I've often remarked to Sister Chantry that what I miss the most about Hurst was the regular sighting of crazy people. My favorite story (from Hurst) has been Melvin Price, who, in the span of 2 weeks had emergency catheter surgery, buried his father, was evicted from his apartment for his enormous amount of "recreational" pot and called the cops on his friend-- who had just shot his girlfriend 5 times in the head in a drunken stupor. But Justin never ceases to surprise me... In the words of Melvin, 'Man, you would not believe me if I told you the things that have happened to me, but.... Ima tell choo guys anywayss."
You may have been wondering about the email title? Well. Sister Chantry and I decided to call former investigators. And we call this guy up and he's at first pretty excited... but then he says "I love discussions! I'll have to get my notes together!"
Apparently, this dude has studied Metaphysics and Episcopology and a bunch of other big words and sound agnostic and scary. Not only that, but he begins to ramble about how he believes in Ayn Rand's school of thought, known as "Objectivism." In case you haven't guessed, this guy is not exactly... about us. About God, rather. THEN he starts asking questions like "How do you reconcile your faith in God with your ability to reason logically?" and "Can you explain the logical paradoxes of having a both vengeful and loving God?" But before he asks me these questions, he says "Now, before I ask these questions, I'm going to assume that you're, what, 20? Maybe 21 years old. And you've probably had some schooling done... so as a Semi-Educated young woman..."
Semi-Educated? SEMI-EDUCATED?! The things I know about religion would BLOW YOUR MIND UP, SON.
I didn't, however, say that.
Instead, this conversation happened:
I asked him to read the testimonies of the 3 and the 8 witnesses of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's. He gives me this response:
"You know... I don't believe in subjective evidence. It didn't happen to me and I've read them before and it did nothing for me, so I'm not going to."
To which I said: "Sir? May I speak boldly with you?"
"You can speak as boldly as you want! If you offend me, I'll give you a hundred dollars!" he said.
"Paul, you got nothing from those testimonies and will continue to get nothing from anything we say because your heart is not open. Quite frankly, neither is your mind."
From his tone of voice, he basically said "Who do I make the check out to." But what he actually said was:
"Actually, I do have an open mind. But you're right, I don't have an open heart. Years of air-force and being in Iraq has hardened me like cement. I've seen what happens when emotion clouds judgement and when people make decisions on "faith" so, no, my heart is not open. I don't believe in emotion."
I bore testimony one more time and then told him that we were here to teach people of Christ. I'm not here to debate and discuss, I'm here to find, teach and yes, baptize. I am to testify of Christ and bring hope to the hopeless, life to the spiritually dead, and help people become eternally happy. If he is closed off to that message, then we will not be meeting with him.
I have no certificate or other piece of paper that gives me religious credit, but I do have a Ministerial Card that allows me to preach. I do have a letter signed by the president of this church and prophet of this world that declares me worthy and able to teach.
Joseph Smith was Semi-Educated. When you consider what that man has done for this world... makes you think twice about using the world's standard of measurement.
Semi-Educated? I think not.
Mosiah 2:41, brothers.
[And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.]
Love, Sister Gunson
PS: I went on a "Zebra Exchange" with an Hermana. My accent totally makes up for my lack of vocabulary, so THANKS MA.