Monday, September 17, 2012

Funereal Recruitment

My parents attended a funeral for a member of their ward over the weekend.  He included a paragraph about the service in the weekly email that he sends out to the family.  Among other things, he said:
After the funeral, the daughter-in-law told [ward member] that she really likes all that she feels as she hears about the Church and wanted to know how she can learn more about the Church.  [Ward member] was able to help her out!
I immediately thought of something someone had said recently on Recovery from Mormonism (I can't find the thread at the moment) about how the church gets a lot of converts who are in full-on crisis mode.  Other posters agreed, commenting specifically on how Mormon funerals can turn into recruitment operations.  It should be common knowledge that grief and tragedy can drive people to make drastic, sometimes horrible choices.  It's a time when people are especially vulnerable.  But my dad and his friends prey on that vulnerability without even realizing they're doing it. 

Starting the process of joining the church in the wake of a family member's death is like getting into a rebound relationship.  It isn't the actual content of the relationship (or the church) that attracts you, it's simply its ability to fill a sudden devastating hole in your life.  It doesn't mean that the relationship (or the church) is good for you at all--you've just jumped at the first thing you can use as a substitute for what you used to have. 

But, unfortunately, if the church and its members lure her through her grief and keep urging her to trust the spiritual feelings she thinks she's getting, she may be stuck in this rebound relationship for the rest of her life.

Paying tithing, of course.

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