How do the Pearly Gates Work?
A Mormon leader claims there are no gay members in the LDS Church.
The linguistic aspect of what the good elder speaks is interesting. But what is far more interesting (at least to a failed Mormon such as me) is something I learned in the NZ mission field. Get someone to argue with you as to whether the Pearly Gates swing or slide.
Once engaged at that level, you have a serious foothold. For to make their case, the “target” has begun to accept there are Pearly Gates. At least at a metaphorical level and it follows that if such concepts exist, there is probably a real heaven, and a real hell, and whatever brand of Christian teachings you’re selling could have much merit. It’s just a matter of convincing the target your brand of Christianity is the one for them.
I happen to think it’s both silly and cruel to determine who is good or bad by their core feelings. But don’t you get how it sells religion? By arguing over what God wants, you get the target to admit that God exists … and then we leap to the second stage: conversion based on what God told some people a few thousand years ago.
And lucky for us we have a copy of what God said in black and white. So we start arguing over different interpretations of what God means. And in so doing we’re hooked into faith that God exists.
Does he? I have no idea. It was a dynamite experience to spend two years at age 20 in New Zealand half a century ago and end up as a failed Mormon. That’s why I wrote the novel: “The Failed Life of a Mormon Missionary.” Is it true? No, by definition a novel is fiction. However, many of the things I fictionalized were based on amazing experiences I had in NZ.
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