For several years at least, I have anticipated being visited by the traveling missionaries of the LDS. I mentally previewed how the conversations might go, and apparently overconfident in my imagination, I envisioned life-altering persuasive arguments that would shake the delusional from their indoctrinated beliefs and into the realm of the rational. Today, the day finally came, but to say the meeting was anticlimactic would be understating it by quite a bit.
I opened the door to see two pimply-faced young lads in white shirts and ties, standing politely at the far end of my front stoop, one of them holding a small book. They needed no introduction to me, but faithfully one of them recited, “We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” All of the possible snappy retorts faded from my mind as all I could feel was sorrow for the wasted lives I saw standing before me. Emotion obvious in my voice, I said, “I’m sorry to hear that. You must know that not a word of what you’ve been taught is true. Please, do some reading and learn for yourselves.” The one young man who’d already spoken took up the mantle and replied rather robotically I thought, “I have read, and I know that it is true.”
My heart sank and I just looked at them for a moment longer, then stood up straight and said, “That’s unfortunate.” I offered them a crisp salute and said, “Carry on then,” and slowly closed the door. My beagle, who had been quietly observing, let out one lone bark and looked up at me with that pleading expression all beagles are born to produce. “I know buddy…. I know.”