Heber and the Minister

Many years ago in a foreign country, the local minister decided that all the Mormons had to leave the city. Naturally, there was a big uproar from the Mormon community. So, the minister made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Mormon community. If the Mormon won, the Mormons could stay. If the minister won, the Mormons would leave.

Realizing they had no choice, the Mormons picked a young missionary from Idaho named Heber, to represent them.

Not able to speak the language very well, Heber asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side could talk. The minister agreed.

The day of the great debate came. Heber and the minister sat opposite each other for a full minute before the minister raised his hand and showed three fingers. Heber looked back at him and raised one finger.

The minister waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Heber pointed to the ground where he sat.

The minister pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Heber pulled out an apple.

The minister stood up and said, “I give up! This man is too good! The Mormons can stay.”

Afterwards, the church council, gathered around the minister, asking him to explain  what had happened. The minister said, “First, I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions.

Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us.

I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?”

Meanwhile the Mormon community and all the missionaries had crowded around Heber. “What happened?” they asked.

“Well,” said Heber, “First he said to me that the Mormons had three days to  get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. He told me that his whole city would be cleared of Mormons. I let him know we were staying right here.”

“And then?” asked a woman. “I don’t know,” said Heber, “He took out his lunch and I took out mine.”

… Author unknown


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