The Catalog of Antimormon Accusations
Typical Mormon Reaction to Criticism
by Woody Brison

This is one leaf of a review of "Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe" by Isaiah Bennett
Back to the main page of the review

Bennett's statement: It elicited a typical Mormon reaction to criticism. At my next visit, I noticed two signs prominently displayed in the living room. One, in bold, colored letters, stated: "SATAN ♥'s CONTENTION." The other: "CONTENTION IS OF THE DEVIL." Both signs were framed by red-orange flames.1
<=== Found on p. 11
40% of the way down the page

This story seems incomplete. Where did the signs come from? Were they provided by the missionaries? I've seen a few outrageous teaching techniques used by LDS missionaries, but the hellish decorations would be very, very much out of character.

Were they made by the man or his daughter? Why? Having learned something about contention, did they feel they needed two loud signs, right in their living room, to keep them from forgetting it, even for one second? That's crazy.

Were they made by someone else, some officious friend perhaps? Who? Why? And again, why would these people display them in their living room?

At any rate, they are not relevant to the conundrum. They address the problem of contention, not the question of blacks and the priesthood. We are not told what was said between the family and the missionaries. We are not told what was said about the signs or anything further. Bennett tries to imply that the missionaries had no answers; that they just trained their investigators to identify any inconvenient question as Satanic and to look away from it. That is exactly what Bennett is implying, and it's almost certainly false.

I was a missionary, and our procedure was to a) teach those that wanted to learn b) if they just wanted to fight and argue, find somebody else; c) if they had sincere questions, get the answers, either from our books, or our leaders, or from God. The answer to this one is not difficult. The difficulty would generally be hysteria on the part of racists, whether black or white; whipped up by folks like Bennett.

Bennett's footnote 1 refers us to 3Ne. 11:29. This just says that contention is of the devil, which is true enough, but it looks like Bennett is trying to reinforce the idea, which I guess we are supposed to assume, that the signs were provided by the Mormons. Notice that he did not say they were.

Or were they fictional, put there by Bennett in his telling of the story?

Sometimes people are afraid to tell an outright lie, but they will lead their audience to it and let them infer it, figuring that's OK. In war, deception can often save lives. In peace, it's to be shunned like the plague by decent people.

When I myself was taking the missionary lessons, a minister friend of mine gave me some antimormon literature. It upset me. My missionaries did not "demonize" it; they countered it. Not point by point, but as a whole, in general. From their input I was able to discern who was in agreement with Jesus' thinking on the subject.

1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.