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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mormon Mention: Jennifer McMahon

If you're not sure what a Mormon is, let alone a Mormon Mention, allow me to explain:  My name is Susan and I'm a Mormon (you've seen the commercials, right?).  As a member of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or LDS Church), I'm naturally concerned with how my religion is portrayed in the media.  Because this blog is about books, every time I see a reference to Mormonism in a book written by someone who is not a member of my church, I highlight it here.  Then, I offer my opinion—my insider's view—of what the author is saying.  It's my chance to correct misconceptions, expound on principles of the Gospel, and even to laugh at my (sometimes) crazy Mormon culture. 


In The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon, Ruthie and her sister are home alone when they spy someone approaching their isolated farmhouse.  Ruthie narrates:

But the reality was, they'd had few visitors over the years: the occasional Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, census takers, a man checking facts for the town assessor's office (quote found at Location 2559 [62%] of e-ARC).

Quotes like these make me chuckle because it's true, Mormon missionaries are a tenacious lot.  They will go to the ends of the earth (literally) to find people interested in hearing their message.  Most proselyting missionaries are young (between 18 and 21 years of age, typically) and full of enthusiasm for sharing their beliefs with others.  It's hard to resist that kind of youthful zeal!  I love the spirit they always have about them—it's a joy that comes from loving and serving the Lord.  Although Ruthie's visitor turns out to be much more sinister than a religious representative, I can definitely see LDS missionaries tromping through the snow to share their message with her and her family.

A word about Jehovah's Witnesses:  Although I have been guilty of ignoring the doorbell when representatives of this church come calling, I have to say that I had several wonderful JW friends growing up.  They were kind, gracious people whom I admired very much.  Also, my mom used to have a Jehovah's Witness missionary who came to see her on a regular basis.  She said the woman was more faithful than her visiting teachers (LDS women are assigned to visit other women in their wards [congregations] each month) and that they always had wonderful conversations about religion.  

What do you do when religious representatives come calling?


  1. We usually get Jehovah Witnesses and I politely thank them for their service to God, but tell them we don't want to discuss religion with them, if they want to leave a pamphlet that's fine. We've never had Mormon missionaries.

  2. I love taking with people of other faiths. Sure you get the ones only interested in bashing with you but usually they're are very nice and just like talking about Christ.


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