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Micah Wilder Passport to Heaven Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2021 9:36 pm

Micah Wilder Passport to Heaven Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 14, 2021 9:36 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.


When one examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited 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 are things that is really bad for that musical introduction welcome to this addition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKibben, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague are what you've heard the music and now we have the man behind the music you might say Michael Wilder. Although quite technically that piano solo that you hear at the beginning and ending of our show is played by Micah's brother Matt, who is also very much a part of what Micah does in ministry. In fact, Matt plays all over the place doing piano solos and in Micah, he also plays with you in the band as well.

Sometimes does any part of your can of course we want to talk about this week your book passport to heaven. The true story of the zealous Mormon missionary who discovers the Jesus he never knew that before we jump in to your experience as a missionary. I think it would help some of our listeners to know your parents, Michael and Lynn Wilder. They were not born in the covenant they were converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wanted to tell us a little bit about that. So my parents grew up in the Midwest in Indiana and they were graduate students at Ball State University. My mother had been raised in a very traditional Methodist home. My father and a southern Baptist home. In fact, his grandfather was a horseback preacher and they were home studying entry Mormon missionaries came and knocked on the door and and they were really enamored by the young men they were, and they were enamored by the message that they brought in the family and moral centeredness of the church and they were eventually drawn into the doctrines of Mormonism drawn into that community and they were baptized, and so the four of us children were were raised in the church and it was really that the identity of our lives. Growing up, you talk about how your mother ends up taking a job at Brigham Young University and I got the impression you couldn't get the impression you were too happy about leaving all your friends in Indiana to go to Utah once he tells about that was funny because not only would I be asked to leave the only home life ever known the stigma about the Utah morning. For those of us that Ray McCall" mission field that we got it. You don't want in the nonreal Mormon because they didn't have to live in a nonmarket environment and five youth. I wasn't excited about going to the culture Mormonism of changing my life. But of course the experience of moving there, actually really grew on me and that and I realized that being in a moment.

Saturated community was an opportunity for me to really stand out amongst my peers and try to get God to notice me by my adherence to the laws Mormonism, Micah. We are recommending this book will read it in three days, but I read it in one so I can think again yeah is a page turner. This book really is.

You did a great job with that. We want to talk about the missionary training center. So yesterday we talked about how you became a full-time worker at the local temple because in those days you had to be 19 to be a missionary. She had a year to counterweight so he spent one semester BYU and then you spent a few months working as a full-time worker and I see get to the missionary training center. The way you wrote it, it sure seems like you had a lot of pride going in as his 19-year-old missionary is that a common attitude. I think it is.

And I think the reason why is because our pride was bolstered by what our calling was in our calling as missionaries was that we were unique, set apart representative not only of the church. But Jesus Christ himself for me. That was part of our our wedding apart experience and calling was being given this this mantle of representation of Christ himself as I think that we saw ourselves as the spiritual group is people who who were uniquely chosen by you know our leaders to go out into to do this wonderful and unique work and that was to bring converts into the only true and living church and I believe that with all my heart and so I saw that an opportunity that God can use me to bring people to salvation. A lot of what your book is about is how God is sovereign because when you went to the missionary training center you were scheduled to go to Mexico City for your mission. But that doesn't happen. So what I missionary training center there for nine weeks and that in a couple weeks and I had come to help Christ for my lung collapsed and that that experience ultimately led my mission call to being changed to all label Florida to reflect on that in the book and I still think about that. All these years later about how there were so many distinct and unique experiences and people.

God placed my life about the course of that year mission in Orlando, Florida. That led me to his great right in his hand.

His fingerprints were were were so evident in my life I look back I think about my mission call never changed. Had I gone to Mexico City, Mexico is a 19-year-old Mormon today and that's that that's an answer that I don't have but but I do know that God is sovereign and that he was withdrawing me into a relationship with him even long before I went on my mission. But this kind of course correction of sending Orlando was such an important part of me finally coming to truth now your lung collapsing.

That's pretty serious.

Did he ever discover why that happened. Diagnosis is a spontaneous pneumothorax of spontaneous lung collapse and really the only thing that they told me was that it's something that is more common among people of my body type so I'm 63 I'm pretty thin and it was just one of those things that happen sometimes the people that have more email stretched out bodies, but you know I did. I think it would just poke me in the back in traffic.

There might have been acting in the my long and admit the part of the necessary brought that led me to the gospel of Christ. And so I'm glad that it happened before we get off the subject of the MTC have got asked you this though, what's it like going into the missionary training center with a lot of other at this time 19-year-olds because this is prior to Thomas Monson lowering the age to 18. How is it going into this probably a big auditorium at least at one point we have to all meet together with a bunch of 19-year-old kids that have never been out of the house because I was facing the prospect of leaving my family for two years. That was really deadbeat initial emotion. Once I got into the empty fee to get the. You know these relationships would be better. You know young men who were going to the same God that I would say that a lot of them were were very immature to be candid, I spiritual semester at college is not a lot but I'd actually move that my current job I deliberately got my own apartment for work know what the college could gain that it.

The you know living away from home to get a lot of these guys had never been away from home. They never ask. "Real world. And so that's a lot of immaturity there are a lot of pranks there just kind of a lot of goofing around and there was a lot of homesickness was really the other thing be little more serious needs work young men that many of them had never walked away from their families for an extended period of time in an app or even several weeks in the empty fee. This great River a challenging schedule. Many of them kinda buckled under that pressure. So I encourage Christian can only see the Mormon missionaries, both young man and the amendment went into the enormous pressure that is on them. Sometimes homesickness and depression that they are going through. Throughout this process so that we see them through the lens of compassion rather than Belen and I would want to combat with them, but instead to see them as objects of God's loved it but needs free and you know I think that problem you just mentioned has been exacerbated when they lowered the age to 18.

If you're seen a level of immaturity which is understandable unbecoming.

You will 19 is very young. A lot of these kids. As I said is the first time they're out of the house on their own and their sharing their lives with other young guys that are out of the house and the loan when you lower that another year.

It only seems like it would become even more of a problem and I will never one time Erica never do some research on this and we are reading about the cases of missionaries who have been sent home early because as you said, they were just homesick.

They were used to this. This is a big deal in their life. And when you figure I've got 24 months of this ahead of me. I can imagine how some might have a bit of anxiety over that you didn't feel that personally go. Did you not really. I had my moments where I I struggled with home and I could about that because I feel like I was as prepared emotionally, mentally, thickly, spiritually, at any missionary that ever gone on a mission, and I know that there were times on my mission when I really dig Bible and so I I am honestly amazed that the amount of missionary that finish their mission because that is a very difficult experience. But you're right, I mean why I think the fact that they lowered the age the EP it still is baffling to be when you think of these kids that just graduated from high school. Literally no like. And there sent to the corners of the earth to go represent their fate. I personally observed that.

I think missionaries now are not very mature and even to think like when I was a missionary, we would never miss an appointment right we would never miss a phone call. We were so dedicated to following through with our commitment and Mike Spencer missionaries now that they did not follow through with commitments that we have all the kind that have an appointment for the missionaries become and they did never show up. They never call and they don't seem to really be bothered by that. There is a built lot of immaturity. Now, of course, missionaries are not finishing their missions at the same right now that they were 20 years ago.

I think a lot of that is because the debt immaturity based on what you experience with these other young guys.

I know a lot of people. They tend to get intimidated when they see those black badges that say Elder so and so and they're probably thinking within the context of Christianity because an elder in a Christian church is supposed to have some years behind them. Some experience behind them and it should be able to defend their faith adequately. Should people being confronted by Mormon missionaries feel intimidated by question. I think there's kind of a misnomer that Mormon missionaries are these bullet incredible doctrine, knowing young men and women that have answers to everything and so we can see them that way and a lot of times Christians avoid any type of engagement with the Mormon missionaries because they don't feel equipped or have an adequate understanding of the word of God to be able to defend their faith and I think that it really could be further from the truth.

I think most missionaries they themselves are committed, they themselves are afraid are uncertain. Many of them have not developed their own personal testimony and faith in the Mormon church.

In the end, the fundamental principles of the church and there there because of cultural pressure because of expectation of family or whatever and so I I think that most of them are not really prepared to be there and there's nothing to be intimidated by about the Mormon missionaries.

If anything, we should have compassion for that week we could almost feel sorrowful pulled him that there in that position, and a mission use that as an opportunity to lovingly proclaim truth to them. We were quick to defend our faith, but it is a very surface level understanding of Scripture. So we likely knew the Bible very well that we only knew the scriptures in the Bible, but willingly defended our faith, but we didn't understand her doctrine and theology, and I think most missionaries are very ignorant to their own belief system or talking to Michael Wilder. He's the author of passport to heaven, the true story of a zealous Mormon missionary who discovers the Jesus he never knew and tomorrow show were going to talk more about his actual experience out in the mission field when he was serving in the state of Florida. Thank you for listening you would like more information.

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