In the last 2 months I've been across America and back. I've talked with people in Georgia, Tennessee, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Alabama.
I've met literally thousands of people this year.
I always wonder how things are going for the people I meet. What their lives are truly like? Will they be with me in Heaven?
Lately, I've been thinking about a friend.
I remember around 1999 when a friend of mine felt led to share her faith. Her faith was different than mine. I appreciated the attempt, but had a few basic questions for her. I told her I would be glad to take her faith, Mormonism, seriously if she could offer good answers.
She gladly accepted the invitation. In researching my basic questions, her life changed. Permanently. Within a short time she felt her faith was not in agreement with the Christian faith. The next year was painful for her. When she accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior, everything she knew was turned upside down. Everything.
I had began coaching her son full time. Great kid, hard worker. After a couple of years, he asked questions about my faith as he worked to share his faith with me. I asked him just a few basic questions. I explained if he could show me some good answers I would consider seriously looking at his faith.
He gladly accepted the offer. One night he called me from the BYU library. Apparently, one of my questions has seriously stumped him and he flew to Utah to see the correct answer for himself. The correct answer was hidden deep inside the library. When he found the answer, his life was forever changed. He realized he had no choice but to accept Christ, the Christ of the Bible with nothing added or taken away, as his personal Lord and savior.
Both he and his mother have paid a great price for their new belief in Jesus Christ, the Jesus of the Bible. I will keep this information private. Suffice to say the last 5 years have been difficult and I am amazed at the strength they both show.
I don't claim to have all the answers. I was like most of you, didn't have much of an idea about Mormonism and was willing to listen. In listening I came up with a few reasonable questions. I did some research. Found some answers. Asked my Mormon friends if the answers were right or wrong.
Their personal research showed the answers I found were correct. Thus, their lives changed.
Here is something I found. I would like your answers, too.
Back in the 1800s, Brigham Young claimed to be a prophet of God. He was among the greatest Mormon leader in history. Certainly a visionary. He preached for many years that Adam was God. The Mormon church later took the stance that Adam was not God.
Well, one question to my friend and to my student was, "How can a man claim to speak with God and be God's prophet, yet preach for years that God told him God was Adam... because the current LDS church says God was not Adam?"
I went on to say, "To me, that makes him a false prophet and I have a problem with a founding member, prophet, and leader of a religion being a false prophet."
Their answer to me was that Brigham Young would never have claimed Adam was God. That a prophet could never be wrong about something so serious. That there was no way a prophet who talked with God daily would make such a claim.
I agreed a true prophet would never make such a claim, then showed them where Mormons recorded his claim. To find the writings I had located and to verify their origins, my student went to locate either authentic copies or the original manuscripts deep inside of the BYU library.
His life forever changed.
They then went on to find many, many other aspects of their religion they had never known.
As for me, I don't have all the answers. When asked to join a religion, I listen and ask questions. Nowadays, I get asked a lot of questions. As such, I have more answers than I had when I first answered my call to ministry back in 1999.
Why do I write about this now? Memories. Thoughts. Looking to the future. Both my former student and his Mom are both active in my life. I love them both tremendously.
Can I tell you something? I pray for you. I pray you can see Jesus, nothing added or taken away. The proof of his life, death, and resurrection is so complete. The answers to the tough questions of faith in Him are easily found. God's DNA is planted throughout the universe from the tiniest flagella to the amazing location of the earth in the galaxy.
I pray for God to reveal himself to you. He will. Simply ask.
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