Posted by: rusch | April 2, 2006

Protestors. Why?

For the past twenty-seven years General Conference was something that I watched at home with my family or at the local ward building. This year was different as my brothers and I attended the priesthood session at the conference center in Salt Lake City.

I heard that there were protesters General Conference. The Church has harsh critics. Some of the worst are among Baptists and the Evangelical community. As a missionary in small towns throughout northern California I became familiar with their arguments and read some of the tracts they distribute to save other “Christians” from Mormonism.

At first I felt obligated to defend the faith and not only disprove their arguments but prove to them, from the Bible, with an emphasis on the New Testament, why we were right. It became apparent that this was not going to work, nor was it productive, and did not encourage development of attributes needed by a minister of Jesus Christ. In fact it is a transgression to get in heated arguments like this where there is the possibility for bullying and intimidation. In the Book of Mormon, Christ condemned these heated exchanges, saying that such things were not of him but of the Devil who wanted men to contend with each other.

My friend Ryan said that the protestors were at some level not there to convince anyone of the errors of LDS doctrine in a free and open exchange, or that it had to do with Christianity, but had everything to do with intimidation. He also said that some the protestors, were insecure about their own beliefs so they engage in a form of exhibitionism in order to assuage their insecurity; like the person, who doubting if the Church is true, bares a blood and thunder testimony thinking that this will confirm their belief.

Other then the protestors, it was great. I look forward to the remaining sessions of the conference tomorrow and having a great vacation in Utah visiting friends and just relaxing for a week.


  1. Chris,
    I’m glad you are enjoying yourself! Another excellent conference. I haven’t been to the Conference Center in a couple of years, but I also found the “protesting” somewhat noteworthy. Most of it honestly confused me: I saw one “protestor” standing on the NW corner of Temple Square sporting a large, disturbing poster of an aborted fetus and shouting anti-abortion slogans. I wondered if he knew where he was! When they didn’t puzzle me, the displays evoked a real sense of pity for people so apparently blinded by contention and so devoid of spiritual sensitivity of any kind. I say “apparently” because it is my understanding that most of these people are paid by others to “crusade” in this manner and that most of them don’t know much about Mormonism. Even so, their persistent presence at Conferencetime–like all anti-Mormon propaganda–encourages the thoughtful disciple to consider the counsel given by the Savior in the Sermon on the Mount: “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16). I hope you have a excellent adventure in good ol’ UT! I really like your blog, bro!–>

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