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,



  1. I am also a lifetime member of the LDS Church. I did all the things you did. I even served a mission. Afterwards, I had trouble doing the Mormon thing of finding a wife and spitting out 5 kids and so forth. So I changed my life, I dated outside the church, stopped attending, married a "non-member", got a job at one of those places that the church frowns on ( a rent-to-own company). And for 6yrs I was happy. Well, I thought I was. But slowly, I noticed that this new relationship and "understanding" that I had with God was not going as I expected. I began to see that I wasn't getting closer to God but rather I was just maintaining a casual contact. Long story short I returned to the church. Everything was the same, to many meetings, long hours, always someone asking me to "do" something for them or for the church. BUT, I found that I had changed. I realized that the church was a vehicle that the Lord was using to teach me what service and love of man was. He uses these things to teach us about sacrifice. Sacrifice of ones time, money, talent, all for someone else's benefit. What a perfect way to illustrate the Savior's sacrifice for us. The two great commandments 1. Love God 2. Love thy neighbor. The Lord knew that until we could love the ones we see everyday we could never truely love someone we haven't seen. Up in your statement you used this quote "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." A true statement but used in such a way to distort it's meaning. It is true that no man can work out his salvation. Grace is eccential. The Lord said He is the only way. Only those who have FAITH in him can return to Him. But he also said that faith without works is dead. In conclusion, I am sorry that you had a bad experience. But rather than saying that Mormons are out performing works to get into heaven and don't really have a love of Christ in their hearts, think back to the way you were at the time you were doing all those things. I submit that at that time, YOU were doing them because you felt you were forced by your parents or peer pressure. But if you look at what you were being ASKED to do, you will find numerous examples of the Savior doing the same things. Remember, it was the Lord who said "Go and do thou likewise as you have seen me do" (not an exact quote but you get the picture) Thank You for devoting your time to uplifting others. I would like to say. From an eternal perspective, I would rather see a person leave the church and devote themselves wholely to the Lord that to stay in the church just going thru the motions. Thankfully The Lord and Savior is the Judge and I will leave it to Him.

  2. Hi Gloria. I became aware of your blog through Arthur Sido's, and it looks very compelling!

    I'd like to invite you to submit an item-- or several, if you wish -- for my blog,, in the section, "365 Reasons Why I Won't Return to Mormonism." Just contact me via the site and I'd love to hear from you. Meanwhile, may God bless you for your ministry.

    Latayne C Scott
    Author, The Mormon Mirage: A Former Member Looks at the Church Today, Latter-day Cipher, and other writings on Mormonism

  3. Hello to my "anonymous" commentor. Thanks for taking time to stop by and share your thoughts. I appreciate that!

    I would love to address some things you shared, and if you don't mind..I am going to blog about this. I often times blog on responses that are left by those who comment here.

    So, please do check back in a few days as I will be responding publically to your remarks.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    In Kindness,

  4. Latayne,

    Thank you so much for taking time to stop by and leave a comment. :) I would love to share some thoughts with you. I will respond to you at the site you info you left.

    God bless,

  5. I know I need to spend more time specifically in prayer for mormons. I find it easier to show them where they are wrong than to pray for God to show them what is right. I can make the most clever and complete arguments in the world, but as we both know without God working in their hearts none of it will ever matter.

  6. Hi, arthur. I understand , truly I do. It's easy to get discouraged when witnessing to the LDS. As you said, without God working in their hearts none of what we will say will be of any affect. That is why I really try to share the good news vs. focusing on the "wrongs" of mormonism. They so need to hear the message of grace and the perfect law of liberty.

    May God bless you as you too witness & please do pray!!!


  7. I'm a little sad to admit that I haven't read through all of this blog particularly but it is about what I have been trying to impart to my boyfriend who is LDS. He comes to church with me (I'm a Presbyterian) and then I go with him to Singles ward. I know he tries to be open about what I believe and I try to do the same, but is there anything you think might be useful for me when I talk to him about it? Thanks so much! And I think that you have a great blog. Keep praising sister! =]


Hello and thanks for taking time to read my blog and for leaving a courteous comment.:) May God bless you!!

~ gloria ~