I was greeted by two Mormon Elders in the streets of Z today, both young men, reasonable looks, good suits. One of them took the initative and began to talk to me.
"What does it take for you to believe in God?" he enquired confidently.
"I already believe," I responded in a friendly way, after all we're all Christians. "I'm a Baptist and I attend at the local Methodist Church presently."
"How does that make you feel?" he asked quickly. I wondered where he was going.
"Good! It's enough to be with fellow Christians."
"So back to belief," says he cheerfully, determined to make his sale, "I think it's evidence. The book of Mormon is the way to see how it all adds up. That's the way to detect a crime."
"Bad anology," I said quietly, "Belief in God isn't a crime."
"No of course not," says he thinking that I'm a prat, "It's just that mounting the evidence gives us the proof we need."
"I don't think it does," I said trying to think it out. I used to be good at this stuff.
"What is it then?" he asked staring me down. "Have you read the Book of Mormon?"
"No, I've read the book of the other lot, the Jehova's Witnesses." I said calmly, "It was interesting, have you got a book of Mormon to show me?"
He brought out a small book very like a Gideon's new testement. "This is my own copy," he said, opening the book up and showing me the pages, I tried to take it and he held on tight. The bottom of the page showed the way they mounted the evidence, all the links were noted down for you. "Mormon was a prophet," he informed me, "Our book is different from the Bible, very much so."
He went on to offer me one next time I was in town. "So this is how we mount the evidence so we can believe. How else can we do it?"
I knew he wanted me to agree with him. Unfortunately I knew better, something was finkeling about in the back of my mind....
"Faith!" I said suddenly remembering sunday school instructions. "Without faith you have nothing!"
He stared at me, "Is that right?" he asked the other Elder in confusion. He turned back to me, "I'd go with the evidence."
"Without faith the book of Mormon is just a book," I responded, "Faith needs no proof, no evidence and is at the heart of the Christian religion."
He was uncertain, "I'll give you an invite," he said graciously, "Come down to the Dereham Church one day."
I sighed, I still hadn't caught up with the Baptists of Z, I was fully involved with the church I went too. "Thank you!"
I took his leaflet, rather glad I had met them, it was fun to talk religion in a sensible structured way. Perhaps I should have invited him to one of our services. I enjoyed them. I wonder if he would have come....
Later I told my daughter all about it, she's a bright young girl of 18, she said briskly, "It's a case of chicken and Egg; isn't it?"
Now is she right?