Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Mormon's Last Line of Defence

The Mormon has a tried and tested strategy for advancing and defending his faith and once you understand it you need never be impressed by Mormonism again. Here it is in five easy steps. (And yes, for those observant oldies out there, these are the “Five Boys” from the Fry’s Five Boys Chocolate Bar in reverse)

Assertion: It begins with the power of assertion, that simple act of “testimony” in which the Mormon earnestly and solemnly declares “I know the church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God.” There is not a single fact or definable truth, nothing to discuss or inquire after, only the force of blind assertion best illustrated by the words of Boyd K Packer:

“It is not an easy thing for us to defend the position that bothers so many others. But, brethren and sisters, never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Never apologise for the sacred doctrines of the kingdom. Never feel inadequate and unsettled because you cannot explain them to the satisfaction of all who might enquire of you. Do not be ill at ease or uncomfortable because you can give little more than your conviction.” (Ensign, April 1988)

The Mormon cannot explain, cannot reason or demonstrate, there is no apologetic to convince, his position is indefensible by ordinary means and so he must simply declare that he knows.

Suspicion: When someone expresses doubt in the face of such firm yet empty assertion and in the absence of apologetic the Mormon will typically express suspicion as to their motives and what has influenced them; they've surely been got at. Their minds have been poisoned by "enemies of the church!" The curse of the Internet and anti-Mormon literature is invoked to explain the inexplicable. And how clever and insightful of him to spot this threat.

To a Mormon reason demands that something is going on or how could anyone reject the force of testimony? “You’ve been talking to Mike Thomas!” Mormons speak about "those who leave the church but can't leave the church alone."

Accusation: When the Mormon hears that, far from being simply influenced by forces of opposition, this questioning of his faith is the product of personal research and study he responds with accusation: “You’re an anti-Mormon!”

To a Mormon the only possible explanation for doubt is the insidious influence and growth of anti-Mormons. It is unthinkable that Mormonism could be wrong in any respect, ipso facto, the Mormon rests his case.

Assassination: As the questions come thick and fast and reason and biblical truth come raining down the Mormon turns to character assassination. Your sources are suspect, you are a dupe, your so-called friends in anti-Mormon ministry are mean and low and you a fool for listening to them. You are twisting the Scripture, quoting it out of context and giving it your own peculiar "interpretation."

Remonstration: When all else fails, the Mormon’s last line of defence is loud and whining remonstration, “Its not FAIR!! Why are you persecuting me? Why do you have to build up your faith by tearing down others’? We don't criticise your church" (How they can say it with a straight face is a wonder)

Of course, if you become a Christian you will have the genuine "Five Boys Chocolate" experience in the right order: Desperation, Pacification, Expectation, Acclamation and finally Realization!


  1. Um... You must not know many Mormons...

  2. Mike, Last Saturday I got a call from an angry Mormon who used all five of those "defense" mechanisms. Apparently frustrated that I had reasonable responses to his questions, he spewed a few expletives and hung up. Too bad he couldn't set aside his anger to listen calmly.

  3. I always find it amazing when someone comments as Anonymous or hides behind a profile Name which is hidden and fake it's to accuse the blogger, not the post.
    This is excellent Mike.

  4. Bill, I saw your name dragged throught he mud again recently. You just have to stop this unreasonable fetish for truth and learn to compromise. This post was written ina fit of frustration and with a hankering after the comfort of Fry's Five Boys Chocolate.

    It never seems to occur to mormons that questions might be honest, that another person's point might be worth consideration or that their own view might stand some scrutiny. They pass off blind faith for conviction, assertion for apologetic and railing accussation for reasoned defence.

    Helen, I think the anonymous thing is an example of paranoia. If you think you are the centre of the world then it follows that "they" are after you. Personally, I think if you can't put your name to your faith then it can't be worth much.

    Than you both for your encouragement and help. Press on.

  5. Great stuff.

    Shawn McCraney

  6. Thanks Shawn. Glad you like it.