Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Arrival: a letter and book from an apostle

The entrance of my Mormon friend, Tom, in the combox of the previous thread, has prompted me to type up and share this current post.

On June 29, 2009, I received in the mail, quite unexpectedly, a letter and book from one of the apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The letter speaks for itself, so I shall reproduce the correspondence in its entirety.

Dear David

Your missionary friends, Elder and Sister Petersen, recently wrote to me about your search for truth.

Some years ago, I wrote a book titled Our Search for Happiness. I am happy to enclose a copy for your personal study and would encourage you to read it thoughtfully and prayerfully, paying particular attention to the conclusion which begins on page 117.

We can learn nothing that even approaches in importance the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For, you see if that message is true, as I testify that it is, it can have a greater impact on your happiness and peace of mind than you can imagine. If Joseph Smith’s declaration is true, that in 1820 he stood in the presence of God, our Eternal Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, then nothing could be more important in your life than to know this for yourself.

David, as you seek to know for yourself, you might invite the missionaries to fast with you for a 24-hour period and then join you in prayer at the conclusion of your fast. This coupled with your personal study will eventually enable you to gain a firm testimony of truth.

Sincerely,

M. Russell Ballard


This beachbum is at a loss for words…


Grace and peace,

David

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is truly remarkable!

James
(Lehi's Library)

TOm said...

That is very neat. Aside from "neat" I am at a loss for words too.
Charity, TOm

Ben said...

In my experience this is a pretty common thing, Mormons will go out of their way to give "testimony", which is nice, but beyond this kindness or emotionalism I am not often able to discuss the contradictions and difficulties of their religion with them. Fairly quickly they will try to look me earnestly in the eye and tell me of the burning testimony in their heart.

I won't discount the subjective aspect of the search for religious truth, but lots of people of lots of religions have burning testimonies that they are willing to die (or even kill) for: how much weight should such testimonies be given?