The following information is an e-mail I received after returning home from the temple outreach. Wednesday, April 20,2005. There were two interesting incidents that had happened during the day. I assumed they were unrelated until I came home and read the following e-mail. I will briefly describe the two incidents and then share the e-mail to fill in the holes. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the terrified.
Two men walked across the street from the Mormon Church building (where the Mormons have visitor parking) to the Lutheran church parking lot. I asked how they were doing and the reply was, “Those people over there are weird!” I asked what happened and the two men just kept walking. One man said something, but his back was to me and the wind was very strong that day so I did not hear what he said.
They were so determined to get to their car, that I did not have a chance to offer them a paper. I looked back across the street to the Mormon Church building and saw a couple of security guys watching the two men leave.
Not too long after the two men left, a lady drove out of the Mormon Church parking lot and right into the Lutheran Church parking lot. She looked very distraught and said, “Those people over there are so afraid of you.” I was confused and asked what she was talking about.
The lady began to tell me a story of what happened when she was on one of the tour buses. She was so upset that she kept jumping from one incident to another and was getting the chronology of the events mixed up. It was hard to follow her. The following is my best attempt to report what she said.
When the lady was on the bus heading toward the temple, one of the men handling security stopped the bus and asked the driver if she was the one who stopped in the street to pick up the “Anti-Mormon.” The driver said that she was not. Security pressed the situation and said that an “anti” boarded one of the buses and that they had to find them. The lady defended the driver and said that they had not stopped for anyone.
Later during her tour, she overheard one of the attendants saying that she heard a rumor that the “anti’s” were going to “blitz” the church and clog up all of the toilets in an attempt to stop the tours. I laughed at this. How someone could come up with the idea that overflowing toilets could stop the tours is beyond me.
The last rumor was that someone from Evidence Ministries had taken the tour and after experiencing the sacredness of the temple, decided to leave our group and side with the Mormons. There were a number of times during this lady’s tour that she overheard people talking about our outreach. She said that in each of these conversations, people spoke with fear and paranoia. She could not understand how a tent and a handful of people could accomplish this reaction. Every time she saw us, we were passing out papers, smiling and waving at the buses as they passed. I assured the lady that we were not responsible for any of the rumors that she had heard.
The following is an e-mail that was forwarded to me. Except for one editorial comment and changing the names of the participants, we present the e-mail exactly as it was received.
Today Linda, Chuck and I left work to take the public tour of the new Mormon Temple on Stone Oak Parkway. It is a beautiful and architectural wonder with very bright colors, Texas landscape paintings, and very modern stain glass windows. It is really something for all to see and we had tickets, but it was not necessary for entrance.
However, you can’t park on the grounds, but coming from 1604 on Stone Oak Parkway, you see signs and people passing out Temple literature. I took the literature and asked where to park and was instructed to park up the hill on the left.
***Editorial comment- The words, “THIS IS NOT A MORMON PUBLICATION” appear above the headline on the front page of the paper. James must not have seen this note and assumed that it was a Mormon paper.
James was also confused about where to park. While it is possible that our volunteer made a mistake and told James to park in the left parking lot instead of the right one, Evidence Ministries is not purposely directing visitors to the Lutheran Church parking lot. Our volunteers are telling people to “turn left and go up the hill.” James must have misunderstood and heard that he was to, “turn left at the top of the hill.”***
I pulled in to the lot and across the street from where the bus was loading. I walked across the street and waved to the driver and he opened the door. I thought Chuck and Linda were on the bus, but they were arriving in their car as we pulled away. The bus plays religious music and travels about 1/2 mile to the Temple. I got off the bus and sat on the wall waiting for Chuck and Linda on the next bus. I started to read the literature and was approached by a female usher and was asked what I was reading. Before, I could answer she snapped, “Where did you get that? “You, can’t bring that into the Temple, is is sacred ground!!” I responded it was church literature given to me in the parking lot and not Playboy or Penthouse. With that,? 5-6 men in suits with earplugs surrounded me and I thought they were Secret Service Agents. They wanted to know where I was from, who sent me and asked me to remain calm and not make a scene. I explained what had happened and they said it was not Church Literature and what conspiracy group I belonged. They saw my McLaughlin Clan golden ring and wanted to know what it was and why I was wearing it? I explained, but got the impression they thought it had satanic meaning.
Chuck and Linda arrived on the next bus and we started the tour, but 3 of the Ushers followed us throughout the video and tour. They removed the literature I threw in the trash can and marched off with it. You are not allowed to ask questions on the tour and when I asked our Tour Leader if children come to the Temple?, I was reminded that you must save questions to the end.
The 1/2 hour Tour ended and as we got off the Bus at the Parking Lot, another Usher with Security-ID and a San Antonio Policeman asked me to follow them and they started asking me “Who are you to stop a Tour Bus and board it? What are you talking about? Why did you park across the street? They wanted to know if Linda and Chuck were with me and I said they arrived separately. They wanted to know if they were “Conspiring” with me and said I fit the profile of an agitator and if I made any trouble, they would have me arrested! Wow!!! I had a blue shirt and tie and Linda and Chuck were wearing business attire . An Army veteran and evil terrorists!! We were stunned, but they didn’t really believe we were not troublemakers and escorted us to our cars and we departed.
Now how is that for a friendly Welcome to the Neighborhood? Please go visit the Temple since it is open to the Public for only a few short weeks, but don’t park on the left side of the street and take any literature from the heathen non believers. Keep your mouth shut and don’t mention my name!! James