Salt Lake City

Day 1

By: Cody Finch, College and Young Pro Pastor

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” -Acts 20:24

Our journey to Utah began early, (3am to be exact). It was eventful from the start. We arrived at Nashville International Airport to multiple delays. We waited in line for what seemed like forever but made it through security with time to spare. Our flight was uneventful, as we hope most flights are. We connected with Zach Thompson--who we'll be spending the week with--at the airport, and he guided us into the city. Wow: Salt Lake City is both beautiful and absent. The city is void of Hope. There seem to be “feelings” everywhere, but the city is barren of a Hope that “surpasses all understanding.”

We ate lunch at a local food court across from the temple. As we ate pizza, Greek, and Chinese food for lunch, Zach told us all about the city. After scarfing lunch, we set off to see the Mormon Temple. From a structural standpoint, it is very impressive and ornate. We took a tour, learned about their core beliefs and had the chance to ask questions about their faith. Next we spent some time in the Mormon Museum reading about the history of Mormonism and some of their specific beliefs. 

The IMB defines an unreached people group as “less than 2%.” Zach and Courtney Thompson live in an area that has a Christian population of .049%. 

As we discussed Mormonism with the tour guides and others, we soon learned that the Mormon faith is a series of complex and almost ambiguous teachings. During the tour, the guides talked about Jesus being just a prophet, how their faith has a living prophet and Apostles, and how their Book of Mormon is equally comparable to the Bible.  

As a team, having been on the ground less than 12 hours, it has been a bit overwhelming. We have been hit like a ton of bricks with the Mormon culture and have yet to scratch the surface. Tonight, we are spending time with Zach and Courtney Thompson as they teach us how to engage with this community. The IMB defines an unreached people group as “less than 2%.” Zach and Courtney live in an area that has a Christian population of .049%. 

We have work to do. We must be Spirit-filled. We must be teachable. We must be bold. We must be faithful to tell the people we meet about the hope that we have in Jesus: the Son of God and our Risen Savior. We are excited to spend some time with the Thompsons tonight and get rested for another great day tomorrow! 

Ashton Grieger