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June 15, 2021 9:37 pm
.1 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. So glad you agree with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry in with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague MRM but were also pleased to have with us a very good friend of ours Micah Wilder Micah Wilder is the head of Adams Road ministries if you say you've never heard any of their music, you would be incorrect if you listen to this show because our opening and closing is actually a piano solo by Micah's brother Matt Wilder who does a lot of concerts in churches throughout the country. Micah has an amazing story of what God did with him and through him while he was serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the lot of that story is in his new book, passport to heaven, the true story of a zealous Mormon missionary who discovers the Jesus he never knew Micah welcome back to the show. Thank you, when we ended yesterday we were talking about the young man who serve as missionaries. And when you went on your mission. At that time you had to be a minimum of 19 years old. Well, Thomas S.
Monson when he became the president. He lowered that age to 18 and we were talking about how the mission is itself a 24 month mission for a young man who's basically just out of high school and really hasn't done a whole lot apart from their school days are thrown into this situation with a lot of other young man their own age and for two years.
They are going to have to survive food."
Trying to discuss with they believe with people who probably don't know much at all about Mormonism but you said something in yesterday's broadcast that I think we need to go back and talk about some more and that is how much do you really learn while you're in the missionary training center there for nine weeks because I was learning a foreign language. Okay, so most of the time you're learning the language are not really learning your doctrine as a member of the LDS church so much as you mentioned yesterday. It sounded like they do talk about some of the pet proof texts that many missionaries will bring up when they are challenged about what they believe, but outside of that, would you agree that the missionaries that we meet on the streets.
The knowledge they have is probably more what they brought with them as a young man or young woman, then what they're learning that the missionary training center. I think that's true to some extent and I think it there is a certain level of the doctrinal understanding that takes place in the MPC you learn the discussions backwards and forwards you learn the lessons I guess. Is there called go through the basic tenants of the Mormon faith but really the spiritual aspect of this is left up to the individual missionary left up to that person. It is what is their dedication.
I knew missionary that that would bear they didn't really have a testimony, but they had a head knowledge of the doctor and so we were really kind going to that process ourselves of working out our old K as we were going through the process of being taught it by the church and they were just thrust into the world to go.
Not only have to believe the thing that could teach them and communicate them to others and and bring them into Mormonism. I think somebody missionaries were just not adequately prepared for that. But as we were taught we were trying to be obedient to our religious authority and we were doing it because the prophet had asked us to do it and we were even told that it's okay if you don't have a testimony. The more that you bear your testimony, the more that that testimony will come to fruition and be strengthened. Often times when I'm speaking in churches. We talk about being confronted by the missionaries and sometimes that can be very intimidating for your average Christian. So I use the phrase will how many 19-year-old theologians. Do you know in our Christian churches and of course everybody chuckles because we don't know if too many 19-year-old theologians in a Christian context the civil do you think it's any different in a Mormon context to find a lot of 19-year-old theologians that are going on on their Mormon mission and so we shouldn't be intimidated but I like what you said yesterday. We should have a compassion for them that even the type as you alluded to above, pity for them for what they're going through and I think all the more our hearts should go out to these young men and women that we have an opportunity to talk to because when they come door-to-door and I don't know if they're doing a whole lot of that lease. Not as much as they used to. That's God sovereignly bringing someone to us that we can minister to.
We don't even have to go out looking for them. And plus with the white shirt and badge is another kind of change, and even those clothing styles a little bit making a little bit harder to identify them but you can't get away from the black badge.
Everybody has the black badge if we are Christians and we have an opportunity to share and you feel from the Holy Spirit to say something, by all means say it you never know what your words are going to do with that particular individual, because God's word never returns void Micah. There was a Mormon genre movie made years ago called God's army and so missionaries are out to convert and then I'm just curious how many conversions did you have during your mission. Number why I don't know that number.
I will be around 20 people or so that I personally baptized.
I found it interesting in the book when you were you were called on the phone and you were going through a hurricane. In fact, you went through four different hurricanes and here you are.
You're the leader of these other missionaries are worried about the safety of them, but you get a call from this president's assistant any only seem to care about the baptism numbers was that a unique situation or did you find that attitude to be common. I think based on my mind that we had at that time very entered on numbers you very center very regimented guy and he and I did not see eye to eye in our approach to missionary work out very much. Generally centered missionary news very much how to practically centered missionary and so we we generally see I died, but I think that that would the sense for a lot of people they were doing their job know they were doing their duty and that duty required them to fulfill a certain daily X dictation and certain weekly expectation and if they did that and they were obedient to their leaders and ultimately God himself and that's just how people thought and so it's kind of sad because their hearts were in the right place. I think I even went through that for a time to missionary. I was more worried about kind of the glory for man right Gordon church that I really what about whether I was doing the right thing for the right reason you mentioned in the book that there is some type of glory given to the zealous missionary and the converse and so forth and so on. And you mentioned how that was troubling to you because it did kind of play into your pride which is amazing because you do admit throughout the book, your prideful moment you catch yourself, which I thought was great that needed to be said because I'm sure that's probably true with a lot of young people that are going through this kind of situation I've gotta say something here because one thing that I have always felt bad for when it comes to the Mormon missionaries and that is the door-to-door cold calls I've done that before and I'll be quite honest with my listeners. Right now I hate doing. What do a quick door-to-door. Normally they think you're probably a Jehovah's Witness since you don't have the black badge or anything and then you always have to explain yourself but I just don't like this kind of cold calls Micah list talk about the reaction of evangelical Christians on your mission you talk about this on page 65.
Let me read a paragraph from your book passport to heaven and this is what you write. Even though I had met countless people who profess to be disciples of Jesus during my nearly 2 year tenure as a missionary. The majority of them were barely distinguished as such by their actions toward us and all too common response when we approach Christians at their homes was we already know the Lord Jesus and you guys are in a cult and are going to hell. Now get off our doorstep and don't come back. We have no interest in the message you are sharing their tirade would end with the door slamming inches from our faces. I would often walk away, shaking my head in discuss and thinking to myself, if that's what a Christian is.
I don't want anything to do with them. Their behavior only further solidified my testimony in the church and drove me deeper into my religious convictions. No Micah tell us that was not the rule, but the exception when you ran into evangelical Christians, you know, I think it was more of the rule. I feel like there were not a lot of questions that I can recall that didn't engage in a negative way. With that and again it could have been my my perception at the time. Those are the ones I remembered more, and that certainly could be the case, but either way it's not the way that we are called to engage nonbelievers as Christians and I think that what I take away from that.
Personally, I don't want to make that same mistake that I don't want to do one fish. What Christian did to me and and what I see them I want to remember what it was like to be a missionary and how challenging it was and how difficult it was to deal with rejection on a daily basis you know from everybody and to remember that they need people who were willing to love them and show them gentleness and respect, and ultimately point them to the word of God's salvation in Jesus alone. I am glad that you put that in your book. Though Micah and this is why often times when Eric and I are speaking that churches we like to make the point you don't want to become a missionaries war story by you having that in your book that fits exactly what we are trying to get across when we are speaking to Christians when you misbehave. Let's say you say something you shouldn't of said or you do something like slamming the door and things like that missionaries remember that, and your conclusion as you stated in the book is not unusual, nor should I think it should be unusual. It does make you wonder if that's what Christianity is really all about. Why would I ever want anything to do with that. So I'm glad you put that in the book because if nothing else, it should convict all of us is Bible believing Christians who have a message that the missionaries need to hear that we don't need to misbehave when were presenting that message so Micah can you help us as a form missionary. What should a Christian day when a missionary comes at their door number one. I would engage them with kindness.
I would bite them into my home. I would give them food and water and I would share the belief system because I think that when we do that we immediately gain their respect when we gain the respect it gives us the opportunity to then share church with them and so one of the stake that she a lot of Christians make when they engage with Mormon missionaries and they immediately just try to start teaching them the next try to start talking over them and correcting them and what that could do is to shut down conversation immediately.
I think allowing them to begin to share what they believe. Ask questions for clarification. Right because another big mistake a lot of Christians make as we make presuppositions about what Mormons believe, not recognizing that moment can be anywhere on a very wide spectrum of fate. Just because the Mormon church teaches, or a prophet taught a certain document that the mean that's what these individual men and women believe so. I think asking them questions for clarification and then having dialogue that ultimately allows the to share our faith and to go to the word of God into show that contrast gently and lovingly and you really get into the heart of each missionary about what they believe.
Why and and then leave them to the truth very well said were 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 silver going to continue talking to Micah about his missionary experiences.
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