Date: April 04, 2012 11:23AM
As a nevermo, I've always been curious about this. Why are Mormons so obsessed with bringing "lost sheep" back to the fold? Why the phone calls, the visits, the love-bombing, the cute little notes and cards, the countless mentions of inactive members in countless church meetings? Why the endless efforts to track members down, long after they have moved one or more times and obviously have no further interest in the church? Why the obsession with the concept that church members may have offended the inactive?
I never saw this growing up in the Catholic church. I think that part of the reason is that a range of activity is accepted within Catholocism -- from the mass every day types (rare) to the "twice a years" (Christmas and Easter.) The "twice a years" are not the most respected members of the church, but they are tolerated as part of the spectrum. Even now, as a former Catholic, I am greeted warmly by practicing Catholics as a part of the family. As far as they are concerned, we have common ground. There is no particular punishment for them to question the church (which they often do,) so why should my discontent be a problem for them?
I never had anyone track me down, ring my doorbell, visit me, or otherwise annoy me. Catholics figure that if you want to come back, you will. Otherwise it's live and let live. I imagine that the mainstream Protestant churches function in much the same way.
So how did the Mormon obsession with inactives originate? The Mormons could not have picked this up from any past mainstream Christian associations. Why do they feel compelled to hunt down and annoy inactive members?