Earlier this afternoon, a pair of missionaries representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knocked on the door of Provo skeptic Ben Robert Ottley. Knowing these missionaries were likely keeping secrets about their enigmatic faith, Ben invited the Elders into his living room.
“I was totally shocked!” reported Ben. “I always heard Mormons keep secrets about their church, even from their members… you know… just giving people the easy-to-digest bits and covering up their really bold claims… but these dudes must have missed that memo!”
Apparently, Elder Smith openly claimed that Joseph Smith was a literal prophet who saw God and even translated a book of ancient scripture called The Book of Mormon. The missionaries did not seem to care that Ben’s roommates were in the back, and could have easily overheard these audacious claims.
“Not only did they totally share the boldest teachings of their religion,” continued Ben, “but they also left me a copy of their book… you know… the Book of Mormon. And get this… they asked me to read it!”
Elder Jones explained to Ben that he should not just take the word of the missionaries that their message about prophets of Christ was true, but he should pray for himself, promising God would help him to know the truth.
“I thought they were supposed to keep all that stuff secret!” laughed Ben. “Well, the joke’s on them… I’m going to read through the book this week! Bet they’ll be sorry then!”
“The Only True Church” – Elder Boyd K. Packer, October 1985
“Apostasy and Restoration” – Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 1995