Beautiful fall weather had us outside last week tidying up the yard. A decision was made to remove a 20-year-old oversized shrub. Twenty years is a long time for a plant to be in one place and its roots had gone deep enough to creep under the driveway.
About 30 minutes into shoveling, pushing and pulling, we looked up to see two young women making their way toward us. I knew by their friendly smiles, manner of dress and book in hand that they had a religion they intended to share. My husband quickly told them that if they pulled the bush out, he’d convert to Jehovah’s Witness. He was desperate, but joking. The pair were actually Later Day Saints. Sister Shin was from Korea and Sister Housley was a blonde, blue-eyed westerner.
It didn’t take my husband long to begin the inquisition. I’m not sure which he enjoyed more, the break from shoveling or the opportunity to inflict discomfort by his prodding questions. Sister Housley clearly did not enjoy the banter and soon disengaged. Sister Shin, on the other hand, personified patience and even insisted on helping pull the stubborn plant out. Ignoring our hesitation, she picked up a yard tool and went to work. Before long, the twenty-year-old stubborn shrub was out. It had been defeated by the teamwork of a worn-out homeowner with a shovel, and a young stranger with fresh determination.
After a moment of celebration, the question & answer session picked up where it left off. However, Sister Housley was beyond done. Trying her best to move Sister Shin along, she pronounced that we were obviously not ready to hear her truth with an open heart. But the Korean stood her ground. She pressed on, reading aloud from The Book of Mormon and showing us colorful pictures. She didn’t understand as her counterpart had that she had zero chance with us.
When asked if they had grown up in LDS households, both said that they had. We shared that we were raised Catholic but were compelled to search for Truth once we left home. Our conversation ended when they were asked what had been left out of the Bible that necessitated a new revelation, or rather, what exactly was made complete by the Book of Mormon? They could not give a meaningful answer. I gave them each a bottle of cold water as we said our goodbyes.
Roots that go deep provide stability and nourishment, but they can be extremely hard to pull up when it’s time to remove that which needs to be uprooted and replaced. We continue to pray for them as we told them we would.
“He replied, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots’” (Matthew 15:13).