In dealing with the objections people offer against the Church, many of us have faced shotgun tactics. The objector doesn’t just ask one or two questions, but comes in with a long list of objections. Dealing with them one at a time seems futile. In one of my early experiences in responding to anti-Mormon attacks, a newly baptized member was completely flustered by the thick stack of anti-Mormon literature her Protestant minister gave her, filled with hundreds of attacks on the Church. I asked what ones bothered her most, and spent some time systematically responding to them, one at a time. After demonstrating one by one that the key attacks bothering her were based on deceptive tactics or misinformation, she then made an appeal to the shear volume of attacks that remained. She said, “I don’t care if you can show that most of what’s in here [the anti-Mormon books] is a lie, because even if only 10% of what they say is true, that’s enough to make the Church false.” It was a sad moment. I appealed to the early Christians. Would she have dropped Christianity based on the shear volume of attacks raised against it? But the discussion seemed doomed from the beginning. She left the Church – and yes, we did leave her alone, as far as I can tell, at her request.
So what do we do when faced with shotgun tactics? Allen Wyatt offers some great advice in his article on answering shotgun anti-Mormonism at FAIRLDS.org. I think it’s a good approach if the person raising the attacks is sincere. If someone just wants to tear down the Church and doesn’t care about your answers, then you may not want to spend too much time dealing with the critics.