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Friday, February 1, 2013

Doing Christianity Mormon-Style



Yes, I admit it… there are times when I miss Mormonism…

No, I don’t mean I am going back… or that the title of this post must surely mean that Mormons are Christians…

So what do I mean?

Home Visits

Well, part of it is that I miss the visits from the members every month.  “Every Month!?” You exclaim. “But… I don’t want someone in my house every month!”

Yes, I mean every month… and sometimes twice a month. After all, in Mormonism, the bishop assigns every Mormon couple a family to visit every month. Mormons call this Home Teaching.

On top of that, each month the Relief Society President pairs two Mormon women and assigns to them two or three other women to visit. Mormons call this Visiting Teaching.

Well, what could I possibly miss about other people invading my home on a monthly basis to talk to me about whatever message the “prophet” has chosen to require for the month?

Seeing Behind the Masks

I miss getting to know the people in my church. “I don’t get it,” you may think, “I get to know plenty about the people in my church on Sunday…

“In fact, I get to know too much in some cases… thinking about certain prayer requests… so why in the world would I want them in my house… on purpose!?”

The thing is, when you visit another person at home, the masks are less likely to be on… you know, those masks we put on for church showing everyone that everything is fine… even if it isn’t?

Well, at someone’s home, they are in their comfort zone, their space and are more likely to open up about what’s really going on behind the mask.

Letting you see who they really are… and maybe, even what they really need…

Serving their Needs

One of the questions that was always asked by the home teachers or the visiting teachers before they would leave at the end of the visit was, “is there anything that we can help you with before we leave?”

“Well, no! Of course not! You are visiting me, I’m not going to ask you to do anything!”

An instinctive response… for those of us who are self-sufficient… or embarrassed… or proud, but maybe, just maybe you need something…

It can be as simple as a prayer, or a hug, or your dishes washed…

Okay, generally no one ever asks a home teacher or visiting teacher to wash the dishes...

But, what better way is there to find out if there is a way to serve someone…

The Dirty Dish Theory

Take for example, a visit to a single working parent’s home at the end of a busy weekday…

You see that the sink is full with dirty dishes… and the children?

Well, they are running through the house just begging for attention.

How easy is it to offer to entertain the children for even fifteen minutes… giving the parent a few minutes to tidy the sink… tactfully of course…

I do not want to hear that someone asked a parent, “Hey, I notice you have a mess. Can you go clean it up while I keep your crazy kids distracted for a few minutes?”

Ugh! But what if it were my dishes that needed to be done? I wouldn’t want someone to see that!

Except, remember that time when your house was so out of control that you were almost in tears because you couldn’t get it done and the kids needed attention…

What, you’re not a super hero…?

Yes, those are the days when I am at my weakest for wishing I was still living close to my Mormon family.

But wait a minute, I am a Christian… and I know plenty of Christians… can’t I ask them for help?

The Ex-Mormon Conundrum

Ex-Mormons like me who were raised in the Mormon church were taught to be perfect… yes, nobody is perfect…

But there is this thing called “making your calling and election sure” that every Mormon aspires to achieve.

So even though I would like to ask for help, my perfectionism will not allow it… so I secretly hope and pray that someone will come to my house… see the state that it is in… and fix it for me…

No… please do not come to my house… really. My sweet hubby did such a great job on my kitchen while I was at work today that I do not have a dirty dish in the house.

That is not to say that I don’t have my days though…

The Christian Dilemma

So here is my dilemma… I don’t believe that Mormons are Christian… but I want to be visited like a Mormon…

I’m sure there are plenty of Mormons who would love to come and visit and try to convert me back… in fact I receive a newsletter on a quarterly basis from one of these ladies….

But why can’t it be like this in Christianity? Would you like the brutal, honest truth?

I don’t have to visit other Christians because it won’t get me into Heaven.

Ouch!

Yes, the reason why the majority of Mormons faithfully perform their visiting and home teaching every month is because…

Although not a requirement to get to Heaven… they are trying to make their calling and election sure…

Yes, Mormons who faithfully perform their visiting and home teaching every month are one step closer to being perfect…

But that can’t be the only reason that you consider returning to Mormonism, you think…  After all, couldn’t you just start a visiting program in your church?...

Absolutely, you are right…

I could start a visiting program in my church… if I knew how to get it started… if it was important enough to me…

The Challenge

So here is my challenge for this week…  Are you a Christian? Find a person, family, single parent, someone to visit…

Schedule a time to visit whomever you have chosen with this in mind…
  1. You have to share a Bible verse or a Bible-based devotional,
  2. You have to pray with the person before you leave, and
  3. You have to find a way to serve the person before you leave.
Yes, even if it means doing their dishes for them. 

I am taking up the challenge and will report back on my results in part two of this series. 

What about you? Post your results in the comments!

1 comment:

LA Nickers said...

Good admonition. We can certainly take a lesson from a solid example!

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