I could hardly sleep for several days as I pondered this dilemma. Brother Gray refused to meet with me telling my secretary that he didn’t need to see anyone and asking that his name removal take place at once.
After much fasting and prayer I decided to personally stop by Brother Gray’s house in order to find out who had offended him. He reluctantly let me in.
Brother Gray consented to starting our meeting with a word of prayer. I asked the Lord that the spirit be present for our meeting such that we could make correct decisions with regards to Brother Gray’s eternal welfare and salvation.
I then took the time to thank Brother Gray for all his faithful service to the Lord and told him how much I have enjoyed hearing him bear his testimony and speak over the years. I asked what had made him change his mind about the church.
Brother Gray explained to me that over the years he has realized more and more just how close minded the Church and its members are and said he no longer wants any part of it. When pressed for examples Brother Gray stated that he felt that the whole ‘one true church thing’ was ridiculous and prideful. He didn’t like that missionaries were out there trying to convert those of other faiths especially those who had already accepted Christ. He didn’t like that as an adult he couldn’t even make his own decision as to whether to drink things such as green tea without there being consequences to his Church membership. Drawing attention to his face he mentioned he was growing a beard but that in this stake men who have beards are frowned upon and cannot serve in certain callings such as the high council and bishoprics. Basically he had concluded that Mormons were just too narrow-minded for him.
With my many years of experience and training as a Church leader I knew exactly which course to take. Not knowing beforehand but trusting in the promptings of the spirit I asked Brother Gray if he had a copy of Apostle Bruce R. McKonkie’s book entitled Mormon Doctrine. He said he did but that he didn’t think it was a credible book since it has been through several revisions and even went out of print last year. I was able to explain to Brother Gray that many lessons in our current Church manuals quote from and refer back to Mormon Doctrine. I offered to show him examples at lds.org but he said he believed me and conceded to go and get his copy.
Seeing that Brother Gray had fallen into the trap of accepting worldly views I decided to share with him the section on Broad-Mindedness from page 107. Below are some of the highlights of this section:
“....broad-mindedness consists in entertaining liberal opinions and in having tolerant views, particularly on religious matters....in a very real sense this worldly broad-mindedness is of the devil.” As a stake president I cannot emphasize enough how damaging it is to have tolerant attitudes towards the false belief systems that surround us in these latter days.
Reminding Brother Gray that when men speak by the power of the Holy Ghost it should be taken as the mind of God and even as scripture I asked that he continue reading. As he read the following an overwhelming feeling of warmth and peace came over the whole room:
“In the true gospel sense of the word, broad-mindedness is the state of mind of those who know the truths of the gospel, who reject the false creeds of the day, and who walk in the light of revealed truth. The broad-minded man is the one who knows that baptism is essential to salvation and celestial marriage to exaltation……it is narrow-minded to reject the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”
After reading this Brother Gray’s whole demeanour changed. His heart became softened and a look of enlightenment came over him as the effect of the truth of this prophetic statement entered his soul and penetrated every fiber of his being. For some time he remained completely speechless.
Months later in stake conference a clean shaven Brother Gray would explain “Never did any statement come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart and I knew that it was true and that the Lord knew that I knew it.”
As the letter from Salt Lake burned in the fireplace Brother Gray and I knelt in humble prayer thanking the Lord for showing us the way. The truth had set him free and he had seen for himself that the true meaning of being open minded was to accept the gospel as given by the one true religion upon the face of the earth today, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.