The Mormons visited me last week. Despite the oddity of the encounter, I was interested in what they had to say and in learning more about the Mormon tradition. I even invited them to return to my house for a follow-up appointment tonight. But something came up and my wife and I needed to cancel our date with the missionaries tonight. So I called Elder Watkins, who gave me his cell phone number, to reschedule.
But he’s no longer in town. Elder Watkins got here only a few months ago, but now he’s gone. Surely he wouldn’t have scheduled an appointment with me had he know he was getting shipped off to Singapore, Siberia or San Diego in a few days. And the kind female voice who answered his cell phone offered to visit with me tomorrow, but she otherwise didn’t seem to know about Elder Watkins’ appointment with me (and I don’t think she bought my line about me not having a free night until some time after Flag Day – which isn’t far from the truth).
So I don’t know if I’m relieved or disappointed. I was hoping to ask some questions of our Mormon friends, to probe a little further, to try and understand where they stand in the spiritual world and how I as a Lutheran Christian should look at them. Oh well. Perhaps next time.
One thought on “Mormon Mystery”
I was born into a Lutheran family on my father’s side. And most of my ancestors on both sides of my family were German Lutherans who settled in Iowa and Nebraska. I was “baptized” a Lutheran when I was a baby, but because neither of my parents were particularly religious, I grew up belonging to whatever Protestant denomination had the best choir in the neighborhood where we lived. My atheist father, the one from the Lutheran family, loved to sing in a good choir, and so that is how my parents chose what Protestant church they would attend together. Over the years I grew up as member of a Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist congregation.
I was more religious than my parents or any of my many other siblings and became disenchanted with some of the traditional Christian teachings when I was a teenager. During my junior year of high school, I moved from Nebraska to El Paso, Texas where I met some very attractive young women who decided that I should become a Mormon. I was not especially popular in high school, and I was flattered with the attention they gave me.
Well, to make a long story short, I tried to “stump the Mormons” when I met the Mormon missionaries that these girls introduced me to, and to my utter amazement, they answered my theological questions much better than the Protestant ministers I had quizzed about things that puzzled me. And by and by I came to believe that what they were teaching was a more true version of Christianity than I had previously been exposed to. I became a Mormon in February of 1963, during my senior year of high school. And for over 43 years I have been devout in my practice of the Mormon faith.
Today I am an old man who is almost 61 years old with grown children and a couple of grandchildren. I am a high priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And I have held a number of leadership callings in my church. I just love my church. And I love the men I serve under in the Mormon priesthood. I think they are the best, most kind, most loving, most unselfish, most Christlike men I have ever known. And I think they have become this way because of how effectively the Church teaches the New Testament and the other scriptures that we Mormons believe are the Word of God. I believe the Mormons understand and love Jesus Christ of Nazareth better than any other people on earth. If I did not believe this, I would leave the Church in a flash. Where the version of Christianity taught by the various Protestant denominations seem to be self-contradictory in many ways, the Christianity taught by the Mormons is marvelously self-consistent and also marvelously consistent with the Bible if the Bible is understood in the way that it must be understood in the light of the Book of Mormon which I also believe is the Word of God.
If you ever have any honest questions that you would like to ask me about this Church I love, or about the Savior whom I love even more than my Church, please feel free to ask. The only questions that I will not answer are those that are rhetorical in an effort to tear down my faith in the things that I so fervently believe.
God bless you in your interest in things Mormon. I hope that you get a chance to speak further with the missionaries that you mentioned in your blog post.
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