Friday, January 6, 2012


Would you be surprised to learn that Mormon missionaries are not converted to LDS Church doctrines? While there may be a few, many are not. How can this be possible, you say? There are four reasons:

 * New missionaries were previously living a contrary lifestyle, and sent 
    as a last ditch effort by parents and bishop to straighten them out. 
* They accept a mission call only because it is expected of them

* They have never studied the church or its doctrines

* They do not have a testimony about the LDS Church's beliefs, or its claim to a divine origin.

Are LDS leaders aware of this? Yes. But when these young men and women arrive at the Missionary Training Center, leaders tell them that it will be the power and fervor of their personal testimony about the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon that will influence potential converts to join. Without that testimony, they will never bring in converts. How do you think that affects these young missionaries? Panic is putting it mildly. Missionaries respond with:

                                "What if we don't have a testimony?"
                                "How are we supposed to get one?"
                                "Won't it be dishonest if we fake it?"

Since the church claims that a testimony is given to members from the Holy Ghost, these young men and women plunge into a quandary on how they can grab hold of the Holy Ghost in the time allotted.

Did I have this problem on my mission? As a former gung-ho Mormon who served two Stake missions--no, I didn't. However, I'm able to put myself in their shoes. I can imagine the emotional trauma if I had to convince someone about Mormonism and wasn't totally convinced of it myself. Not only would I hem and ha and stumble around, but I'd also have to put on a fake, convincing face. I would feel awkward, stressed out, guilty, and consider myself a liar. But even though it didn't happen to me on my mission, I really don't have to imagine--I actually do know how it feels. How? Because of a crisis situation that occurred later, when I was teaching the adult Gospel Doctrine class.

My calamitous experience. In 1977, without my bishop knowing, I secretly entered a Mormon Fundamentalism group in another state. After two years, the Fundamentalist leader caught me sneaking away to a Christian church and held me prisoner for nine months in a small room where I nearly died. After I escaped (see story on my website). I returned to my ward with serious doubts about the church. As soon as the bishop heard I was back, he wanted me to resume teaching the Gospel Doctrine class. Since teaching has always been my passion, I welcomed the idea. I'd be okay. I would focus mainly on prayer, morals, ethics and standards. But the lesson manual that year didn't involve that. It was on Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. For three months I struggled and stressed out over the class, aware that there was no passion or conviction in my teaching, that I couldn't fake a testimony and be what class members expected of me. I finally went to the bishop and requested my excommunication.

That anxiety-filled incident was equivalent to how Mormon missionaries feel if they try to teach others about the church's "restored gospel" and have no conviction that it is true.

Have LDS Church leaders solved the new missionaries' problem?  Addressing the missionaries' dilemma of "how to get a testimony," Apostle Boyd K. Packer provided a surprising answer, albeit a deficient one. In a speech to Mission Presidents, he said: "A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!"

Ah … a clever strategy well known in psychological circles. The principle is that if individuals verbally declare something often enough, they will grow to believe it. It is a kind of self-brainwashing that works for any declared affirmation regardless of the beliefs involved. This reveals why the church programs young children in the Primary organization to "memorize" the required testimony about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church. The continual recitations eventually become a conditioned response, producing an inner conviction that Joseph Smith was really a prophet and that the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church are true, which leaders hope will carry into adulthood. Leaders know that their repetitious, rote-like declarations, which also include the statement that the Holy Ghost is responsible for their testimony, will soon have them believing it. Unconverted missionaries are expected to use the same method. Soon, they too will have a testimony and come to believe it is from the Holy Ghost.

Are you stunned by this unorthodox strategy? This tactic used by Mormon Church leaders is described in the last chapter of the Second Edition of my recently released book, "The Mormon Missionaries: An inside look," where it covers the new LDS evangelizing manual entitled, "Preach My Gospel." When reading it, it soon becomes obvious that the manual and the church's first objective, out of two, is conversion of its missionaries. These young men and women are instructed to keep verbally declaring the outlined testimony often so they can acquire a valid one and influence potential converts. The manual also provides missionaries with conversational strategies to induce people to join.

The church's second objective is having missionaries embark on an intense study program during the two years, which is heavily outlined in the manual. "The Mormon Missionaries: An inside look," explains everything the Mormon Church believes, including the missionary's testimony, and presents the lessons they give to potential converts, exposes their strategies, and reveals purposely concealed doctrines.

The first edition of my book received high praise from critics and reviewers, and received the's award as "Outstanding Read." (I haven't had time to obtain reviews on the Second Edition as yet) But what will surprise you, is that the book, rather than being an academic read, is written like a novel. Here is the story line:

Susan, a student at a Christian Bible College in San Antonio, falls for one of the handsome Mormon missionaries who bravely venture onto the campus. Believing she can convert him, she agrees to take their lessons but soon finds herself in over her head, torn between her emotions and her Christian faith. A concerned teacher on campus, a former Mormon, accompanies her to the lessons, and later in her class reveals the missionaries' step-by-step strategies and exposes the doctrines they purposely conceal.

Click on the image below now! You'll discover startling facts surrounding Joseph Smith's claims, receive an eye-opener on where he actually got his doctrines, learn more Mormon doctrine than you knew before, and discover the Mormon Church's political agenda for America!

Until next time,
If link fails to work, go to and click on Authors Showcase.
P.S.  By the way, my posts will consist of commentaries on either Mormonism, the Bible, or perhaps it may be just chatting about some research I uncovered that I think will interest you.

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Keith Walker said...

"A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!" I've never heard that one before. It might be helpful to place a reference for that great quote. I found it in the January 1983 Ensign. The title of the article is, "The Candle of the Lord." I don't have a page number because I read it on the site.

Leslie Bee said...

Interesting to understand that about the missionaries, Janis.
I think I may feel less intimidated by their 'testimony' the next time I have the opportunity to converse with them. It does make sense that some are just going on a mission because they are expected to, and that all don't have a testimony of the church and that some are being sent away for a couple of years to get straightened out.
Yep, think I will feel less intimidated and freed up to just love 'em with the truth, and maybe even offer them a meal and a cold drink.

TOWJG said...

I totally believe my son had a strong testimony and went out to serve the Lord with passion. At his farewell people said he was more like a return missionary than one just leaving. My son only made it 9 months. He developed social anxiety and became so depressed he was suicidal. He finally came home. I was so concerned that his coming home would make him more depressed. He had a difficult time at first but is fine now.
I was born into an LDS home and raised in the church. About a year and a half ago (at 48 years of age), I left the LDS church and I am a born-again believer. For the first time in my life I am no longer spiritually frustrated. My son had a hard time with this. I could tell he was embarrassed by my decision. He has come to accept it and even came to my baptism last year. My son is now 24 and still unmarried. He is still active in the LDS church. I fear every day that he is going to find a companion and get married in the temple. It terrifies me.

VegasDon said...

If you hear something long enough and often enough you gain an attachment to it. How can all these people (parroting) sharing their testimony not be true. We thought the earth was flat once also. To many it is also a way to get away from others and travel the world...and others pay for it.
I know for a fact that most (90%) do not believe the crap. They do as a good automaton does and parrot the party line. Or, they get reamed by the President of the Mission who is, btw, running for General Authority for the prestige.
I converted, then as most do, went back to my catholic faith after Salt Lake insulted my intelligence with calling things what they were not. Genetic testing shows us that the Central Americans have no genetic code with the Middle Eastern People. They do have genetic code in common with the Asians. Hence, people moved across from Asia to North America back when the seas were lower due to ice. They did not come up from Central America. JS was WRONG! and by the gift and power of God no dought.

Janis Hutchinson said...

Glad that the article helped. It's the truth that sets one free!

Janis Hutchinson said...

Just keep praying. Even if he does get married in the temple, he is aware of your faith and your example. Sometimes it takes years before one's eyes become open, and this may be the case with your son. But God is aware of him, and in his timing, he will see that he isn't lost.