|Courtesy LDS Media Library|
Here’s a conversation I imagine having with an anti-Mormon, recast as a conversation about my mother. Let’s call the antagonist Philastus Hurlhurt, Phil for short. This conversation resembles some real conversations I’ve had.
Mike: Hi Phil, how are you?
Phil: Great if it weren’t for you!
Mike: What’d I do this time?
Phil: It’s not you, really, Mike. It’s your mom.
Mike: My mom?
Mike: What could possibly be the problem with my mom?
Phil: Well, she’s a liar. You can tell just by looking at her.
Mike: Alright. Please explain.
Phil: She claims to be your real mom, but she’s not. It’s clearly evident that can’t be true.
Mike: She is my real mom. I’m sure of it. In fact, I’m absolutely certain of that.
Phil: No you’re not! I mean, like, do you remember being born?
Mike: No, not really. But I heard about it from a lot of people, including her.
Phil: See! I knew it! You can’t prove anything. Your pretend mom is tricking you!
Mike: Why would she want to trick me?
Phil: She’s trying to take control of you and take away all your money! She is like the queen of chores! She takes away all your freedom! She won’t let you go out and have any fun with your friends—like she won’t let you drink or take drugs or watch R rated movies—and all kind of stuff like that! She is so restrictive! She pretends to be an angel but she is a witch!
Mike: No she’s not. How can you talk like that? She is a very kind and understanding person. She doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body. I’ve never heard her complain, and her only motive is love. I know she’s not perfect, but she’s true to me—always has been—and I love her so much.
Phil: You’ve been taken in. She’s not your real mom and you can’t prove that she is! You can’t.
Mike: I could easily prove it but do I have to prove it to you? I don’t. I simply know it’s true. I have all the evidence I need, but I don’t think I need to prove it to you. You won’t accept any of the evidence I offer anyway.
Phil: You couldn’t get me to accept it if you tried. You’ve been brainwashed! Duped! Tricked! Shanghaied!
Mike: Let’s not go there. Have you ever actually met my mom, I mean, have you been to her house?
Phil: No. I’d never go there. Except maybe to crash her parties.
Phil: I don’t need to go to her house. She’d just try to fool me like she’s fooled you. I’ve read a ton of books about her and watched a bunch of YouTube videos too. I know all about her. I won’t be sucked into her schemes.
Mike: Really? My mom is a very good person, incredible actually. She has endured so much over the years. I am amazed by her attitude in the face of so many trials.
Phil: She can afford to have a happy-slappy attitude like that because she is so rich. Who wouldn’t with that kind of money?
Mike: She has done well for herself, that’s for sure, but that’s because she is generous, not thinking of herself. And others have been generous to her because of it. She uses what she has to make others’ lives happier and better. She’s adopted a lot of kids, you know, from all over the world.
Phil: She only adopts those kids so she can control their minds and take away their hard-earned money. You have been deceived. She only has wicked motives.
Mike: You don’t know my mom, Phil. You can’t understand her. If you could only meet her, you’d know differently, but I don’t think you want to.
Phil: You’re right. Hey, me and my friends know about her big party this weekend. In fact, a bunch of us are going to crash her party or get on the 10 o’clock news trying. Woot.
Mike: I won’t try to stop you.
Phil: You can’t! You need to know, Mike, that I really love and support you. It’s just that your mom is completely off base and I need to prove it to you and to the world.
Mike: What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense to me. It never has. It doesn’t sound like love to me. It sounds like a private agenda to prove yourself right, no matter the cost.
Phil: You’re going down, Mike. You’re going to the bad place because you stand by your mom. You are so stupid and stubborn.
Mike: I know with all my heart that my mom is truly a good person. She is exactly who she claims to be—my true mom, loving, kind, generous, and honest. I will always love her and stand by her.
Phil: Oh no. You’re going to a lake of fire and brimstone. I can already smell the smoke and the cinders.
Mike: I’ll take my chances. Phil, I feel sorry for you. I really do. I wish we could see eye to eye on this issue but it seems like we can’t.
Phil: I’m going to write a musical called The Book of Mom, a clever exposé. I’m going to travel all over and show the world how dumb your mom is. It’ll take Broadway by storm.
Mike: Someday, Phil, you’ll be sorry. I promise you that. You’ve reached the point of “no discern.” Someday, a door will open and you will see yourself clearly, in all your bitterness and pride and blindness. It will be a sad day.
Phil: If I go down, I’m taking you with me!
Mike: One morning, you got up and took the wrong pill. And you’re still suffering from that hangover. That’s all I will say. If you ever want to know who my mom really is and what she represents, I’ll be happy to talk to you. Until then, goodbye.