"John W. Redelfs" wrote:

> I am just as comfortable with Moslems and Buddhists as I am with traditional 
>Christians, perhaps more so.  Moslems and Buddhists have a much better excuse for 
>their ignorance.  Traditional Christians are sinning against a much greater light 
>when they reject the servants of God, our missionaries.  It is not a coincidence that 
>nearly all foaming-at-mouth anti-Mormons are so-called Christians.  It was primarily 
>these other Christian denominations that the Lord had reference to when he told 
>Joseph that their creeds were an abomination and all their professors corrupt.
>
> Of course, I am aware that this attitude is no longer politically correct in the 
>Church.

Oh, I don't think you're as off-key as you might be letting on. The creeds are still 
abominations, and both the English language and Christianity have changed, too. In 
fact, Christianity is much more liberal -- except for the rabid types you describe -- 
than it used to be, and therefore also more tolerant (regardless of what other 
consequences that trend has had). It's easier to build bridges when the government 
isn't sending troops after you for your religious beliefs, after all.

> But it is the attitude that I share with such men as Smith, Young, Talmage, and 
>McConkie.  So I feel that I am in good company.

Part of the reason GBH is the way he is is that he can afford to be. Put another way, 
prophets have their time. BY might not have "worked" today, but he was sure what was 
needed at the time, and so on.

> I won't forget what falsehood this gospel has freed me from.  My own mother wouldn't 
>join me in the gospel because her Baptist friends persuaded her that she had lost me 
>to a cult.  She threw the missionaries out of her home half way through the first 
>missionary discussion, a discussion the she had agreed to only because I was her son. 
> I have more hope for the alcoholics and drug addicts in this world than I do for my 
>mother.  How many people actually get a chance to throw Mormon missionaries out of 
>their home?  The Lord will judge her, not I.  But he has made clear who is saved in 
>the Kingdom of God, and who is damned.  And it all hinges on believing Christ and his 
>missionaries.  If we believe in Christ and accept his one true baptism, then we are 
>saved in the
> Kingdom of God.  And if we don't, we aren't.  It is actually pretty cut and dried, 
>black and white.

I'm speaking past you, and in full appreciation of what you've gone through, so don't 
think of this as me trying to pull oneupmanship on you, but my wife and I used to be 
friends with a couple who, unfortunately, later went inactive. They met and got 
married about the time we met them, in 1980. She was Polish and had moved to Calgary 
with a degree in economics from the U of Warsaw at the height of the Cold War. She 
was, she claimed, not "Marxist" but "socialist" whatever that meant, especially in 
those days. He was an immigrant, too, from Iran via Germany. Truth is stranger than 
fiction: he was of Azerbaijani ethnic origin but from an Azerbaijani corner of Iran 
(extreme NW, sharing territory with the Kurds, near the Turkish and Azerbaijani 
borders). He had been a pilot and a member of the Shah's Bodyguards who had to leave 
Iran when the Shah was overthrown, so moved to Germany, where a wealthy insurance 
executive who -- get this -- lived on one of the very streets I had tracted on
my mission, adopted him. Where were his parents? They held a funeral for him when he 
moved to Germany because they assumed that meant he was giving up Islam; they believed 
in a variety of Islam that's almost "Zionist" in nature in the sense of believing in 
Dar-al-Islam, or "Land/Home/Place of Submission [to God]" -- a pretty good translation 
of "Zion" in many ways. So by leaving Dar-al-Islam for their counterpart of the 
Gentile world, he was dead, and any clansmen, to protect the clan's honour, if they 
ever met him again, would be required to kill him. So they held his funeral for him 
while they could. The Bavarian government accepted that as "virtual orphanhood" and 
approved the adoption. Odd thing is, that drove him to study Christianity, and by 
chance, when he had a chance to transfer from the U of Munich to U of Calgary, his 
stepfather urged him to take it, and he fell in, as it were, with us Mormons and 
joined the Church.

Unfortunately they both became, imho, a little over-obsessed with the things of this 
world. He went to Toronto for a year to chiropractor school, and moved back right back 
into our ward and set up a practice, while she went to school to get a "real" degree 
in economics. He didn't have to work -- his stepfather doted on him and would send 
them outrageously ostentatious presents -- but he felt guilty that he had it too easy, 
and that without a prestigious position, he wouldn't amount to anything in this new 
"land of millionaries" (well, this was Calgary during the last oil boom). So it wasn't 
money, but the "approval of men" that he sought. Unfortunately we lost track of them 
after we moved back east in 1982.

Anyway, that's your bedtime story for this evening :-)


--
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling 
short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author solely; 
its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer, nor those of 
any organization with which the author may be associated.

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