After the initial pleasantries of establishing where we all stand (introducing themselves as LDS missionaries, and I for my part introducing myself as Catholic) they said that they were interested in [rough paraphrase here] "helping people come closer to Christ." I informed them that I appreciated their sincerity, but that we were not interested in becoming LDS.
And this is the point at which the story gets a little ugly, at least in my opinion. Because they both assured me that they weren't really interested in making converts.
Yes, they said that.
Well, I had to argue with them to get them to admit what they were really doing. They're missionaries. This means that they have a mission (hence the name), and that mission is to make more LDSers. So they had to concede that, yes, that's what they're really doing. So then I told them once again that we're not interested in converting. And off they went.
What the heck is going on with LDS missions if their missionaries are lying to people? Frankly, I find it hard to believe that this was an incidental offhand remark: I'm pretty sure they are sufficiently well-trained in their spiel that this was unlikely to be an innocent gaffe by a newbie. Indeed, given the fact that they never send out two newbies together but rather pair up the greenhorns with veterans (which is a sensible approach), and given that they both initially insisted they weren't trying to make converts, it seems very likely that they were trained this way.
I'm pretty shocked and disgusted by the whole thing. I don't mind them coming to my door as much as I do the fact that they were apparently trained to lie to me.
Beware the LDS missionary. He's represents a "gospel" that is contrary to the Catholic Faith, and he will apparently lie to you in order to get you to join up.
[Update]: I'm pretty bothered by this lying bit, so I did a little Googling. First hit: here. The author, apparently a former LDSer who is now a Protestant, says that he told more lies as an LDS missionary in the 1970s than he can remember. Number one on his list: "We're not trying to convert you." He continues:
I didn't trade the Southern California sunshine for the Dakota snow merely to build interfaith relations. My calling was to teach the church-approved missionary lessons and then baptize the people I taught.Of course it was. And a little honesty is a lot better way to say hello than lying to my face.