel” with and baptized.  My guilt hit me when I was in Chicago on November 6, 2012 (The day President Barack Obama was elected for his second term).  I was sitting in my hotel room, having a few hours to myself until my afternoon appointments, and my thoughts went to the people I baptized in Las Vegas from 1997-1999.  Their faces and names raced through my head.  I remembered what I liked about each of them, their personalities, their logical objections to the message I was teaching them, how I overcame their objections through the techniques I was taught and the impact the Mormon church might of had on their lives…. some good, some not good.  My heart broke and I was crushed.  I felt like I sold them a lie.  I realize I can’t really blame myself, since I was acting on what I was taught, even if I now realize it was all built on fraudulent and misrepresented claims; however, that doesn’t keep the weight of bringing other people into this organization of false truths off my shoulders.

This process of discovering the reality behind Mormonism has been the most painful process I’ve ever had to go through.  Even now, at this very moment, I am losing things that I never thought I would almost solely due to my leaving the Mormon Church and being open about it.  Will the 59 people I baptized in Vegas discover what I have and go through this same heart-wrenching, sometimes life destroying, process that I have?  Will they lose close relationships with people they love?  Will they be chased out of social circles and even businesses?  Will they lose a part of their identity that was once the strongest and most sure part of themselves, leaving them alone to pick up the pieces that have been shattered on the floor through the honest discovery of truth?

Kristofer
Kristofer

I think of Kristofer, who was a very bright 18 year old kid.  His intellect was far beyond mine, at the time.  He thirsted for the truth behind everything, which brought him to Mormonism.  Was this thirst quenched after baptism or did his inquisitive logical mind lead him down the same path I’ve gone down?  He got baptized against his parents will.  What did that do to his family relationships?  Does he love or hate me for ushering him to the baptismal waters?  I’m afraid to even find out….

Jennifer
Jennifer

Jennifer was an amazing single mother, who’s had to overcome some of the most horrible fears and experiences this world has to offer.  The church brought her hope and comfort initially but was she accepted into the culture?  Did certain people judge her for the experiences she was forced to endure and overcome and shunned by the people in the church who haven’t had to face the devil of this world?  The real devil…. human beings who act in ways that are the most reprehensible….  Did her past colliding with Mormon Culture and Perfectionism cause her mental health to further decline and go deeper into the rabbit hole that she worked so vigorously to get out of?  Again, even more than with Kristofer, I’m fucking scared as hell to even find out.  I’m not sure I can take the overwhelming guilt that would hit me, if this were true.

Jackie
Jackie

My thoughts go to Jackie, another single mother but at the opposite end of the cultural spectrum than Jennifer.  Jackie was an accomplished nurse and independent woman.  Did she find a home in a Mormon culture that heavily stresses the importance of Motherhood over career?  Did she feel welcomed, even though she wasn’t able to attend the play groups with the stay-at-home Moms?  Would her feminist underpinnings mesh well with the June Cleaver culture she was just thrown into with little warning?

I could write pages of these questions and concerns I have for each of the people that I baptized…….

Diego
Diego
Frankie
Frankie
Eli
Eli
Misty
Misty
George
George
Josh
Josh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes this guilt even worse is understanding the technique and methods I used to baptize incredible people.

Every missionary, at the time that I served, was taught The Commitment Pattern in the Missionary Training Center (MTC).  See the outline of it below.  I attribute my sales abilities to my natural personality and tendencies but also to learning The Commitment Pattern on my mission.  Check it out.  It’s amazing!

Commitment Pattern

In 1999 I served as Assistant to the President (AP), AP’s are the two missionaries who help the Mission President run the mission.  This is critical information because I need you to understand the role I played in the manipulation of others.  As AP I introduced The Pray Now Approach to the entire mission.  I taught all 200 missionaries in the Las Vegas Mission to use it and effectively get people into the waters of baptism in the fastest most efficient way possible.  Having little regard for true conversion.  Our goal was baptism, leaving the idea of actual conversion to the members of the church itself, after we dunked the “investigators.”  I am going to go through the method and explain how I used it in application.

Basically, I had everyone committed to being baptized into the LDS Church in the first meeting we had with them, after teaching them about Joseph Smith claiming to see God and Jesus Christ but BEFORE introducing them to the Book of Mormon.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The last 5 months of my mission, I committed every convert I taught to baptism before I even told them about the Book of Mormon because that’s how effective and manipulative this technique is.  Let’s see how I did it.

First, when I was a missionary we had to teach people 6 discussions before they were baptized.  Each discussion was typed out for us and we were to memorize it.  However, prior to teaching the first discussion we taught them The Holy Ghost Dialogue:

The Holy Ghost Dialogue

Missionary – Before we begin, we would like to talk to you about something that is very important.  We are personal representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has provided a way for you to find out for yourself that the things we are telling you are true.  The way that this is done is through the power of the Holy Ghost.  In the scriptures the Lord tells us what the purpose of the Holy Ghost is.  Would you please read John 15:26?  (Give the background and a “look for” question – as in “Look for what the purpose of the Holy Ghost is.”)

Investigator – Reads John 15:26  – “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

Missionary – What does the Lord say about what the Holy Ghost will do?

Investigator – Testify of Him.

Missionary – How will the Holy Ghost do this?

(Ask Investigator to read Galatians 5:22-23.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”)

Missionary – So how will the Holy Ghost testify of truth?

Investigator – Through our feelings.

Missionary – That’s correct, that’s how the Holy Ghost operates, by impressions on the mind and feelings in the heart.  Feelings will come to your heart such as a peace or a warmth.

These feelings will result in an assurance and confidence that the things we are telling you are true.  You may not be able to see the Holy Ghost but you will be able to feel his presence.  You shall feel in your heart that it is right.

Tonight we would like you to be particuarly sensitive to the feelings within you, because the Lord has said that this is the way the Holy Ghost communicates with us.  When your heart tells you something your mind doesn’t know, you are listening to the Spirit of the Lord.  When you feel these feelings, will you accept them as an answer from God that this message is true?

Investigator – Yes.

Missionary – When God gives you that answer, will you be baptized?

Investigator – Yes.

Note: If the investigator does not say Yes to the last question about being baptized when God gives them the answer through their feelings, go back through the scriptures again.  If you are unable to get them to commit to be baptized once God tells them this message is true, then leave the house immediately.  Do not continue the discussion.

PROCEED INTO EXPLANATION OF PRAYER (This is when we taught them the “correct way to pray.”)

We would begin the first discussion.  It had 6 principles or sections of the discussion.  They were:

  1. The Plan of our Heavenly Father
  2. The Divine Sonship of Jesus Christ
  3. How The Plan Has Been Revealed
  4. The Prophet Joseph Smith: A Modern Witness of Jesus Christ
  5. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
  6. The Holy Ghost: A Witness of the Truth

We were taught to bring up baptism in every principle.  Things like, after reading John 14:6, you say, “Christ showed us how to follow him by being baptized.”  This made the word “Baptism” not seem scary and the more we mentioned it, the more likely it was that the investigator was going to accept our invitation to be baptized.

After teaching about God, Jesus Christ and Prophets, we would go into the story of Joseph Smith.  The 14 year-old boy who went to a grove asked God which church to join.  We told them that in answer to Joseph’s prayer, he saw God and Jesus Christ.  Here is the quote we used with this picture:

firstvisionI saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me…. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.  One of them spake unto me, calling me by name an said, pointing to the other — “This is My Beloved Son.  Hear Him!”

After reading this passage we would pause and let silence fill the air.  After a few seconds, we would say to the investigator, “Do you want know if Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ that day?”

The investigator would say, “Yes.”

We would reply, “How can you know if this is true?”  (Keep in mind, we taught them about the Holy Ghost and prayer in the beginning of this lesson, which was only 20 minutes ago)

They would respond with, “I need to pray.”

In a serious tone, we say, “Let’s pray right now.  Let’s kneel down and ask God together, if Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus in the grove this day in 1820.  I’m going to say the first prayer.  It’ll be simple and easy.  We’re just going to ask if Joseph had this experience and if he’s a prophet.  Then my companion will pray.  Then we’ll ask you to pray for yourself.”

We all kneel down and I say a prayer.  Always using a soft, sincere but serious tone.  My missionary companion would pray.  Then the person we are teaching would say a simple prayer.  For some people, this might be the first time they have ever prayed out loud, so we provide encouragement and support.

After the investigator says their prayer, we remain on our knees and silent.  The idea is to let “The Spirit” fill the room.  After about 30 seconds of silence (imagine how long that really is, when you are just sitting there), I raise my head and in a tender voice go through this dialogue:

Missionary – How do you feel?

Investigator – I feel good.  (They might also give feelings of peaceful, calm, happy and etc….)

Missionary – Where are those feelings coming from?

Investigator – The Holy Spirit (Might also say God)

Missionary – That’s right.  God is speaking to you right now.  What is He telling you about this experience that Joseph Smith had?  Did he see God and Jesus Christ?

Investigator – He’s telling me he did.  He did see God and Jesus.

Missionary – That’s right!  God is answering your prayer right now.  He’s touched you just now and is showing His love through giving you this answer! (Some people may never have had an answer to a prayer before, so rejoice with them that God cares for them enough to communicate with them through His Holy Spirit.  Expect an influx of emotion and possibly tears at this point.)

Missionary – What is God telling you about Joseph Smith being a Prophet of God?

Investigator – That he is a prophet.

Missionary – Yes.  Now that God has answered your prayer and you know Joseph Smith was a prophet, will you be baptized?

Investigator – Yes, I will.

Missionary – We are having a baptism in 2 weeks, on Sunday.  Will you prepare to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on that day?

Investigator – Yes, I will.

(Celebrate with them, as they make this commitment)

Missionary – Now, let me introduce The Book of Mormon to you……

Again, YES, you just read that right.  I had many people committed to be baptized before I even introduced them to The Book of Mormon.  I think you can see how…..

Some are probably wondering why we are pushing for them to be baptized in 2 weeks.  Well, I have a document I was given to explain just that.  This should make it very clear:

Two Week Baptism

OK, so I am having a visceral reaction, after writing this out.  I might be sick and my fingers are shaking, making it hard to type.  I don’t see this process as one that is spiritual or of God.  This is psychological manipulation, at its best.  I feel so much guilt and anger in this moment.  I can’t even finish this blog post.  Excuse any typos I might have, as I’m not even going to proofread this post.  I’ll attach a bunch of photos of people that I baptized on my mission, although not all 59 will be represented here.

Scanned Image 1 Scan 132060045 Scan 132060007-2 Scan 132060007 Scan 132060013 Scan 132060031 Scan 132060007-1 Scan 132060005 3 3-10 3-9 3-1 3-2 3-5

23 Comments

  1. This is a tough topic. I have definitely thought about the people I baptized in Samoa a lot as well since leaving the church. But I think even more than the converts, I have thought about the dozens of missionaries I taught while working as an instructor at the MTC for 2 and a half years after my mission. But I think I’m not quite as far along in my journey as you are, because I feel more embarrassment than guilt. More like, “What are these guys gonna think when they find out I’ve left the church?” I’ve become one of those bitter apostates, another anti-Mormon that we all heard about growing up.

    Anyway, great post. I hope we can find closure eventually, either through building the courage to contact the people we unknowingly deceived or having them track us down. I think that would ultimately be better than forever wondering what happened.

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  2. As I read through your lines of atonement and self discoveries I wonder if you have been able to take the time to try and forgive yourself. Or even the others you may have once looked to in either appreciation or awe in the Mormon Church? Or even the church in general.

    Religion is not the answer. It never was for me. It lead me to more of religious mindset and less who I wanted to be. In my attempt to draw closer to God I would seek answers in others “wisdom.” I would recall the faces of the elders in our small church. They came in every Sunday, talking about God and his love and yet ironically, I never saw their zeal of life. Instead there was always a feeling of sullen dismissal or judgement, or annoyance. The type of over the top stuff where Disney movies were sometimes questionable and objectionable. Music lyrics scrutinized and appearance mocked. They could have been close to Jesus but I’d never know it.

    I’ve seen others rattle of passages of scripture to fit their propaganda. Be it misinterpreted, misconstrued or intentionally misused, it became a weapon of hate, condemnation or death. Sometimes I’d think, here we are and we know about Jesus. We have to tell everyone. We have to be vigilant and militant. If we don’t save the souls then we’re not really Christians. If we don’t condemn then they can’t find salvation. If I don’t follow this tried and true formula to guilt trip someone, then they won’t know Christ and then they won’t be like us.

    Like us, wow! That’s something you’d want to pay for… (sarcastic face and thumbs up) I look back and realize we were actually closer to the pharisees and sadducees than Jesus. We lived in religious law and bondage and yet we couldn’t wait to line up the person next to us in this tapioca hell. (I actually have nothing against tapioca, I just needed a bland reference and it came to mind) I studied certain evangelist and their 10 step program to convert heathens. I would call out homosexual family members and my friends that were “living worldly.” I would judge my friends and family members and would justify my actions on my own alter.

    My sin was disproportionally less than yours.

    And people of other religions were doomed. Even Christians who happened to be Catholic, Hasidic neo christian or even Mormon. You were wrong and I was right.

    and I was miserable.

    and a liar. And a blatant sinner trying to manipulate my salvation.

    I know all too well what you feel. My reality of the former self disgusts me. I must have spewed some of the most toxic, evil shit and became the quintessential hated bible thumping Christian.

    I read over your words as an acknowledgement to what was. I don’t condemn or judge. I see only a person who quite clearly is broken by the weight of religion. As you pour over those in the past, it’s clear that you resent yourself or at least your actions. Unless I’m over interpreting and empathizing a bit too much.

    Forgive yourself and these people of the Mormon church. Who’s to say that fruit of your actions may not be a positive thing in the end?

    Like you, I’ve had similar staged and strategic arguments armed and ready for those that didn’t believe. One of my favorites being a very simple set of questions. “If there is no God and you’re right, then what have I wasted? I’ve tried to live a better life and be a better person.” I’m sure you know the latter part of the statement but nonetheless, as you question your previous motives and life, know that Good can still come from it.

    I briefly met you but you seem genuine enough. Even those who were lead into a religion under false pretenses may like you, find their way to either a relationship with God or to pursue greater endeavors of humanity.

    I say all of this, not to convince you or preach to you but only to share your burden. I truly hope your questions will lead you to a better place. It seems to me that it very well could.

    And even if you end up worshiping the flying spaghetti monster… we’re still cool.

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  3. Wow I can’t believe that inviting them to be baptized in the first lesson actually worked. Some of the leaders in the MTC talked about that but I always thought it was a stupid idea and it wasn’t really emphasized in Preach My Gospel so I never tried it. I guess maybe I should glad I didn’t listen because I might have baptized a ton of people instead of zero. I doubt it though. I’m not sure any amount of psychological manipulation is enough to get Italians baptized. You could use that exact script and they would agree that Joseph Smith is a prophet and everything but in the end they will refuse to be baptized. I finally figured out that most Italians are what I would call universalist Catholics. They believe all religions are good so if you tell them about Joseph Smith or Mohammed or whoever they will agree that he is a great guy and that God probably did talk to him. But in the end they are Catholic and they are NOT changing. They have no reason to because all religions are good and the same to them so they might as well stick with the one they were born in. When I was a missionary I found that so frustrating but now I think they are pretty smart.

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  4. I like you a lot Barry. Reading this, there *should* be some pain involved. I suggest you send it to all your baptizees.

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  5. Dearest Barry,
    As you may recall, I was a convert. I converted in 2000, so many of the tactics you used are JUST like the ones my missionaries used. I cannot understate the similarities.

    I don’t know if this will help, but here I go anyway. I’m not bitter or angry at those men in the least. I wasn’t even angry at them when I was going through my angry period. Because they were doing what they thought was right [because that’s what they were taught.] I asked a LOT of hard questions [because that’s what I do. I ask questions.] The resolved those in my mind at the time [little did I know I obviously didn’t ask the right questions or perhaps I wasn’t ready to hear that yet with where I was in life. Which was a fucking dark place [with overcoming the abuses I had suffered under my mom and I had A LOT OF issues feeling absolutely positively Terrible about myself.] Mormonism was that stepping stone I needed that if some heavenly creator could love me, I could be okay.

    In other words, let it go. I know it’s hard because you’re like, “but I changed this lives!” Yeah… and now you’re out about your experiences and change of heart. That takes balls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But you know, Linds, I’m not even worried about if these people I baptized are angry with me…. I’m worries about what the Mormon church potentially did to them. What effect did it have on their lives. Given my perspective and what I know about many of them, I seriously worry that joining the LDS church was not a positive experience, after the honeymoon period ended…

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      1. That worry I can certainly understand. I would feel the same if I knew of any I had converted. Actually I still have those I worry about that are just simply friends in the church that feel poorly about themselves [at least partly] because of church programming. *sigh* And yes, the church does harm as well. I mean I still have issues I’m working out because of stuff the church taught. But healing/ deprogramming takes time.

        All we can do is tell our story, my friend. Say in a manner of love, compassion what we have found [instead of anger or hate.] I know we’re both past that [most of the time.] We can touch those we still see, and help others… Help them learn to it’s okay to question/ doubt and it’s okay to find their own answers. Help them heal and know that they are NOT alone. Others understand their pain [which seems simply too small of word to express it.] And help them find the other side of it. Yeah, life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but it’s pretty good stuff. Especially when doing it how YOU want to do it.

        You are doing that. You may not think so, but you so are. You have a good heart. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We know everything at 19-21 😉

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  6. Barry, I read your sincere letter, twice actually, and then prayed for the right response, so that the words I type are felt deep in your heart and spirit. I was contacted many years ago by two bright, sharp dressed young men, that had saved money, and set apart 2 years of their lives to teach others what they believed. I was a very lost man, and had a lot of questions, as to why we are here, where did we come from, and where are we going. Barry, I am a very successful salesperson, using tools and techniques that I have been taught, and mastered, daily to sell my products to people. I have also learned the art, and skill, of subliminal hypnosis, embedded commands, and the power of persuasion. I must say, I am very good at what I do. I also believe that these people truly need the product I share with them, as my wife and I both have it, so I, deep in my heart, feel that they will benefit from my relationship with them, and their lives will definitely be enhanced by my product. I am so grateful that a strong, spiritual young man like yourself, and your companions shared their beliefs with my family and I years ago. Sure, you were given tools, and taught techniques, that work, because people learn certain ways. Yeah, you talked about baptism and their commitment right away, because people need to have a goal, something to focus on, to help them see the big picture. They might have committed to being baptized before they were taught about The Book Of Mormon, or the restoration, or any of the Gospel Principles, but you did not baptize them, you did teach them. I am sure they prayed many times, with and without you, if the things you were teaching were the truth. We both know that you could have said anything, or taught anything, and it would have had absolutely no effect on their conversion, if the Holy Spirit did not whisper to their hearts. I know without a doubt, that every time you baptized one of Heavenly Father’s children, they were searching, and they were ready, because you were being led by the Spirit, and you made the angels in heaven sing praise. Barry, I am sure you were an amazing missionary, you served your Heavenly Father with all your heart, soul, and mind. Everything you taught every one of your brothers and sisters about the Plan of Happiness was, and still is the truth. I am not sure what has happened in your life to make you doubt it, or to bring about the guilty feelings you have right now. I ask you to remember the feelings you felt when you received our endowments, when you received your patriarchal blessing, when you yourself was baptized, and the incredible feeling, I know you felt, every time you baptized, and truly helped someone be washed clean, and turn their life over to Jesus Christ. Berry, I have prayed myself, and have seen for myself, as Heavenly Father showed me, this is His Church, the sacred work that we do in His Temples, is real, and is very important, and I know that you have made more of an impact then you will ever know, the lives you have touched, by being a special Representative of Jesus Christ, and the lives that will be touched by those you have brought the truth to. I look at everyone of those pictures that you have posted, and I look into their eyes, and your eyes, and I see, and feel nothing but Joy, and Love, and I know that you have made Our Heavenly Father very happy, and he will one day embrace you and say to you, “we’ll done my good and faithful servant” .

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Dave. I also feel your sincerity. I also appreciate your approach. Sometimes people just lash out when they read something on the internet that they don’t agree with and you have NOT done that. It says a lot about your character and the person you are.

      That said, we will disagree on the people I taught came to join the church. I am an agnostic atheist, so while I leave the door ever so slightly cracked that there actually is a God, I’m continually not persuaded to that effect.

      Again, you seem like a good person and I’m thrilled you’ve read my blog post (twice even) and have taken the considerable time to respond in such an effective and meaningful way. Please feel free to read the rest of my blog. My initial post – Mormon to Agnostic in 6 years – might shed more light and knowledge on my process.

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  7. Barry, it seems we keep thinking of similar things to blog about. I’ve been thinking of writing about this as well, and you beat me to it! I have to admit, I had a very hard time getting through your post. I know exactly how you feel about that guilt that you carry. And I liked the way you described it to Lindsay in the comments above. It’s not about whether those converts are angry at you or blame you, it’s about wondering how the church changed their lives, wondering what kind of damage has been done – either in the church, or in leaving the church (if they have). It is so painful to think about these things. Reading through the techniques you used was more of a trigger than I thought it would be. I’m glad you wrote about this, even though it was obviously very painful for you. It’s something that many of us share, and that we need to be able to talk about. I hope it was somewhat therapeutic for you as well.

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  8. If it makes you feel any better, 90% of the people your quick stepped into the font bailed within a year, so really you only need to rack yourself over the coals for 4 or 5 of them. Don’t worry though, there is no hell except the one you put yourself in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting read. My path is parallel to yours. Mine was more convoluted though because I was a Native American teaching Native Americans. I was given them their ancient record, their special book. Further, I was causing the darkness to fall from their skins, the result of their failure to walk righteously before God. I actually met in council with Spencer Kimball several times and heard his stories of Indians turning white. The elders (old people) I taught are long gone. I am so embarrassed for the false path of hope I offered them. In reality, their Native path, of Mother Earth and Father Sky was beautiful. It was almost as beautiful as the olive coloring of their skin, which was my mother’s coloring too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing this.

    This is interesting to me because I find myself on the other side of the discussion. While I used to be quite “anti-Mormonism” and openly so, I am now a Mormon. I feel the embarrassment that some related to above of undergoing that change. I was quite fearful to tell people when I became a Mormon (some do not yet know), especially those who I warned against dating Mormons or had other such talks with them about the lies of Mormonism.

    My brother-in-law wasn’t happy when he found out I was going to get baptised. Nevertheless, one day he drove me to where I was meeting the missionaries. “You can come in and meet them,” I said, “then you’ll know who to blame.” Before he could really respond I corrected myself. I assured him that I was to blame because the decision was mine. The missionaries encouraged me to get baptised, but they didn’t force it upon me. I sure hope you didn’t force it upon anyone. While you may have pressured them to commit, they still had two weeks to get the hell outta there if they wanted, and after that their whole life to leave the church. Ever day, even every hour I have to choose if I am going to live my baptismal covenants. The choice is mine. I am the one held accountable for my choices, not the missionaries who taught me, not the one who baptised me, me. I guess, I’m not sure if you should feel guilty…

    But again, I relate to that as well. I know there was a Mormon kid (17, not 7) who I showed an “anti-” video who went on to doubt and question hard-core. Upon joining the church I felt guilty for that. Was it my fault that he “lost him testimony” or perhaps he never had one? In the end, as much as we can and do influence each other we are ultimately responsible for our own choices. At least that’s what I know now… maybe tomorrow I’ll learn something new and change my mind.

    On a slightly different note, a planned conversation like that wouldn’t/didn’t work for me. As soon as we read Galatians 5:22-23 I’d be arguing “The fruit of the Spirit isn’t about feelings! It’s about how one lives life!” and I certainly wouldn’t kneel down and pray, or agree to get baptised if God answered my prayer, or agree that God would talk through my feelings. I suppose that’s why it took them 5 years (on and off) of missionary lessons to “get me.”

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  11. Ok, straight up. That was pathetic. You almost sound proud of the fact that you were able to convert…er, manipulate them into baptism without first introducing them to the Book Of Mormon. Guess what bud? That is on you…PERIOD!!! The method you used was not manipulative in nature…YOU WERE! I saw it a lot on my mission. You lost sight of the message and process and turned it into an event and a numbers game, end of story. Conversion is NOT an event, unfortunately, you turned it into one. You are leaving out the biggest aspect of baptism and conversion and that is that the spirit dictates what to do. Your immaturity with the spirit is what manipulated your converts.
    The guilt you are feeling is not gospel, church or religion based, it is regret that you are feeling. Regret for not doing it correctly. So quit projecting your inadequacies on others and man up. Oh, and how do I know you were a numbers missionary? Well, you said it yourself…59 baptisms. I couldn’t tell you how many I baptized or how many no longer practice the religion and I don’t care. Because I didn’t tell people to be baptized, like you did…I invited them. Just like the commitment pattern suggests. Some accepted, most did not. I NEVER, as you did, went back over the scriptures to try and convince them.
    So, quit placing blame on the church, the commitment pattern or whatever else. Just realize that you either touched their lives for good or bad and where they went from there, is their deal.
    As far as we know, Jesus did not go after the woman taken in adultery, he simply taught her, pointed her in the right direction and where she went from there, was her responsibility and life.

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