Good Samaritan Mormons

Good Samaritan Mormons April 28, 2008

    I've learned some things about God from personal experience,

that I never would have known any other way. One of the biggest

of these lessons is that pleasing God is a whole lot easier than

pleasing folks. Hey it only took me 20 years of service but I'm not 

totally clueless.

    People change churches all the time, often several times, for this

very reason. Because pleasing God just takes faith, but pleasing

church folks, oh my. Let me see- there's often the pastor's list, the

elder's list, the deacon's list. Now where did I leave these? Must

have lost them by and by.

    While earnestly searching your recycling bin you might have had

this great insight- if Jesus Christ, Yeshua the Messiah of Israel,

is head of His church, why do so many of us church attending

and church serving folk feel like we're primarily serving church

folks, rather than the living God of Israel? Hmmn. 

    Then I heard God's voice say "Forget their lists. Get out while

you still can."  So after this happened a couple-three times, I took

my bible out on the front porch until God gave me a word on a

better place to worship him. So there I was having church one

day, minding my own business, studying the Hebrew Scriptures,

and sure enough two of the sweetest Mormon missionaries, not

paid at all but still joyful, inched their way down the street

crowded with dog worshippers, I mean dog walkers, and looked

for a strategic place to park.  They pulled up in a very sensible

Toyota Corolla,  parked real nice, grabbed their handy books of

Mormon, and strode directly to a certain neighbor's door across

the street.  They knocked and looked about, but their appointee

seemed to have left them in the lurch.

    So they dallied, and considered between themselves,

strategically looked at me from across the street, then

they got an inspiration. From where I can't reckon! So they

crossed the street, boldly introduced themselves, and

invited me into their world. I first thought to myself "hey this

is my church and you git" but something Godly was going on

so I rolled with it. They don't use their first names. That

would be too familiar.

    But their official rectangular black pendants with white block

letters announced that Miss _______ and Miss _______ (not

their real names)  were official missionaries for the Church of

Latter Day Saints, aka "Mormons."

    Mormon was the guy who supposedly wrote the book of the

same name, officially and gently but boldly described as [just]

"Another Testamant of Jesus Christ." Wow, what a claim. Joseph

Smith found this mere "other testamant" on Cumorah Hill near

Palmyra New York in September of 1823, as led by the Angel

Moroni. This book was etched in an unknown language on gold

plates (since dissapeared) which Smith then translated on paper

into English to make the "Book of Mormon." Joseph Smith, as a very

young man, so the story goes, didn't know what church to go back to,

because they all seemed jealous, vain and contentious, so

simultaneously people-pleasing and people-displeasing, if you get

what I'm saying.     

    So, as the story goes,  he sat on his front porch, or somewhere like

that, refusing to go to church until God told him not to join any, and later,

to found his own, based on the aforesaid, and heretofore buried and

updated revelation.

    The Mormons have a fantastic story. But, I'll let them cross your

street to tell you the rest. I don't believe any of it. It's as American as

Apple Pie, but quite foreign to God's final Israel (which will include

faithful Jews and Gentiles). But months went by and all these visits

and reading their stuff I sort of saw these zealous representatives 

with no first names as missions work, my mission to the Mormons.

I remember one night sitting at the dining room table and asking God

to come down and baptize them in the Holy Ghost.

    I know that would help. Only now do I ask Could a Mormon get

baptized in the Holy Ghost? Hey that's an interesting question. I had

no idea, but I was searching for an affirmative answer as I prayed, out

of gratitude for their concern. Oh they were having some church too,

sort of a battle of missionary wills, and a non fellowship fellowship


    It's been at least two years since they gave up on me, but I saw two

more out and about and was reminded God hasn't given up on them.

And neither have I, grateful as I am (in fact I have trouble that way 

because from what I gather, God never has given up on me).

So if you are reading this as a Christian, I ask you to pray that my

brief mission to the Mormons might one day bear fruit for the kingdom.

If you are a Mormon, well ask again for Jesus' baptism for yourself, 

and I'm trusting He'll teach you all things. 

    And thanks for your encouragement.

    I learned a great lesson from my Mormon friends and God- that there

are certain times in our lives when it doesn't matter whether the person

giving us a drink of water, wiping our brow, or listening to our God quest

is like us or not (Proverbs says a friend close by is better than a brother

far way), or is dead set in making us one of their ilk. When it doesn't

matter what we call oursleves. Times when listening and caring are

more important than running back to one's particular Temple to have

another meeting or light another candle.

    It's the oddest thing- these Mormon Missionaries were about the

closest thing to Jesus that I had experienced in a  long time, after several

churches, and that's my guess why they are so successful. 

    I also learned that many times doctrine and where you worship misses

the point, and the grace. These Mormons and I didn't miss the grace,

and we had "church" for three months on my front porch. We even had a

church supper, in the driveway, owing to proprietary and all! 

I'd like to think they almost got baptized in the Holy Spirit, and one day

will like that foreigner Cornelius, having experienced the living God of

Israel, who shows up wherever he chooses. 

    Yes, dear brothers and sisters, there are the times in our lives when

the church outsider, the pagan, the friend with the whacked out doctrine,

has done way better and been way more Godly than my brother or

sister church insider. In fact I recall that perhaps brother Jesus has a

testimony Himself about this matter.


Oh Cyrus of today come rebuild the temple God's insiders destroy. 

Oh Rahab today help Joshua and Caleb take the promised land

while the other ten tribes sit on their hands. Oh Ruth remind us

how much we have received from the God of Israel. Oh Good

Samaritan come today for all those left for dead on the side

of the road. Oh God knocking on our church doors would that we

learn the wisdom to welcome strangers onto our front porch and

into our church, that we would become in Jesus a sanctuary that

really does welcome all.




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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.