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Friendshipping practice

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Hi, I am a recent convert to the LDS faith. But prior to my baptism I was reading a lot of anti-mormon stuff like this known practice called “friendshipping”. And I was wondering if this was an actual practice? 


 


Friendshipping is where the church or missionaries would assign a member/s to an investigator or inactive member in order for them to convert or be active again. The friendshipper would invite the potential convert or inactive member to dinner, events etc. in order for them to build trust. But once the friendshipper fulfills their obligation they would cut ties with the potential convert or inactive member. 


 


I spoke to many of the members as well as the missionaries about this practice but they assured me that this is not true. In fact they haven’t even heard of such a thing.


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Many things we do could be considered friendship ping I suppose except for the part about cutting ties...what would the benefit of that be???

I assume you've heard of home teaching and visiting teaching....you are given assigned people to visit and deliver a message, and generally help out if needed. It is hoped that by this process true friendships will emerge. You could call that friendshiping.

In young men's and young women's groups they are encouraged to seek the less active and invite them to activities. Again the goal is that true friendships will form regardless of whether the person come to church or not.

We meet in congregations that are assigned to us based on geographicAL boundaries. It is hoped that true friendships will develop and they do.

Ward missionaries visit investigators and hopefully true friendships are formed.

I think my point is abundantly clear here. If by friendship ping you mean being ask3d, sometimes assigned to meet people and attempt to develop true friendships then yes we do that abundantly.

If you mean that we create fake friends just to lure people in and then abandon them, no we don't do that.

Most importantly here I think is what have you experienced. I hope you are making true friends in your ward.

Do all these friendship opportunities succeed? No, but that's just life...many marriages fail too because we humans struggle with relationships.

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Ditto LiterateParakeet.  Yes, in a ward setting, a mission or quorum leader can assign someone to freindship a non-member. The intent is not to usher them into the church but to provide a resource for them beyond the missionaries, as missionaries are sometimes very temporary. The assignment more or less dissovles based on if any connection was made or interest shown. A person is not dumped. I've seen it done more when a person has a particular challenge, be it physical, financial, emotional, etc. A person in the ward may be more adept in dealing with those challenges and can offer assistance. There is no expectation that anything will really come of it. It is only a hand reaching out.

 

I will say, friendshiping is not a formal calling and assignments are not granted to friendship every investigator. They only come about as promptings around the thought "what can we do to help".

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Hi, I am a recent convert to the LDS faith. But prior to my baptism I was reading a lot of anti-mormon stuff like this known practice called “friendshipping”. And I was wondering if this was an actual practice? 

 

Friendshipping is where the church or missionaries would assign a member/s to an investigator or inactive member in order for them to convert or be active again. The friendshipper would invite the potential convert or inactive member to dinner, events etc. in order for them to build trust. But once the friendshipper fulfills their obligation they would cut ties with the potential convert or inactive member. 

 

I spoke to many of the members as well as the missionaries about this practice but they assured me that this is not true. In fact they haven’t even heard of such a thing.

 

 

I have been a Mormon for 29 years, and have never heard the word "friendshipping" except when dealing with anti-Mormon stuff.  

 

An no, you don't make fake friends with a person just to share Christ with them: being fake is extremely un-Christ-like.  

 

Now, do I share Christ with my honest friends?  If they're interested, totally.  I also share the best places to eat, good mechanics, etc.  If anything, I feel it would be dishonest for me to go "oh, this person is looking for God, but I'm not going to share because [insert some reason here]".    

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Yeah - a *lot* of critics of the church claim that Mormons don't make friends, only potential converts. I actually had to correct someone about this back on Sunday when they tried to turn the comments section of a comic strip into a round of Mormon-bashing. 

 

In reality, I'm guessing that their arguments are based on a mix of paranoia and jealousy. 

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Some good replies so far.

 

Something to add is that it is common for an investigator or new convert to receive more attention compared to after you have been around for a while.  Depending on your ward you may feel like a celebrity at first, but then that tapers off over time.  As the attention or excitement surrounding the baptism wears off, you will still have people that genuinely love you and remember you.  There are other things that generate similar hype, like getting a mission call or going to the temple to be sealed to a spouse.  You'll likely experience similar feelings towards others as you're with them during their monumental steps to follow Jesus Christ.  You'll develop lasting friendships and love for your fellow saints through these experiences.

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The OP reminds me of an accusation against a particular sect in the 1970s.  "Love bombing," was allegedly that

when someone would come to an introductory session or meeting, members would greet the newcomer with abundant welcome, saying things like, "It's so good to have you here...you seem to have a special energy about you...I sure hope you come back because there is something special about you, etc. etc."

 

When a group is perceived as different, other, strange, or otherwise counter-cultural (but not cool), then this technique, combined with a sense of solidarity against unknowing critics can create a fast bond.  Once a commitment is made (say, by baptism) one becomes part of the family--or a member.  There is still appreciation and love, but now there are some expectations, and one is no longer an outsider giving consideration.  In a sense, it's like the transition from dating to marriage.  So...as others have said...there's likely no program, or systemic attention-giving going on, but most religious groups that seek converts will treat the potential one with added attention and favor.

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It is so interesting to see the topic of "friendshipping" brought up, because I've been wondering about this just recently. I began investigating the church about a year ago. I met several other moms at my sons' school who are LDS, and I knew nothing about the church at that point. They seemed so friendly, and so welcoming, and encouraged the friendship between our kids. I felt so valued. We talked about faith at times, and they knew I wasn't 100% invested in my Catholic faith, that I was having doubts. We were invited to a few baptisms, and I was introduced to two sister missionaries by one of my friend's husbands. At that point, I was intrigued and was a "golden investigator"--I had lots of questions and was very open to hearing what the missionaries had to say. 

 

Fast forward a year--I'm still studying with the missionaries and am seriously considering baptism. However, I've noticed a change. Now that I'm in the "missionaries' hands," my friends have stepped back. I won't lie--I'm hurt. I miss their friendship, and there are no more play dates, no more texts, no more interaction on Facebook. I've actually emailed one of my closest friends (the wife of a bishop) a couple of times about my journey, about how I'm excited yet afraid of baptism, about how much I appreciated the lovely ward members that I've since met, and while she's replied, there is something guarded about her responses. She knows I'm considering baptism, yet I've had no "check-ins," nothing I would probably do for a nonmember investigating friend. I would have invited that nonmember to my home for General Conferene this weekend (I watched it at my home), I would be responding with enthusiasm and joy. When I see her at the school, its a quick hello as she walks briskly by. :( Hmm. I can't help but to think I've been dropped. It hurts, and I don't know what to think. :(

 

That said, it doesn't make my love for the LDS church any less. I still study my scriptures, and although it may take me some time to be baptized, I do believe this church holds the fullness of truth.

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This must be a common thing in the Church because it warranted one chapter in the book The Power of Everyday Missionaries.  It advises members not to make friends only for the purpose of missionary work but to make friends because one truly loves the other from whence being a missionary comes naturally but the friendship doesn't suffer when the other party is not interested in the gospel message.

 

I don't really see this in our ward even when I was investigating.  What I experienced when investigating was the missionaries quit coming by after I got baptized which made me feel sad because I felt some kind of hole when they stopped coming.  Added to that the hole left from some of my Catholic friends and family who was so disappointed in my decision that they distanced themselves from me for a time.  And I didn't have good friends in the LDS Church yet to fill the gap.  So, it was a super duper tough time in my life.

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Hi, I am a recent convert to the LDS faith. But prior to my baptism I was reading a lot of anti-mormon stuff like this known practice called “friendshipping”. And I was wondering if this was an actual practice? 

 

Friendshipping is where the church or missionaries would assign a member/s to an investigator or inactive member in order for them to convert or be active again. The friendshipper would invite the potential convert or inactive member to dinner, events etc. in order for them to build trust. But once the friendshipper fulfills their obligation they would cut ties with the potential convert or inactive member. 

 

I spoke to many of the members as well as the missionaries about this practice but they assured me that this is not true. In fact they haven’t even heard of such a thing.

 

In my personal experience this is completely true *except* for one sentence: "But once the friendshipper fulfills their obligation they would cut ties with the potential convert or inactive member". Some people may behave in the way this describes. But it isn't they way it is intended to be. 

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I gather that LDS congregations, called "wards", are unusual in that they are divided strictly by geography, and not by "class" or social status or any other such thing.* Though the geographical divisions do end up creating "rich" wards and "poor" wards, it is still very common in a ward to have a wide range of educational, social, and economic backgrounds. This puts people in close proximity who otherwise might be very unlikely to be in each other's social circle, and who might not have an obvious social basis of friendship. I consider this one of the hidden strengths of the LDS ward structure, but it does mean that, at least sometimes, efforts at forming friendships are less natural and more intentional than would otherwise be the case. This is an example of where efforts at "friendshipping" could bear great fruit and be for the betterment of all involved.

 

*(The two exceptions are (1) language wards and branches, which exist for those who speak primarily a foreign language in an area with a different majority language, such as Spanish-language wards and branches in the US, and (2) singles wards and branches, which exist to give unmarried young adults a place to more easily find others suitable in age and status for dating and possibly marriage.)

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Fast forward a year--I'm still studying with the missionaries and am seriously considering baptism. However, I've noticed a change. Now that I'm in the "missionaries' hands," my friends have stepped back. I won't lie--I'm hurt. I miss their friendship, and there are no more play dates, no more texts, no more interaction on Facebook. I've actually emailed one of my closest friends (the wife of a bishop) a couple of times about my journey, about how I'm excited yet afraid of baptism, about how much I appreciated the lovely ward members that I've since met, and while she's replied, there is something guarded about her responses. She knows I'm considering baptism, yet I've had no "check-ins," nothing I would probably do for a nonmember investigating friend. I would have invited that nonmember to my home for General Conferene this weekend (I watched it at my home), I would be responding with enthusiasm and joy. When I see her at the school, its a quick hello as she walks briskly by. :( Hmm. I can't help but to think I've been dropped. It hurts, and I don't know what to think. :(

I honestly would bet that this change in friendship isn't at all related to the missionary visits or your progression toward baptism. I hate to plant any seeds but I would guess it more to do with some type of offense or issues between kids (i.e. offense wasn't you but the kids' relationship). If you are right and they put up an effort before baptism and then dropped you thinking you were 'in good hands', I'd run the other way. I'm just being honest. Where do you live -  in general terms?  Do you know if you would be in the same ward as these sisters? Sometimes, relationships differ when you are not in the same ward. I've lost friends due to boundry changes that just make me sick to think the boundry made the difference. Still, it is an LDS culture thng we adjust to.

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This must be a common thing in the Church because it warranted one chapter in the book The Power of Everyday Missionaries.  It advises members not to make friends only for the purpose of missionary work but to make friends because one truly loves the other from whence being a missionary comes naturally but the friendship doesn't suffer when the other party is not interested in the gospel message.

 

As much as I understand and agree with this philosophy...in theory...I struggle with it practically. Meaning...how then do you deal with the neighbor who you actually don't particularly like? Because you don't like them, don't befriend them? Or befriend them anyhow, even though you find them distasteful at some level or another? Can we make ourselves honestly like them when we honestly don't?

 

I'm legitimately asking. I do not understand how anyone can just "love" someone that they do not "love". But one can befriend, be kind to, serve, be sociable with, etc., one that they do not love, and by so doing will likely learn to love them. But if the love has to come before the friendship and service -- well, honestly that seems to be a large part of the problem as I see it. We don't love, so we don't act. If we acted anyway, maybe we'd love better.

 

Dunno. 

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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As much as I understand and agree with this philosophy...in theory...I struggle with it practically. Meaning...how then do you deal with the neighbor who you actually don't particularly like? Because you don't like them, don't befriend them? Or befriend them anyhow, even though you find them distasteful at some level or another? Can we make ourselves honestly like them when we honestly don't?

 

I'm legitimately asking. I do not understand how anyone can just "love" someone that they do not "love". But one can befriend, be kind to, serve, be sociable with, etc., one that they do not love, and by so doing will likely learn to love them. But if the love has to come before the friendship and service -- well, honestly that seems to be a large part of the problem as I see it. We don't love, so we don't act. If we acted anyway, maybe we'd love better.

 

Dunno. 

 

Good question.

 

As far as the Power of the Everyday Missionary book - they advocate building friendships as an exercise of true Charity - or the Love of Christ.  They discourage building friendships for the purpose of getting somebody baptized into the Church.  When there is true Charity, the missionary work naturally follows.  But true Charity doesn't naturally follow if you're only focused on baptism.  Then you lose the connection when the "friend" says No.

 

As for me, personally,  I don't have to like you for you to be my friend.  Actually, you don't even have to think I'm your friend for you to be my friend.  I call you friend when I genuinely care about your well-being even as I'm whacking you in the head for being a moron (of course, I could be wrong for thinking you're a moron, so it goes both ways).  A lot of my friends hold these grudges, so when we get into a spat, they drop me off their friends list... or some of my friends drop me from their friends list if I don't call them after x number of days, or something like that.  I'm fine with them not thinking we're friends anymore.  I still consider them my friend.

 

The thing is - if you only befriend those who are good to you, then you'll never be able to influence those that aren't good (in your eyes) because they're ejected out of your sphere of influence.  So, they'll never be what you'll consider good.  You see?

 

But, if you think you have the good news of the gospel of Christ and so you're following it and living as close to gospel standards as you can, you would want to be friends with those who aren't so you will be in a position to bring them with you in your journey.  I mean - if you truly care for their well-being.  So yeah, I don't disqualify people I don't like for friends.  I can still not like them, but I can care about their well-being.  They're not mutually exclusive.

Edited by anatess

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Good question.

 

As far as the Power of the Everyday Missionary book - they advocate building friendships as an exercise of true Charity - or the Love of Christ.  They discourage building friendships for the purpose of getting somebody baptized into the Church.  When there is true Charity, the missionary work naturally follows.  But true Charity doesn't naturally follow if you're only focused on baptism.  Then you lose the connection when the "friend" says No.

 

What does "only focused on baptism" mean? Is it even really a thing? Is anyone, literally, only concerned with dipping them?

 

No. What concerns us is the Lord's will. What concerns us is His work and His glory -- the eternal life and exaltation of His children.

 

I disbelieve anyone has a view of baptism as an end goal for the sake of baptism and the focus is baptism and nothing more. I mean, perhaps some missionaries are driven to that by numbers demands. But for the lay member...???

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... When there is true Charity, the missionary work naturally follows.  But true Charity doesn't naturally follow if you're only focused on baptism.  Then you lose the connection when the "friend" says No. ...

This is a valid and important observation even if the only reason is for evaluation of one's own thoughts and feelings being, as we are, only human and subject to weaknesses even as we strive for the best.

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What does "only focused on baptism" mean? Is it even really a thing? Is anyone, literally, only concerned with dipping them?

 

No. What concerns us is the Lord's will. What concerns us is His work and His glory -- the eternal life and exaltation of His children.

 

I disbelieve anyone has a view of baptism as an end goal for the sake of baptism and the focus is baptism and nothing more. I mean, perhaps some missionaries are driven to that by numbers demands. But for the lay member...???

 

That's what it said on that book.  It recounted an experience by the author where he befriended this guy at work so he can invite him to Church.  They went out on social occasions, invited each other to their homes, etc. etc.  Then he asked the question if he'd be interested in coming to Church and the guy empathically said No and the author checked them off the list and moved on to another family, inviting them on social occasions.  After a while his co-worker approached him and expressed that he felt betrayed.  He said he didn't realize he was only befriending them so they can invite them to Church and the minute they said No, they quit hanging out with them.

 

That matches exactly what the OP is saying about "friendshipping".

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That's what it said on that book.  It recounted an experience by the author where he befriended this guy at work so he can invite him to Church.  They went out on social occasions, invited each other to their homes, etc. etc.  Then he asked the question if he'd be interested in coming to Church and the guy empathically said No and the author checked them off the list and moved on to another family, inviting them on social occasions.  After a while his co-worker approached him and expressed that he felt betrayed.  He said he didn't realize he was only befriending them so they can invite them to Church and the minute they said No, they quit hanging out with them.

 

That matches exactly what the OP is saying about "friendshipping".

I believe this existed in our "culture" at one time (1960's maybe). I do know it isn't taught. So, for our dear Catholic friend reading this thread, it was documented in the book because it may have been a mindset of some, but it is not a "practice" within the Church.

 

I've been on ward councils where friendshiping was asked for, or assigned, but never in the context of "getting someone baptised". It has only been to help people work out issues either before or after baptism. As I recall, issues are more about temporal things (getting a handle on life skills) that home teachers or visiting teachers were not addressing.

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That's what it said on that book.  It recounted an experience by the author where he befriended this guy at work so he can invite him to Church.  They went out on social occasions, invited each other to their homes, etc. etc.  Then he asked the question if he'd be interested in coming to Church and the guy empathically said No and the author checked them off the list and moved on to another family, inviting them on social occasions.  After a while his co-worker approached him and expressed that he felt betrayed.  He said he didn't realize he was only befriending them so they can invite them to Church and the minute they said No, they quit hanging out with them.

 

That matches exactly what the OP is saying about "friendshipping".

 

At the risk of sounding callous...I would expect that if he really like the person in said situation he wouldn't dump him socially for this reason. In other words, I may well go out of my way to befriend someone who I wouldn't otherwise because of my commitment to trying to share the gospel. Upon failing to share the gospel, I may well discontinue that effort because I didn't actually enjoy that relationship all that much. This wouldn't be so much related to dumping them because they didn't get baptized, but rather that I wouldn't have worked to socialize with them if not for the command to share the gospel. Reasonably speaking, that could also play into a situation where I befriended someone, they DID get baptized, and then my actual socializing with them diminished. This being due to the lack of clicking more than anything. The catalyst to pursue the relationship may be "to baptize". The catalyst to end it, it strikes me, is not failure or success in that regard. By which I mean, if I really clicked with someone, I'm likely to stay their friend regardless, am I not?

 

So how should I handle this? Only pursue socializing with those I am drawn to? Continue to have a bunch of friends that I don't really enjoy?

 

I'm not suggesting an answer. I am pointing out (hopefully) that it is, in no way, as black and white, right and wrong, do and don't, as the book (which I haven't read, to be fair) seems to be suggesting.

 

Sure, I can see how the person in the example felt betrayed. And it's not ideal. And ideally there is a way to not have to hang out with people you don't really want to be hanging out with without hurting their feelings.

 

It seems to me that the philosophy espoused in the book seems to be you either need to learn to like everybody equally (a nice ideal...but....really??), or you need to not try and befriend those you don't like -- stick to sharing the gospel with only those you truly click with.

 

I don't buy that. Hurt feelings or not, my job is clear. I am to share the gospel. When the end comes, and we see through a glass clearly, we'll know what who did and why. And there is no greater purpose or call than that of bringing the truth to souls. If we hurt some feelings in our efforts to do so, at least we made the solid effort.

 

Of course, I also understand that this sort of situation could realistically then destroy the possibility of that person ever giving the gospel a chance, whereas if we were honestly friends with them after they rejected the gospel, it might eventually change. But how many people can we honestly be friends with and do stuff with and invite over for dinner, etc., etc., There has to be some level of limitation to it -- some level of balance. I just don't see a way around it sometimes.

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Of course, I also understand that this sort of situation could realistically then destroy the possibility of that person ever giving the gospel a chance, whereas if we were honestly friends with them after they rejected the gospel, it might eventually change. But how many people can we honestly be friends with and do stuff with and invite over for dinner, etc., etc., There has to be some level of limitation to it -- some level of balance. I just don't see a way around it sometimes.

 

I'm not sure if you're experienced with MLM-friends.  I HATE THOSE!  With a passion.  It started with Tupperware parties with my mother.  She threw a Tupperware party for her best friend to help her out and she got sunk.  It came to a point where when she throws a regular party, her friends would say, "it's not a Tupperware party, is it?".

 

Friendshipping is like a bad Tupperware Party.  If you invite somebody to your house for dinner for the purpose of selling a Tupperware but the dinner guests had no idea that's what you intended (because you were afraid to tell them because they might not show up), by the time you make the sales pitch, they get wary.  And when the dinner invite ended with them saying No Tupperware For Me and you never showed interest again, they'll call you a snake-oil salesman and they'll feel hoodwinked.  Because that's exactly what happened.  They got hoodwinked.   This is not how you sell Tupperware let alone how we should share the gospel.

 

Sharing the gospel should not be something forced out of you by a checklist.  This is one thing I have adamantly resisted with several of these Ward Mission Programs about "Set a goal to invite 10 people to Church this week".  Eh, no.  I'll invite people when the Spirit prompts me to invite people.

 

You know who the best example of sharing the gospel is?  My first-born son.  He has tons of friends - they're not really close friends.  They're people that like to hang out with him for a time.  He's a pretty cool guy to hang out with.  He's a very naturally sociable person.  These people come and go in his life.  Put it this way - he only has 2 friends that has remained his friends since babyhood.  We would look through his birthday party pictures and he couldn't name most of the kids who are not family.  Most of the others are friends from jiujitsu, or friends from piano, or friends from school... such that when jiujitsu, piano, or school ends, they part ways and that's that.  They might spend an entire summer hanging out together and then come September, they never talk to each other again... or they would cross paths at the mall or something and they'll wave and chat a while and that's that.

 

But my son is so completely open with his life as a Mormon that the Church just comes out of him naturally.  Like, he's at jiujitsu and one of the guys there who is 2 years older than he is, is his nemesis - I mean, he's the one guy that my son just can't beat no matter how hard he tries.  So he tells this guy to come to the house so he can try to beat him.  They train at the house one Saturday and then the next Saturday they did it again... until after a few Saturdays, it has become a ritual.  So, eventually, the guy asks if he can sleep over and my kid says, sure, but you'll have to bring a suit because we're going to Church early the next day.  The guy could have said, No, I'm not going to your Church... and my son would have just said, "then get your mom to pick you up before 8:30"... but the kid showed up with his suit in a bag.  So he went to Church.  If he would have said No, the Saturday jiujitsu would still go on because one had nothing to do with the other.  The kid ended up liking Church and started showing up every Sunday, jiujitsu or not... he quit jiujitsu, went to high school, got to be friends with the older kids at church and so he rarely talks to my son anymore.  But he got baptized a few years later.  He moved 2 hours away so now they don't even have contact through Church.  But, they're still friends such that when they cross paths they bump chests and shoot the breeze.

 

My son has a lot of these experiences... like one time, his Sunday School teacher challenged them to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon a day, 5 days a week.  So, he reads a Chapter or so in the school bus on the way home.  His bus friends would ask him, what are you reading?  And he tells them, this book... and he recounts stories from the book to them... and he tells them he'll bring them their own copy tomorrow.  So he ends up giving a couple kids in the bus a book, the others didn't want anything to do with the book.  But then the kids who got a copy all read it at the bus with my son (they have trouble with the old English)... they get animated over Abinadi getting roasted and Shem gasping after his head getting cut off... boys, I tell ya.  These guys are only friends in the bus and those who said No are still his friends on the bus because the bus has nothing to do with the Church and when school ended, that was that for both Church and bus.

 

Then, another time, he meets this guy at school named Christian... and so he says - so you're Christian?  Well, come to find out he's atheist, or so he claims.  And so he says, how did you end up an atheist with a name Christian?  And he spouts all these anti-Bible things... so my son tells him, okay, I'm Mormon, but I want to know what you're talking about so text me one of those and I'll ask my mom about it.  And so the guy texts him, and he asks me, and I tell him what part of the Bible to read and what he thinks about it and I kinda just guide him through his thinking and he would go talk to Christian about it the next day... they go back and forth about it - Christian goes on attack mode a lot of times but my son is this water-down-the-back-of-a-duck type of guy (having to live with a mother with IED) - so they eventually come to an agreement - sometimes, it comes out that the Mormon view is different from the Christian view so Christian ends up agreeing with my son.  So then Christian texts him another topic and they go at it for a few.  This goes on for... what, 7 weeks now since start of this school year?  Christian is still atheist, but they've become "bible friends" even when they only meet each other by the lockers as Christian is older than my son.  But, even if Christian stops texting anti-Bible things, it wouldn't change their friendship because... one has nothing to do with the other.  They're still going to meet each other at the lockers and my son would still talk to him about some other thing.

 

This is how sharing the gospel can be.  It comes naturally from someone living the gospel.  Shouldn't be a "let's be friends even if I don't have anything in common with you just so I can then spring an invitation to Church and when that's accomplished I won't have time for you" kind of deal.  That's the bad Tupperware party kind of Church Salesmanship.

Edited by anatess

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Sharing the gospel should not be something forced out of you by a checklist. 

 

I believe on this point we do not agree. As an ideal, perhaps. But the reality is...you know...reality.

 

The same could be said of most gospel/church related things. Paying tithing should not be something forced out... Keeping the Sabbath holy shouldn't be forced out... Going to church... Fasting... Service projects... Home teaching...

 

Ideally we'd all be perfect and do everything because we're perfect.

 

Yep. Nice ideal.

 

The reality is that we have to force ourselves. It's called discipline. It's called duty. It's called obedience.

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I think of my ward more and more as family. And just like family, there are some I get along with better than others. Sometimes I want to be with one sister and not as much with another. Sometimes I want to go to my room and be left alone. It doesn't make me love anyone in my family any less, it's just the way things go. 

 

Like we've been told, we aren't converted to a church, we are converted to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we build on anything else, we will fall. My ward is witnessing that now with a family that has joined the church over the last couple of years. Sadly, they are a family of takers: takers of church welfare, takers of resources, takers of energy. The ward leaders are slowing down the gravy train, so the family is moving on to another church. The Gospel didn't change, but their reason for coming dried up. 

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I believe on this point we do not agree. As an ideal, perhaps. But the reality is...you know...reality.

 

The same could be said of most gospel/church related things. Paying tithing should not be something forced out... Keeping the Sabbath holy shouldn't be forced out... Going to church... Fasting... Service projects... Home teaching...

 

Ideally we'd all be perfect and do everything because we're perfect.

 

Yep. Nice ideal.

 

The reality is that we have to force ourselves. It's called discipline. It's called duty. It's called obedience.

 

And it's called Friendshipping, aka, snake-oil gospel salesman, if you do it in that manner.  There are many other better ways of sharing the gospel rather than sharing the gospel by being "plastic".  LIVING the gospel is a better message than "selling" the gospel.

 

If that's the only way you know how to obey, then okay.  Just don't be surprised if you hear people like the OP pointing out how the Church does "friendshipping". 

Edited by anatess

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