In February of 1969 I entered the West Central States Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Back then, I thought the purpose of a Mormon Missionary was to quote Bible scriptures at people until they fell on their knees and asked for baptism. It took about a year before I figured out that the old sayings and quotes of the sages were as true as the words of the Prophets.
“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” -Benjamin Franklin
Why, so many years later am I dredging up old memories? Because today I have three children who have left the faith I taught them. To them this is dedicated.
Let’s take a step back and consider why we are saying what we are saying. Orrin Woodward, the guiding light of Life Leadership, is a dedicated Christian and in no way can be accused of being a Mormon or Mormon sympathizer. I respect him because he asks everyone, Christian and not, this challenge:
“Know why you believe what you believe”. He has quoted: 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
In the book “Launching a Leadership Revolution”, co-authored with Chris Brady, who also feels the same way about religion as Orrin, they said:
Life should be about purpose and meaning and cause and fulfilling our personal, god-given destinies. Without exception, this is achieved through, with, and for people.
Dale Carnegie in his self help classic, “How To Win Friends and Influence People” said:
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because is wounds a person’s pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.
And from the Bible:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
If I am thinking about all the “bad” things , am I following Paul’s direction to the Philippians?
Coach Vince Lombardi said: “If you chase perfection, you often catch excellence.”
That also fits with Matthew 5: 48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
If we are commanded to be perfect, and were not, would not the road to perfection lie through the village of excellence?
President Theodore Roosevelt said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians 4:11-13 said:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
What is the fullness of Christ? All Christians agree it is perfection. So, according to Paul, in addition to evangelists, pastors and teachers, we could use some help from Apostles and Prophets.
In 2014, Shortly after I moved to Las Vegas, I met Felipe Odulio. He has some videos on YouTube;
To my satisfaction, Brother Odulio proved beyond all doubt that the Bible predicted the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., The Book of Mormon and the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. So, why aren’t you a believer already? Simple, we have different notions of where truth comes from. Maybe you do not believe in absolute truth.
What do you believe is true?
Do you know Why you believe that? Do you know what that belief is based on? What are the underlying facts that compel the conclusion you hold to as truth? Have you examined the evidence those “facts” rest on?We send 18 and 19 year old Children into the mission fields of the world, at their own expense and without a Divinity Degree. They baptize hundreds every day. We wed hundreds of couples in our Temples every day, except Sundays, and the divorce statistics bear out that it “sticks” better than any other community or group. Fewer children are born out of wedlock. Fewer members are on Government Welfare roles. How do we do it? What is the explanation? Why are all those people joining the “Mormon” Church? Are 18 and 19 year old High School children taught to be so persuasive? Do they learn tricks of hypnosis? What is going on here?This is what’s going on:
Brothers and sisters, pray for the critics of the Church; love your enemies. Keep the faith and stay on the straight and narrow path. Use wisdom and judgment in what you say and do, so that we do not give cause to others to hold the Church or its people in disrepute. Do not be surprised or dismayed if trials and challenges come upon us. This work, which Satan seeks in vain to tear down, is that which God has placed on earth to lift mankind up!
I have lived for more than half the 150 years the restored Church has been upon the earth in this last dispensation. I have witnessed its marvelous growth until it now is established in the four corners of the earth. As the Prophet Joseph said:
“Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).Spencer W. Kimball, April 1980 General Conference
“Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth”
-Ralph Waldo EmersonGod bless you in your search for truth.