"And whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Some of you may have asked yourself at one point or another, "I don't know if Shane needs to be coaching wrestling. Maybe it takes too much of his time away from REAL ministry". I have even asked myself this very question.
At pageant, I found the answer to that question. One example is a discussion I had with one of my graduated wrestlers. We started with small-talk and transitioned into his upcoming LDS mission. He perked up with a big smile and shared his excitement. (This year the LDS mission age requirement was reduced to 18, so lots of graduating seniors will be hitting your local neighborhoods!)
"Well," I said, "since you’ll be sharing your faith on your mission, tell me your gospel." He was speechless! "What do you mean?" he responds. I replied, “Nathan, I am a drunk, a murderer, I beat my wife, I cheat on my taxes, I shoot the neighbors’ cats, and I don't have Jesus. How do I get right with him?"
After a long pause, he tried to put some sentences together and gave up. (This was a question I posed to a number of Mormons at pageant and none of them could give me an explanation either!) I jumped straight in on our boasting visual that brings out the true heart of Joseph Smith: pride. One of the quotes from Joseph says "I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together...Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did such a work as I." Even Nathan was shaken by the statement and said what Joseph claimed wasn’t right.
The visual goes on to explain an even worse sin than pride which the Book of Mormon shares as being polygamy. After sharing what Jesus taught in the gospels about false prophets and their fruits, we looked specifically at Joseph Smith’s fruit in polygamy:
he married 14 year olds, sisters, mothers and daughters and worse yet, 11 women that had living husbands.
Nathan had no idea that Joseph had married 34 women!
|Witnessing at the Manti Pageant|
Because of the relationship that Nathan and I have, I was able to share these truths and the Gospel that Jesus taught! After an hour and a half, Kim joined us and showed Nathan the parallels between the LDS doctrine of salvation and Satan's gospel of self-exaltation in Isaiah 13. Kim and I both ensured Nathan of our love for him and our desire to build-up his faith in Jesus. We asked him to throw away anything that doesn't align with Jesus’ teachings. I challenged him to FIND JESUS while he was on his mission and study the fruits of Joseph Smith.
Nathan left our conversation pretty "tattered". You could see him swimming around in his mind searching for answers to our questions. Pray the Holy Spirit will keep him awake nights causing him to seek Jesus!
This is only one of half a dozen conversations I had with "my boys". Upon our return from furlough, we have planned a barbeque with another one of my guys and his entire family. They said they would all come to church with us!!!
I don't know about you, but I’m pretty settled in my mind that this coaching position IS real ministry!