There has been some tension and I believe some misunderstanding on my recent post about the Mormons coming to visit. I think it took a little turn for the ignorant even on my part so I think I should explain myself. As this is in no way I desire to go on this blog. While I stand by my post and think there was nothing wrong with that, the comment I made subsequently about Mormon boys getting “drafted” may have been misinterpreted as being something negative. I did not mean to imply that a young Mormon man has no choice about going on his mission. What I probably should have said, when broaching a subject I am no expert on, was that the young men are “invited”. I thought that they were invited because of a statement made to me by a young Mormon woman. I asked her if she would like to go on a mission. She said that she would be honored if she was invited and gladly go. For this reason I assumed that there was an invitation based system, especially since the young men went so universally.
Also, yes, I do think Mormon theology is strange and really unattractive to me but that does not make it a cult based on my own observations. I lived in Utah for several years and had a friend who was a devoted Mormon while living elsewhere in the US. It does have some cult like features but most of these are not top down things but things mostly driven by its members. In any non-mainstream devout religion there is a degree of inward cultishness, this is not an exception in the Mormon Church. Some of the stories you find online told by ex-Mormons of severe cult like abuses are rare. I know tons of ex-Mormons, way more than I know current Mormons and while some of them viewed their former religion negatively did not describe it as a cult and reported no larger degree of trouble leaving it than most people report leaving the churches their families are extremely devoted to. I can dig up similar stories from the church of my family and most people do not think mainstream Pentecostals, like Assemblies of God, are cults.
I will write more about what I learn as I grill the missionaries as they are coming over in a few hours. They are quite nice boys and pretty enjoyable company.