S.M. doesn’t want his own Facebook, but feels content to look over my shoulder when I use my account. In this case, I saw Glenn Beck’s post about his daughter and the temple. One of the anti-Mormon comments had 38 or so replies. So I clicked that to read the replies.
In all 38 replies at the time, none of them addressed Mormon definitions. None of them touched on the Trinity. They did, however, show a variety of good and bad replies. The defensive tone colored both parties, except in rare instances where the commenter answered correctly encouraging the Mormon to read beyond the biases of both parties.
S.M. said. “Type a reply to that person!” He pointed at one who denounced any rebuttal because of where the information came from.
I laughed and said, “I can’t. Don’t you know that my relatives will read it, too?”
“Oh. It’s not private?” S.M. looked puzzled.
“Nope. My relatives will most definitely take exception to my reply.”
“Don’t they already know you are not Mormon, but a Christian?” S.M. still didn’t understand. Then, again, he grew up in a non-Mormon home.
“Yes, but as long as I don’t refute it, we are on speaking terms.” I’ve read and heard many stories of families splitting because one became a Christian or atheist or agnostic in the family. People have lost jobs or promotions for not being Mormon. “That’s why I write anonymously.”
“But your Facebook isn’t anonymous.” S.M. nodded.
“Nope. My friend has many accounts on social media. That smart phone goes everywhere with her, and I really am not interested in having that many accounts. It’s enough to take care of my blog and twitter account, with her help, of course.” I shook my head and continued. “Really. I like that my real Facebook account is me. People have got to stop Bible thumping Mormons, using caps, and letting their bitterness come through. So many people are trying to speak to that community, like Ravi Zacharias.”
That poor man had some dissenters when he spoke at the Mormon church even though he never compromised in doing so. In many ways, Ravi was being a missionary toward them. That’s what we need to be towards Mormons. We need to show our better side, but speak truth when the Holy Spirit prods us.
CAPS in internet speak means shouting, my friend explained, and I didn’t need her to explain it to me as it feels like shouting when you read it. Also, my friend pointed out how people’s replies are way too long. Short replies actually get read. Long replies get skimmed, and often misunderstood or not read at all.
“So how do we reach Mormons?” S.M. says this in such a way that I almost feel his hopelessness.
“One person, one relationship at a time. But we need to start recognizing that the Mormon church uses the words we use differently before we can speak into their lives. That’s what I’ll begin writing about next week.” I said.