Ben: Hello, my name is Ben and I'm calling on behalf of the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints. Do you have a moment?
Me: Sure. Why not?
Ben: That's great. Um...I'm calling because you recently ordered a Book of Mormon through our website and I was just wondering if you had any questions?
Me: No. I just wanted a new copy. My old one was getting pretty torn up and overly notated.
Ben: Really? So, you've read it? Wow. That's great.
Ben: May I ask what you thought of it?
Me: Meh... it's an interesting view into the mind of an elaborate con artist.
Ben: (Clearly wasn't expecting my answer) Oh. Um. Hrm... who are you referring to?
Me: Joseph Smith, of course. He wrote the Book of Mormon, did he not?
Ben: It was revealed to him...
Me: Using two magic peep stones and a top hat! AND, his translation changed between the time Martin Harris' wife burned one copy and he wrote a second translation.
Ben: That's not true.
Me: Oh, but it is.
Ben: Well...why are you reading the BoM if you are convinced it isn't inspired?
Me: Well, I believe it's "inspired", just not "divinely inspired". I'm sure Joseph Smith had some really grandiose thoughts on how rich and powerful he could become by starting his own religion. He was "inspired" by greed and his own ego.
Ben: That's just not true, Ma'am. *pauses* We believe that an angel led our prophet to the tablets that contained the full and revealed gospel. Joseph Smith was a humble man who devoted his life to the creation of the Lords one and only true church.
Me: I realize that's what you believe, but I do not share that opinion. Joseph Smith was anything but humble,... humble men don't embark on shady land deals, murder, and marrying multiple, underaged wives under the guise of being a siren of God.
Ben: Where are you getting your information from, Ma'am?
Me: The historically accurate sources that document Smith's dealings.
Ben: There are many lies about our prophet and I believe you've only read the lives. Can I send a team of missionaries to your house to help reveal the truth of Joseph Smith and his plan for eternal families and salvation? Do you have children? I can make sure they bring materials for them as well.
Me: I would LOVE to talk to the missionaries. I befriended a pair a few years ago.
Ben: That's wonderful. What made you continue to believe lies after hearing the truth?
Me: I don't think I'm believing lies.
Ben: Don't you want to live in perfect heaven with all of your family for time and all eternity?
Me: I don't believe there's such a place called heaven...or, as you would call it, "the celestial kingdom".
Ben: You don't believe in heaven?
Ben: (is getting flustered now) Well....well, what do you believe in then?
Me: I guess I believe that this life is the only shot we get and we should make the best out of every day we have.
Ben: But,...what happens to you when you die? Have you given any thought to your eternal soul?
Me: Can you prove I have an eternal soul?
Ben: Yes! I believe I can.
Me: Well, I'm all ears then. Please share your proof with me.
Ben: I have a personal testimony to the fact that there is a blessed eternity and that Joseph Smith and our current prophets have the keys to that kingdom.
Me: That's not proof. That's your opinion.
Ben: It's not just my opinion. I swear to you that I know with all my heart that what I'm telling you is true.
Me: That's just not good enough. I'm sorry.
Ben: Ma'am, I'm trying to help you.
Me: And, I'm willing to listen to your ideas and thoughts, but you need to back them up with evidence. Why should I believe you? I don't know you.
Ben: You'd have to pray on what I'm telling you and take lessons from our missionaries.
Me: Would those be the lessons where I'd be told, in the third meeting, that I need to be baptized before you'd spring all of the questionable doctrines on me?
Ben: What questionable... (I cut him off).
Me: ...the word of wisdom, the temple endowment ceremonies, the secret names, the fact that my husband would be the only way for me to get to heaven with a secret name, the garments, the tithing, the expectation that I would have to donate significant time and money to church purposes, blood atonement...
Ben: We don't practice blood atonement anymore!
Me: That's not what I learned in the temple.
Ben: Ohhhhh....now it makes sense. You're an apostate. (He starts to sound really cocky...so I had to take him down a peg!).
Me: Nope. To be an apostate, I would have to first be a member. I went through the temple as a non-member. I was snuck in by a friend who'd procured a recommend.
Ben: *speechless* That's impossible.
Me: Apparently, it isn't. But, I can understand your disbelief.
Ben: I think this call is over.
So...I guess this means no visit?