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Study Resources :: Articles and Books :: Exposé of Mormonism :: 15. How They Get Converts

15. How Mormons Get Converts

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15A. The Mormons have a specific and structural way of gaining converts known as Friendshipping.

John L. Smith has printed a booklet written by Patrick and Cynthia Maquire exposing the highly structural practice of every Mormon congregation or ward. For a complete copy of this article you may write John L. Smith at the following address.

By Patrick & Cynthia Maquire

John L. Smith
Utah Missions, Inc.
P.O. Box 348
Marlow, Oklahoma 73055
15B. If a person has a Mormon friend who is in good standing with the LDS church is he being friendshipped?

Yes, FRIENDSHIPPING is a term used to describe a general plan that is always in effect for every member of the Mormon Church, regardless of age.

15C. What is their next step after the target family has been selected, and their names turned into the priesthood leader?
There is a printed guide for the member family to follow. During the first week of the program (after training) a specific number of contacts are made. These are telephone calls, visits, shopping trips, any kind of contact that enhances the relation.

In the second week, the number of contacts increases and may include activities that only involve the children of the two families. This kind of building, caring, personal relationship continue increasing in intensity until the target family and the member family are good friends.

Throughout the process, however, the priesthood holder (or the head of the member family have been turning in written reports to his priesthood leader on the overall progress being made with the non-member family. Also, verbal reports are required on demand.

If progress is slow, or for some reason non-existent, then the entire member family is retrained in FRIENDSHIPPING. If progress continues to stagnate over a period of time, then the target family is dropped and another chosen."
15D. Is the Mormon Church discussed in the first few weeks of friendshipping?

NO. If it is brought up by the target family it is usually approached in a non-aggressive manner, depending on how church leaders feel about the target family's readiness for the "gospel."

15E. What programs are offered to attract the target family to church-related meetings? Are these meetings religious in nature?

The meetings are not religious. "The Ward (Local Mormon Congregation) have many cultured programs throughout the year. These may be parties for children. The topics vary and include little or no religious content."

15F. Why do target families consent to a study with the missionaries?

Usually out of a sense of obligation to their friends.

15G. When are the target families asked to commit a goal date for baptism?

Usually after two or three lessons. This comes as a complete surprise to the target family, because in most cases they felt they were just getting more information on the church. This is what they were told by their friends. If the answer to this request is "No" the first time, then the same request will be made with every missionary contact until the target family consents.

15H. What tactics do the missionaries use to avoid complicated doctrinal topics?

They are avoided by the Missionaries.

"If an investigator, as each member of the target family would now be called, asks questions that probe too deeply into the real doctrine of the church, he is reassured that there are no hidden secrets and that non-members are misguided about Mormon doctrine because they have never studied it as a believer."
15I. Why are missionaries used to teach the lessons?
"Practice has made perfect and they are ready to deal with any kind of opposition the target family might raise."
15J. If the lessons are continued to the end, what is the result?
"The chances are excellent that the target family will be baptized into THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS."
15K. What happens to the target family after becoming a member of the church?
"The target family is engulfed by the church. Two or three other families are assigned to 'FELLOWSHIP' the new members for the first year. The new family is either going to a church function or attending a social affair arranged by one of these families several times per week."
15L. What has happened to the original relationship which the investigators had with the member family?
"Their intense interaction has come to an end. The member family must select some other family or individual and follow the same process through again."
15M. What happens to the target family that decides not to remain in the church after joining?
"They find their friends have lost interest in them. In a matter of weeks the intense involvement the apostate family had as members is completely gone. After the initial pressure by inside friends to not leave has failed there remains only the warnings from the local leadership. After all, an apostate family is doomed to hell as soon as they are excommunicated."
15N. What is the real intent of friendshipping?
"EVERYTHING that an active Mormon in good standing does is geared toward perking a non-member's interest and obtaining their eventual membership in the LDS church."
15O. What should a person do when he realizes he is a victim of friendshipping?
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Ephesians 5:11

Then turn to Jesus Christ.

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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