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Micah Wilder Passport to Heaven Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2021 9:22 pm

Micah Wilder Passport to Heaven Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 13, 2021 9:22 pm

Micah Wilder was an LDS missionary for 2 years of his life, a time when he discovered the Jesus he never knew. This week Bill and Eric ask Micah about his new book, Passport to Heaven, and find out how God found a young man and brought him to Himself.


Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson has helped many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is what your favorite Christian bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a respected viewpoint on Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.

I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague MRM will this week we plan to take a slight break from our review of the book the gospel topics series as we have with this Michael Wilder Michael Wilder is the head of Adams Road ministries and he has written a book titled passport to heaven. The true story of a zealous Mormon missionary who discovers that Jesus he never knew Mike out welcome to viewpoint on Mormonism. It's good to have you back. Great to be back on Eric and a long time. It has been it's been too long bit every time you get a chance to come out to Utah. I tried to make an effort to get out to see you guys because we are all very blessed by what you guys are doing all the lives that you have touched over the past many years and as I was telling you off air. I really enjoyed your book passport to heaven is a great book. I am just praying God use this in a mighty way to open the eyes of many faithful Latter Day Saints.

I really commend you for the job that you did on this and that's what we want to talk about this week.

We want to talk about not only your book in particular. But we want to talk about your story. Your story is quite amazing I didn't even know all the details. Naturally, I knew a lot of the basics but I'm going all the while, I didn't know that.

Especially when you talk about going through four hurricanes and we can ring that subject up again a little bit later on, Michael. Let me ask a question that many stories are about how a boy meets a girl and some of that's in your block, but it would probably be better to call your book, God meets boy if he would give the listeners a Cliff notes summary of what a reader of your new book and expect is really the story of a Mormon missionary who comes to know the love of God revealed in Christ, and that was really my heart.

Mr. kind of step away from my own story third-party objective viewer and just tell the story of who I was and how the gospel of Christ, transforming it so it's really not even about me it's about God's love for me in Christ, and that love that he has for all of us. And so I really wanted to make Jesus the center of the story, not myself. You said about that. She been writing the story for many years. Could you tell us a little bit more about how you wrote the story and how you were able to get the book ready for publishing with harvest House is definitely been a labor of love. I actually embarked on this journey. Within days of completing by to your mission trip in 2006, and so I sat down and I opened up my journal and I knew very clearly that God wanted me to tell the story in written form. I just didn't know the details and I didn't know the time frame but I tried to be faithful to that and in fact I I started to write what God had done over the course of my two-year mission to his glory. I was actually a very meticulous notetaker and journalist throughout the course of my mission.

I had almost a thousand pages of journal entries by the time I got home because I was very meticulously detailing all of the experiences that I was undergoing a Mormon missionary into that kind of became the foundation of the story and for 15 years I formed that story and became more clear and and more clarified through the thing that God is teaching me as I matured in my own relationship with Christ and ultimately led to God opening doors to harvest how and it was finally published how to bend a surreal dream for a long time that I never thought what should end.

And finally it's here and I just praise God because of it.

Now, in the book you say that a lot of what is in the book comes from your memory from your two-year mission, as well as from your journal when I read that I thought you knew. Here's one. One time when it's really a good thing that Mormons are into journaling, because now you have all this detail and you can go back and I notice in on some of the things you just copied from your journal into the book. What it actually happened and many of the things that were said I think that's a great thing because if somebody reads this and I wonder how can he remember all that well. If you write it down.

At the time it happens.

That's how you do it so that's what I think also makes this book really exceptional. You get to know the people that you were serving with on your mission. Now a lot of those names you admit up front are not the actual names you didn't really and as I guess that the champion of the mission field in the eyes of semi or fellow missionaries and your mission president that you talk about either. Have you had any opportunity to talk to some of those young men and other adults that you would serve with at that time.

Unfortunately, most of the people that I knew and served with on my mission had kind of cut off communication with me. There's been a very, very few number of them that I still have any semblance of relationship with L I I do hope that some of these missionaries that I served with. I added periodically pick up this book. I even unbeknownst to me it's fine and then read it and see the things that I was undergoing while I was serving with them and while while we were serving together and and I hope that some of them do, and I hope that there moved by that I know for a fact that many of these missionaries, especially my companions.

I know that they are impacted by the gospel message. I know that they were impacted by the love of God that I was coming to learn through God's word and those seeds were planted in our hearts and I still believe even after 15 years that the seed skin can eventually come to fruition him by the grace of God. One of the things that stood out for me as I'm reading the book and also knowing you personally is you left. I guess you could say the proverbial paper trail of your service while you were a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the reason I say this for our listeners is because it's not uncommon when an individual rights their testimony of how they left the LDS church for a Latter Day Saints to I guess you could say stereotyped them as probably someone who was not all that active was not that zealous in their Mormon faith. And that's why they fell away. You certainly don't come to the table with those kind of credentials when you leave a paper trail that can easily be followed showing well tell you Mike if there was ever the zealous of the zealous. I would say you probably fit into that category you took your religion very seriously and I don't think any Latter Day Saints reading your book can come to any other conclusion. They might try but you give enough evidence to show you have business when you're on your mission you are just filling a two-year tour of duty it was. Not only that, but you were taking your faith seriously think I wanted to do. The book was to really establish honestly and with integrity by credentials and wanted to show the deal that I had for God. The dedication that I had to God through the church and one of the things I dealt with a lot over the last 15 years is is people trying to discredit me by saying that I either never believed the doctrine or I never fully lived it, or I didn't understand that those are generally the three things that people really try to accuse me of in order to discredit my testimony rather than acknowledging that II really did understand Mormon doctrine. I believe that I lived it, but I came to the word of God, to understand that there something greater then that which was revealed to me. Mormonism, of course, that was the revelation of Christ through his word, and so I really wanted to show people like I was a real Mormon and I was a devout Mormon I was a dedicated Mormon and I put my life into serving God to the church. I don't think anybody's going to doubt your zealousness, especially when you went on your mission is billed as mentioned, I'm looking at your book, page 130 and Eisler read a short section of it so that our listeners can understand how zealous you were. You went to BYU in the fall semester after you graduate from high school and then you stop going to school. This is what you write after school concluded in December, I returned to the temple near talk about the amount to Pinocchio's temper were you near where you live, but this time to submit a most unusual proposal I wanted to work full-time in the sacred building immersing myself in God's presence every possible moment I could. My religious leaders were shocked and even confused never had someone my age made such a demand. Generally, temple workers were older retired men and women. It was simply unheard of for a young person prior their mission, no less, to serve in such a capacity, I was told I had become the youngest full-time temple worker and in the modern church and then you write the passion to discover what God had in store for me became an obsession and I was determined to make every effort to solidify my standing with him as I prepare for my two year journey. I strictly observed all the church's commandments, obeying them is that my life my future my love for Alisha who was your girlfriend at that time. Later your wife depended on it, Mike. I am just going to ask you this question. Why were you so passionate about temple service will you and how I view God, Mormonism and so my desire to have a relationship with God. We could claim to be the young man, even if the child and as I grew older I believe that the way to have a relationship with God and to be in right standing with God was through the laws and the ordinances and attendance of Mormonism and thought I grew older and as I got the point of repairing myself to go on a mission.

I sold the temple as the ultimate standard of my righteousness and the way for me to be in the presence of God. And that's what I desired. More than anything else in the world itself.

I really put my part in an effort into the temple into going there, performing the ordinances and seeking desperately to be in God's presence and to feel his love to feel his favor and really to try to show him to demonstrate to him that I was good enough to receive the best that he could offer you were the youngest to ever do something like this. Why do you think others at that age don't have a desire if that's really the ultimate in the Mormon faith. Any thoughts on that. I don't know. I think it varies from person to person and I think that people, even within Mormonism may find different ways to serve God and and for me it became the temple, and that was just my way of connecting with God and in trying to be close to God. I guess the reason I'm asking that is because I have talked to many missionaries for the LDS church, and in many cases, I was surprised to find that for a lot of the missionaries that I encountered they never really got serious about their faith until they were called on a mission. I've even talk to missionaries who never even read the book of Mormon until just before they went on their mission.

I would say that this zeal that you had as as a young man and desiring to work in the temple was certainly surpassed quite a few, at least of the young man that I have talked to that are on their missions that I think experienced.

But that never, not all but many of the missionary were just beginning to truly develop their own personal testimony and were just beginning to grasp doctrine and theology and and kind of go through that own fate events outside its thing. I mission already formulated by testimony, already developing that testimony and even you know sharing that testimony constantly to live my leader like family by peers and just trying to live out my faith as best as I could talk to Michael Wilder. He is the author of the book passport to heaven, the true story of a zealous Mormon missionary who discovers the Jesus he never knew and were going to continue this conversation in tomorrow show.

Thank you for listening.

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