I love to hear from Elder Lovgren. Here's what he said last week:
We went to the lake and saw an old man (who looked like he was in his 80's) with a broken arm sitting on a bench. His name was Theodore and he was from Yugoslavia. He started out telling us there was no God and that he didn't believe in religion or eternal life, but he believed there was a moral code to everything. We taught him the first lesson then he told us, "I was 11 years old and it was 1945-WWII. I was in my home and two Nazi's came in my door. They grabbed me-pulled me out of the house-and took me to the general's office where he yelled at me to tell him where they were. I kept telling him "No" and the guy slapped me so hard that I flew ten feet. Again he said "Tell me" and I said "No" so he hit me on the other side of my face and I flew ten feet. (The whole night before, we had prayed to God to keep us safe. I prayed all night.) They took my entire family, threw them into the camp, and they all died. All my friends died. I lived because I crawled under a barbed wire fence and escaped. Twenty year's later I realized there was no God because I prayed and he didn't hear me. In my mind I thought what do you mean he didn't hear you? You escaped under barbed wire!
Every One Has Agency
- The thing is that we all have our agency. I can't even imagine how hard it would have been to live when the wars were-evil, evil men killing innocent people in the name of God.
Theodore, continuedWe we're there to tell him, "You know what? There IS a God. Some people choose to do things that are obscene, and it's there as a testimony against them to the judgment of God because He's Just. Mercy does not rob justice, so those people are not in a good place and they chose that for themselves. For those who are innocent, they have opportunities-whether in this life or the next-to accept Jesus Christ." I just remember leaving and him thanking us so much because he remembered working with a couple of Mormons. He was a scientist. He said, "I was in a pharmacy and worked with a couple of Mormons. Great people, great families, and they were great scientists, too. They were great scientists because they could believe in God and be scientists, too." He had the biggest smile on his face and looked so happy after meeting with us. We gave him a Book of Mormon and I said, "That's the least we can give you for telling us such incredible stories."
|Elder Lovgren behind the camera, filming a training in August 2015|