I have designed a training course for Baha'is who wish to effectively teach Mormon Seekers the Faith. It is called the T.O.M.S. Training Course. It consists of the following:
"T"--each Mormon Seekers that Baha'u'llah is the Holy Ghost Incarnate. NOTE: Mormons believe that the Holy Ghost is a "Spirit-Man" who will come down to Earth one day to "get a body" and perform some great Mission for God. Simply show Mormons where Joseph Smith in 1843 that the Holy Ghost was "now in a state of probation" (i.e. living a mortal life somewhere on earth in 1843). Show them how Baha'u'llah claimed to be the Spirit of Truth (Joseph Smith never claimed it).
"O"--offer them a copy of "1891" (i.e. Joseph Smith's 1891 Prophecies FULFILLED); which will convince many Mormons that Joseph Smith was a "Seer" (non-prophet who speaks with angels) who prophesied (praw-fess-side) of Baha'u'llah--the Holy Ghost Incarnate (i.e. the Essence of God does not incarnate, but His Names/Attributes do). The 1891 prophecies of Joseph Smith have striking parallels to the Great Anouncement of Baha'u'llah upon Mount Carmel in the year 1891; when He recited the Tablet of Carmel while wearing red robes! Joseph Smith was told that if he lived until he was 85 years of age (1891) he would "see the face of the Son of Man" (Doctrine & Covenants 130:15). Joseph Smith had plans to travel to Palestine and await the coming of the Son of Man in red apparel on Mount Carmel in 1891, but he was assassinated in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844.
Joseph Smith was not a Prophet minor or otherwise but a "SEER" (Arabic: "Muhaddas"). A Seer is "one who speaks with angels" but is not a Prophet. Like Mary the mother of Jesus (who had a vision of Gabriel who told her she would be the mother of the Messiah), or Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist who saw an angel in the Temple who told him that his son John would be a Prophet), or Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, who had visions of Muhammad, Fatimah, and the 12 Imaams, and was told that the Mehdi would arise in 1260A.H. (1844 A.D.). For more information read Joseph Smith's 1891 Prophecies FULFILLED! at:
"M"--emorize the Mormon Seeker Dialogue, a specially written "discussion" between a Mormon Seeker and a Baha'i designed to convince the Mormon that the Baha'i Faith is the "Celestial Kingdom" of God on Earth. It works.
"S"--tudy the book Commonalities by Serge Van Neck.
Baha'i Teachers of Seekers in predominantly Mormon areas will then be able to "handle" the questions that Mormon Seekers will have, with answers that will attract them to the Faith instead of repealing them (as is the case today). There are over 5 million Mormons in the United States; about 4 and 1/2 million in the 11 Western States.
Unfortunately, the Baha'is of Utah have done little to reach their Mormon neighbors. They invite them to "discussions" of world peace or race unity. Very very few accept the offer. When Mormons do ask about Joseph Smith, the Friends say, "Oh, we have nothing to say about him!" Needless to say, the Friends are getting absolutely nowhere with the Mormons in Utah or anywhere else. The TOMS Method would change all that. There needs to be a TOMS (Teacher of Mormon Seekers) in every Baha'i Community in the Western States. Today, there is not even one. I have designed a training course for Baha'i Teachers in Communities with large Mormon populations. As you may know, Mormons do not respond to the standard "World peace/Race unity/Equality" message of the Faith. It's not that they are 'against' these things. Mormons simply do not 'think' like Baha'is do. They don't see why they need to become Baha'is in order to 'work' for these Principles.
I know what will work with Mormons. That is why I wrote Joseph Smith's 1891 Prophecies FULFILLED! Here are my suggestions:
1) The LSA should appoint a "TOMS Review Committee" of three members to read the copies of "1891" and report back to the LSA on their views about it, with the question being: "Could we give copies this publication to Mormon Seekers?"
2) Then, if so, the LSA should then consult and decide: "Can we use the TOMS Method in our Community?"
T.O.M.S. will show Baha'i Teachers of Seekers how to effectively and successfully prospect and teach Mormon Seekers the Baha'i Message in terms they will understand, and by using methods that will attract instead of repel Mormon Seekers. The current method used (invite a Mormon over to listen to a discussion about race unity or world peace) does not attract Mormon Seekers, and often repels them. The TOMS method will attract them to the Faith instead of repelling them.
A "Mormon Seeker" is anyone who is studying the Baha'i Faith, has not yet declared, and is a TBM (true-believing Mormon); meaning a person who believes that Joseph Smith truly had visions and divine revelations. In Utah, and other Mormon areas, there are many types of Mormons:
*TBMs (True Believing Mormons)--those who really believe the Joseph Smith is a "Prophet" and had visions beginning in 1820. TBMs usually call themselves "Latter-day Saints" or "LDS" rather than "Mormon" because "Mormon" has many meanings in Utah and other Mormon areas. If I Mormon says "I'm LDS" it means (usually) they are a TBM. They believe Joseph Smith was a literal true Prophet of God, and The Book of Mormon is a literal true history of a colony of Jews, the Nephites (nee-fights) in ancient America.
*Sunstone Mormons (liberal Mormons)--those who do not believe that Joseph Smith was inspired of God, but who nevertheless continue going to Church because it is their culture, and they believe that the Church "teaches many true principles" and can be helpful and good. They usually believe Joseph Smith lied about his visions, but are hesitant to discuss this with strangers or in public. "Sunstone" is a liberal Mormon magazine read by "Sunstone" Mormons; named after a "Sunstone" (a stone with a Sun on it) which once adorned the Nauvoo Mormon Temple in the days of Joseph Smith. The "Sun" for Mormons means the "Celestial Kingdom" or highest glory (similar to "Abha Kingdom" for Baha'is).
Cultural Mormons--those who are conservative in politics and other areas, don't believe that Joseph Smith saw God in 1820, don't believe The Book of Mormon is literal history, but continue going to Church because of family pressures and and/or for business reasons.
Jack Mormons--those who have been baptized into the Church (usually at age 8), but never believed it and no longer attend it. Do not believe in the Joseph Smith Story.
Inactive Mormons--those who were once TBMs but now, for a number of reasons--no longer attends the Church. Some Inactives are still TBMs, but many are not.
Ex-Mormons--those who have either been excommunicated from the Church or have resigned from it. 98% are not TBMs. They no longer believe in the Joseph Smith story. Also called "Former Mormons" and "Post-Mormons".
New Order Mormons--those who still believe to the Church, usually don't believe that The Book of Mormon is literal history, but have not left the Church. Are "seeking" new understandings of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Have not made a final conclusion on either, are still seeking.
The TOMs method is meant for TBMs (true believing Mormons) who still believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and he had a vision of God the Father and Jesus in a grove of trees in 1820.
Most of the Mormons who have become Baha'is have been Cultural/Jack/Sunstone/Inactive/New Order/Ex-Mormons and not TBMs. This is because the current "Standard Method" of prospecting (invite someone to a meeting to discuss "World Peace" and/or "Race Unity") does NOT work on TBMs, and will never work. Not 1 in 100,000 TBMs will be attracted to the Faith via the Standard Prospecting Method. The TOMs method will work on 1 in 20 TBMs.
A Baha'i who is trained to teach Seekers is a "Teacher of Seekers". A Baha'i Teacher of Seekers who is trained in the TOMS Method is known as a "Teacher of Mormon Seekers". That title should never be abbreviated.
*TBMs--True-Believing Mormons, meaning those Mormons who believe that Joseph Smith was a "Prophet" and The Book of Mormon is a literal history of the Nephites (nee-fights); a colony of Jews who lived in ancient America from 600 B.C. to 420 A.D.; whom Jesus visited for 3 days about 33 A.D. TBMs usually refer to themselves as "Latter-day Saints" or "LDS" or sometimes "Orthodox Mormons". The TOMS Method was designed to teach TBMs.
*Mormon Seeker--a TBM (true believing Mormon) who is investigating the Faith. Any other type of "Mormon" other than TBM is simply a "Seeker".
*Teacher of Mormon Seekers--a Baha'i trained in the TOMS Method. The term "Teacher of Mormon Seekers" should never be abbreviated or anagrammed.
*Publications--anything printed (such as fliers or pamphlets) or on the Internet that seeks to convince a Prospect or Seeker to become a Baha'i.
*Prospecting--anything that Baha'is do to attract Prospect. Once a Prospect comes to a Devotion, they become a Seeker.
*Prospecting Advertisements ("P.A.s")--any advertisement in any media (newspaper, internet, tv, radio, books, etc.), one-page fliers, that seeks Prospects.
*Prospect--a person who has contacted the Friends in regards to the Faith but has not yet attended a Devotion.
*Teaching--to teach Seekers the Baha'i Message in the hope they will become Believers.
*Baha'i Message--Baha'u'llah is the Messenger of God for our day and was sent by God to save Humanity from the Hour of Doom (self-annihiliation) via His Holy Message and Holy Laws.
*Accepted Doctrine--anything a Baha'i is required to believe.
*Rejected Doctrine--anthing a Baha'i is forbidden to believe.
*Personal Doctrine--anthing a Baha'i can believe as personal opinion as long as he/she doesn't try to force others to accept it (such as Joseph Smith being a Seer).
*Approved Literature--any Baha'i publication that has been through the review process.
*Unapproved Literature--any Baha'i publication that has NOT gone through the review process but has NOT been DISapproved.
*Disapproved Literature--any Baha'i publication officially "banned" by the House or an NSA.
*The Holy Texts--the Writings of the Central Figures (infallible)
*The Holy Talks--the published talks of 'Abdu'l-Baha that have been approved, such as "Some Answered Questions" and "Paris Talks" etc. (not infallible)
*The Directives--the writings and letters of the Guardian or the Universal House of Justice.
*The Sub-Directives--letters written "on behalf of" the Guardian by his secretaries.
*Pilgrim's Notes--purported conversations of the Central Figures or the Guardian as reported by Baha'i Pilgrims and disciples. Not regarded as authoritative or binding upon Believers; who may "share" pilgrim's notes with each other. Pilgrim's notes may be believed as "Personal Doctrine".
*Seers--men and women who are inspired of God with some vision or revelation, but who are not Prophets, such as Mary the mother of Jesus (who saw the Angel Gabriel), Zacharias (who saw an angel in the Temple and told him to name his son "John"), the 12 Imaams of Sh'a Islaam, Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i (who claimed to see visions of Muhammad and the Imaams), Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad, etc. Shoghi Effendi once called Joseph Smith a "Seer" (pilgrim's notes).
*TOMS Trainee--a Baha'i who is in training to become a Teacher of Mormon Seekers using the TOMS method.
*XRO Campaign--a teaching campaign targeting Mormons using the TOMS Method named after the first Mormon to become a Baha'i--Xorol (zaw-rawl) Richards Oliver--who met 'Abdu'l-Baha in 1912 when He visited Salt Lake City.
*TOMS Group--a Group of TOMS Trainees and Teachers of Mormon Seekers in a Cluster.
The Teacher of Mormon Seekers
The Teacher of Mormon Seekers must....
1. Be willing to accept Joseph Smith as an inspired Seer (as did Shoghi Effendi) as "a personal doctrine" (not accepted doctrine nor rejected doctrine).
2. Be willing to memorize the Mormon Seeker Dialogue (MSD).
3. Be willing to read the PLAIN ENGLISH VERSION of The Book of Mormon! Pleas __________DO NOT_______ try to read the regular version of The Book of Mormon (blue cover version). It is written in King James English, and is extremely difficult reading! For those not familiar with King James English, it is almost impossible to read! The Book of Mormon (King James English) is one of the MOST difficult books ever printed in English to read! Mormon missionaries are given a YEAR to read it--one hour per day--and even many of them fail! Most Mormon women have NEVER read The Book of Mormon; unless they've been on a mission for the Church (about 7% of Mormon women go on missions--about %60 of Mormon men go). However, the PLAIN-ENGLISH edition of The Book of Mormon is easy reading! Mormon Seekers will ask "Have you read The Book of Mormon?" and you can say: "Yes, the plain English version" and THAT will impress them greatly!
4. Be willing to purchase and study Commonalities to better understand Mormon beliefs and especially how Mormons "think".
The current "Standard Method" to attract Seekers is:
*Invite a friend, co-worker, neighbor to come to your house where a Baha'i speaks on Race Unity and/or World Peace and/or Equality of Men and Women.
*Have a Baha'i Information Booth and give free Baha'i literature to those who come to the booth. The literature is always on Race Unity, or World Peace, or the Equality of Men and Women, or sometimes Esperanto, or a combination of these things.
These are very ineffective, and won't work on TBMs.
If a Community or Cluster wants to prospect Mormon Seekers, they must do the following:
1. Appoint a three-member TOMS Review Committee to read "1891" and report back to the LSA.
2. If the LSA approves the TOMS Method, then call for volunteers to form a TOMS Trainee Group.
3. The Group must elect a Group Leader, who will get the materials for the Group which includes:
*Plain English Book of Mormon.
*Copies of Commonalities.
*Copies of the Mormon Seeker Dialogue.
The Group Leader will insure that all members of the Group have the study materials, and that they meet at least twice a month to "practice" (role-play) the MSD.
4. Once training is completed, and the Tranees have received Certificates of Completion, then the Community or Cluster must start a Teaching Campaign targeting Mormons, and call it "The Xorol Richards Oliver Teaching Campaign" (named after the first Mormon to become a Baha'i--Xorol Richards Oliver--pronouced "Zawr-rawl"), a Mormon woman who met 'Abdu'l-Baha when He visited Utah in 1912.
5. Gather funds for the campaign--at least $3000.
6. Publish at least 1,000 copies of "1891" (there is no copyright); as simply and inexpensively as possible. Use newsprint--like is done for a Community College "Class Schedule". Distribute the copies to the Teachers of Mormon Seekers evenly.
7. Get a "dedicated" telephone number (local and toll) to be used for Prospects ordering the Free book offer ("1891"). The number must have voice mail, and caller I.D. (there will be some crank calls--perhaps one or two threatening calls).
8. Place the following P.A. (Prospecting Advertisement) in a major newspaper in the Cluster area:
JOSEPH SMITH'S 1891 PROPHECIES FULFILLED!This P.A. should be as large as possible, and run as many times as possible. Ideally, it should run in a University Newspaper if there is one in the Cluster area. It cannot run for just one day! It must run for at least 4 days, or one-day-per-week for 4 weeks! That is critical! A university newspaper is best (not a community college paper--which are not read), but, if not, then a local daily newspaper. You'll have plenty of extra copies of "1891" after the Xorol Richard Oliver teaching campaign is over. Save 500 for a future campaign, and offer the other left-overs to the Friends who want to read it or give it to a Mormon friend or neighbor.
Did Joseph Smith prophesy of Baha'u'llah? The Baha'i Faith is an independent World Religion with over 6 million Believers in 120 countries. It was founded in 1863, in Baghdad, by Baha'u'llah--the Holy Ghost Incarnate. In 1891, He announced to the World that He was the promised "Son of Man" (D&C 130:15). Mormons still await the 'Day' when the Holy Ghost will "come down to get a body" and perform some great Mission on Earth. Baha'is know that Day has come and gone. For a FREE COPY of Joseph Smith's 1891 Prophecies FULFILLED! please call (999)999-9999 or go to www.bahai.us/contact for free literature mailed to your home. Nothing to buy! Call anytime.
9. Put "1891" and other publications in a large envelope and mail it to the Prospect in a "Prospect Package" that includes "1891", "The Baha'is" magazine, and other free literature PLUS an "Invitation" (a 8 by 11 inch white sheet) to a "Seekers' Meeting" that includes:
*A photograph of the Teacher of Mormon Seekers (and his wife or husband).
*The telephone and e-mail address of the Teacher or Seeker.
*A map where the Seekers' Meeting is--time and location.
*A brief statement:
Dear Seeker of Truth,
My name is Bill Baha'i and I'm the Teacher of Mormon Seekers for the Salt Lake City Baha'i Community. We have a Seekers' Meetings in our home (or the Center) every month on the 4th Friday night starting at 7:30pm going to about 9pm. We show a brief DVD about the Baha'i Faith, have some refreshments (fruits, sandwiches, sweets, coffee, tea, soda), and a short question and answer period. Absolutely free. We have nothing to sell you. YOU ARE INVITED! If you need a ride, we'd love to offer you one! Just ask. Or, just show up! Dress is casual. Smoking is allowed on the patio or outside. Child-care is/is not provided. Directions to the Seekers' Meeting are on the back on this page. Call if you need a ride. Please come! Thank you.
Bill and Linda Baha'i
That is the TOMS Method. It will work, and work remarkably well "if" it is not compromised, not changed in any way, nor watered-down.
Questions and Answers
Q. How can we do this if it has not been approved?
A. Get it approved.
Q. But God cannot incarnate so how can we teach that Baha'u'llah is the Holy Ghost Incarnate?
A. The ESSENCE of God cannot incarnate, but His Names/Attributes do! Baha'u'llah is the incarnation of one of those Names/Attributes.The term "Holy Ghost Incarnate" to the Mormon ear means "Spirit of Truth come down to get a body and perform a great Holy Mission for God on Earth". "The Holy Ghost Incarnate" is the perfect "term" to use with Mormon Seekers. Baha'u'llah identified Himself with the Spirit of Truth. He was the Spirit of Truth "in the flesh" (incarnate).
Q. But, we already have one or two Mormons in our Community already?
A. Had you used the TOMS Method in the past, you'd have a lot more.
Q. How can we teach that Joseph Smith was a Seer when Shoghi Effendi said that in a pilgrim's note?
A. The TOMS Method does not say "Joseph Smith was a Seer". It says "Joseph Smith MAY have been a Seer and he MAY have prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer". Today, there are Publications which claim such-and-such a Native American Seer was a "Prophet" or "Manifestation of God" who prophesied of Baha'u'llah--when in fact Shoghi Effendi never wrote or said so. Why can Native Americans Seers be presented as "Prophets" who prophesied of Baha'u'llah when the Holy Texts nor Directives or Sub-Directives mention any of them but Joseph Smith cannot be called a "Seer" when in fact Shoghi Effendi did so? It makes no sense at all.
Q. How can we say The Book of Mormon is true when 'Abdu'l-Baha said that the American Indians are not the lost tribes?
A. The TOMS Method does NOT say The Book of Mormon is "true" or "historical"! Read "1891"! Also, The Book of Mormon itself does NOT teach that the American Indians are the descendants of the Lost Tribes.
Q. What is we want to consult and change a few things in the TOMS Method?
A. Then it won't work! I can assure you. Consult as to "if" you wish to use TOMS or not, but please don't change it. Changing it will turn TOMS into just another "World Peace/Race Unity/Equality" teaching campaign which will bring, at best, only a few Seekers. Do not change it if you decide to use it.
Q. We think that the TOMS Method will offend some Mormons, and we don't wish to offend our Mormon friends and neighbors. How to you respond?
A. People will be offended! If you tell people "Baha'u'llah was a Prophet" then that will offend some people. If you tell people "Christ has returned as Baha'u'llah" most Christians will be HIGHLY offended! Does that mean you should never tell Christians the TRUTH? The Baha'i Message should not be compromised in order to "not offend" others.
You may have Ex-Mormons in your Community who may be offended by using the TOMS Method. Again, they don't have to take part in the campaign. But you shouldn't let one or a few disguntled people hold a Community or Cluster hostage. Do you want TBMs to become Baha'is? If so, use the TOMS Method.
If a Baha'i cannot accept Joseph Smith as an inspired Seer (which is their right), they should not be included in the TOMS Group, nor should they be asked to take part in the XRO Teaching Campaign.
Plain English Version BOM
Please ___DO NOT TRY____ to read the blue-cover edition of The Book of Mormon! Reading it cover to cover has been described as "climbing Mount Everest without an oxgen tank or a sweater!" Most Mormons have not read it cover-to-cover! Really. Read the Plain English Edition. It is easy.
The Plain English edition of THE BOOK OF MORMON is very easy reading, 1000 times easier to read than the standard "blue cover" edition--which is in archaic English (16th century English) and quite difficult to read, even for those familiar with Archaic English.
You can order it from Amazon.com under the name "A Plain English Reference to The Book of Mormon". A TOMS Group may only need one or two copies. One member can read it, then give it to another to read until everyone in the Group has read the book. After completion of the Course, all members of the Group should receive a "Certificate of Completion" (these are available at most stationary stores), provided by the Group Leader.
Copies of this (about $13 plus shipping and handling) can be ordered from Amazon.com or from:
The TOMS Method will work, and work well. Try it and you will see.
Each member of the LSA may be interested in reading 19 Suggestions for THE QUICKENING of the Baha'i Faith in North America; which is online at:
I have provided a "Master Copy" of "1891" in case other members of the LSA, or other members of the Community, wish copies. And, of course, if the LSA decides to host an XRO Teaching Campaign; either alone or in conjuction with other Communities in the Cluster, use the "Master Copy" to re-print in bulk.
The publication "1891" is not copyrighted. You can print out and copy as many as you wish. "1891" can be reprinted in any form, by anyone, for free or profit. You already have my permission to do so.
Aenon E. Moss