Thursday evening around 7:30 our door bell rang. We were not expecting anyone and being late for two old people it surprised us.  I opened the door and before me stood two young ladies that I immediately recognized as Mormon (their little name plates gave it away).  They introduced themselves as Megan and Tracy and that they were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I introduced my self and said I'm an atheist.  I will never forget the look on their faces especially Tracy, her mouth fell open her eyes went wide and it remained that way for the next ten minutes of our conversion, Megan too had the look of surprise but managed to recover enough to ask if I had heard of the book of Mormon.  I told her yes and that I had read it. Megan had a relapse of her initial surprise and Tracy was now in what I believe a catatonic state. I knew I had to take charge of the situation and defuse their shock of not only discovering an atheist living in Tennessee but one who had actually read the Book of Mormon so I ask how their mission was going and explained that I was retired and studied philosophy and religion as a hobby. Megan, apparently still recovering from me having actually read the Book of Mormon mumbled something about saying a prayer. I told them I didn't pray and considered prayer nothing more than talking to yourself.  This ended our conservation.  I wished them a good evening and a safe journey

I was surprised at how unprepared they were when confronted by my atheism.  Please give your opinion.

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You're ahead of me, John.  I've barely glanced at the book of mormon (sorry, I can't bring myself to cap that), but then, I don't know as I'm much interested in reading religious fiction written by a con artist.  Were such a pair to visit my door, I'd remind them that Joseph Smith was just that - a con man - and that I would have no truck with such or with any other religion. 

In the final analysis, they're all cons.

The fact that these two ladies were so unprepared to give any sort of adequate response to your atheism further proves that for many people, their religion only teaches and permits a very narrow view of life and the realities of the world that surround them.  This is why atheists always score higher than theists when it comes to knowledge of religions. 

Many Jews and Xtians have not read the Torah or the Bible. And, I dare say the same goes for Musims. They might actually be shocked to find out what's in those texts. As to the Book of Mormon, I tried reading it, but after the 100th or so, "And it came to pass ...." I found that I couldn't keep my eyes open. I agree with Mark Twain. The Book of Mormon is "Chloroform in print."

I had never heard this quote from Mark Twain but it applies to all the sermons I ever had to sit through as a child.  Day Dreams were my escape.  I, too, read the book of Mormon years ago and cannot remember a word of it.  Even at that time of transition for me I do remember thinking how childlike and ridiculous it was especially the part about Jesus appearing to Native Americans.  I wonder if christians were aware of this when they voted so enthusiastically for Romney.

Twain's "chloroform in print" remark is in Chapter XVI of his Roughing It.

I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print.

The next paragraph has:

"And it came to pass" was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet.

I agree Loren, they are cons selling their myths and superstition as truth.   Come to think of it Debra this is my first encounter with female Mormon missionaries. I would like to compare what they believe or think they know about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon compared to his sorted history and the ludicrous content of their holy book.

Yes, I have had that reaction as well. One bell ringer said, "Oh no you're not!" as if he knew my thinking and ways I make decisions. Such arrogance, self-righteousness,  self-importance deserves a refutation, strongly stated, with conviction. 

Round in the chamber and a fully loaded clip behind it!

"I'm NOT an atheist?  We've just met; you don't know me from Adam, yet you have the unmitigated temerity to tell me who I am!  Would you care to be told who YOU are by a total stranger?  Your credibility just took one very serious hit, sir/madam.  May I strongly suggest that you consider your next statement far more carefully if you wish to maintain your audience?"

Just a thought.

Loren, as usual, your thoughts are right on target ... pun intended.

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