Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do we really know what we have?

We had an unexpected moment in the mission field. We knocked on a door and a lady said something to us we had never heard, "Come in." Now remember, I was a German missionary. This never happened to us, not even the members would say that to us. At this point suddenly this dear lady invited us in. My companion said, "Do you know who we are?"
"You want to talk about religion don't you?" she said.
"Yes, we do" explained my companion.
"Oh, come in. I've been watching you walk around the neighborhood. I'm so excited to have you here. Please come into my study." We went in and seated ourselves and she sat down behind the desk.
She looked at us with a smile, and then pointed to three PhD's hanging over her head. One in European History specializing in Christianity. She then kind of rubbed her hands together and said, "Do you see the row of books here?" We looked at a well arranged row of books. She then said, "I wrote them all. I'm the Theology professor at the University of Munich. I've been doing this for 41 years. I love to talk about religion. What would you like to discuss?" My inspired companion said we'd like to talk about the Book of Mormon. She said, "I don't know anything about the Book of Mormon." He said "I know." Twenty minutes later we walked out of the room. We had handed her a Book of Mormon and this trade off that we had been on was over. I didn't see this lady again for another eight and a half weeks.
I was in a small room filled with people (when we saw her again) as she was standing in the front dressed in white. This Theology professor at the University of Munich was well known throughout Southern Germany. She stood up in front of this small congregation of people and said, "Before I'm baptized I'd like to tell you my feelings. In Amos chapter 8:11 it says there will be a famine of the work of God. I've been in that famine for 76 years. Why do you think I have three PhD's? I've been hungering for the truth and have been unable to find it. Then, eight and a half weeks ago, two boys walked into my home. I want you to know these boys are very nice and wonderful young men, but they didn't convert me. They couldn't, they don't know enough." And then she smiled and said, "but since the day they walked in my door I have read the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, all of Talmage's great writings, Evidence and Reconciliations by John A. Widstoe and 22 other volumes of church doctrine." She then said something which I think is a challenge for every one of us here. She said, "I don't think you members know what you have." Then in her quiet, powerful way, she said, "After those years of studying philosophy, I picked up the D&C and read a few little verses that answered some of the greatest questions of Aristotle and Socrates! When I read those verses, I wept for hours." Then she said again, "I don't think you members know what you have. Don't you understand the world is in a famine? Don't you know we are starving for what you have? I am like a starving person being led to a feast. And over these eight and one-half weeks I have been able to feast in a way I have never known possible."
- From the journal of Scott Anderson -

No comments:

Post a Comment