Overheard in Ogden

Today, while waiting for Thing 1 and Thing 2, er, the children, to exit their orthodontist appointment, I was privy to an interesting conversation between three young men.

Two were Mormon, and the third appeared to be investigating Mormonism. I’m not sure. I swear, they were NOT more than 17, of course the older I get, the younger everyone else gets. Perhaps the most vocal and VERY LOUDEST of the three was getting ready to depart on his mission. Again, don’t know. They were not official missionaries, because EVERYONE knows how to spot those poor suckers.

These three were in short and T-shirts.

Brother Vocal said many things in the time I was listening to their conversation (and don’t accuse me of eavesdropping, because they were LOUD. Just give me credit for NOT jumping into the middle of it!), but the one that sticks out the most is one I hear over and over again.

The Mormon Church is the fastest growing religion in the world.

NOT! Even the official Mormon Church does not make this claim, and yet it is repeated by members over and over and over.

I wanted to jump up and tell Brother Vocal that he was DEAD wrong, but these WERE teenaged boys, after all. Too much eye-rolling makes me go into seizures, and you can bet there would have been eye-rolling galore if I had stepped in.

What I wonder is, SHOULD NOT the young who are vocal about their religion, KNOW THE TRUTH? Where are they GETTING THEIR INFORMATION? MTV? Get it? MTV=Mormon TV? Oh, never mind.

Anyway, he recounted quite a few sad little myths, but the one thing he kept doing, over and over, was reciting the FLAWS of the other religions. He claimed that Buddhism was created so the Chinese government could control the Chinese people. Considering that Buddhism is based on the teachings of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, who incidentally is from India, I’m a bit worried about Brother Vocal’s intelligence.

I know, I know, he’s young, but if you are going to scream from the rooftops about something that you believe is true, SHOULDN’T YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS semi-straight?

One thing that his young friend/potential convert picked up was that he had absolutely NO knowledge of the Bible. Young Friend kept pointing out Bible verses and Brother Vocal was totally stumped. And the other guy? He must have been window dressing. He didn’t say too much.

Some of the other nuggets?

“Some people think Mormons are arrogant, but what you need to understand is that we are not arrogant, we are confident. We know we have the only true thing.”

“Those Catholics did the same things the Chinese people, did, too. They just don’t talk about it much.”

“The Book of Mormon is true, and all you have to do is pray about it. You will know it’s true after that. I promise you that.”

Okay. So, how did it end?

Brother Vocal drove off in one car, Friend in another, and I have no idea.

But it was interesting….


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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10 Responses to Overheard in Ogden

  1. Tracy says:

    “I know, I know, he’s young, but if you are going to scream from the rooftops about something that you believe is true, SHOULDN’T YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS straight?”

    Brother Vocal didn’t have his facts straight about his religion, you expect him to even care about how another religion was started?

    Ole’ brother Vocal needs to take a class in comparative religions.


  2. Cele says:

    So what is it that Chinese do that Catholics did too? I’m totally stumped? Have children? Eat rice? Breath?


  3. INTJ_Mom says:

    LOL. I admire your restraint. I probably wouldn’t have been able to contain myself and would’ve busted out laughing loudly. I remember from some article, I think it was SL Trib, that there are several other Christian sects that are adding more new members per year than the LDS. And all of those except the JW’s don’t even actively proselyte.

    Someone posted an article on a mailing list I’m on either yesterday or today that claims that Islam is actually the world’s fastest growing religion.

    Would you agree that Brother Vocal is probably a typical TBM? He’s been taught to think and act in this manner by example and indoctrination since early youth. and has been taught to cling to anything that’s faith promoting and not question whether it’s really true or not.

    I agree there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance, but Brother Vocal really doesn’t understand the difference, IMO.

    I hope you’ve recovered well from your surgery and are mostly, if not completely, back to normal.


  4. JulieAnn says:

    I would have piped in and said “Ooh, boys tell him about the underwear and the polyandry next! Oh, oh and the hat, tell ’em about the hat!”

    See? You were just trying to be helpful…:)


  5. Elaine says:

    I, too, admire your restraint, Natalie. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been able to avoid saying something, even if it was just “You know, you might be ‘confident’ but all the confidence in the world is no substitute for correct information.”

    Your story reminds me, by the way, of the time I had to take my mother down to the DMV to get her Senior ID card. There was a woman sitting there, dressed to what she obviously thought was the nines (a dress, lots of jewelry, nice shoes) reading one of those blue paperback editions of the Book of Mormon that they missionaries hand out. You know the one…Moroni and his trumpet on the cover and “Book of Mormon” in big gold letters. Which was fine, I suppose, if that’s what she wanted to do. Except she was sitting there ramrod straight, holding that book up at an unnatural angle so that no one could miss what she was reading. I guess she was hoping someone would ask her about it or something.


  6. Ray A says:

    It’s unfortunate that myths abound among some Church members, but myths abound everywhere. They are legion. If you talk to the average person in the street you’ll hear a myth a minute. Ask Americans if Kangaroos hop around city streets in Australia. Even more difficult, ask them what is the capital of Australia (do you know the answer?). I know this is facetious, but people lack general knowledge, and don’t take the trouble to find out facts.

    “Foreign Policy” has listed the five fastest growing religions: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3835

    Behind all the growth are high birth rates. A good site for finding out facts about the world’s religions is Adherents. com: http://www.adherents.com/

    Seventh-Day Adventists have nearly 17 million. Jehovah’s Witnesses 16.5 million. And at the time of this survey LDS had 12.2 million.


  7. Natalie says:

    Interesting story, Ray! I agree about the myths. And my comments are never meant to imply that OTHER religions do not have their own myths…. Like I’ve said many times, my outlook is just that of an Ain’t in the land of Saints.

    I do find it interesting that high birth rates are behind the growth.


  8. Ray A says:

    I am an Ain’t too, and I ain’t even in the land of the Saints.


  9. Becca says:

    I find it’s the uninformed ones that usually share that lack of information the loudest…

    And hey, who won the photo caption contest????


  10. Renee says:

    I was in front of the loudest, most obnoxious Mormon boy when I was registering my older son for school. I wanted to PUNCH him. Then again, I just had my lovely TBM neighbor come over and invite me to this weekend’s WARD PARTY (again, after attending just a few weeks ago which was fun!) and assure me that though she couldn’t guarantee the missionaries WOULDN’T be at the party, she could assure me she HADN’T invited them because some of us heathens might attend.

    Sadly we are going to be out of town, or I’d be there eating pie! Natalie, does this mean I am susceptible to someone like Brother Vocal? I hope not!


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