I think I know enough about the LDS missionary discussions that I know how to be a successful Mormon missionary. I’m confident that I could serve 2 years and bring in a number of baptisms with this method. It comes down to focusing your visits and your investigators on the right thing. There’s really no need to ever focus on the Book of Mormon, the need for modern prophets, the Great Apostasy, the restoration of the priesthood, temples or even Joseph Smith.
If you want to get baptisms it’s all about Moroni’s promise and Galatians 5:22-23.
First you have the investigator read this passage. If you can get someone to read this passage without at all considering if it’s authoritative or true the battle is almost won. It sounds authoritative, that’s good enough. Even if the investigator is skeptical about it’s authority, you ask them to test it anyways. The proof is in the pudding. What’s it really going to cost them to try it? It’s just a prayer, that’s easy right?
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Notice the part I highlighted “he will manifest the truth of it unto you”. This is where you’ve got them sold. Now all you have to do is tell them HOW he will manifest the truth to them. Have them read Galatians 5:22-23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
You tell the investigator that this verse shows that peace and joy are a way the Spirit manifest truth to you. I’m totally taking this verse out of context. If you read the entire book of Galatians or even the entire chapter you’ll know that the “fruits of the Spirit” are outward manifestations in the life of a believer, they aren’t inward emotions that people experience. Just compare them to the preceding verses 19-21 which are the “fruits of the sinful life”
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
This verse being out of context is beside the point. Baptism is a worthy goal, so if we’re taking verses out of context, it’s okay since the end goal is beautiful and valuable.
The main point is that if you can convince someone that they can know something is true because they have the emotions of joy and peace you’re work is practically finished. If an investigator lets you in their home it’s likely that they already have some kind of positive emotions directed toward you or the LDS church. Missionaries are often charming and good looking. Their clean cut across the board. The church is full of nice and wholesome people. It’s not difficult to find reasons for people to feel good about the church. I think investigators generally already WANT to feel good about the church. It’s really not all that hard to manifest good feelings. Try smiling while you read this, you’ll automatically feel more positive about it. Start asking the investigator if they feel good about anything associated with the Book of Mormon or the LDS church. If they say “yes” to anything, let them know that’s the witness of the Holy Spirit in their life. They know it’s true and they’re ready for baptism.
If the investigator has not accepted this, don’t move on. Stay with it. Everything else is an up hill battle unless they’ve accepted that spiritual truth is communicated through positive feelings. If you’ve convinced them that good feelings = truth from God, then they will take whatever other beliefs that come with the LDS church no matter how difficult they are to believe or live out.
In fact you have a built in defense mechanism. Any evidence that might contradict the church will cause negative emotions in the new believer. Since they believe that God brings good emotions, anything that causes negative emotions must be from Satan, and thus should be ignored and avoided.
This is all that is required to be a successful Mormon missionary.