Passport to Heaven is Micah Wilder’s personal memoir recounting his journey from a zealous Morman missionary to a born-again Christian. His story is captivating and encouraging, a beautiful picture of how God’s love can break through a man’s heart and make it come alive. It’s one I stayed up late to finish and had a hard time putting down.
For Micah, it all started with one simple challenge from the Baptist pastor he tried to convert: read the Bible as a child.
‘It’s all about love’
Contrary to what the world seems to preach, true love is not affirming others in their sinful and lost state, it is proclaiming the Christ who can liberate them from captivity – Passport to Heaven
Micah’s childhood was marked by a burning passion to seek God like David, to simply sit in His presence and be alone with Him. Over time, this passion was enveloped into the rigors and rules of his religion, fading into stiff obedience to the “one true church.” But Micah was still full of that desire to know God, so he pursued his religion to the fullest, only to find himself trapped trying to earn his way to heaven.
In the unexpected setting of a Mormon mission, God broke through and paved a path forward for a young man whose entire family, social circle, and world was wrapped up in a false religion. Seeing that story unfold on the page was beautiful.
Faithful believers came alongside Micah throughout the process, speaking the truth in love. It was heartwarming to see how God used these early encounters to lead him towards faith in Christ.
Part narrative, part apologetic
Passport to Heaven accomplishes more than sharing a personal narrative. It also clearly draws out the theological differences between Mormonism and Christianity and answers frequent objections by waving them into the flow of the story.
The reader learns the answers as Micah does, through situations he faces and the knowledge he gains from reading Scripture. When the pieces finally fall into place at the end, Micah’s writing manages to capture some of the joy in understanding the truth of Christ he’s been so desperate to find.
Insight into Mormonism
Micah’s descriptions of the internal workings of the Mormon church, missions, and culture provided a lot of great insight and helped me better understand what it is like coming from that background.
Engaging and encouraging writing
Vivid descriptions, lots of personality, and a touch of humor helped make this book uniquely engaging. I felt like I could connect with Micah, which not only kept me reading, it was also very encouraging.
The magnitude of God’s grace
One thing this book really reminded me of was the unsurpassable gift of free grace, grace not contingent on anything I can do. Grace that should move us, as it did for Micah, to tell the world about the Lord’s goodness.
Having to work for salvation, uncertain you will reach it, is really an unbearable burden. As this false gospel of works was constantly set against the true gospel of grace in Micah’s story, I was reminded how wonderful it is that Christ promises rest to those who are weary and heavy-laden. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
Who should read it
Believers with Mormon friends or family members will be especially encouraged to read Passport to Heaven. It will deepen your understanding and sympathy for those trapped in the Mormon church and motivate patience with them. It will also help you better understand what it feels like on the inside.
But Passport to Heaven is an enjoyable read for everyone. For me, seeing how God led Micah to the true gospel through the events of his missionary experience was a reminder that God is sovereign over salvation and is relentless in His pursuit of the lost.