Missionary work (member)

(also see “Guilt, shame, and anxiety”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Just as the believer will realize the importance of full time missionary work, they will also realize the importance of member missionary work for many of the same reasons.
 
Missionary work is literally the most important duty we have as members of the Church, as per Joseph Smith: “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel”. The spiritual benefits of bringing souls unto God are nearly incomprehensible and provide joy in this life and in the life to come. (see D&C 18).
 
The responsibility and joy of missionary work require believing members to share the gospel with neighbors and friends, which might have the beneficial effect of making you more sociable and caring.
Nonbelievers would probably not personally feel the same desire to engage in member missionary work. However, they might acknowledge that for those who feel the responsibility and desire to do so, it might have the beneficial effect of making you more sociable and caring.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Believers can have constant guilt for not sharing the gospel with others. It can also lead to social awkwardness. The drive to share the gospel with friends, acquaintances, family, coworkers, or neighbors can place conscious or subconscious ulterior motives behind all relationships. This can prevent friendships from forming or prevent them from blossoming and deepening. Those that have Mormons trying to convert them can feel betrayed or duped if they realize that part of the reason a Mormon befriended them was to share the gospel with them.
The nonbeliever is often on the receiving end of the social awkwardness of member missionary work. Believing Mormons who have the drive to share the gospel with friends, acquaintances, family, coworkers, or neighbors can place conscious or subconscious ulterior motives behind all relationships. This can prevent friendships from forming or prevent them from blossoming and deepening. Those that have Mormons trying to convert them can feel betrayed or duped if they realize that part of the reason a Mormon befriended them was to share the gospel with them.
 
Sometimes, those that leave Mormonism are relieved in how easy it becomes to socialize and make friendships with people who are not Mormons. From personal experience and from the stories of many other people, it seems that most people enjoy no longer having to be a member missionary. No longer having to be an example of the believers can make it easier to accept others for who they are, to be less judgmental, to be more genuine, and to overall have less stress and pressure.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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