I went to the Cache County Fair three weeks ago and saw an intriguing booth:
Are You a Good Person? a large banner asked. Win a dollar.
And never one to turn down a dollar–nor back away from a challenge–I marched straight over.
Come to find out, it was a proselytizing booth for Evangelical Christians. And they had a questionnaire for me to find out just how “good” I really am. Eagerly, I asked if I could take the questionnaire for my chance at glory.
A nervous, pimply teenager grabbed a clipboard and cleared his throat. “Have you ever loved anything more than God?” he asked.
I thought about it for a moment. “Ummm…probably,” I admitted.
“Have you ever worshipped an idol?”
“I–uh, I don’t think so.”
“Well, you probably have,” he said.
“Very possible,” I agreed.
“Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain?”
“Have you ever broken the Sabbath Day?”
“Have you ever dishonored your father or mother?”
“Have you ever murdered?”
I felt much better here. “No, I have never murdered,” I said proudly.
“But have you ever hated someone?”
“Well, actually,” I replied, “I really try not to hate–”
“Even for a second?” he grilled me.
“Well…yes,” I admitted.
“Then you’ve murdered them in your heart.”
“Oh,” I said. “Okay.”
“Have you ever committed adultery?”
“But have you ever lusted?”
I kind of smiled. “Absolutely,” I said.
“Then you’ve committed adultery in your heart,” he reminded me.
“Oh, yes, of course,” I replied.
“Have you ever stolen?”
“Have you ever lied?”
“Have you ever coveted?”
“All the time.”
He turned his questionnaire around to reveal the ten commandments–and by my own admission, I was guilty of ten out of ten of ’em.
“Does this look like a good person to you?” he asked.
I looked it over for a second. “Not really,” I said.
“Then how do you think God will judge you?”
“Well,” I began slowly, “I think if I were to stand on my own merits, I would be damned. But if I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, and rely on His grace and His merits instead of my own works–well, then, I believe I’m saved.”
He stared at me, dumbfounded. “And–and HAVE you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?”
“I have,” I replied confidently.
“And–are you MORMON?” he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.
“I am,” I replied confidently.
There was a pause while we just stared at each other.
“Betcha you never heard that one before, eh?” I asked.
“Not really,” he replied.
“So what do you think?” I asked. “Can I be saved, even though I’m Mormon?”
Then he said something I never thought I’d hear an Evangelical say: “I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe.”
I smiled at him. “You’re doing a wonderful thing,” I told him. “Thank you. And God bless.”
But my question remains: Is there hope for us Mormons yet?