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A Funny Story from Robert Millet


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I wanted to share a story I found to be very funny from Dr. Robert L. Millet, Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. I think you all might enjoy this as well. In chapter 4 of his book Getting at the Truth: Responding to Difficult Questions About the LDS Beliefs Dr. Millet writes about the need for LDS members to have "Wisdom in Response" to outsiders asking questions. He writes that the Latter-day Saints "should stay in order" (79, emphasis his). By this he means that they should start with the basics and build upon that foundation over time. He then tells this story to illustrate his point:
 

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After I had been on my mission for about fifteen months, I was assigned to work in a beautiful section of Connecticut. My companion, a nice fellow to be sure, had one problem that affected the work somewhat - his mind seemed to wander much of the time. One early summer afternoon we approached the door of a lovely small home. A woman who appeared to be about thirty-five years old opened the front door and unlatched the screen door. "Yes? Is there something I can do for you?" It was my companion's turn to be spokesman, so Elder Jackson (not his real name) answered. "We're missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have a message about Christ that we would like to share with you." She looked us over very carefully. Then she responded, "I don't think so. I have my own faith." After waiting uncomfortably for a least ten or fifteen seconds, I blurted out, "What church do you attend?" "I didn't say I attended a church," she came right back, "I said I had my own faith." Surprised, I asked, "Could you tell us about your faith?" "I don't think I want to. You would make fun of me." I assured her we would not. "What is you faith?" I asked. "Well," she timidly declared, "I believe the physical body is the temple of God and that people ought to take better care of their bodies. For example, I think it's wrong for people to smoke or drink." I replied that we felt her thinking was right on the mark. She continued, "Well, there's more. I don't drink coffee or tea. What do Mormons believe?" It was difficult for me not to answer, but I felt I ought to allow Elder Jackson to respond to what was obviously a great teaching moment. I could almost see the wheels in his mental machinery turning. He answered, "Well, we believe in baptism for the dead." The woman carefully pulled the screen door shut and latched it. Before closing the main door she said, with a pained look on her face, "That sounds sick." I had some idea of what she was thinking and of how bizarre the Latter-day Saints appeared to be. Mostly, I was stunned, shocked. Before we left the porch, I turned to Elder Jackson and asked in utter disbelief, "What are you doing?" He seemed offended and asked, "We do believe in baptism for the dead, don't we?" I said, "Yes, we do, Elder Jackson. Why didn't you tell her about polygamy?" His response was even more stunning. "I thought about doing that next, but she closed the door." "Elder," I said, "this lady lives the Word of Wisdom." "I thought that was odd," he commented, as we walked to the next door. (79-81)

 

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It did make me laugh out loud.  One of the wonders of the gospel is that these young men and women who serve missions are able to accomplish anything.  Their training to be servants of Jesus Christ is what is learned in attending church and four years of seminary, a study class, in the 9 - 12 grades.  

I suspect we all can remember funny stories from our own missions.  Praise God that we depend on the Holy Spirit to do the real teaching for we are surely weak instruments in the hands of God.  

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2 hours ago, Steve Noel said:

I wanted to share a story I found to be very funny from Dr. Robert L. Millet, Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. I think you all might enjoy this as well. In chapter 4 of his book Getting at the Truth: Responding to Difficult Questions About the LDS Beliefs Dr. Millet writes about the need for LDS members to have "Wisdom in Response" to outsiders asking questions. He writes that the Latter-day Saints "should stay in order" (79, emphasis his). By this he means that they should start with the basics and build upon that foundation over time. He then tells this story to illustrate his point:
 

 

 

This gave me a wonderful smile for the day.  You just about have to love this poor companion.  His innocence is so endearing. Frustrating but so endearing.  I would love to hear some of his other experiences about this companion.  You can bet though, that somewhere a long the line on this mission and his life...he touched a lot of people. 

Thank you for sharing this.  Sometimes in persuasion it is really that line upon line thing. I am imagining that the woman decided to have a cuppa tea...:)

 

Edited by Jeanne
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/28/2016 at 1:05 PM, Steve Noel said:

I wanted to share a story I found to be very funny from Dr. Robert L. Millet, Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. I think you all might enjoy this as well. In chapter 4 of his book Getting at the Truth: Responding to Difficult Questions About the LDS Beliefs Dr. Millet writes about the need for LDS members to have "Wisdom in Response" to outsiders asking questions. He writes that the Latter-day Saints "should stay in order" (79, emphasis his). By this he means that they should start with the basics and build upon that foundation over time. He then tells this story to illustrate his point:
 

 

Perhaps you have heard "milk before meat".  This has always been a big saying among the Mormons, hence the story reiterating this concept.  You commented elsewhere about "transparency".  This tends to be one of the hot points with critics that claim that the meat never comes.  I think I mentioned before about "Chapel Mormons" verses "Internet Mormons".  Chapel Mormons are feed a weekly diet of "The Correlated Gospel" (see Daymon Smith that I mentioned) which is all milk.  It has not been until the last few years of a move towards transparency that that some of the "meat" is being exposed to the general membership via Church printed Sunday teaching manuals.

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