Comments about Mormon Missions, Part VII (Sam Brunson)

The following Mormon mission story appeared in timesandseasons.org (14 Dec 2012):

Tigre–a karate instructor and recent convert–had been baptized a few weeks before I arrived in the area. . . .  As a result of his joining the Church, Tigre soon lost about half of his karate students.  It was a real financial sacrifice to Tigre, one, I’m sure, he didn’t want to make, but one he made willingly nonetheless.

One Sunday [in church, a lesson was taught by a local church official and] he explained that it was unacceptable to come to church in tennis shoes, because he knew that tennis shoes could be expensive, and if a member could afford tennis shoes, he could certainly afford dress shoes.

Tigre looked down at his tennis shoes.  Those were the shoes he worked in; those were the shoes he did chores in.  It wasn’t an issue of dress shoes being more or less expensive–it was an issue of his having to have tennis shoes whether or not he had dress shoes.

The lesson hurt Tigre.  Hurt him enough that we couldn’t convince him to come to church the next Sunday.  The Sunday after that he was back, wearing dress shoes, shoes he probably couldn’t afford, and shoes that were unnecessary to his salvation or church standing.  Shoes that almost became an unnecessary stumbling block for a new member who already willingly made sacrifices that he couldn’t afford.

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