On a warm and humid Saturday in January (yes you read that right), we must have had a divine bulls eye painted on our house, because the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Baptists all came by. Here’s how our time with people from each denomination played out.
Joseph Smith, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and so on… The Mormons answered our questions, and asked if there were any act of service they could perform as part of fulfilling their 2-year volunteer missions. I joked with them that they could pray to God for revelation and if they could guess what I had in mind that they could do it (get rid of our Christmas tree, since we missed the tree pick-up day in our neighborhood). After we got rid of the tree, I let them in on the joke, and they had a good laugh about it, since they had walked past it every time they had come to visit. Finally, I got tired of hearing them ask, so I invited them to help us rake the front yard the next Saturday. They showed up in dress clothes — slacks, shined shoes, whites shirts, and ties and set to work with Tim and I. Our neighbors didn’t ask any questions. When we were finished, we ate chicken enchiladas with fresh salsa and chips I had prepared that morning before they arrived. It was a good experience for all of us, I think.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses
They stopped by to give us their latest publication. They know that I already spent several years on two different occasions studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Tim told them I had been “red flagged.” I suspect that is why don’t seem terribly interested in doing another study with us. As usual, we politely received, read, and then tossed their literature.
The Baptists told us they were sharing a tract and inviting people to go to church that Sunday if they had any questions. Tim was a bit testy by then, and asked whether they would be willing to answer some questions right then and there, instead of having us go to church. They agreed, and he unloaded several questions they said they had never been asked before and were obviously completely unprepared to answer. They didn’t stay long, but said they would think about our discussion, and reiterated that we were welcome to come visit their church.
Since the Baptists were the only ones who actually invited us to church, I decided to go. Tim gave me a little pep talk, but stayed behind. I made up my mind ahead of time that I would just go to Sunday School and only attend big church if I were expressly invited.
When I first entered the building, I was greeted by a man in a suit and tie who shook my hand heartily and then announced in a big booming voice, “The ladies restroom is right over there!” I thanked him, and wondered if I had a booger hanging out of nose or spilled coffee on my shirt or something. Everything seemed to be in order, so I continued to the small groups area.
In the ladies small group room, the chairs were arranged just like big church, with everyone facing the same direction except for the teacher. This was incredibly disappointing to me, because I had hoped to have some meaningful discussion and actually get to know some people. With a few minutes for coffee and donuts before everyone was seated, I did meet a few people. One of the friendliest among them was one with my name — Alice. After Sunday School was over, she invited me to sit with her in big church. I declined. I’m not sure why, exactly, since I got the invitation I was looking for. Perhaps it had something to do with the bad experiences I’d had the last ten times I’d been to church.
I stopped in the ladies room before I left and overheard everyone admiring the brand new granite countertops someone had donated. Hence, the strange behavior of the man at the door. It all made sense.
PS. Lanny, if you are still following this blog, I unblocked you from the comments. Please refrain from trolling behavior and extremely violent and/or sexually explicit comments. I will not hesitate to block you from the comments section again.