Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Bottle of Wine and a Book of Mormon

I just might have made history! I have possibly become the first person to have given away a bottle of wine and a Book of Mormon at the same time to the same person! Looking back on my experience today actually seems a little bit funny and ironic at the same time.

We had a very nice, humble, Christian man come to our house to install new ceiling fans. He's come before and we enjoyed conversing with him, as well as the fact that he's very reasonable in terms of pricing. So we called on him again.

Well, long story short, we've had this bottle of Chardonnay sitting in our pantry ever since our anniversary. When the folks at the Marriott found out it was our anniversary, they very graciously surprised us in our room with chocolate covered strawberry's and an ice cold bottle of Chardonnay wine. We called to thank them for the gesture, and gently explained that we actually don't drink, so perhaps they would like to take the bottle back. (We thought maybe they'd switch it out for sparkling cider.) They just said, "Oh, that's okay, take it home with you and give it away". So we packed it away and enjoyed the strawberries.

Today as we conversed with our ceiling fan installer he mentioned something about he and his wife drinking wine, and we realized that here was the perfect person to give away the one and only bottle of wine to have ever graced our home! I thought he'd especially appreciate it since he was already giving us such a great deal on the installation of the ceiling fans. Plus, it wouldn't cost me any extra!

Well, an hour or two later he brought up the topic of religion. He asked if I was Christian (presumably because of all the pictures of the Savior hanging in our home). That got us started on another great conversation and I enjoyed learning about his experience with finding a church, but lamented with him about how he still feels confused. I took the opportunity to share some thoughts and some of my beliefs with him--specifically how we can go to God directly in prayer and the method of how God answers us. His faith has been growing as he's experienced this kind of prayer. I shared some thoughts that Alma shared in chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon about how we can experiment with certain aspects of the gospel, like prayer (or with the scriptures), and how our faith begins to grow, helping us to be less confused and to have a more sure knowledge. He was genuinely intrigued with comparing the word to a seed, trying the experiment to see if it is a good seed, and then how, if we nourish it, it begins to grow; then we know that it is a good seed. I realized that here was somebody who would be open and happy to receive a Book of Mormon.

He also agreed that it made perfect sense that Christ would have had prophets among other lands to teach His gospel to His "other sheep". He asked me to show him that scripture in John 10:16 after I quoted the Savior and explained that the people in the Book of Mormon were among His "other sheep". So I got out my Bible as well. It felt so good to have somebody interested in what I had to offer instead of not being interested at all, or interested only in debating! Here we were standing in the kitchen talking about Jesus and about our beliefs--and it was great!

As he gathered his things up to leave, I paused to take in the funny picture of a bottle of wine, a Book of Mormon, and his cash payment sitting together along with his tools. He's one of the most humble, nicest, and most interested guys I've met here. The ceiling fans work great, and today he went home glad and with a little bit more than he expected. And I have to smile as I think of the Spirit that was there--along with a bottle of wine and a Book of Mormon.


Rachel said...

That has GOT to be a first... giving away both a bottle of wine and a Book of Mormon.
Love this story! Keep us updated on whether or not anything transpires from this missionary moment.

Clean Cut said...

I just hope that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon would be able to draw closer to the Savior through its powerful witness of Christ. No strings attached. I would hope only that it blesses his life as it has blessed mine. If it leads him to closer to God and to seek more truth in his life, great. I love how God speaks to us through the Book of Mormon. In fact, it can speak to all kinds of people.

Someone I recently met who lives here in San Antonio recently wrote about his unique experience with the Book of Mormon and how it brought him to Christ after being an atheist. Here's a short excerpt from what he wrote:

"I think the teachings in the Book of Mormon give us more information about Jesus Christ than are available in the Bible and help to clarify many things which are unclear in the Bible. Things such as the purpose of the atonement, the nature of agency, the nature of god, the purpose of life, the divinity of Christ, etc. Personally, I do believe that the Book of Mormon enables a faith increase in man that allows for more open and direct revelatory dialogue with God, but I think all the information in the Book of Mormon could also be available to man via personal revelation as well. The Book of Mormon just helps facilitate that process. For me personally, I wouldn’t even believe in Jesus Christ without the Book of Mormon. (I converted to Christianity from atheism due to interaction with God because of the Book of Mormon)."

Sally said...

Love it!! Especially cause I was worried you guys were going to drink that wine! J/K. Miss you guys!

Jill said...

That, sir, is using the Spirit as a guide. What a spectacular experience. Meet the people where they are and take it from there! Love it! You guys are so cool.

Eme said...

That is AWESOME, Spence! Takes me back to the good ole door knocking, street preaching, mission days:) What an example you are to me of how to open my mouth and declare His word! Thanks for living worthy of the Spirit and being able to share it. I know that you have planted some deep seeds of faith for this gentleman.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that, it just goes to show that there are people everywhere waiting and looking for us to share the gospel.

suzannpappan said...

Love it!!
My ex hubby was a non member and always had beer in the fridge for his buddoes. I have had many a converstion about the gospel with someone who's couple of beers loosened the tongue.
The Missionaries actually always expected that someday one of them would be converted because of that. They were right!