I met Ryan three months ago. He’s our new technician that treats our home for bugs. I learned on that quick first encounter that he’s a Mormon; he learned that I’m an Internet missionary. He responded positively to that news, so I was anticipating our conversation last week when he came for our annual treatment. I knew I would have an hour to talk to him.
To start our conversation, I simply said, “You mentioned last time that you’re a Mormon.”
Ryan immediately opened up, saying he’s not practicing his religion right now. As we talked further, Ryan revealed that he drinks and smokes and that his mother calls him from Utah, urging him to return to “church” and to give up his sinful ways. Ryan wants to eventually raise a family in Mormonism, but for now, he said he’s “just lazy.”
I followed him around the house as he did his treatments, asking him various questions.
Me: Forget drinking or smoking… have you ever lied, Ryan?
Me: Have you ever been proud or judgmental?
Ryan: I see where you’re going.
Me: The point is, none of us measure up. If we all lined up on the coast of California, none of us could swim to Hawaii. That’s what it’s like in our efforts to get to Heaven. Only Jesus can take us there.
Ryan had further questions for me. He asked about the Trinity and about baptizing infants. I asked him what he felt about other people and their religious practices. At one point, I quoted John 14:6 about Jesus being the only way to God.
Towards the end of his time with me, I reiterated the essence of the gospel to him and gave him Josh McDowell’s book, More than a Carpenter, which he accepted. (He mentioned he loves reading.) As he was preparing to go, I wanted him to understand something.
Me: Since I believe that there’s only one way to be with God in Heaven and you don’t believe what I believe, then doesn’t it make sense that I would want to share that news with you? What kind of person would I be, if I said nothing?
Ryan: That makes sense.
Me: Every time you come, then, you know I’ll say something to you.
Ryan: That’s okay. I like talking about these things.
Ryan was an astute observer of people and a thinker. He believes though, that he can be ” good enough” for God. Thank you for praying for his salvation and for our next conversation, which should be in about three months. I’ll also be considering what books to have ready to give to him on his visits. He mentioned business is slow in the winter, so he has time for reading the book I gave him.
Source: The image of the statue from a Mormon temple is available on Wikimedia Commons.