Life is Short and Evangelism Should be Urgent

BYU Student Camille CleverleyI’ve been out of town for about ten days. When Stacie and I returned to the Salt Lake City airport on Monday I stood by some newspaper vending machines and rocked little John’s stroller as my wife went to the bathroom. I glanced over and was shocked. The body of BYU student Camille Cleverley had been found dead in Provo. I was then again shocked by the circumstances: she had fallen off a cliff near Bridal Veil Falls the same day my wife and I went there for her birthday celebration.

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Life is so precious and so short. God knows what day we will die but we don’t. Every breath is a gift from above and not even our next minute is guaranteed. If the Lord wills, we will live another day (cf. James 4:13-16).

On Tuesday I received an e-mail from Andy Bird, Utah’s most active evangelist and one of my best friends in Utah:

Sunday morning our Pastor started off his fantastic sermon by sharing a story that happened just this week . The message was powerful and I am going to take a shot at summing up the story he shared before he did an exegesis of 2 Corinthians 5 for you…. A few folks were down in our Pastor’s basement having a conversation and fellowshipping (playing pool). One young man (Seth) asked Pastor Hurlbutt some questions regarding the urgency of Evangelism. The Pastor replied with a great answer that included the urgency that you never know when someone will take their last breath. Seth then decided that he would be intentional starting this week to share his faith. He was going to meet his friend Ben for some outdoor recreational activities. Ben brought along a friend of his Christopher, but Seth was determined to share the Gospel with Ben. Seth had been sharing the Gospel for a good part of the evening with Ben before they decided to go up in the canyon to enjoy the view.

As Ben and Seth were sitting on a boulder, Ben had already begun that turn of faith in Christ and asked Seth in their conversation…..How he could get right with God. Seth then shared how Ben could profess that to…God. As they continued they heard the other friend behind them say something about a bear. Before they had much chance to react Ben was struck by Christopher in the head by a metal pole. Christopher then attacked Seth, Seth was struck in the side but managed to run away. Seth made it away to safety. Unfortunately he found out later that Ben was dead. This was a premeditated attack from Christopher. We still do not yet know the motives. The real story here is that Seth shared the Gospel with this young man just moments before his last breath. Seth was asked to speak at Ben’s funeral and share what he and Ben had been talking about on the boulder. It seems like Ben made a good profession of faith just moments if not seconds before he was struck dead by Christopher.

The News Story can be found here.

This story is so striking to me as it reminds me that we must be intentional, persistent and have a sense of urgency when we share our faith. It is a very blunt reminder of the real status of man. The additional light to this story is that Seth got to share the Gospel at the funeral and that Seth has shared the Gospel with a few other friends and in just a few weeks two of them have put their trust in the Lord! Ultimately I am reminded again of the Sovereignty of God as through a conversation, question and a tragedy ….. eternity is now forever changed. To God be the Glory forever!

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104 Responses to Life is Short and Evangelism Should be Urgent

  1. amanda says:

    rick, the problem isn’t that we lds don’t answer your questions because we don’t have the answers…it’s that you don’t understand or agree with our answers. and why should that surprise anyone? the whole purpose of this site is to antagonize our beliefs—so you tell me what our “answers” will do for you personally other than give you more fodder to construct your ill-conceived arguments.

    Falcon said,
    “As presented here, it’s plain to see that the Mormon gospel does not have the power to save, but it has the power to deceive. ”

    it’s plain to me that JESUS CHRISTS’ gospel DOES save—and does NOT deceive. you call it “mormon” doctrine. we have always called it the restored gospel of Jesus Christ…so that is YOUR misnomer.
    and i make zero apologies for His restored gospel, it speaks for itself.

    i’ll leave the state of my soul in His hands, not in your sour opinion of the restored gospel.

    your argument went around and around in circles–makes me wonder who is deceiving who.

  2. amanda says:

    Falcon, after reading many things you have posted in response to me, geoff and others, i’m convinced you are only interested in yourself. and i don’t even fault you for that, just don’t expect me to respond to you…there are many others on this site who pretend better than you do at caring for my soul.

    maybe you might consider reading what paul wrote about charity, in 1 corinthians

  3. Falcon says:

    I’m a straight forward guy and don’t believe in playing phoney little sugar coating games. My reading of your posts indicate that you really can’t handle straight talk. It’s always “we Mormons are being attacked” whenever the truth starts hitting the mark. You want to see some mean, nasty posts go back and check some of your Mormon heroes that post here.

  4. amanda says:


    On the contrary, Falcon. I admire and desire straight-talk…what I dislike or object to is apparent with every one of my posts. I am consistently taken out of context because I use strong language to articulate my position. It is something you might want to get use to if you are at all interested in understanding me. I will certainly make more of an effort to tone down my verbiage in order to be more clear. Other than that, you couldn’t be more wrong about me.

    P.S. Who is my Mormon hero? Sorry, that one went over my head.

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