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
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
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.read more...