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How Not To Share Your Faith With a Mormon
| Mark Brumley | October 11, 2005
I'm convinced that Catholics and Mormons usually talk past one another
when they get into religious discussions. Often the arguments they use
aren't on point. Heres a fictitious example of how such discussions
Catholic Guy: So I don't belong to the true Church, you do, right?
Latter-Day Saints Guy: That's right.
Catholic: And what evidence do you have for this?
LDS: Well, there is the testimony of Joseph Smith and I testify as
Catholic: No, I mean evidence. Show me, historically speaking, where
Christianity went off the tracks. Show me where there is serious evidence
of all that the LDS Church claims about ancient Christianity and about
LDS: Well, there were the Gnostics who believed
Catholic: I'm not talking about Gnostics. We know what they were and
they weren't Mormons.
LDS: Have you ever read the Book of Mormon?
Catholic: No. Have you ever read the Summa
LDS: The what?
Catholic: The Summa Theologiae. By St. Thomas Aquinas. I just
happen to have a pocket edition of the whole thing right here. Here's
volume 1. Volume 2. Volume3. Volume 4. Volume 5. Volume 6. Volume 7.
[A bit later.] And this is Volume 27.
LDS: As I say, I have never read it. But the Book of Mormon
is a lot shorter.
Catholic: I don't know that the smallness of a book inversely correlates
to the largeness of its truth.
LDS: Say what?
Catholic: Just because your book is shorter doesn't mean you're right.
LDS: Good point. But we have a lot of other Scriptures you don't have.
Catholic: And we have seven Old Testament books that you don't have,
so don't start pulling this, "Our holy books have more pages than your
holy books" argument. It's quality that counts here, not quantity.
LDS: True. But having lots of books is still important. Have you ever
read Orson Scott Card? Look at all the books he's written. Only the true
Church could produce such a great science fiction writer. He's a Mormon.
Therefore, the LDS Church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Q.E.D.
Catholic: I admit that Orson Scott Card is cool. Did you read his
column praising John Paul II?
LDS: He praised him but he didn't say the Catholic Church was right.
Catholic: Fine, but have you ever read G.K.
Chesterton? Only the true Church could produce a mystery writer like
that. And Chesterton was a Catholic.
LDS: Yes, but Chesterton wrote most of his great books before becoming
Catholic: So? God knew that he was going to become a Catholic and
so enabled him to write those great
Father Brown mysteries even before becoming a Catholic. You'd better
try another argument because that one just got blown out of the water,
LDS: Well, my church building is cooler than your church building.
We've got this spike tower that pierces the heavens. And we've got the
angel Moroni blowing his horn in front of the church. Your church building
looks like a converted gymnasium.
Catholic: It's only the temporary church.
LDS: It's been the temporary church for 25 years!
Catholic: What's a quarter of a century to the Catholic Church? We
think in terms of millennia. What about St. Peter's Basilica? Chartres?
Ever see them?
LDS: Impressive, most impressive.
Catholic: You sound like Darth Vader.
LDS: Count Ibli.
LDS: Uh, nobody.
Catholic: Did you say Count Ibli?
LDS: Uh ...
Catholic: From the old
TV show "Battlestar Galactica"?
LDS: Uh ...
Catholic: And you have the audacity to claim to belong to the true
Church when your religion inspired such a cheesy thing as "Battlestar
Galactica," that Star-Wars-wannabe-Mormons-in-Space show!
LDS: Uh ...
Catholic: Yeah, well, I think I have refuted Mormonism once-and-for-all
with that argument.
LDS: Okay, but what about the new
Catholic: The what?
LDS: The new, updated show. The re-envisioned show. You know, more
violence, exploitive sex. Better scripts. Storylines that require an I.Q.
Catholic: This is a Mormon show?
LDS: Not exactly. I'd call it "Mormon-inspired". The good guys believe
in many gods and the bad guys in one God and no others.
Catholic: Haven't seen it. We home school and don't watch anything
on TV but videos and DVDs of old TV shows and old movies. Did you know
Fu" has just come out on DVD? You should like that. It's pagan,
just like the LDS.
LDS: That's a lie. The LDS isn't pagan.
Catholic: You believe in many gods. That's polytheism. Pagan. Pagan.
LDS: You mean like your Catholic worship of saints? Actually, Mormons
not polytheists. Many gods, yes. But a main God for us, heavenly Father.
But I notice you have subtly changed the subject from TV shows to theistic
stances. Was that, perhaps, because the Catholic Church has yet to inspire
a truly great sci-fi TV show?
Catholic: Well, I ...
LDS: And maybe you should fully investigate a religion and the TV
shows and movies it gives rise to before you diss it. I mean, you don't
see me making fun of the "Father
Dowling Mysteries" or "Going
My Way", do you? I admit that Catholicism is better at mystery
shows and light comedy.
Catholic: At least we agree about something.
LDS: Look, this is really getting to be a heated discussion. Perhaps
we should give it a rest for now and come back to it when we're both a
Catholic: Good idea. Then I can tell you my idea for settling this
Catholic/Mormon issue. I think we'll both be better disposed to consider
LDS: At least give me some idea so I can start to think about it.
Catholic: Okay. Here's the deal. We have this wrestling match between
the Mormon President and the Catholic Pope. Winner takes all. Seven rounds,
in the Roman Colliseum...
LDS: Why in the Colliseum? That's in Rome. Why should the Pope have
the hometown advantage?
Catholic: And where would you have it, Salt Lake City?
LDS: Why shouldn't it take place on the continent where God restore
his Church? I mean
[Knock at the door.]
Catholic: Who's that?
The Legion of Mary?
LDS: Probably those pesky Baptists from down the road. They're always
going door-to-door trying to peddle their religious wares.
Other IgnatiusInsight.com articles by Mark Brumley:
Source and Summit of Christian Spirituality
& Curses of the Beatitudes
Be "Real Americans"?
Issues Should Be More Important Than Others for Catholics
Makes Protestantism Tick
Brumley is President of Ignatius
An former staff apologist with Catholic Answers, Mark is the author of How
Not To Share Your Faith (Catholic Answers) and contributor to The
Five Issues That Matter Most. He is a regular contributor to the
InsightScoop web log.
He has written articles for numerous Catholic periodicals and has appeared
on FOX NEWS and other television and radio programs.
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