Item description for When Mormons Call: Answering Mormon Missionaries at Your Door by Isaiah Bennett...
When Mormon missionaries come to your door, they are trained to present six lectures designed to sway you to abandon your faith. Isaiah Bennett dissects the twenty-five topics covered in these lectures in this brief, easy-to-read handbook. You'll find everything you need to defend and share your faith and even persuade them to reconsider theirs.
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Reviews - What do customers think about When Mormons Call?
Meeting Mormons at the Door Dec 17, 2007
Former Mormon/Catholic revert Isaiah Bennett has inside knowledge of the Latter-Day Saint faith. For a time,he was a Catholic priest, but struggled with celibacy and entered the LDS Church,where he married. However, the deeper he got into the Mormon faith, the less he liked. Finally, he returned to the Catholic Church.
"When Mormons Call" is a result of his experiences. It's outlined to fit Mormon missionaries' pre-packaged discussions. There are relevant questions from Mormon church leaders. It's a useful book, confronting Mormon beliefs (such as pre-existence,polygamy) head-on.
However, this book has its weaknesses. It lacks depth. If one wants to REALLY know Mormon beliefs&practices, Richard Ostling's "Mormon America" is superior. There is a dismissive attitude towards Mormon beliefs, taking cheap potshots at their belief in eternal marriage,claiming it shows their lack of faith,and mocking their concept of Heavenly Father engaging in conjugal activity with the Virgin Mary as "blasphemous absurdity" (proving the Mormon belief that Christians are prudes) The polemical afterword condemns Mormons as Devil-worshippers. Not exactly something that would convert a Mormon, or make Catholicism more attractive to a doubting Mormon.
"When Mormons Call" is a helpful introduction;it does give good responses to the basic Mormon missionary discussions. Still, it serves as a launching pad and a point of departure.
Fails in critiquing "Mormonism" successfully Nov 26, 2006
This book contains too many mistakes about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that is shows that the author, Isaiah Bennet, a Mormon for only 18 months, never really knew more than the very basics of "Mormonism" when he authored this text.
For instance, when approaching the Book of Mormon, one must realise that it purports to be a *translation*. The purpose of a translation is to convey, not words, but meaning. Furthermore, it stands to reason that the language in which the Book of Mormon is rendered is not the language from which, according to its very own claims, it was translated. However, Bennet seems not to have been able to grasp this. He charges that the Book of Mormon's mention of "Alpha and Omega" and "adieu" represent anachronisms in the text! When one realises that it is a purports to be a *translation* the alleged "problem" disappears.
Furthermore, Bennet charges that the Book of Mormon teaches *Modalism*. However, this is false. In many instance are the Father and the Son presented as two different persons, contrary to Modalism (see 3 Nephi 8-26 for many examples of the Father and the Son being presented as different persons). The pericope often cited by critics allegedly conducive to Modalism in the Book of Mormon are Ether 3:14b and Mosiah 15:1-4. Notwithstanding the former being an unusual twist on Modalism seeing that Modalism is strongly anti-anthropomorphic, the Book of Mormon's use of "Father" as a title for Jesus Christ is not an equitation of Him being the same person as God the Father, but a term that reveals that He is the Creator of all things and the fact we must be adopted into the covenant he offers (e.g., Mosiah 3:8).
Much more could be said about the mistakes Bennet makes in this book, and I have dealt with a few others in my review of his other book, "Inside Mormonism." However, this book fails miserably and would ultimately fail in convincing a knowledgeable Latter-day Saint in abandoning "Mormonism."
I welcome feedback at Robert.S.Boylan@nuim.ie
Another perspective Apr 19, 2006
Mr. Bennett lost a lot when he converted to Mormanism. I find it doubtful that he did that to line his pockets. I saw this first hand in my own church when one of our Deacons converted to the morman faith and ended up coming back. In both cases, Bennett's and the man I knew, they both said they got to a certain point with the Mormans and they could not continue. The Deacon I knew lost his standing in the Church and also lost touch with his own family. I will bet something similar happened to Mr. Bennett.
Witnessed Isaiah's supposed conversion Oct 10, 2005
Approximately 12 years ago this Catholic Priest-turned-temporary-Mormon-turned-Catholic was baptized as a Mormon in my home town of Murray, Utah. His conversion became pretty big news within my community because of the fact that he was a Catholic Priest from the east coast who became converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after researching material to write an anti-Mormon book. I actually had the opportunity to attend a meeting where he rehearsed his conversion story, and even had enough forethought to ask Deseret Book, an LDS publishing company, to record his talk to be sold in-stores (why not turn a profit on both sides of the religious debate since you are already a turncoat anyway?). I had the opportunity to meet Isaiah, and he was very charismatic.
During this talk he unequivocally denied the veracity of Catholicism, and embraced the doctrine and culture of the LDS faith. His talk came out on tape and everybody in the area bought it (my friend actually bought mulitple copies and gave me one, which I still have for comic relief). Two years later, after being a fully active Mormon, he left the church. Not surprisingly, he then came out with a series of anti-Mormon books.
One point of interest is that during his talk he said he started investigating Mormonism to find better anti-Mormon fodder, since most comments or supposed dogmas have been recycled by these types of writers, often for more than a century.
There is no doubt that his entire foray into Mormonism was to try to leverage some credibility, which he has clearly done since all of his books since that time point out that he is a Mormon-turned-Catholic (they often leave out the fact that he was originally a Catholic). This man is all-for-profit, and his claims of Mormonism in this book and others are still just the same old recycled trash that has been promulgated over the years.
Take a pass on this and read something that actually makes people more Christlike. Try not to make Isaiah's wallet too thick, as plenty of Mormons and Catholics alike have already done so.
Pretty Fair Apologetic Outline Jun 26, 2002
Mr. Bennet's book is short and accessable for the average lay reader. It does a good job of outlining the differences between Catholic Christianity (and any orthodox Christian believers) and Mormonism. The book is most definitely polemical and appears to be aimed at converting the Mormon missionaries who show up at your door. I think the author is a bit over-optimistic if he thinks much of an impact will be made on 19 year old Mormon missionaries, the entire point of them going out on missions is so they have an intense Mormon experience at an early age which will influence them the rest of their lives and keep them in the fold. Not much unlike the experience young men who enter the Marine Corps at age 18 or 19 have. Once a Marine always a Marine. Once a Mormon missionary, always a Mormon. If these young missionaries do win converts it is only a bonus. Let us be realistic, only a rather naive and ill-educated 40 year old will be converted by a couple of high school graduates who are essentially biblically illiterate and completely ignorant of the history of Christianity (knowing only the LDS rhetoric which portrays God as an insincere trickster) to a polytheistic religion which teaches that dark skin is a sign of serious sin in a previous existance. The real conversion work is done by older, better educated and more mature members of the LDS. However the author must be granted credit for suggesting that an effort be made to convert the Mormon missionaries. One never knows what effect testimony to the Gospel will have with unbelievers (unbelief in the sense that LDS and other branches of Mormonism have essentially created a new kind of a God with very different characteristics from the God worshiped by Christians and Jews). Where one sows another will reap. The critics of this book seem to miss the point. Of course Mr. Bennet has beliefs different from their beliefs. But ad hominem attacks do not address the merits of this book. In particular the criticism of Janice Parker is dead wrong. Bennet may be polemical and you may disagree with his theology, but he is 100% accurate with historical and theological data. This work is far from a thorough criticism of Mormonism. Read Bennet's later book, "Inside Mormonism" for a more exhaustive treatment of the differences between Mormonism and Catholic Christianity. Yes Bennet wants to sell books to traditional Catholic readers (there are many millions of them in the United States and that is an attractive market), but he does not fabricate history or theology. In order to be sucessful with traditional Catholic readers Bennet has to be very careful with the facts. The population he is aiming at is very well educated, more so than the average American. Honesty is the best policy with this potential market and Bennet is very careful to be 100% honest in his presentation of facts. Those who differ with Bennet's theology should be honest that this is their point of contention. Critics like Moi from SLC who make false statements that the Catholic Church changes its doctrines do not help their position. One would be hard pressed to name a religion that changes as often as Mormonism. If the critics do not like Bennet's book because Bennet's theology differs from their theology they should just be honest about that. They should simply state that they do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, they do not beleive the historical record, they do not believe the archeological record, rather they believe the living Prophet of the LDS Church and the past revelations of that Church not contradicted by their living Prophet. Once these differences are fairly aired then an intelligent debate on Bennet's book is possible. My conclusion is that this book is a worthwile read. I would however qualify my endorsement by saying that Fr. William Taylor's book, "Tale of Two Cities: Mormonism vs. Catholicism" would be a better selection for someone turned off by polemics who wants a short introduction to the topic. Fr. Taylor has certainly had a more stable faith history than Mr. Bennet. Fr. Taylor, a native of the intermountain west, bends over backwards to be fair to Mormons, some of whom are his cousins.