Monday, November 16, 2009

Dispelling Myths

It has been almost 2 yrs since I left the LDS church. In that time I have noticed some interesting things. In speaking with my LDS friends , both in "real life" and "online" I have picked up on a trend ( for a lack of a better word) that I would like to write about.

There is a tendancy, for some LDS to hold beliefs about "why" members of the LDS church resign. Sometimes these beliefs are in fact valid, but many times they are not. In fact there are some "myths" out there about "why" we leave. I thought it might be helpful to discuss those reasons, with the hopes of dispelling the myths.

First of all, the "myths".................

I have noticed that some LDS "may" think former Mormons have left because:

1. They have been offended.

Ok, this one is what I think is one of the silliest reasons and myths around. Why? Because one can be offended in any church, not just the LDS church. Goodness knows people are people -- whether LDS or not. People say and do hurtful things, and are often times insensitive. LDS are not immune to such behaviors, and it's not a reason to ultimately leave a given faith.

Was I offended at any point in my time in the LDS church? Sure, I was! Was that a reason to leave? NO! I would not leave a church simply because someone there says something or does something that is insensitive. Have I been offended by Christians? Heck, yeah! It happens! Church denomination set aside... it happens... both in and out of the LDS Church.

I was a Mormon for 19 years. Yeah, my feelings got hurt from time to time, but that was not the ultimate reason why I resigned. In my 2 yrs since exiting the LDS faith, I have met many former Mormons both online and in "real life" and I have yet to meet someone who resigned because someone hurt their feelings. I am not saying it "can't happen".... I am just saying I don't know of someone personally who left because of this reason.

Honestly, most former Mormons I have met, including myself ... took their faith very seriously. They did not expect perfection from other Mormons, and certainly did not have unrealistic expectations that Mormons were a "perfect" people. I for one would have not left simply because someone hurt my feelings. I took my former faith much more seriously than that. I was committed to what I believed at that time was "the one true Church" and would not have resigned based on some insensitive remark from a fellow LDS.

2. We just didn't "get it"......

I hear this reason probably more than any other reason for leaving the LDS. I have ran in a number of LDS who when they hear that I left the LDS faith, assume I just "didn't get the LDS gospel" . They make the assumption that I really didn't understand the LDS doctrines & faith or I wouldn't have left. Instead of just agreeing to disagree and wishing us well, they just assume we weren't listening all those years, didn't study the LDS gospel and just didn't understand. Can I just say how ridiculous this argument is? Especially for those of us who served full time proslyeting missions, spent years in the LDS church teaching doctrinal classes ( such as Sunday School,Gospel Doctrine, Seminary, RS. Priesthood, etc.) .

Many former Mormons also spent their lives in the LDS church. From the time they were born they were taught LDS doctrines & faith. To be told they didn't "get it" well , that is a bit insulting.

Just because a person chooses to leave a particular faith , does not mean they did not understand it's founding principles and doctrines. Actually the opposite is usually true. It's because they did "get it" ..... that they ended up making the choice to leave.

Most former LDS I know, studied the LDS gospel deeply. In fact, their study led them to find things that were deeply concerning to them. Contradictions in LDS doctrines, and challenging aspects of LDS history have led many a LDS to question their faith. This is true for those who question in other faiths. When I was a Roman Catholic, there were many aspects of the R.C. faith that troubled me. From their non biblical teachings and traditions , to their emphasis on ritual I was disturbed enough to make the choice to leave the R.C. Church.

I have met few former Mormons that left without studying the LDS gospel deeply! Many not only took a deep look at their former faith, but also spoke with their eccliastical leaders, such as their local Bishops, Stake Presidents, Insitute teachers, apologetic leaders from FAIR and other LDS apologists before making the choice to leave the LDS faith. Like me, they wanted to try to make "sense" of the contradictions in doctrine and the troubling spots in LDS history.

To say " we didn't get it" it is to imply that because we made the choice to leave, we never really understood it to begin with. May I say how wrong this assumption is? For many of us, we did get it , and we simply did not agree with it. We chose something different. Whether that was Biblical Christianity, or whether that means to simply exit and not affiliate with another faith.

3. The LDS gospel was too hard to live.

This "myth" is almost laughable. Believe me, being a Christian is so much more difficult in many ways than being LDS. Loving your enemies, doing good to those that hate you & forgiving your LDS family members for shunning you is no easy thing! The LDS gospel may be rule ridden, but that doesn't mean it's "hard" to live. It is also insulting for those of us who truly did committ to living the LDS lifestyle and gospel. Most former Mormons who are now Christians, truly did love their faith and tried sincerely to live it to the best of their abilities. I have also run across a number of them who served faithfully in their LDS church callings, from Bishops to Sunday School teachers to former Temple Presidents and Mission leaders. They didn't leave because it was "too hard".

4. There is some unrepentent sin that was committed .

This is another "myth" that is floating out there with some LDS about "why" some of us leave. Maybe for some this may be true, but I have yet to meet a Former Mormon who left, because of some "sin" they didn't want to repent of!! Goodness knows there are plenty of LDS who stay LDS, sinning set aside! We all can agree we are sinners. For all have fallen short and have sinned. LDS and non LDS. Many LDS sin and "stay" LDS .

I did not leave the LDS church because of some awful sin I committed, that I was unwilling to repent of! Good grief! This "myth" is probably the most insulting of them all. Not only that but terribly judgemental.

The above "myths" are just that..... Myths..... they are simply not the truth, for the most part on why we leave. Yeah, perhaps there are some who may leave for the above reasons, but for the most part those who I have spoken to , this is simply not true!

I would encourage those who remain affiliated with the LDS church to perhaps take some time to really try to understand "why" people really do leave. I believe it will be helpful to them, because the truth of the mattter is Mormons do leave, and they will continue to leave. Who knows, it may be one of your loved ones one day. A child.... a spouse.... a parent... may very well choose to leave the LDS Church.... what will you do about it? Will you be upset? Will you try to understand them and reach out to them with compassion? Will you just make "assumptions" about why they left?

May I suggest the approach of trying to make steps to understanding? If a loved one leaves the LDS church, they are still your loved one are they not? Just because they choose to leave the LDS Church does not mean you need to excommunicate them from your life? Why not try to understand where they are coming from? I can assure you that if you do this, you will build bridges and your relationship will have a better chance of weathering the storm.

As a former LDS, ( I was LDS for 19 yrs) I would like to share with you the following reasons that people may leave the LDS Church for. This list is certainly not inclusive, but it may help you to understand a little more and perhaps help you to build bridges . Who knows, it may be your child or spouse one day who chooses to leave... why not equip yourself with some tools to help you navigate the situation... in any case, all LDS know of at least a few former mormons, whether they be inactive members or former Mormons who have resigned. This may help you understand them a little more. These reasons are based not only on my own expierences with leaving, but on the expierences of the many former LDS I have run across thru the years.

Reasons why LDS may choose to leave or resign from the LDS Church:

1. They simply found something else.

Yes, as hard as that may be to graps for current LDS, some Mormons may simply choose to attend another church or faith expression simply based on the fact that they found "greener pastures". This is not an insult to your faith. Please don't see it that way. It just means that the LDS church is not a "one size fits all" orginization. What works for one, may simply not work for another. That is just human nature. Many former mormons choose to disafilliate with the LDS church simply because they found something that works better for them. That may be another Church or Faith, or it may simply mean they don't want to affiliate with any religion what so ever. Please try to not be offended by that.

I recall a friend of mine who when I told her years back I had left the LDS church because I had found something that ultimately fills my needs more adequately, her response surprised me......... " oh that can't be.. nothing is better than the LDS church! You can't find anything better!" Ok, well that may be very well for her, and her family, but that is her personal choice. Just because she feels that way does not mean others agree. For me personally we have found a church that is staffed with better teachers for my children, offers a more alive and relevant worship service and offers a multitude of ministry opporotunities. Why can't current LDS simply say : " Hey, I'll miss you at church, but I wish you the best!"

The fact of the matter is that the LDS church does not have the corner on the market on Sunday School teachers & worship music. What works for one family, may not work for another.

2. For those of us who have embraced Biblical Christianity, we ultimately have placed our trust fully in Christ and not in a religious denomination.

This is a reason many have for leaving the LDS faith. They have found that the grace of Jesus Christ is enough for them. They do not wish to place their trust in a religion or Church, or the church's ordinances, but in the person of Christ . This reason would definately be one of the main reasons I left personally. I simply came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ, and His work on Calvary is what I need to place my trust in.

3. They have studied LDS history & doctrines and have found discrepncies and contradictions.

This is another common reason I come across for leaving the LDS. Many of my former LDS friends began their journey "out" by studing the LDS doctrines at length. They could not reconcile the contradictions, and so chose to leave. It happens. It is a valid reason for leaving any faith. When one can no longer embrace the doctrines of one's faith, many are not willing to continue to affiliate with that particular faith expression. They resign.

When I realized that Joseph Smith's accounts of his first vision contradicted each other, it greatly disturbed me. Instead of putting it on a shelf as some choose to do, I chose to study it at length and made the ultimate discovery that Smith was not being honest. As a former Mormon, I could not reconcile this part of LDS history, and ultimately this played a part in my choice to resign.

This reason is a common reason why many former Mormons leave.

4. A spouse or loved one exposed them to another faith, and they ultimately made the choice to resign from the LDS church.

Though not as common, as the other reasons stated above, I do from time to time run into a former Mormon who did ultimately choose to resign from the LDS , because they either married a Christian or because a friend or loved one introduced them another faith expression.

5. They just don't "believe it" anymore.

I hear this a lot from former LDS...... ultimately they just didn't believe any more in the doctrines and LDS Church. Perhaps it was a combination of searching doctrines, or just a slow demise of their former faith -- they ultimately just didn't believe anymore. I don't want to get too specific as to "why"... because I have ran across so many reasons, but I think it's fair to say that a great many former Mormons leave because they simply don't believe anymore.

As you have read thus far, former Mormons leave for various reasons. Each one's exit is unique..... but the bottom line is that for most of us who are former LDS, we do not leave for the "myths" stated at the beginning of this post. We don't leave because we are offended, or because it was "too hard" to live. No, for most of us, we have chosen to resign after deep study, prayer, and really a heart search. For most of us who were at one time LDS, we sincerely believed the LDS Church was all it said it is. We did not take delight in leaving. Many of us, left behind a spouse or children or loved ones. We did not embark upon our journey out with light mindedness and flippantness. No for most of us the decision was wrought after deep soul searching and months if not years of questioning and prayer.

Instead of embracing the "myths" why not try to really understand "why" we left? Why not communicate with compassion and an attempt to understand? I can promise you when you do so, you will build bridges with your loved ones, instead of alienating them.

Remember it may be your child or spouse that in the future leaves the LDS church. Why not try to understand them? I think you will find that when you do so, you will be better equipped to navigate the changes in your relationship and build bridges towards understanding and mutual love & respect.

God bless,


" I hope my words and thoughts please you. Lord, you are my Rock, the one who saves me."
~ Psalm 19:14~

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Is it really about grace?

For some time now, God has been prodding me to blog here about grace. To be honest, life is so incredibly crazy full with homeschooling my 10 kiddos, bible study, fellowship with the King, ministry work, keeping house, shopping, house keeping, etc. that my time to blog takes a back seat.

This morning after my time of fellowship with the Lord again, I once again had that distinct thought to blog here again on grace.

So, I guess I need to follow thru on what God is clearly pushing me forward to share, eh? Lord Jesus, may my words be acceptable to You!

My church is studying the book of Romans for bible study. Awesome, amazing stuff in the book of Romans! I am thoroughly enjoying the study and learning so much!

Last night, we studied Romans chapter 10 & 11.....( some of my favorite chapters in the entire book) .......

This passage jumped out at me and I knew I needed to share it here.

" And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace otherwise work is no longer work. " - Romans 11:6

If we believe we are saved by grace + _________ ( fill in the blank) then it's no longer grace, friends.

Abraham, the "father of the Jews" was justified by God because of His faith, not because of his good works.

" For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. " Romans 4:2-3

" If" Abraham had been justified by "his works" he has nothing to boast about before God.

" Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness." -- Romans 4:4 & 5

If we are saved by "works" or by "grace + works" then the wages of our works is not counted as grace. The wages of our works then are counted as "debt".

The whole awesome amazing thing about grace is that it has nothing to do with our works... but on the whole entire work, life, and blood of JESUS Christ the Messiah!

Abraham was made right with God even before he was circumcised. It had nothing to do with circumcision and "works". Romans 3:10

As a born again believer, I am made right with God thru my faith and belief in the *work* Jesus did . More specifically, the work He did on Calvary.
It has nothing to do with my good works. Sure, God cares about our good works. The purpose of our good works was clearly defined by Jesus when he said :

" By this is my Father glorified, when you bear much fruit." John 15:8

Our "fruit" or "good works" are to bring glory and honor to God. Not to seek favors or to gain something from God, and definitely not to be able to "gain" or "work out" where we will end up in the eternities.

Jesus worked out our salvation on Calvary.

His blood is what justifies us.

" Since we have now been justified by His blood. " Romans 5:9

Grace is not grace if we add works or anything else to it.

It is solely the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that saves us, and allows us access us to the throne of God to live eternally is His presence.

Anything else, simply put.... is not grace.

That's the message I have today here for those who stop by and read. That is what God has led me to share. I hope it leads you to think deeply about grace... for those of you who already understand how awesome and amazing His grace is, I say to you, Praise God.. and to those of you who are still wondering if the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is enough... I say to you, YES, YES, YES! His blood is enough.

Amen & Amen it is enough ,


Monday, September 28, 2009

New Poll!

Hi, all! Please take a moment and vote in my newest poll I have posted on the side of my blog.



New Bible for the LDS Church?

The LDS Church has announced it's plans to re-translate the Spanish Bible. Before this time, Spanish speaking LDS members used their own Spanish Bible translation of the KJV or " Reina Valera" translation. It's important to take note, that this a new translation, not just a reprint of the KJV translation with a LDS book cover. To read more about this, you can visit the LDS Church's official website and read up on this project.

I suspect the LDS church will include the various changes it's founder Joseph Smith, made to the original text of the KJV. These can be found at the back of the current English version of the LDS published Bible. I also suspect the new Spanish LDS edition of the Bible will have the LDS footnotes at the top of each chapter and cross references to other LDS scriptures, as it does in the English version.

What I do wonder is how long will it be before the LDS Church re-translates the English Version of the Bible into their own translation/version? Right now, the LDS church uses the KJV, and also adds their own footnotes, and cross references to other LDS cannonized Scriptures. I wonder if this step will lead LDS leaders to come up with their own Bible translation in English and then do the same in other languages?

I also wonder, and wondered when I was a practicing LDS, "why" they just don't lay aside the KJV all together and use the Joseph Smith Inspired Version like the Reorganized Church and other splinter churches from the original church Joseph Smith founded.

My concern is this, right now the LDS people have God's word available to them in the KJV. Yes, there are LDS footnotes, and cross references, but God's Word is still available to them to read. For me personally, my exit from the LDS was deeply affected by reading the Bible. ( and yes it was an LDS published KJV bible!) God has promised us that His word will not return void and will go forth and fulfill the purposes it is intened by God to do, and that is to bring men to a knowledge of their sinfullness and need of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As long as the LDS do have access to the Bible, there is great hope, that many will pick it up and read and may come to see the truth.

"If" the LDS church re-translates the Bible it's members use there is reason to be concerned. Other Cults also have their "own" translations, including the Jehovah Witnesses. These translations change God's Word in essential ways.

For example, what if the LDS church changed John 1: 1 from what it states now to what Joseph Smith said it should be?

Right now John 1: 1 states:

" In the begining was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. "

Joseph changed this passage to read:

" In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was of God."

Can you see the significant change in the text & meaning of this passage?

All of sudden Jesus is no longer the WORD, and no longer is HE GOD.

Big difference! Big change!

So there lies my concern.

All I can do is hope & pray God would intervene, that the LDS people would begin to read their Bibles more , like I did, and that God would use His word to divide asunder, and to convict them of the error of the LDS doctrines. I guess time will tell.

One can hope & definately one can pray ~ He is able!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My LDS friend keeps inviting me to LDS functions, what should I make of it?

A while back, a comment was left by a reader who was wondering if her LDS's friend desire to invite her to her church's function was sincerely just wanting to "include her in the fun" or could there be an "ulterior motive" to her invites?

First of all, I do not claim to be able to discern the motives and intents of an individuals heart. I simply can not make that call. Only the Lord Himself can make that judgement call. With that said, I can share with you what my personal experience was when I was a LDS.

If any of you have spent any time with LDS, you know for the most part they are a social people. They enjoy getting together . They host "ward dinners" ... that is another word for a "potluck" or "fellowship meals". They host big Halloween parties, Christmas' Dinners & celebrate the Mormon pioneers who travelled to Utah by handcart and wagon. ( Pioneer Day Celebrations)

LDS are not only encouraged to bring their families, they are also encouraged to bring their "less active" friends, that is Mormons who are not actively participating in the LDS programs or attending Church regularly. The hope or "desire" is to "activate" them or "bring them back into the fold sort of speak". Active Mormons ( those who attend church regularly) are encouraged to also invite their friends or family who are *not* LDS. Their hope or motive is to "share the LDS gospel" with them.

When I was trained at the Mission training center in Provo, Utah prior to leaving for my 18 mos LDS proselytizing mission to Argentina, I was taught the "commitment pattern". The commitment pattern is a multi step program geared at activation and converting non members to the LDS gospel. It is a very simple program involving that the active Mormon do the following:

1. Build a relationship of trust with the non member, or less active Mormon
This should be done subtly, thru showing concern , empathy and interest toward the potential convert. For example, as a missionary we were taught when door knocking, we should not just tell a person strait out " hi, we are here to share the restored gospel, and to invite you to become a member of our church!" No, that wouldn't work too well! Instead we were trained to come up with methods to build a relationship with the person *first*. We might ask or inquire about the person's work, family, home, interests, etc. The goal was to "build trust" with that person.

2. Share/ Invite the Spirit was the second step involved in the commitment pattern. Missionaries were taught that after inquiring about a person's interests, showing concern, etc. we were then trained to share something "spiritual" with them. For example, if an Elder or LDS missionary approaches the home of a family with children, he/she may first ask about each child. Their name, age, interests etc. They then would state that they know families are special and that God has a plan for families to be forever together. The missionary may then ask the potential convert if they believe or would wish to be with their family forever?

3. Testify: The next step of the commitment pattern would be to "testify" to the potential convert. An Elder or Sister may say something like " I know God has a plan for families to be together forever. He wants us to enjoy our families for not just this life but the next".

4. The final step would be to invite or challenge the potential convert : " We would like to invite you and your family to hear a message about how families can be together forever. We would like to return on such and such a day to share that message. " That is the final step of the commitment pattern. Committing the potential convert to some kind of commitment, whether it be to attend LDS church services, or listen to the missionary discussions or to be baptized into the Mormon faith.

The above steps are taught to the LDS missionaries prior to being sent off on their mission.

The LDS church teaches and believes that *every* Mormon should be a missionary.

Missionaries work with the members in the wards to help them in their missionary efforts.

I remember well many times the Elders would come over and we would write a list of non member friends and family. We were told to pray over that list and listen to the "spirit" tell us which one of those names listed we would invite to hear the Mormon missionary discussions. We were encouraged to fast and pray that God would help us to "share" the gospel with these people.

We would plan a "family home evening" ( Monday night family activity) and invite our non member friends or family. We might even have the Mormon Elders there to "share" or present a "gospel" message. The goal was to help the non member convert to Mormonism.

Members are encouraged by missionaries and their Bishops to invite their non Mormon friends to Ward dinners, and activities. A stake or ward may even go as far as to host an "open house" or activity especially geared at teaching the non member about the Mormon faith.

I want to state here, that as a missionary I was taught to set goals and determine a certain number of converts I wished to see baptized each month. I was told to set goals for how many book of Mormons I gave out each week, and how many discussions I taught to potential converts.

Mormon Stakes & Wards have "stake missionaries" or "ward missionaries" that is a lay member of their Ward is called by their bishop to serve as a missionary within their particular ward boundaries. ( they do not leave their families or area they live in)

So as you can see, the LDS church is a Church that places great emphasis on converting non Mormons to their Church. They also try hard to "re-activate" those LDS who have drifted away from the Mormon Church.

The question posed by my reader, about her LDS friend then can be addressed in light of the information shared on this post. Her friend may most likely be inviting her to these events with the hopes of converting her friend, or she may be feeling pressured by LDS missionaries that are working with her family to invite non LDS friends to her Church's events and activities.

Please take note, that the LDS do this with sincerity of heart for the most part. They truly believe they are being obedient to their leaders wishes, and please take note that they believe that their Church is the ONLY TRUE church on the earth today. They believe that it is only thru the LDS church that one can receive all the necessary teachings and ordinances ( baptism, confirmation, temple endowment, sealing, etc) for a person to live with God forever.

So the next time your LDS friend invites you to a ward dinner or over to dinner ~ be aware that there may very well be an ulterior motive to their invitation. For Christians reading this post, you may wonder "what should I do, if that is the case?" I would strongly recommend that you tell your LDS friend that you are aware of their church's focus on converting people to their Church. Be sure to tell you friend you are aware, and understand their motives for doing so. Be sincere & kind. This will unguard them sort of speak --- once they "know" you "Know" what is going on, they may feel more free to just be themselves. The pressure will be "off" and they can let their true colors show. Many LDS will feel a sense of relief that they don't need to work at converting you! :) You may then just enjoy one an other's company without any strings attached. Be aware though, that not all LDS may wish to continue the friendship once they know you "know" what is the motive. They may have just become a friend with the intention of converting you. That is not always the case, but it happens enough to warrant my sharing this here. To give you an example, my older sis moved to Utah in the 1990's. Never been a Mormon, she knew little about the LDS culture. She moved to very Mormon Sandy, Utah. They purchased a home in a predominately LDS neighborhood. She was amazed at how friendly everyone was! Cookies, brownies and bread came from all over the place! Wow, she was impressed. Everyone welcomed them to the neighborhood. After a bit , the invites came to attend the local ward and to have the missionaries come over. My sister, being a devout member of another faith, politely declined their offers. What happened next is so sad. Basically these people were only friendly for the possible conversion of my sister and her family. After being told they had no interest in becoming Mormon, they basically ignored her & her family.

Now, I know not all LDS are going to respond that way. I most certainly did not when I was LDS. If a friend or some one else said "sorry, not interested", I did not just drop them and move on. I saw this happen enough though to know this does indeed happen. I hope my LDS readers realize that I know that not all LDS respond like in this way.

Bottom line, the LDS do have an agenda. The agenda is to convert you to Mormonism.

They may invite you to their local ward activities, or over to dinner or share an LDS movie production with the hopes of converting you.

All you need to do is be honest with them and politely tell them you know "what's up" and "no thanks". They may ask you "why not" and that may open the door for you to share about Jesus with them.

I also want to say, I realize that Christians as well have an "agenda" . As a born again believer, my hope my great desire is to see souls sold out for Christ Jesus!!! I want to see as many people as possible come to the saving knowledge that Christ Saves! I long to see my LDS friends released from the bondage of a religion and into a relationship with the King of Kings!

Yeah, I have an agenda too.

The difference is, for the most part the Christian evangelist is open, transparent about their motives. They will come out and say I want to see you saved, friend. There is no commitment pattern. No building a relationship of trust. To be honest friends, there may be not be enough time for such things, because the world is on fire, and we are called to grab our houses and start crying out : JESUS SAVES, run!

I think that is the greatest difference I see in the evangelization efforts of the LDS vs. Christianity.

Our goal as Christian is not to fill up our Churches -- but to fill up Heaven!!!!

Our goal is not to convert to our particular denominational choice, but to see souls converted to the King of Kings!

... And hopefully if our friends and neighbors and loved ones reject the good news... we will keep loving them....... we are called to do so, friends. We just don't drop them off, and say "move on". No, we keep loving on them, knowing that the God who saves is able in His time to open eyes and ears to the truth in Christ!

So the next time your LDS friend or neighbor invites you over for dinner with the Elders, you'll hopefully be equipped to perhaps unguard them , and also with God's help and grace to share the fantastic news that what Jesus did is sufficient for all men!

God bless,


Monday, August 24, 2009

My child has decided to serve a Mormon mission, now what?

Recently, a reader left a comment here on my blog. His daughter was soon to leave on a Mormon mission. He asked "what" he could tell her before she left. This young woman's father was a former Mormon, now redeemed by God's amazing grace. He loves his daughter and is concerned for her.

After pondering upon this situation and giving it some prayer, I wanted to offer some encouragement to this dad. :) Perhaps there are other Christian readers who are in a similar situation, with a child or loved one getting ready to go on a Mormon mission.

First of all, I would encourage this dad and any others to PRAY! I can not encourage that enough. Pray that God will give you the words to speak. Pray that God will give you the grace to love that person in spite of their choices, and pray for the wisdom to speak and share God's word with them. Pray for opportunities to share the Good News! Pray for their hearts to be softened and for their eyes to be opened. Pray that they will be receptive , when the time comes to what you may be led to share! In short PRAY!!!!!

I have shared here recently, about a young LDS woman I have been praying for. She recently was sent to the Midwest on a Mormon 18 mos proselytizing mission. I have been praying daily for her. God , has answered my prayers in amazing ways!!!! She has been meeting with a christian pastor each week and he has been teaching her about Jesus. She has also befriends born again Christians who have opened their home to her, shared the love of Jesus with her and a meal too! :) I am just floored by how God is working!! I am praying daily that God will use believers to share the truth with her in love and with boldness. I believe God will do a great work in her while she serves her Mormon mission. God is not restricted by the situations around Him, folks. That means He can save Mormons while they serve a Mormon mission ! I have personally read the testimonies of young Mormons who were saved while serving a Mormon mission and then came home and left the Mormons and embraced Christianity. Friends, it is possible! Our God sits on the throne and He is still in the miracle business!!

Never ever ever underestimate the power of prayer, friends!!!!!!

Secondly, I would encourage this father and others to really show forth LOVE. Love is a huge thing. I think we underestimate it's power in the lives of the lost. When we reach out with love, hearts are softened....... minds are opened...... ears become receptive. Let your Mormon friends see that love. Genuine love. Show them the defining fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ -- LOVE.
They will know we are Christians by our love. I love that song!!! We sing it often in our home!

For this dad who is worried about his daughter -- I encourage you to love her!!!! Write to her when she leaves and just tell her how much you love her, and are praying for her.Let her never doubt your love for her. Let it be an unconditional rock in her life!

Friends I know it's easy to become frustrated with our LDS family and friends. But let's remember, God calls us to love. Sometimes that can be tough. Sometimes , they are hard to love.
Believe me, I understand..... but God calls us to love one another. He didn't not say "love only believers". He said to love everyone.

Finally, when the time is right and the Holy Spirit directs, share the truth we know and hold dear. Share the good news! Plant those seeds of grace. Perhaps you are discouraged, thinking they won't listen.... won't receive. Friends, one never knows. God calls some to plant seeds, some to pull the weeds, some to till the soil and some to harvest...... it's rare that any of us would see the entire process all the way thru with a lost soul. Most of the time, we get to do one of the above... plant a seed, or weed, or harvest........ all are important.

I want to encourage this father and others to PRAY, LOVE & when the time is share the good news!! God is more concerned about your lost loved one than we are!! He wants them saved and safely in His kingdom more than we do!

Entrust HIM with your loved ones that are lost.

He is still the God who saves.

It is HIS work.

We can trust that He will complete the good work He has begun in their lives ~

And remember, I am praying for you too!!!!!!

God bless,


Friday, August 21, 2009

Mormon Apostle Urges Mormons to Avoid Defensiveness

Recently, Russell Ballard, Mormon Apostle spoke at the Commencement Exercises of BYU students in Provo, Utah. He urged LDS to avoid becoming defensive when speaking about the LDS church and it's teachings.

Mr. Ballard referred to recent research that suggested that Mormons can sometimes appear defensive to those who are not members of the LDS Church." The study said, that when Mormons are explaining their beliefs, they couch their language in terms that suggest that they are expecting criticism. "

The full text of Mr. Ballard's remarks are available at the LDS website newsroom.

I thought this was timely to share in light of my recent posts.

I agree with Mr. Ballard.

" Among the reasons for this type of reaction is the long history of persecution that Mormons faced during the early days of the Church.... that is now an inedible part of history. You have heard these stories of hardship and sacrifice since you were a small child. And yet this isn't 1830 and there aren't 6 of us anymore." -- Russell Ballard

Well said, Mr. Ballard!

I have for many years, even prior to leaving the LDS church, felt that some LDS suffer from a "persecution complex".

The LDS suffered persecution for a relatively short period of time in U.S. history. When you compare it to the years and amount of persecution Christians have endured. Don't believe me? Check out and read up on what is going on in the world today, and you'll get a better idea of what persecution is all about for Christians.

Do you know that in 53 countries today the Bible is outlawed?

Do you know that as I type Christians are being burned, killed and imprisoned in countries like Korea, Iraq, and India?

As Christians, what is our response to the persecution?

Jesus said it well when He said, " Blessed are you who are persecuted... rejoice and be exceedingly glad!!" Yep, we are to rejoice and count it all for joy when we are counted worthy to suffer for Jesus!!!

Are Christians to become angry and bitter and defensive at those who persecute and chide?


The Lord told us to love our enemies.

Do good to those that use us.

And pray for those who persecute us.

Yep, we are to pray for the Muslim nations who kill and imprison Christians.

Yep, we are to pray for those who would seek to harm innocent Christians.

Yep, we are to pray for our mormon friends and family who make fun our salvation experiences. ( that has happened to me more times than I can count!)

We are not to become defensive and angry and bitter and least of all to develop some kind of persecution complex.

Persecution is the name of the game if your walkin with Jesus.

Bring it on!

In Christ alone,


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Once again.... this is getting old....

Here we go again. I don't know how many times I need to revisit this, but obviously some just don't get it. So , here I go again.

Personal attacks will not be permitted.


If you have nothing better to do than attack me personally, maybe you have too much time on your hands? Might I direct you to the many wonderful organizations out there who would love your volunteer services. Big brother & Big Sister programs thru the YMCA is a great program, that always needs help! Most churches offer wonderful programs that would love your help too! So many causes, so little time.

I don't mind that people personally disagree. That is understandable and expected.

The focus of your arguments should be on the topic at hand and not on the person commenting.

I am not sure "why" this has to be revisited so often, but it does.

There are other places on the web where you can name call, attack a person, etc. but NOT ON MY BLOG. I will not tolerate it. If you disagree with what I am saying or what someone else says, then focus your comments on the argument presented. Good grief. Simple civility - is that impossible here?

ALSO from now on, NO more anonymous comments. Sign your name or screen name. Take responsibility for your comments you make. I find it odd that some of the personal attacks are most often left by anonymous people.... come on, if you have the courage to be rude, take ownership of it. If you don't sign a name or screen name, then your comment will not be approved.

Comments that contain personal attacks and anonymous comments will not be approved. They go in the "garbage can". Where they belong.

Kind regards,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Fruit of the Spirit & Answered prayers

I have been blogging about Mormonism now for a few months. I also frequently visit other sites of other Christians who are witnessing to the Mormons. I have noticed one thing that I believe is very very telling.

For the most part, there is a great deal of hostility coming from the LDS towards we Christians who are blogging or commenting. I was a bit taken aback by that! In all honesty I would think it would be the other way around! LOL! I just want to send out a kuddos to my christian blogging buddies out there. You are doing a great job! You are witnessing in love and with respect and kindness... something that speaks volumes about you and about our awesome God we serve!

My heart aches when I read the comments left by many LDS here and other places. There is so much hostility, anger, frustration and condescension in their writings. I can feel and sense their angst. There lack of inner peace. It is so very sad.

I am reminded of a beautiful passage of scripture, from the book of Galatians:

" but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, faith, temperance" Galatians 5:22

My dear readers, if we truly confess Christ -- and have that filling of the Holy Spirit..... we will have these fruit.... we will have love, joy and peace, and self control.... we will be long suffering...

Not because we , in and of ourselves, are "naturally" this way.. but truly because Christ lives within us!! His Holy Spirit indwells and as a result there will be fruit .. fruit that is visible... fruit that tastes sweet and is wonderful and glorifies our great and awesome God!

I really thought when I began to blog about Mormonism, that it would be the Christians that would be nasty and mean spirited, etc. But that has not been the case! In the months I have been blogging , it has been the LDS who have name called, been rude, attacked me personally or my family or my relationship with my husband, or have just been down right discourteous.

My goodness! How telling this is friends.

I also want to say there have been exceptions to this. A few LDS, and you know "who" you are can engage in debate without resorting to such things. Kuddos to you too!!!

Friends, if you visit my site, you will quickly notice I am not " Ed Decker" or " Bill McKeever"... I am just a former mormon, who has been redeemed and purchased by my great God, Jesus. My heart's desire is to see LDS won over to the real God, who is more than able to save. I don't want to get nasty, mean and name call...... why? Because God calls me to live differently. Because I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to show forth love, long suffering , kindness, and self control.

This is the ONE SINGLE thing I notice so glaringly now between the LDS and Christians... the gifts of the Spirit....... I am amazed at the joy I see in the lives of believers, even in the midst of heavy trials.... I am shocked by the long suffering they have for the lost in the LDS church..... how patient and kind they are... how they won't stoop to personal attacks against a person, but will focus on the argument and the facts.

Friends, it is all so telling.

You can't fake "fruit"....

There is good fruit......

And then there is stinky rotten fruit.......

For the LDS, do you really think it helps your cause when you name call and personally attack a person? Is that what your faith produces?

Something to think about.

My friends, I continue to pray for the LDS and I hope my Christian friends will join me.

This week I had a sweet experience. I have been praying for a friend of mine who is serving an LDS mission. I have been praying that the Lord would lead her to the home of born again believers who will witness to her in love. She is serving in the Midwest. She is a sweet young woman who has lived her entire life in Utah. I have been praying that God would lead her to the home of a pastor who would open the doors of his home to share Jesus with her and the good news.

This week I found out that just this very thing has happened! She has been befriended by a born again preacher ( her words not mine) and he has been sharing with her and her companion. She also has had no success in converting souls to Mormonism, but has run into a lot of Christians, saying " we have Jesus!".

Isn't that AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friends, we have a great BIG GOD who is the business of doing GREAT BIG THINGS!

Keep praying for your LDS friends, and family.

Never give up hope for them!

And when those LDS missionaries come by, open your home to them and share the GOOD NEWS!!!!!

I am so excited to hear how God is working in this young woman's life! He has answered my prayers and knocked my socks off!

I just had to share this, to encourage my Christian readers!

God is working....

God is working.....

He is parting the "red seas" in the lives of our Mormon friends and neighbors........

Praise His holy holy name!!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

How does God answer our prayers? New poll!

I have posted a new question that I am polling. " How does God answer our prayers". Please take a moment and vote! I am interested in what you believe. This poll is on the right side of the blog. Just scroll down.


On a personal note...

Dear Readers,

I just want to write and share that I appreciate you taking time to stop, read and share your thoughts about what is shared here. Please know I read each comment before I post them.
With that said, I am not always able to respond to your comments. I thought it might be helpful to share some personal insights into what goes on in my life so you can understand "why".

Some of you may not know that I :

1. am the mother of 10 children! Yes, 10!! That keeps me busy folks! My oldest is 16 and my youngest is 5 yrs old ( we have a set of twins in there too!)

2. I homeschool my children. Yes, in addition to being the " mom" ; I am also my children's school teacher. We school all year round, so life is busy to say the least! :)

3. We live on a small farm. ( 66 acres to be exact!) I keep a garden , and a large yard.. that means full time yard work on top of the above responsibilities!

4. I am a married woman. So that means I take time to nurture my relationship with my husband as well .One more stewardship the Lord has blessed me with.

5. I am a full time home keeper. I take my job seriously. I cook all our meals from scratch and work with the children to keep a tidy and organized home. ( as well as one can possibly do with 10 children!!)

My day begins at about 7 am and I usually am in bed by 11 pm.....

As you can figure from reading what I shared above, my plate is "full".

God placed a burden on my heart to blog about my thoughts and experiences about the LDS faith. I pray daily for His leading in this endeavor. I take seriously what I share here. Sometimes I am led to be silent and sometimes I am led to speak. What I write is directed by the Lord. No one tells me what to write or share. God does.

With that said, sometimes I am not able to respond to every single comment left here. :)

Please don't take that as a personal offense. If your comment is offensive, I don't post it. If you find your comment is published here, then I am not offended. :) For LDS readers, I understand not everything I share will be agreeable to you. I understand, but my allegiance is to God first, not my readers. You will most likely not read things here that will tickle your ears. I don't expect you to be pleased with me or even like me for that matter. That's OK.

So, please understand.... I will respond to your comments if I can. Sometimes it may take a few days to get back to you. Please forgive me if you are frustrated by this, but it's what works for me at this time in my life. Hopefully readers will be able to understand now a little more as to "why" sometimes I don't respond to their remarks. It's not that I am ignoring you.

In any case, thanks for reading, leaving remarks and for sharing.

God bless,


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How to witness to an LDS missionary

I would like to take some time and answer some questions that readers have left for me.

The following question was left by Anna ~~

" My best friend just left on his mission to Peru. It honestly is heart breaking. Do you have any advice on how I can minister to him through letters? To help him understand who the real Jesus is. "

Dear Anna,

Thank you for taking time to share what is on your heart!! God bless you for your sincere desire to see your friend won for Christ! You sound like you have a burden placed in your heart to witness to your friend. I am thankful he has you there to share the good news and the liberty and grace that awaits those who surrender their lives to the King of Kings!

First of all, I want to say the greatest thing you can do, and you probably are doing this already is P R A Y. Remember, that fervent prayers of those that are right with God, availeth much!! Continue to go before the throne of grace boldly in behalf of the salvation of your friend! Pray specifically that God may lead him to the homes of believers. Pray that when he knocks doors and tracts , he will be led to people who know the Lord and the Word of God, who can testify to him of the truth in Jesus. Pray that he will have a desire to read the bible -- specifically the book of John . Pray that God will draw him. Pray!!

I want to encourage you in this, because there were members of my family that prayed for me for 19 yrs to come to the Lord!!! 19 yrs!! God heard their prayers all those years. Looking back I can see how God was drawing me to Him... showing me and leading me one step at a time closer to Him! It took 19 yrs for those prayers to come to fruit, but they did!! Praise the Lord they did! My parents prayed every night for 19 yrs for me! When I called them and told them I had given my life to the Lord and left the Mormons, my father broke down and wept... thru tears he told me how he had prayed each night for this very thing!

The Lord is faithful! He does hear our prayers! Take time each day for prayer for him!

The second thing I would encourage you to do is to write him!!!! Yes, write!! There is much you can share in letters, you may not be able to share in person. I would encourage you to write weekly if you can or as often as you feel led by the Lord to do. Share passages from the Bible. Share how much Jesus means to you! Share how good God is and how He is working in your life!

I want to share another experience from my own life. My mom, had a cousin. Her name was Doris. Doris loved the Lord with all her might mind and strength. She radiated Jesus. Doris had been afflicted with MS for many years. She had been abandoned by her husband and left by herself after many years of marriage. But thru it all, Doris just sang! Yes, sang.. the Joy of the Lord was so evident in her life! Doris was a born again believer! She felt a burden in her to share Jesus with me while I was on my mission in Argentina. Often I would receive letters from cousin Doris. She would never tear down or mock Mormonism. What she did do though , was share the JOY she had in Jesus with me! Her letters were full of " Jesus, this and Jesus that.... full of scriptures and verses, etc." Full of her faith and love for the Lord.

She was faithful in writing me often on my mission. I never spoke to cousin Doris again, because she died soon after I arrived home from my mission. The other day I was mowing the grass and praying ( I love to mow the grass and pray!) and the Lord brought cousin doris to my memory. I thanked the Lord for what Doris did. I can't wait to meet Doris one day and hug her and tell her how she impacted me!

Write your friend, Anna.. share passages from the bible. Speak of Jesus and how wonderful and faithful he is! Share the JOY of the Lord with your LDS friend!

I recently heard the testimony of some young men, who had come to the Lord while they were serving their LDS missions!! Amazing! These young men have started a worship band by the name of Adam's Road. God is so faithful! He is not limited! He is not bothered by circumstances! These young men had been brought to the Lord because they began to read the Bible on their missions, in particular the New Testament! God doesn't need us to save souls..... He can use His word to bring souls to Him! He is all powerful. He is not dependent on us to save these precious souls. We do get the blessing of praying for them and witnessing to them, but rest assured He can draw souls to Him without our help!

Ana, I hope what I have shared can be an encouragement to you in some small way!

I am thankful that the Lord has placed you in this young man's life. When the time is right, this young man and you need to have a face to face talk where you share with him the real Jesus. So that he knows that there is a difference. Perhaps you have done this already? In any case, as hard as it is, our LDS friends and loved one need to know where we stand and they need to be lovingly shown that the god of Joseph Smith is not the God we worship and adore.

Anna, I will be praying for your friend!! God moves in mysterious ways, and just because your friend is on an LDS mission does not mean he can not come to saving knowledge that Jesus is the WAY , the TRUTH and the LIFE... not a religion, or a denomination, but Chris the Lord!!!

Thank you for posting and sharing your concerns.

For those of you who are Christian and wondering "how to " witness to those LDS missionaries that stop by at your door, I want to encourage you as well to open your mouths and hearts and share the good news of the Lord with these young people! They need to hear from us! They need to hear the passages in the Bible that speak of salvation and what one has to do to receive eternal life. Please prayerfully consider studying up on those passages so that when they come you may be prepared and equipped to share the good news! Don't turn them away, but share with them who Jesus really is and how one does receive eternal life. Some may be afraid to open their homes to the LDS missionaries, and there are some biblical mandates about such, but I would encourage you to at least share a verse with them or two and testify of the real Jesus who died on Calvary so that all men may be free. Perhaps even have a tract or two available for them to read about the differences between Christianity and mormonism. Pray that God will help you to witness in love and with boldness. Lastly, pray for them when they stop by ... ask God to open their eyes to the truth and to set them free. I just want to encourage you my brothers & sisters in Christ to share the good news. We don't need to go to Africa to bring the truth to the lost, we can do so right from our very homes.

God bless you and help you as you minister to those who have not yet received the free gift of eternal life thru Christ our Lord,


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A question for my readers

Hello, all. I have been in prayer seeking the Lord's guidance on what to share here on my blog. As I have been led to be quiet and still and wait for the Lord's lead.... it came to me today... the nudge to ask those of you who read my blog, who are Christians, "what" you would like me to share that may help you in your witness to the LDS or perhaps help you to better understand their theology or culture.
So please, if there is a question you have had on your heart, but haven't been comfortable in asking your LDS friends, or if there is something you would like to better understand, please leave a comment.
I also invite LDS readers, is there something you wish to ask me concerning Biblical teachings, etc. I invite both LDS and Christian readers to please feel comfortable dropping me a comment and letting me know if there is something you wish to see discussed in more detail here.
This is something I have felt nudged by the Lord to do, so please feel comfortable sharing.

I look forward to hearing from you,


Friday, July 10, 2009

And another thing....

Upon re-reading my post I left yesterday, I wanted to add that the content of what I post here on my blog is just that *mine*. It is not up for discussion. That is, I blog about what *I* chose to blog about folks. If you don't like what I have to say here, I respect that, but in no way does that give anyone the right to tell me what I shall share or not share. That's simply not any one's call to make but the Lord's. I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again... I pray about what I write hear. I don't just write. Sometimes the Lord leads me to be quiet. Sometimes He lays something on my heart. He leads and directs, I follow. It's that simple. I understand that LDS readers may not appreciate what I share here, but that doesn't give them the right to tell me what I shall write or not write -- it's just not your call folks. It's God's call.

Thanks for taking time to stop by and read my thoughts,


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kind Reminder

Hey all, just want to post and say thanks to all of you who take time to share and leave courteous remarks. I appreciate both those who are LDS and non LDS, who take time to share their thoughts. I may not always agree, but I do appreciate your taking time to share what you believe. I generally will approve messages you leave here, even if I don't agree. Be warned though, that I will be reading the "tone" and if it hints of condescension or rudeness, it will not be posted.
I also want to say once again ( I think I said this once before) that I will not post comments that are in any shape or way critical or demeaning about my family, my children, my husband etc. That will not be accepted and your comments will not be posted. Period. This is my blog, and as such I will not tolerate remarks about my personal life.
If you wish to share a remark about how you disagree with my beliefs, I will not be offended, but I will not accept remarks geared at my family or my relationships.
I hope that clarifies things and hopefully this won't become an issue.

Thanks for letting me get that off my heart,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Can our hearts be trusted?

A few days back, my 10 yr old daughter had found some money. She didn't know if the money was hers or not. She had found it in an old purse my daughters' share. She wondered whether the money was hers or one of her sisters.... what to do, what to do..... keep it ... or not.....

She came to me and explained her situation. I listened and told her to pray about it. I told her if the money wasn't truly hers and she "knew" it, then she would most likely have little joy in spending it! I told her to ask God and wait for an answer. That seemed to appease her and she did just that. A few minutes later she came downstairs and said she was going to "keep it" and upon asking her if God had told her to do that, she said "well, no.... but I sure feel like it!" I encouraged her to let the Lord lead her on this one. For the next few hours she went back forth wondering if she should keep the money or not... one second she "felt" she should ... the next minute she didn't.... the result: confusion!

She also talked to my husband about it. ( he is a practicing LDS) He encouraged her to pray about it too.... but instead of telling her to wait for God to answer, he told her to see how she "feels about" it after praying. If she feels "good" about keeping it, then she should. If she doesn't "feel good" about it then she shouldn't. My daughter , told her daddy that it doesn't work that way. She shared w/ him her struggle to give this issue to God and *not* rely on her feelings.. because her feelings were "selfish" and wanting to keep the money, regardless of "whose" it was. Her daddy didn't agree and a discussion ensued. She got out her Bible and shared the following verse with her daddy:

" The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer. 17:9

My daughter then proceeded to tell her daddy that she can't trust her heart, because her heart is selfish and wants to keep the money regardless of what God would want her to do.

My husband and I later discussed the situation. He is a practicing LDS and believes that thru the promptings of the Holy Spirit ( thru feelings given to the heart) a person is able to know what to do in a given situation. That means, if a person feels peace and good about something then they can know that God is approving of that. I explained to him, that the bible does not teach such a thing, but rather teaches us that our heart is "deceitful" and desperately wicked. How can we trust our hearts in making choices, when our heart can deceive us? Our hearts naturally, apart from God's redeeming grace, is described as "deceitful". Therefore man can not trust his own heart solely, but must leave all to God.

Because my heart feels "good" about something then that means God is giving me the go ahead? How can I be sure my heart isn't being selfish? Lots of times I may feel "good" something.. but that doesn't mean God views it that way.

As a Christian, I make sure to check what God has to say about things before I make a decision. I check my views with what God has revealed, and if my views are not in harmony with God's revealed Word, then I can be *sure* that I have been deceived.

" The hearts of men, moreover are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live and afterward they join the dead." Ecc 9:3 NIV

The Lord speaking of the children of Isreal whom He had brought out of Egypt:

" But they did not listen or pay attention, instead they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts." Jer. 11:8

When I was an LDS missionary, I taught those who were investigating the LDS faith to "pray about" the things I was teaching them. I told them that if they prayed with a sincere heart, with real intent , the Holy Ghost would manifest the truth of what I was teaching them. ( Moroni 10:3-5) When I returned to their homes, one of the first things I would ask them was "if they had prayed" and if they had, how had they "felt" while they prayed and after they prayed.

We used the passage from Galatians 5:22-23, as a gauge to teach those investigating Mormonism that if they felt "peace, love, joy, etc" they were receiving an answer from the Holy Ghost telling them that the things I was teaching were true. They had received a "testimony" . I encouraged investigators to focus on their "feelings".... did they feel peace upon praying? Did they feel any physical manifestations like a warm heart or did they begin to cry and get emotional? All of these manifestations were taught to be from the Holy Ghost. Interestingly I never taught those investigating to compare the teachings of Mormonism with the Bible and it's teachings . I never once told those whom I taught to "test" out the Mormon's claims and research out the back round of it's church, history, leaders, etc. No, most definitely the focus was on the "feelings" people were experiencing.

The same rules are used today by many LDS for receiving answers to prayers. If they feel peace,and good about something, then that is a "yes" answer. That was what my husband was trying to tell my daughter about her issue with the money she had found. If she felt "good" about it, then that was the Holy Ghost confirming to her that she should keep it.

My concern with that pattern is 1. it's not biblical. 2. it opens one up for being emotionally driven instead of being driven by solid truth and 3. it's leads to confusion

For LDS readers , you may ask "how so"?

1. It's not biblical: No where in the Bible does the Lord tell us to use our feelings as a guide to determine truth, or find answers to questions. On the contrary we are told to "trust the Lord with all our hearts"..... Proverbs 3:5-6 and "lean not unto our own understanding. Be not wise in thine own eyes and depart from evil." We are being warned in this passage to trust GOD , not our own understanding, our own hearts. We are not to be "wise" in our own eyes. Why? Because we are naturally interested in our own selfish ways! As believers, we are to trust GOD, not ourselves. Not our hearts, not our feelings but God.

2. It opens one up for being emotionally driven: When we focus too much on our feelings... we can become immune to what God has already revealed and spoken. For example, if God says we are not to fornicate or commit adultery, it doesn't matter how much I "feel like" I may be in love with another person. I am a married woman. Regardless of my feelings, I am to not look at another man, for to do so would be to commit adultery. Not even to peek at a man to lust after. God's word is pretty clear. I don't need to "pray" about such a thing or focus on my "feelings" . Focusing on feelings has led many many a soul into adulterous relationships. Our feelings are simply not safe enough to trust. We need God's wisdom.

3. It leads to confusion: Simply put our God is not a God of confusion. He does not work in confusing ways. If we are confused, we can now for a surety God is not in it. If we trust our feelings for answers, we may find ourselves confused. In all honesty, especially for women, our feelings are constantly changing! Our feelings are effected by how much we sleep, eat, the weather, stresses in life, etc. They can change from one hour to the next... how can we possibly trust our heart to lead us? We can't. God is to lead us. We are to trust in God, not our feelings.

Recently a good friend of mine, who was born and raised LDS mentioned to me , after attending my church for prayer meeting, that she had felt the "tingling up the back , goosebumps, and a burning in the heart" while at the prayer meeting .... according to her LDS beliefs, she then could conclude that "my church" was the correct church to attend, right? She sincerely wanted to know what I thought. I told her that the "feelings" she experienced at prayer meeting, were simply that... "feelings". Emotional expressions and responses to the heartfelt prayers she heard offered up. They were not to be taken as any manifestation from the Holy Ghost. They were the tender feelings of her heart, but not to be equated with "truth" .

Many LDS stay LDS because of their "testimonies". They have felt the goosebumps, chills, and a warm fuzzy feeling in the heart. They sincerely believe this is how God reveals truth to them. As sincere as they may be, and I don't deny in any way that they experience these feelings, I would point out that they are simply that... "feelings" nothing more and nothing less. My concern is that many souls are basing truth on feelings, instead of God's Word.

So how does one know truth? How can one know what God's will is for you? May I share with you a passage from the book of John, these are red letter verses:

" If ye continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32

Jesus identifies the true disciples as those who believe in Him, and continue in His word, unlike the Jews who did not believe, disciples will be freed from sin by the truth. ( Jesus it the TRUTH) They will not be sinless , but blameless -- free from the power and eternal effects of sin ( death & hell).

We can know God's will for us , by reading what He has said and spoken in His revealed word , the Bible. I am constantly amazed at how much ground God has covered! I have yet to face a problem that has not already been dealt about and written about in the Bible!! When I have a problem, I turn to the Lord and seek for answers in His Word. I also wait for God to open doors and close doors. That is, if something is not for me, God will close the door. Literally. We must ask according to His will.

Never, am I told to rely on my heart or my feelings. This is precisely what my daughter my husband that day with her money issue. The heart is a deceptive thing. To trust our hearts, we could be led to sin. We should seek out God's will, continue in His Word, and trust in Him with all our hearts. My 10 yr old daughter has also learned to trust God, not her heart. God is growing her in HIS Word and revealing Himself to her daily as she studies His Word. As tempting as it may be, our hearts can not be trusted. We need God's wisdom, guidance and direction in our lives if we hope to navigate our lives. I am so grateful God is teaching my 10 yr old daughter that as well as me!

God bless,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who is God?

It's been a busy two weeks since I last posted here.... lots of things going on the home front. As I pray about what I should share here, the Lord has been laying something on my heart continuously. I need to spend some time sharing about "who" God is. Understanding the very nature of God is so important to being able to truly have fellowship with Him. Let me share an example -- many people have heard about God, know of a few facts about Him, but don't know Him personally. Many people say they "know" God but sadly may have the wrong ideas about "who" He is, and what He is all about. I truly believe understanding who God is, is critical to truly having fellowship with Him.

I was what I would call a "Christian" for 40 yrs of my life. Having been raised Catholic, and spending 19 yrs as a Mormon, I thought had a grasp on "who" God is. I thought I had a relationship with God. As a Catholic I was told God is a "mystery" as a Mormon I was told God "was once a man and you can become like Him". As sincere as I was in my beliefs -- I was dead wrong. God is neither a mystery, ( although His ways are often mysterious to us ) and neither was He once a man who progressed to becoming God.

How did come to the point that I truly began to understand "who" God was and is?

The answer is simple -- I read the Bible cover to cover.

Here is what God has to say about Himself.

Jesus says this about God His Father. He was speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. He tells her that she doesn't "know" who she worships. He then tells her the "time has come" when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth. John 4:22-23

He then goes on to define to her "who" the Father is:

" God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth." John 4:24

The woman then goes on to tell Jesus that she knows the Messiah is to come. He then reveals that HE is the Messiah.

Isaiah -- my favorite Old Testament writer, also spoke a great deal about the nature of God.

He beautifully sets forth that Jesus is the only redeemer , the only God.......

" I am He. Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. "
Isaiah 43:10

" I , even , am the Lord and beside me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:11

" Therefore you are my witnesses , saith the Lord, that I am God." Isaiah 43:12

"Ye before the day was, I AM He." Isaiah 43:13

Not only is Jesus our Redeemer, He is GOD. Before the world was, the day was HE WAS.

Speaking about false gods and the folly of worshipping false gods:

"Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is NO God, I know not any". Isaiah 44:8

" I am the first, and the last, and beside me there is NO God". Isaiah 44:6

And who is that God? JESUS. " I am the Lord that maketh all things". Isaiah 44:24

Not only is Jesus GOD -- there is NONE ELSE.

" I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me," Isaiah 45:5

" There is none beside me, I AM the Lord, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:6

Jesus is clearly stating the fact that HE IS GOD.

" And there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Savior there is none beside me". Is.45:21

" Look unto me, and be SAVED, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is none else."
Isaiah 45:22

It is a folly to worship anyone else but the ONE true God.

" For I am God, and there is none else. I AM God, and there is none like me." Isaiah 46:9

" Unto thee it is showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord HE IS GOD, there is none else beside Him". Deut. 4:35

Jesus, along with God the Father, and God the Spirit make up the ONE TRUE GOD. There is none else. That is what I discovered upon reading the Bible! What an enlightenment!! God is manifested in 3 persons: 1. God the Father - a personage of Spirit, God the Son - JESUS, and God the Holy Spirit ( or comforter as Jesus spoke of Him). Please take note the only one in the godhead that has a physical body is JESUS. They all work as ONE God. For LDS readers, I explain that the godhead works like the First Presidency: 3 distinct persons acting as one presidency.

Once I understood "who" God was, and is .... well it made a huge difference!

As sincere as I had been when I was LDS -- I had my facts about who God was all messed up. He was not a resurrected man, who lived on a planet with his celestial wives, and had progressed to becoming GOD. No, according to the Bible, God has always been. He didn't "become".

Man, can tell you how awesome that is??? To know that God didn't become , but always has been? !!!

After reading the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation I had to ask myself : "who is right"... the Bible or Joseph Smith? I prayed. I studied. I prayed and I studied some more. The conclusion: I had my facts messed up, and God was teaching me about "who" He is thru reading the Bible.

The LDS Church teaches that : " as man is, God once was, as God is man can become". -- Joseph Smith Jr. King Follet Discourse

God has shown me that this teaching is simply false. As sincere as I was in my beliefs, I was incorrect. As sincere as Muslims are in their belief systems, they are incorrect about "who" God is... and the same goes for LDS. As sincere as they are in their beliefs about "who" God is, they are simply incorrect.

Jesus told us we should worship God in Spirit and truth.... we can't do that when we don't have the facts about "who" God is. The Bible clearly teaches us the basic simple truths about God.

I for one am so thankful that God opened my eyes and showed me the error of my ways!

I now know my God is the most awesome God who has always been God, who is not restricted by a human body, who did not progress to becoming a "god" but is the only true God that ever has been and who ever will be.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Will the true believers please stand!

This morning I fell upon a wonderful, wonderful article! You can read it below. I just want to take a moment to share some "snippets".....

" The truth is that Christianity is not a religion at all, it's about a relationship with the one true God through His Son Jesus Christ. "

" Many are living the religious life without knowing the Savior or anything about true Christianity. Don't you know that the enemy of Christ enjoys using these folks to confuse and baffle a searching world! As long as true Christians are ashamed to speak the truth in love and are hiding behind the mask of religion and rituals then the lost world will continue to search and be drawn to various religious practices - never actually meeting the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. "

Wow, way to go Ms. Sexton! Plainly and boldly stated! When are believers going to realize it's not about "joining a church" or getting "churchy".... it's not about teaching Sunday school or supporting ministries. It's all about HIM. It's not about us, and what "we're doing". It's about lifting up the name of the Lord, about glorifying the king of Kings and Lord of Lords.

To read more, follow the link below.

Happy Reading!


Christianity Vs. Religion and Relationship Vs. Tradition
"Religious Leader Arrested..." Time after time we read the headlines, we hear the news reports and we just want to cry! What is going on? Will the true Christians please stand up.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Religion vs. Relationship with Jesus

One of the greatest things God has shown me since surrendering my life to Him, is that He longs for me to know Him. I mean really know Him. He wants to be close to me.... have fellowship with Him. Really have a relationship with Him. I am not talking about going to "church" on Sunday. I am talking about having an intimate and personal relationship with God.

When I was LDS it was all about religion. My families entire life revolved around "church" not Jesus. Starting with 3 hours of meetings on Sundays, and any other "meetings" that may be scheduled during the week. Then there was the kid's meetings, the youth mid week activities, the visiting teaching, home teaching, going to the cannery to get food storage, missionary work, and getting to the temple frequently . I have often heard LDS joke around and say that if there was a 14th Article of Faith it should be something like:
" We believe in all meetings. We hope to attend all meetings. If there is anything to be gained from meetings, we seek after them". LDS are known to have a meeting just to "plan" another one! There was so much to "do" when I was LDS it left precious little time to be able to really get to know God and to know and understand His heart.

When I surrendered my life to Jesus , I found that He wanted all of me..... not just part of me on Sundays......but He wanted all of me, and that has nothing to do with going to church and meetings. He wanted to have fellowship with me, and like the story of Mary and Martha, I needed to chose the "better part" and sit at the feet of the Lord.

Since surrendering my life to Jesus, I have experienced that sweet fellowship with the Lord. Those moments of deep intimacy -- whether that is thru prayer..... or worshipping Him thru music... or just having time with Him as I walk across the green fields of our farm...... He wants me to Himself..... and I long to know Him. So much has changed.

I have been pondering a lot about the radical changes that have occurred in my life since I surrendered to the King. For once in my life, I know God.... maybe just a little...but I really feel like I know Him... and that He truly truly knows me.......... man, that is so sweet.

I wanted to spend some time blogging about this fundamental difference I have experienced since being born again. Jesus is now the center of my life, and my life evolves around HIM , not around church. Do I attend church? Sure, I do! I enjoy the fellowship with other Christians, but it is not my "focus" or my life or the center of my life. The center now is Jesus.

Hopefully these quotes will give you something to think about.......

"Religion can be very different than having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Religions are man made, and are based on trying to get to God through rules and regulations and works. Man made religions all are based on people's efforts at reaching God and being made right with Him through their own efforts. God's plan for man's salvation and for being right with Him in told throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament and the NT, God's plan is not based on people's efforts and good works, but is based on His amazing love and amazing grace for us. His plan involved His precious Son, Jesus paying the price and cost for our sins on the cross. You need to put all of your trust and faith in Jesus and in what He did for us on the cross and not in any religion or in your own efforts. Simply put all of your trust and faith in Jesus, and accept His gift of salvation and eternal life, and experience the joy of having a right RELATIONSHIP of love with God. "

Religion ( self effort, works)

Goal : reach out to God , try to work your way to heaven

Means: diligent service and works, with hopes of reward ( heaven)

Power: good honest effort through self determination

Control: self determination and self control

Results: apathy, failure, chronic guilt eternal separation from God

Salvation through faith in Jesus ( personal relationship)

Goal: Trust fully in Jesus, then live to please HIM!

Means: confess sins, repent, yield self to Jesus

Power: The Holy Spirit does God's work in and through us

Control: allow the Holy Spirit to control and direct our lives

Results: love, joy, peace, freedom, eternal life in Heaven....

"Man's way to reach God is religion. God's way to reach man is JESUS".

Please join me in praying specifically for the Mormons. Please pray that God will draw them to HIM, and that they will long to know the King.

This is a burden I have on my heart ~ please share it with me,


Monday, May 25, 2009

Religion vs. The Gospel

What is the gospel? The word gospel simply means " good news". The central message of the Bible is the gospel, or good news, about the person and work of Jesus Christ. In 1 Cor.15:1-4, Paul provides the most succinct summary of the gospel: The man Jesus is also God or Christ and died on a cross in our place, paying the penalty for our sins, three days later He rose to conquer sin and death and give the gift of salvation to all who believe in Him alone for eternal life.

The great reformer Martin Luther rightly said that, as sinners we are prone to pursue a relationship with God in one of two ways: The first is religion/spirituality and the second is the gospel. The two are antithetical in every way.

Religion says that if we obey God He will love us. The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.

Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people. The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.

Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good moral person. The gospel says you should trust in the perfect sinless life of Jesus because He alone is the only good and truly moral person who will ever live.

The goal of religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power and control. The goal of the gospel is not the gifts God gives, but rather God as the gift given to us by grace.

Religion is about what "I" have to do. The gospel is about what I get to do. Religion sees hardship in life as punishment from God. The gospel sees hardship in life as sanctifying affliction that reminds us of Jesus' sufferings and is used by God in love to make us more like Jesus .

Religion is about "me". The Gospel is about JESUS.

Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God. The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.

--- Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is marriage eternal?

" In the beginning marriage was given as a law of the gospel. It was intended to last forever not just for our mortal lives. Many people in the world consider marriage to be only a social custom, merely a legal agreement between a man and a woman to live together. But to Latter-day Saints, marriage is much more. Our exaltation depends upon marriage. Our father in heaven has given us the law of eternal marriage so that we can become like him. We must live the law of eternal marriage to become as he is -- able to have spirit children." Gospel Principles, pg. 231

This quote is taken from a the book : Gospel Principles, a book that is published by the LDS Church, and is an official publication. This book is used as a manual for the LDS Sunday School Class, called " Gospel Principles" or the new member class that is taught to new or returning LDS.

While I agree with the LDS that many people today view marriage as a "legal contract" and do not give it the serious regard that the Lord gives it, I would like to look at the LDS belief that marriage can be forever.

The Lord spoke of marriage various times. We have His recorded words.

" Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven." Mark 12:24 & 25

" Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God, for in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage , but are as the angels of God in heaven. " Matt. 22:29 &30

" The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage. But they which shall be counted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. " Luke 20:34-36

Jesus spoke very plainly and clearly regarding marriage in the next life. Those that are counted to obtain "that" world ( heaven!) and the resurrection , will not be married. They will be like the angels.

For Christians, the life to come wil be something incomprehensibly superior to the present one. Jesus spoke of the resurrection from the dead , this is not the general resurrection "of" the dead, but the redemption to the fullness of life from the dead for those who died in Christ. ( Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, pg. 20)

The LDS know these verses and will say that these verses refer to the resurrection, not life eternal. 3 gospel writers included this passage in relation to the question asked by the Sadducees about marriage in the next life. He spoke very plainly and clearly. For those who are obtain " that " world -- that is life eternal in the presence of our God, they will not marry or be married or live in the married state but we will be as the angels of God, and ARE the children of God.

The fellowship of marriage as high an ideal as this is in the Scriptures will be superseded in depth and diversity of a new life in the presence of God. Death will be a thing of the past. People will be equal to the angels. in the sense that they are incapable of ever again experiencing death. Life will certainly not be reduced to some level beneath marriage. Rather all will be taken up into a fuller life of God's eternal family. ( Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, pg. 1588)

For Latter-day Saints, they believe that without the temple marriage sealing, there is no possible way of entering the presence of God. ( D & C 131: 1-3) They believe that only those men who hold the LDS priesthood ( called the Melchizedek priesthood) have the authority to "seal" or marry a couple not only for this life but forever.

In the LDS scripture Doctrine & Covenants, Joseph Smith wrote:

" If a man marry a wife by the new and everlasting covenant by him who is anointed... it .. shall be of full force when they are out of the world." Doctrine and Covenants 132:19

" In the temple, LDS couples kneel at once of the sacred alters in the presence of their family and friends and two sacred witnesses. They make their marriage covenants before God. They are pronounced man and wife for time and all eternity. This is done by one who holds the holy priesthood of god and has the authority to perform this special ordinance. He acts under the direction of the lord and promises the couple the blessings of exaltation. He instructs them in the things they must do to receive these blessings. He reminds them that all blessings depend upon obedience to the laws of god. If they are married by other than priesthood authority, the marriage is for this life only. After death their marriage partners have no claim on each other or their children." Gospel Principles , pg 233

As Christians, we believe that God ordained marriage. We believe He gave Eve to Adam to be his wife and help meet. He told them the two, shall be one. Marriage was designed by our Creator. He saw that Adam was alone and took a rib from Adam and created Eve to help Adam.

With that said, marriage was created for this earth. In Heaven, with our Lord we will not need to be married - we will have perfect fellowship with our God and with our brothers and sisters. When we believe in His name and receive Christ, we *become* the sons of God. John 1:12
We will enjoy the blessed state of an eternal family in Christ in Heaven. If our children also believe and receive Christ, then they too will be in Heaven with us in God's eternal family. If our spouses receive and believe in Christ, they too will be there in God's eternal family. But rest assured, we will not experience a married state in Heaven -- I believe we can't even imagine what life eternal will be like! The fellowship we will have with God will fill us completely. Married life and conjugal relations are earthly. We are not married in heaven. Our spouses who are Christian will be our brothers and sisters in heaven. I can't wait!!

Jesus never taught us that marriage was eternal. That the marriage state will continue and that couples will have "spirit children" and receive "exaltation". Jesus did teach us that we may have life eternal in Him when we are born again and receive Him as our Lord and King.

When I was LDS, I "hoped" to have an eternal family. I wanted to live forever with my family and God. Now, as a Christian I KNOW I have an eternal family. Most of my children have received Christ and believe He is their Lord and King. If any one of them were to die today, I would most definitely would see them again in the Kingdom of God!!! I have a hope and assurance now that I didn't before!! The LDS believe that having an eternal marriage and family is dependent on their obedience to the LDS ordinances and laws. ( see my previous post on marriage to read the LDS wedding covenant made in the LDS temple).

Marriage was intended for this life, as our Lord plainly put it. The Bible also speaks plainly that it is ok to chose a life of singleness as well. Paul writes about this extensively. Our married state does not determine our salvation state and where we end up in the next life. Praise God for that! My salvation and eternal life is not dependent upon my husband! It's dependent upon what JESUS did for me so long ago. His work, guarantees me eternal life.

In the next life, we will have a fullness of fellowship with God and will truly enjoy the blessings of living in God's eternal family! I can hardly wait!!! It's going to be awesome!