Summary Lesson 41: “Every Member A Missionary”
- Religious Rights in Israel: The two legal systems, secular and religious allow religious people to take disputes or legal processes to their own judges. They include the Orthodox Jews, Moslems, Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Catholics, Syrian Orthodox and the Bahais. The Bahai religious courts are the only ones established after the State of Israel was recognized.
- Jewish Proselytizing: There is some Proselytizing done by the Jews to bring more Jews to a higher degree of Orthodoxy. One such group felt that their late Rabbi Schneersohn was likley the Messianic figure. “To some, Messianism undermines the first line of defense against Christian missionizing . . . Judaism cannot accept a Messiah who dies in the midst of his redemptive mission. To others, Rabbi Schneersohn is the one who will be resurrected to complete a process of redemption for the Jewish people.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- No Law Against Missionizing in Israel: The building of the “Mormon” center on Mount Scopus, where the BYU Study program is currently located, was well under way when an Orthodox Jewish group (dedicated to crushing Christian activities) started a twofold campaign. First, discrediting the government (which they did not support anyway) for allowing the BYU facilities to continue. Secondly, striking a chord of antisemitism, they called the center a “missionary activity.” (There are three kinds of antisemitism to the Jews; 1) kill the Jews, 2) let someone else kill the Jews, and 3) convert the Jews.) This same Orthodox group has attempted to pass a law against proselytizing in Israel and have failed. There is NO Israeli statute prohibiting missionary activity. In any case, missionary activity is deemed highly insensitive and frankly, antisemitic.
- The Real Reason LDS Do Not Missionize in Israel: BYU did sign a statement announcing they had no intention of doing missionary activities. Elder Howard W. Hunter as President of the Quorum of the Twelve also signed a statement to the same effect with the statement added, “. . . so long as such activity is prohibited by the government of Israel.” The Israeli government has never signed it! Repeating that there is no such law in Israel, the real reason Latter-day Saints are not proselytizing in Israel is because it is the Lord’s will. “And the time cometh that . . . the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” (1 Nephi 13:42)