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Reaching That One Person

While fervently wanting to spread the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, Frank acknowledges that only the Lord prepares people to embrace the church. Nevertheless, he resolves to play his part as passionately as he is able. -Editor

After years of patient evangelizing, I came to the sad realization that not one friend or family member recognized the value of Emanuel Swedenborg's Writings. I became convinced that if someone happens to receive some truth that we have presented, they were ready to receive it, and it was the angels who made them ready:

That it is the Lord who teaches, thus who collects and gathers, and not themselves (for it was the Lord, by means of the angels, that is, by means of Divine truths from the Word, who prepared for reception those whom the disciples converted to the church). (Apocalypse Explained 911:16)

As an actor, the few films I've been involved with were nothing to brag about. In fact, one forgettable film was only slightly worse than “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!” That being said, I did have the privileged of playing a Court Officer in “Find Me Guilty,” directed by the legendary Sidney Lumet, who's films include “Twelve Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network,” and more. In one memorable scene, the District Attorney (played by Linus Roach) was making a dull, lackluster summation to the jury when he was interrupted by Director Lumet, who yelled, “Cut!” He was not pleased with his lack of passion, so he walked over to give the English actor some inspiration: “Linus!” he screamed, “there's one person on that jury who thinks the defendant is innocent!...and you have to reach 'em!” With that, Linus Roach delivered a powerful performance, the best scene of the movie, in my opinion.

The idea of putting on a powerful performance, just to reach that one person, is something I have carried with me. Not long after, I had the opportunity of being interviewed on a WOR radio show that aired over hundreds of stations across the country and reached millions of listeners. The Joey Reynolds Show refused to return my calls, that is, until they heard that my friend and mentor was Tommy DeVito, founding member of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. If I got DeVito on the show to talk about Jersey Boys, now a Tony award winning play, based (in part) on DeVito's life, than Joey Reynolds would give me an interview.

If I should die poor and forgotten, at least I'll go with the thought that I worked to spread the Lord's revelation through the writings of Swedenborg, as far as I could. When I finally sat down with Joey Reynolds to discuss the life and works of Swedenborg, I felt like I was a foreign soldier caught behind enemy lines, and Reynolds was doing the interrogating. While sitting on the proverbial hot seat, I tried to remain objective. I remembered Sidney Lumet's words to “reach that one person.” While he peppered me with questions, I consistently spoke over the interviewers head toward the vast audience, mentioning as many interesting topics and Swedenborgian books as I could. “I feel like I'm being walked through a library,” said Reynolds. Well, that's no small feat walking America's original shock-jock through a library, and it took a Swedenborgian to do it! While the show went on, I could hear Jenna, the producer, arguing with one of many callers who lit up the switchboard. “But what did he say that was so bad?...What's wrong with what he's saying?” Again, I had to face the harsh reality of being rejected by some, but with the hope that I may have reached a few people who'll be forever grateful. It's no small matter if one person discovers the truth that leads to eternal happiness, so it's worth all the trouble.

It is of the Lord's Divine Providence that the church should first exist among a few, and successively increase among a larger number; because the falsities of the former church must first be removed...Another reason is that first a new heaven is to be formed, which shall act as one with the church on earth. (Apocalypse Revealed 547.)

New Church growth is like the melting of ice in springtime. It isn't seen or felt in a moment of time. It will steadily grow in proportion to the number of people who enter heaven. The Holy City, New Jerusalem, is slowly and surely descending as we continue to go from a “few to the many.” If we all work to reach that one person, then “the many” will be soon enough.

Frank Maiorano

Frank Maiorano is a single, Italian/American who was raised in the Stephen Crane Village, in Newark, New Jersey, where Frankie Valli of the Four Seasons also resided. He currently serves as a District Leader and member of the Essex County Board of Elections. As an actor he has appeared in a few independent films, and as a journalist he has written numerous entertainment articles published in various newspapers. He currently serves as a Regional Associate of the Swedenborg Foundation. Feel free to write him at

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