Immersed in Baptists
Snide Remarks #40
"Immersed in Baptists"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Universe on May 27, 1998
You may have heard that the Baptists are coming to Utah this summer, and they're holding a convention, and they want to save our souls, and yada yada yada. Some of you may be concerned about this, so I've prepared some helpful tips in talking to the Baptists when they come knocking on your door.
These tips are patterned after the many "How to Deal with Mormons"-type pamphlets that I've seen in my many years as a religious scholar and theologian.
First of all, you have to understand that while the Baptists may use some of the same terms we use, they understand them to mean very different things. For example, when they say "Christian," what they mean is, "Anyone who believes only what the Bible says, and nothing more." This comes from the verse in the Bible that says, "And they were called Christians; which meant they only believed the things contained in this book, even though this book hasn't been written yet."
There are other terms they use that may sound familiar but which have different meanings for them. "Soda," for example, is what we in Utah commonly refer to as "pop." Do not be confused by their trickery, as they will try to use these terms to throw you off guard.
When the Baptists ask you questions and try to draw you into a debate, remember not to be contentious. Instead, answer their questions politely, and explain your feelings on the issue. Here are some examples of how to respond to their questions:
QUESTION: Did you know that the Book of Mormon had a spelling error in it, and that they fixed it, and that therefore your church is not true?
RESPONSE: Why, no, I did not. Would you care for a glass of juice?
QUESTION: Did you know that Joseph Smith once held a job as a paperboy, and that therefore your church is not true?
RESPONSE: Oh, my. That is a shocker. I've just baked some brownies; would you like one?
QUESTION: Did you know that Brigham Young once muttered something in his sleep that sounded like "men living on Mars," and that therefore your church is not true?
RESPONSE: Land sakes. It's a beautiful day out, isn't it?
QUESTION: Did you know that your church is not true?
RESPONSE: No. Please elaborate while I fix us some Postum.
Another thing the Baptists will do is use testimonials from former LDS people -- supposedly "strong, active members" -- who have now become Baptists. These testimonials usually go like this:
"My name is LaVerDeen Jensen. I was born in Beaver Fork, Utah, and raised in the Mormon church. I was a very active Mormon. I went to church every Sunday. Sure, I'll admit, I usually sat in the back and made fun of the speakers, but I went, and I read and studied the Book of Mormon thoroughly, all the way from Third Lehi to Second Marconi. I was puzzled when my church leaders told me never to read the Bible, that I shouldn't even TOUCH it because it had the cooties, until I realized that they never actually said this; it was merely something some anti-Mormons told me later. But still, in retrospect, I think they said it, and so it must have puzzled me.
"I held many high and powerful callings in the church, such as Hymnbook Coordinator and Chapel Cheerio Sweeper-Upper. I read books by my favorite general authorities, such as Jack Weyland and Steven R. Covey. But to get a fair and balanced view, I also read books by non-Mormon experts, such as 'The Mormons: Satanic Cult, or Devilish Sect?' and 'The Mormons: Evil Empire, or Dark Ministry?' and 'The Mormons: Scum-Sucking Weasels, or Weasel-Sucking Scum?' Reading these books helped me understand the church better, because they were written by experts -- people who had never set foot in a Mormon church before, and who had never read the Mormon scriptures, but who nonetheless were experts.
"Then one day, I was watching CBS, trying to find out more about the programs on NBC, and I had my Amish friend over, giving me advice about what kind of car I should buy. Just then, my home teachers came by and said the most outrageous thing. They said the Mormon church believes in something called a 'temple,' which is a place where 'ceremonies' are performed. I had been a member all my life, and I had NEVER heard this! Why had the church leaders tried to keep this crazy and weird doctrine a secret from me? Is it because they knew as soon as I found out about it, I would leave the church? Must have been, because that's exactly what I did."
In conclusion, be nice to our visitors, and have plenty of baked goods on hand. Who knows, maybe we can bridge the gap between our two faiths through something as simple as banana bread. And even if not -- mm-mmm, that's good eatin'!
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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