The first thought that went through my head was, "Darn it, I knew they'd be coming in December; I should have had a Book of Mormon ready." We had a couple of copies of The Book of Mormon that the missionaries had left with us, but we were supposed to write our testimonies in them and give them back to the missionaries, so they could give them to other people. Oh well, I'll just listen to what they have to say, like I always do. I do usually sort of intend to read the material more and give it some thought, but then I get distracted. Not that I'm interested in switching religions (I'm pretty well convinced that the one we're in is true), but I think it's important to be informed, for discussion purposes and stuff.
This time, they brought a book called The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (I think; I'm too lazy to go check), and their description of it reminded me of a book popular in the LDS Church called Jesus the Christ--basically a study aide to help people get to know Jesus better. The very important point in the book that they wanted me to know was that it says the primary purpose of Christ's ministry on earth was to preach the gospel. I said I was pretty sure the main reason Christ came to earth was to atone for our sins (though of course correcting false doctrine and preaching the gospel is important, too). They said, well yeah, and it was also really important to preach. We went around in circles for a little bit (mostly my fault, probably), and finally I asked why it was so important that I know that Jesus came to earth to preach the gospel.
I don't remember their exact answer, but I interpreted it (perhaps wrongly) as, "So we can follow His example." Well okay, if it's so important that I preach the gospel, I better get you a Book of Mormon. Hold on a sec while I see if I can find the other spare copy we had (before the missionaries came by). I couldn't find it, but I figured the missionaries would forgive me for giving away one of the copies they gave us, so I picked it up and showed it to them.
One of them said yes, he had one of those for several years, but he decided that the Bible was complete and so the Book of Mormon isn't important. I should have asked him if he read any of the Book of Mormon, but instead, I got caught up on the whole "Bible being complete" thing and asked if he didn't think after two thousand years, maybe, like with the Pharisees in the Bible, there were some false traditions that needed to be corrected. I don't remember what he said, possibly because at this point I was like, "Never mind; if you're not even going to consider what I have to say, let me get back to work, for crying out loud. I'm a busy woman!"
Well anyway, they could tell I wasn't digging what they were saying, and they started getting apologetic, saying they didn't come here to bash on the Mormon church. To be honest, nothing they said really surprised me, and if I looked offended it was probably exasperation at this complete waste of time. Basically, they came all the way to my door to point out the importance of preaching the gospel (reminding me from the beginning that it's important to keep an open mind), and as soon as I do what they're telling me to do, they're like, "Oh no, we're not interested in that gospel."
And to all of that I say argh. I'm so sick of people telling me to keep an open mind so that I can see things their way, while at the same time completely closing their mind to anything I might have to say. I get so frustrated when I try to bring up my point of view, and when I start getting adamant about what I believe, having the other person say, "Oh, I'm so sorry; I didn't realize I offended you." Well, you didn't offend me until you said that. How many times have I stood here at this doorway, listening to everything you said, mildly intending to read your publications? And as soon as I even suggest you read one of mine, you say, "Oh no, I'm not interested." Really? Well, I expected that much, because I know a lot of people, and they're all the same.
They apologized and said they didn't come to bash on the Mormon church, but they didn't actually. They only stated their beliefs. What insulted me wasn't a blanket statement about my religion. It was the blatant hypocrisy of insisting that I realize that Christ wants us to preach the gospel, telling me that I need to keep an open mind, and then refusing to even consider what I might have to say on the subject.
And thus we learn once again that the people who are quickest to tell others to keep an open mind are usually the ones with their minds most tightly shut.
And that concludes my minor rant. Eheh. Anyway, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and its teachings have helped me a lot, as far as knowing what's what, and as far as getting through life. I've read some of the Jehovah's Witnesses' publications, and they just seem to be lacking. Sometimes it's like, "Oh, if only you knew this other thing, too. Then you'd be less confused." Still, now that I've ranted about all this, I'd better go read some more.
Today I'm thankful for work not taking as long as it could have, having time to just sit and read, getting our package from the office (a few more Disney DVDs to add to our collection), getting to finish those chocolate oatmeal cookies before too long, and finishing our other obligations for today (except for laundry, but that's next).