Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy Rebirth-Day To Me

Happy Rebirth-Day to me!

So I heard somewhere that we should celebrate our own Jubilee, the day when we learned that there is a way for all our debts to be forgiven and that Jesus makes everything new, through nothing we personally do. The day we, personally, spiritually, returned to our ancestral home on earth, as one of God’s chosen. For me, that day was August 26th, 2012. Three years ago today! I'm 39 years 4 months and 26 days old. God truly does make us new with a renewing of our minds and heart as I don't remember much “living” being done the first 36 years of my life like these last 3 years of “living” have been. My previous life was more a jumble of memories, surviving and working my way to heaven. Checking off things as I did them and then “enduring to the end”, trying not to screw things up too much. Knowing, deep down in my heart I couldn't do it. Always striving to be perfect and failing with every step.

3 year ago, today, I sat in a Church building, feeling totally out of my element and listening to a man speak of Jesus in a way I had never heard before. Speaking of these things called “Grace”, “Unmerited favor” and “Salvation” like I had never been taught.. all from the pages of a book I could never understand before when I opened it up to read.

A week to the day, my entire religious foundation had been ripped out from under me like someone yanking a rug out from under you. I was still stumbling around trying to find my footing. Within my mind, I had a shelf where I would place things that didn't make sense or that I was searching for an answer that made sense. It was heavy and weighted down with so much over 36 years for unanswered questions. One bible verse caused that shelf to fall from the wall and all my questions to scatter all over the floor. (Jeremiah 17:9 “
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) That shelf represented a desire to know the truth but a fear of looking too deep in certain areas because I was warned by a former Stake President, after 4 years of asking certain questions, saying “If you don't stop asking these questions you be filled with the spirit of the Devil and fall away from the restoration.” I did go through a short period of considering Atheism. Having been taught you are part of the “One and only true Church on the face of the Earth”, if that wasn't true then none of it was. I was preparing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Toss everything out and walk away.

Wednesday, we packed up our 5,100 square foot home we sold recently and moved 45 min away into a new home and a new city. I didn't want to unpack. All I really wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position and cry. I was lost and felt so alone. No God, no religious system to fall back on, too afraid to talk to anyone from this organization about my loss of faith in the organization I had given 14 years of my life to. I was so angry.

We were given some material to watch but were so busy moving we didn't get around to any of it. Brian (You'll have to ask him his story.) and I talked about telling our kids, but we weren't sure where we stood, other then the organization we had raised them in, we now knew, was a lie. How could we talk to them about such things? We considered just letting them attend church and continue on as they chose. We decided it wouldn't be fare to do to them and couldn't do that. We had to be up front with each one and allow them to choose, for themselves, what they wanted to do after giving them the facts. So we unpacked one room, and said “Let's have a movie night!” and popped in one of the DVD's we were given to watch, as a family.

“Jesus Christ Verses Joseph Smith” It was lovingly done and compared the two. Gave the facts and bible truths. By the time the video ended there wasn't one dry eye in the room. The kids then proceeded to ask us questions and we answered them as best as we could.

The following Sunday, we were invited to attend a Non-Denominational Christian Church. Calvary Mountain View Church in American Fork. There were drums....and guitars.... and colored lighting... we all experienced a culture shock of sorts. This DEFINITELY wasn't an LDS Church meeting. As I read the words to the songs that were sung, some of the words were familiar, but the way they spoke about God and Jesus was very foreign to me. Then the Pastor started his sermon. I listened intently. Not wanting to miss anything he said. I loved how he taught directly from the bible. Didn't add in his own personal opinions. Bible and only the words in the bible. I was drawn to this Jesus they spoke of. I could never figure out the Jesus I was taught as a child. Figure out exactly where he fit in. Why he was chosen above all the other "spirit children". Why was he highly favored above the others? This Jesus I was learning about was a mystery. A good mystery. How, could God the Father, also come down and become Jesus.. but I was starting to understand he is GOD! Not one of the God head, as in an office position of sorts, but the one and the only GOD, who took on flesh, to save all those who choose to place their full trust in HIM and only HIM for salvation.

That night, there was another event at the Church called "Harvest America" with Greg Laurie. It was streaming live into the sanctuary. The pastor in our building would speak when they had a brake. They began speaking about accepting Grace and placing your trust in Jesus alone for salvation and I wanted to, but wasn't sure how. Then at the end, the pastor got up and asked if there was anyone that would like to accept Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior and enter into a relationship Him, to come forward. I couldn't stay seated. Without thought of my 7 children (except for the one on my hip) and husband, I left them all behind to go forward, only wanting Jesus in my life. Then I saw my oldest son, Corey, standing by my side. I looked over and saw Cerena and Andrew and My husband with the 3 younger ones trailing behind him. Tears flowed freely as we repeated the sinners prayer, admitting we were sinners and needed saving. Asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. We weren't the only ones. There were so many that came forward to do the same. I didn't fully understand what it was I was doing exactly. All I knew was I wanted THIS Jesus in my life.
What a pleasant surprise it was when a week later, after telling someone about what an awesome week I had realizing I hadn't reached for my essential oils or taken my herbs to ward off or treat my “demons”. Someone pointed out to me, that by the decision I made the previous week, Jesus healed me from so many things that I had been pleading to have removed for years.(2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.) Depression, anxiety, daily panic attacks and daily suicidal thoughts. I'm now 3 years free from a life long struggle of those all through God's perfect, unmerited, Grace! Praise God!! Thank you!

It's been an awesome 3 God filled years and I look forward to so many more with Jesus walking with me. Knowing I can't mess things up so bad that it would cause Him to leave me. Knowing he's is ALWAYS with me, no matter what. Do I still struggle with things? Of course! I still have to walk around in this sinful flesh, but I can say that the desire to willingly sin is so much less.

Thank you, Lord, for the freedom you've blessed me with. Freedom in Christ is something I never want to live without ever again!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Elder Dallin Oaks, I'm sorry.

A dear sister in Christ shared her heart on a Facebook message board concerning the last LDS news conference. Her words touched me deeply so I asked if I could share her message with all of you, through my blog.

Thank you for your permission, Shantelle. I pray your words bless many more.

The News conference can be found in the link below.
LDS Church backs LGBT nondiscrimination and religious freedom bills

"On Jan 27, 2015, Dallin Oaks said the following: "I know that the history of the church is not to seek apologies or to give them." Here is my letter of apology to him. 

Dear Elder Oaks,

First of all, I want you to know that this comes from the deepest part of my heart. I have a love for you and for the LDS people. I care deeply about my family members and friends still in the religion.

That said, I know you said you don't seek out apologies, but I am writing this to you today to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry you distrust the bible. I'm sorry the church has deluded me, my family, and my ancestors with statements such as "we believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly", when in fact we have archaeological and manuscript evidence today that proves it's inerrancy. I'm sorry that holy and God-breathed book is not the absolute center of your life whereby you test everyone and everything.

I am sorry that Joseph Smith deceived you and me and so many people that we love. I'm sorry that he was only a man, someone who made false claims, someone who fails the test of a prophet (Deut 18:22). I'm sorry Joseph Smith lied to the members of his church, including his involvement with polygamy (History of the Church, vol 6, p. 411). I'm sorry he had up to 40 wives, some as young as 14 and some who were still married to other living men. I'm so sorry the church hid the truth from us all these years.

I'm sorry so many of our devoted ancestors had to die for a gospel that was untrue, that so many had to suffer from extreme temperatures, the loss of limbs, the untimely death of their little ones, starvation, as well as the loss of money, property, and possessions.

I am sorry the church demanded so much of us, our husbands, our children. I'm sorry young men and women leave their homes for 18 months to 2 years to teach a false gospel, a false Christ (2 Peter 2:1-3), all at their own expense, and all at such vulnerable young ages when life is really just beginning. I'm sorry the church expects and requires us to "buy" our way into the celestial kingdom through paying a full tithing- no matter our financial hardship- in order to enter temples that we are taught is the only way to heaven.

I'm so sorry the church puts so much emphasis on outward appearance and "looking the part" (D. Todd Christofferson, “A Sense of the Sacred,” New Era, June 2006, 30). I'm sorry the church looks down upon those who are not "neat and clean", those with tattoos, piercings, unfashionable clothing, facial hair, and men with hair past their ears. I'm sorry the church told us that the way we dress influences the way we and others act and that we have control over the thoughts and actions of others by our clothing (True to the Faith, 107).

I'm sorry the church is manipulative and uses the term "thus saith the Lord" as a way to guilt it's members into doing what it wants them to say (not say), do (not do), eat (not eat), wear (not wear), think (not think), and read (not read). I'm sorry the church controls the minds, thoughts, and actions of it's members by stating it is the one and only true church upon the face of the church, producing hypocrites (Matt 22:27-28) and breeding atheists. I'm sorry the church has hidden so many truths from us for so long and has not allowed us to do our own objective research. I'm sorry the church wants to silence those of us who ask questions, those of us who use the brain God gave us to research and test everything against the bible. I'm sorry we were taught to follow blindly and rely on our feelings as to whether something was from God or not, that our own logic and reasoning was of the devil.

I'm sorry the church has created an air of prejudice against blacks, the LGBT community, as well as women. I'm sorry the church has not encouraged women to become independent, financially and emotionally. I'm sorry that growing up we were taught our only practical option was to get married right away and have children, staying home with them to ensure they never strayed from the path.

I'm sorry the church separates families on their wedding days, builds multi-million dollar malls instead of gives to the poor, practices Masonic ordinances, and throws it's past prophets under the bus.

I'm sorry the church bullies and guilt's it's members, even the elderly and ill, into holding callings with no option of saying no. I'm sorry the church taught our fathers and husbands to spend what little time they had outside of work at the church building (and grandfathers at the temple) when that precious time could be spent with their growing families.

I'm sorry that you and I were not taught how beautiful, holy, and fulfilling a sexual life can be. Instead, it was never discussed except in a negative way, especially as youth. I'm sorry that when we got married, it took years to demystify and fully understand sex. I'm sorry the church created in us extreme anxiety, soul issues, depression, social problems, and unnecessary guilt. I'm sorry the church produces prideful, arrogant, ignorant people who follow false teachings without any substance or evidence to back them up.

I'm sorry bishops take young girls and boys behind closed doors alone...

What I am most sorry for is this... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has robbed you. They have robbed me. They have robbed us both of knowing and having a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Lord of all heaven and earth. I am sorry their claim to be Christians is incorrect and dishonest, for they do not believe in or teach the essentials of Christianity found in the bible. I'm sorry, but the cross, where Jesus suffered for your sins and mine, is not found among them or in their churches. I'm sorry the divinity of Jesus Christ and his role in your salvation and mine- that he is the ONLY way to the Father and eternal life (John 14:6 & John 3:16)- was not the absolute and unequivocal focus of our lives.

I'm sorry the church places a man between us and God.

I'm sorry the church did not teach you or me that because Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1 & John 1:14), he alone can pay the debt we owe to God; that his victory over death and the grave has already won the victory for all those who put their trust in him (John 1:12). I'm sorry the church dishonors God by claiming to have his authority in the priesthood, that it didn't teach us Jesus Christ is our one and only High Priest.

I'm sorry we were never taught how to worship Jesus Christ, submitting fully to him, singing loud and holy praises to his name. I'm sorry you and I were never taught to glorify God alone in all that we have and all we do, instead of seeking the glory for ourselves. I'm sorry we were always aspiring to lift ourselves higher and higher, inwardly putting ourselves first, and relying on our own righteousness instead of only on God's.

I'm sorry God's grace was never taught to you or me, that it is by grace through faith we are saved, not of ourselves (Eph 2:8). I'm sorry we were taught to bribe God with our good works, for not relying on Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross and our faith in him. I am sorry we thought that the higher up in the church we were, the closer we were to becoming a God. I'm sorry we were told to believe that being "worthy enough" to enter temples built by hands were the ticket to God's kingdom. I'm sorry we weren't taught from God's true word about how we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that we need to be spiritually reborn to become his child and enter his kingdom (John 3:3-7).

I'm sorry you are blind to the truth.

I am so very sorry."

Former Mormon, Shaltelle McBride was born and raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the LDS Church or Mormons. She was fully active for 32 years before she came to a knowledge of the truth.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you aren't allowed to criticize. ~Voltaire

We are all familiar with the sins of the people in the Bible. It was written long ago and preserved through the generations. Their dirty laundry written for anyone who cares to spend the time to read. These were not perfect men. If we are honest with ourselves, we are all just the same. Why is it then do we choose to place certain men above everyone else and ignore the bad they did? It's okay and even acceptable to admit what those mentioned in the bible did, but some religions make it taboo to speak of the evil their leaders did. It's avoided to the point that not many, within the organization, are aware of their short falls. They are placed on a pedestal and only spoken of in the best light.

The Bible was written long ago yet the writings are acceptable and reliable to most. We have many many journals written within 150 years that we have access to that speak of some of these other men, yet they are dismissed by their followers. We have court records, yet they are dismissed by their followers. We have information, written by these same peoples own hand or their words written down by scribes, yet they are dismissed by their followers.

I will simply bring up the religion I'm familiar with. Not to offend anyone but isn't it best to talk of what we personally know instead of speculate? Does 36 years qualify and give me enough credibility? I hope others think so.

I grew up being taught of a young boy. This boy had to undergo a horrific surgery to his leg. Before the surgery, he turned down any alcohol that was suppose to help dull the pain because we were told, he was taught alcohol was to be avoided. Later, I learned he didn't stick with these convictions. This boy turned into a man and drank regularly. Even had a bar in his home at one point. (Mansion House) (An American Prophet's Record, Page 488). It's also recorded that he drank the day of his death. What was the point of the story, that is taught to small children within this organization, if he didn't hold to those convictions later in life? The leaders want others to hold to the convictions they teach through their "Word of Wisdom" practices, yet their founder held to no such practice. Shouldn't we expect others to hold to the same things they did and not expect anything more? Do as I say not as I do never goes over well. I'm not saying this man was a drunk as that would be speculation, but he did do what others are being told not to. That is called hypocrisy and makes those that follow them a hypocrite. I realize some state that the Word of Wisdom was interpreted differently back in the later 1800's and isn't what it's stated to be now. It's changed and evolved over time brought about by their "Modern Revelation". When we look at the Word of Wisdom now, many of the things the early followers did went against the understanding of those now... It still doesn't answer the question regarding the story of this young boy and the high emphasis of him turning down the alcohol to prove some point if he didn't hold to it the rest of his life. It turns into a weak example.

This man also fits into what we would call an adulterer. He slept with and married other women and young girls behind his wife's back. He later said God told him to. Even had an alleged revelation commanding his wife to accept it or she would be "destroyed".D&C 132:54 He told one woman if she didn't marry him, an angel with a drawn sword would kill him. That is coercion. It forces her into an uncomfortable situation and takes away her agency. Who wants to be placed into a position where their decision would be the cause of someones death? This organization holds "Free Agency" at a very high standard yet refuses to see the agency of this young girl taken away. He also married other women who were currently married. Recently, the organization admitted to this in an essay that can be viewed from their official web page. It is carefully worded in many areas to lesson the blow of the situations. Wording such as "The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph's closes friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday" She was 14 years old. Wording it the way they did is suppose to make the reader think of her as 15 and not 14. (not that that makes much of a difference.)

Then there are other records qualifying this man as a liar and more, braking every one of the 10 commandments, like we all have done. Not one of us is any better or worse in the eyes of God.

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
1 John 1:8 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"

These fact alone do not cause him to be a false prophet. There is a Biblical test (Deuteronomy 18:22) that must be passed to confirm or deny that qualification, but we aren't talking on that subject here. I've already touch on those facts in the past. His followers, to this day, for whatever reasons, give this man a pass for all of his short falls. Excusing his behavior and still elevating him to a position he shouldn't be in. I do believe they have been instructed, by their leaders, to avoid talking ill of their leaders, past or present, even if it is true. Why suppress truth?

Talk from Boyd K Packer at BYU... "Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer… 
"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful… 
"The writer or teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment...The Lord made it clear that some things are to be taught selectively and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy… 
"That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith - particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith - places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities…Do not spread disease germs!" (Boyd K. Packer, 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271) 

If an organization isn't willing to put forth all of the truth and let it's followers decide for themselves, that act should throw up some red flags. If the organization is distorting it's past and it's founders pasts, some might say RUN as fast as you can away from it. Others see it as them begging for their past to be dug up and smeared for all to see. Isn't it easier to simply be truthful, even with the ugly stuff? We all have it. No, we don't like to have it paraded for all to see so but why be ashamed of it?

Point being is this. If we were to replace the names of each of the Biblical Prophets and insert another mans name with their sins/failures, who have been placed up high in other religious organizations, it would cause anger. Is it true? Sure. None of us are perfect. Why pretend? It's acceptable to see the bible prophets in this light, all of which did these thing on their own. God did not instruct them to sin in any way. They were simply rebelling, like we all do. Why not look at these other mere men in their truthful light as well? They, like us all, have sinned and fallen flat on our faces from time to time. It's time to begin to be intellectually honest with ourselves.

Joseph was a liar
Joseph was a hypocrite
Joseph was a murderer
Joseph was an adulterer
Joseph was a thief
Joseph was a womanizer
Joseph ran from the law
Joseph was a fraud
Joseph boasted of himself
Joseph was a traitor
Joseph was a human being.

I know the above hit a nerve for some, so let me add mine.

I am a liar
I am an adulterer - according to the bible standards
I am a murderer - according to the bible standards
I am lazy
I am proud
I am vein
I am a thief
I am a hypocrite
I am a fraud
I am a glutton
I am a human being.
...and I'm sure much much more...
(An now I feel like a little bitty bug ready to be smashed. Good thing I have an awesome God who has forgiven me and lifts me up to praise His Holy name giving Him all the glory!)

We don't need to be perfect to be used by our Awesome God! Simply admit we aren't perfect and sin. He is the one and only perfect being. Accept His awesome gift of Grace and let Him into our life. Let Him become our Lord and He will use us in ways we never would have imagined! 
Take His Word, The Bible, for face value and read it. Let God guide us though it's words. We'll find as we do, we will start to see things we missed before. Read it as a child without any preconceived notions.  Let go of all of the idols in our life and cling only to Jesus. He's all that matters! All else only brings pride. 

Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Allow God to change us. Take those things we struggle with, away. He is all powerful and can do all things.
Are you ready to start into one of the most loving, intimate relationships of your life? What's stopping you? Can I help?

John 3:14-21

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;  so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

      “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Idols - Time to let this one go.

As I've been weeding through my FaceBook contacts, I've been thinking of each individual. How and where we met. Is this person at all interested in my life any longer? What "fruit" is there in our relationship, if any? Is it a dormant relationship waiting for another spring to reawaken? Why?

2 years ago I had maybe 200 FaceBook friendships that I thought meant something. Now, 2 years later, I have to try to keep it under 500 FaceBook relationships, most of which I KNOW mean something. Something strong, healing and uplifting. They are a safe place for me to ask anything.

I've come to realize my reasons for wanting to leave  FB and they aren't what I've been telling myself. See, I have this idol. It's one I'm having a hard time letting go of. I don't simply impose it on myself, but I want others to enjoy it also. So I change what I share to, in a way, offer the comfort this idol gives me to anyone I think might be uncomfortable by what I have to say. My idol? "Comfort". It really is a nuisance when you want to follow what God places on your heart but refuse to do it because the comfort the idol gives seems more important at the time.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not doing anything out of anger or hate. Someone reading might be looking for an answer to questions. If you're offended by what I post and want to get all huffy about it, then no, the post wasn't for you. It was for the person who's quietly read and quietly pondered the post but didn't want to raise any flags and bring undue attention to themselves. There are so many living a lie because they don't want to be looked at as doubting or loosing faith. There is so much support and love waiting for someone in a faith crisis. Don't fear the truth.

John 8:23 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

You will be free in deed! Free from the rules of men. It can't be seen because the "god of this world", spoken of in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:4 truly has blinded the eyes of men.

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and going to do my best, no matter how uncomfortable it's going to be, and follow the things God places on my heart. Begin letting go of this idol I've held near and dear to myself all my life in order to satisfy this flesh. I would much rather feed the New Creation God has given me. This new spirit that lives in me and follow his lead. No longer indulging this flesh. Guide me and lead me, Lord, Jesus. Use me for your good in bringing the lost to you.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Healing Continues - Childhood Mental Abuse and the Long Term Effects

A few days ago was a day of tears and recognition. A very deep wound that was hidden, surfaced.

As a very young child, we were taught to hide who we were. We called our "Mothers", Aunts. Our  half Brothers and sisters, cousins.  When asked, we were taught to outright lie and correct the persons accusation. It was out of fear. If we didn't do that, we were told the parents would be taken away and all of the children torn apart and placed into other homes. We couldn't let anyone, outside of polygamy, know who we really were. We were to keep people at arms length and lie as if our lives depended on it. Everyone in the neighborhood knew we were the "Plyg house". There really was no secret but we were lead to believe it was a secret. That is, until we moved out of that house into a rental of our own. Then it really was a secret.

This causes deep wounds that most, if not all children of polygamy, have to live with. It creates a warped way of thinking and acting even years after leaving it.

I will never forget the police officer visits to our homes.  I always feared police officers and still struggle with that fear today.

One of our "Mother's" was very abusive to her children. One day, she was spotted abusing her daughter in the car, outside of the public school. Someone saw her and reported her licence plate to the police. Later that day, a police officer showed up at the house. All of the children were terrified! Did someone tell someone about us? Were they here to take all of the parents away? I remember that day well. The terrible fear that ripped though my body at such a young age, was painful and draining.

Another time, I was baby sitting my younger siblings (I was about age 11). My Sister was suppose to be down for a nap when she left the house and wandered away. A neighbor found her and brought her home, She told me to expect a visit from the police. I was sure he would take my sister and  brothers away when he showed up. I was shaking as I talked to the officer trying to explain her wandering off and how I will never let her out of my sight again. He told me to make sure it didn't happen again. Later, that same day my sister, again, went down for her nap. She climbed off my moms bed and fell asleep on the side by the wall. When I went in to check on her and she wasn't where I put her, I was frantic! I even ran outside yelling her name, trying to find her. 30 excruciating min later, with tears streaming down my face, I walked around moms bed and found her sound asleep on the floor. I sat down at the foot of the bed and sobbed. Had she left and gotten out, I knew it would have been my fault for causing our family to be torn apart. I put it upon myself to never have that happen again.

Expecting a child, so young, to lie in order to protect the rest of the family is mental abuse. You learn from a young age to not trust anyone and to pull away from people who you feel might know too much about you. It makes it almost impossible to make and keep close friendships. You throw up walls to protect yourself and your family. Fear of being exposed is huge. That behavior is then carried into your adulthood.

Only recently, have I been able to voice why I have this behavior. I have often questioned why I act a certain way? Why do I pull away from people? Why do I shut people out when they are finally getting to know me? It's the result from a deeply rooted ingrained mental child abuse. I know I'm not alone in this. A few friends/family have confided in me that they also struggle with these same irrational fears and  unexplained behaviors having also grown up in the same environment.

As a result, I have had a life long struggle to allow many people into my life. I have to feel safe with you, on my terms. I have to be able to be comfortable with our conversations. I have to know that you want to be friends and you've not been assigned, in any way, to be mine. It has to be genuine. I have to know you're not in the gossip group. It helps to have many things in common and if I even THINK you think I'm not being genuine... it's not going to work. It wasn't a conscious action. More of self preservation, automatic reaction to protect a very fragile mental state.

Keep in mind, many of these are my view and things that I have to be comfortable with... or you'll just be a person in the crowed that I will inevitably shut out, through nothing you may or may not have done. I simply have trained my mind to be hyper sensitive to things and very protective of, what I am now beginning to voice as....imaginary dangers....

I can not emotionally handle verbal abuse. Yelling and screaming is the quickest way for me to go into lock down mode. It could be years before I even look at you. Unfortunately, this happened not long after leaving the LDS church. One of my closest friends screamed at me over the phone about a video I posted on my Facebook wall. My sister yelled at me. My mother followed suit. It was almost more then I could handle in a weeks time. I was emotionally spent. Two of these three women were who I mainly leaned on, other then my husband, in the hard years I had with depression and suicidal thoughts. (Have never had a close relationship with my mother and this only put more strain on an already strained relationship), I can honestly say, had I not been held in the arms of my Savior, and supported by my new found Christian family, I might not be here right now. Had that happened in the mindset I had, as a Latter-day Saint, the oncoming semi truck would have been what I would have searched out. No contest. But I had Jesus. HE gave me the strength to endure it. The strength to keep speaking truth.  The strength to keep living each day and loving life.

I no longer want to be this person. I want to be more accepting. More forgiving. More outgoing and less closed up. I have no idea on how to go about doing any of this. It would be like re-writing someones childhood programming. (Pretty crummy programming, at that) I believe Jesus is going to have to take the wheel in this area. I don't know if I'm, personally, willing to cause myself that kind of discomfort. (as if writing all of this out and posting publicly is comfortable??)

If you are reading this and I have unintentionally hurt you by making you feel you have been rejected or shut out for whatever unexplained reason, please know, I am so sorry! I would truly like to make it better..but know I have only just now been able to put words to a behavior I was aware of but wasn't aware of why. Please, give me time to grasp this new found knowledge and try to figure things out.

If you are reading this (You will know who you are. You won't have to ask) and are one of those I mentioned above.. please give me more time. I am still deeply hurt over such close relationships being severed. If you are the first to reach out, please don't be offended if I don't respond right away. Even typing this out is not easy...but feel it is part of the healing process.

I am so thankful for those who keep shoving themselves back into my life. Thank you for being the first to call, come over to chat, text about whatever and private message or email me to keep the door open. It's made a world of difference. If I consider you to be a "Close friend" please know that is saying a LOT! Some part of you made me feel safe at some point and I felt I could drop some protective walls and let you in. I consider our friendship precious, even if we don't talk much anymore. The loss of such friendships cause me a lot of pain. It's not easy for me to overcome. You're thought of, almost daily.

I do pray that these words, even thought they make me feel extremely exposed, get out to someone who needs them. It needed to be said. I know there are many more out there dealing with the same issues I am. Perhaps my words will help you be able to put some meaning to your own struggles.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Salvation: A Multi-Step Process?

Yesterday evening, we attended the 2013 Harvest America broadcast at Calvary Mountain View Chapel in American Fork Utah. What an awesome night.  We witnessed 3 of my nieces give their lives to Christ as well as many, old and young, do the same. 

I began thinking about our journey of when we were baptized in June 3rd 1998. As well as when we took out our LDS "Endowments" June 24th 1999 in the Manti Temple and went through the Salt Lake temple June 25th 1999 to be sealed. We had to wait a full year after getting baptized to be able to take out our endowments and have our family sealed. On top of that, we wanted to be baptized in early March of 1998 but couldn't because we had to be interviewed by a man (an Apostle) who chose if we were deemed worthy enough or not because of our past life in a polygamist group.  

Watching these people, who had previously not known Christ, make the conscious decision and make a public stand, walk up to the front of the sanctuary and publicly profess they are sinners and ask Jesus to be their Savior was amazing. No one stood between them and their Savior. No one judging their "worthiness". It was a personal decision to accept him without anyone standing between them and their decision, judging them.

In the LDS faith you have to go down the line of authority. What would have happened if we were, for some reason, deemed "unworthy" and unable to be baptized? What if something were to have happened to myself, husband or children before we were able to get baptized or be sealed? It was a weight I held onto and a fear I lived with each day.  Having a husband that worked construction, walking roofs and in dangerous situations, most days, didn't help matters. The Mormons believe that they can do the work for their dead if they were unable to do it themselves in this life, but this was something I wanted to do myself. I wanted to personally do my own "Work" and personally do the things that would guarantee my families eternal salvation. Do what I was taught to "Not trust in the arm of flesh"... How long would we be in "spirit prison" (A place where Mormons are taught you must wait after you die if you have never taken part in the Mormon teachings and ordinances) waiting for someone to do our work if we didn't do it ourselves?

Being pulled through the veil by my husband into the Celestial Room in the Manti Temple was for me yet another step completed.... but we were still not done. We still needed to be sealed in the Temple as a family in order to be together, as a family, forever. The very next morning we took our family of four into the Salt Lake Temple.

Baptism was the first step, endowments was the second and the next was the temple sealing. When all 3 steps were complete I finally felt that I had done everything in my own power to make sure our family would be together forever. All because of my worthiness and my "Work". We would now be okay if something happened and one of us were to suddenly die.

In order for a convert to enter into an LDS temple you must first be found worthy, by a man, to be baptized. You must then go to your meetings regularly. Fulfill any callings you are called to. Keep the "Word of Wisdom" (Abstaining from coffee, tea, alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco) and pay a full 10% tithing for an entire year. What if you have a problem with Alcohol and/or Tobacco? Then you have to kick that habit and stay clean for a set amount of time before you can then be found "worthy", by men, to enter the temple. After that you are then interviewed, by men, and asked certain questions that involve what you believe. 

The 14 Years I was a Mormon these are the questions that were asked by both my Bishop and Stake President before being found worthy enough to be issued a "Temple Recommend". 

1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?
2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?
3. Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?
4. Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
5. Do you live the law of chastity?
6. Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
7. Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
8. Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
9. Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
10. Are you a full-tithe payer? Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?
11. Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
12. If you have previously received your temple endowment: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple? Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

You must make yourself acceptable, clean and worthy to enter one of the most holy buildings to a Mormon.

On the flip side, what we experienced last night at Harvest America, were broken, sinful people, recognizing they were sinners and couldn't do anything alone. They recognized they needed Jesus and his Grace. Jesus then takes them, as they are, and HE cleanses and changes them. It was between them and Jesus alone. Not them and their Bishop, Stake President, General Authority and/or Prophet. Men deciding the fate of someone. Can a man know the true heart of a person or is that God's place? Religion puts men between Jesus and the individual. There is no waiting game when it comes to a personal relationship with God. Once the decision is made, it is done! They are then made part of the "Church".. The family of Christ. The Body of Christ. Jesus enters into your heart and won't leave. He does the changing. You do nothing.  

When Jesus died, on the cross, there was an earth quake that caused the veil in the temple in Jerusalem to be rent and torn. (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45 ) The veil was originally there to separate men from God when man was under the law. Men had to go through the Priests (Levites) to converse with God. That veil, separating men from God, was torn for a reason. We no longer have anything between us and God. No men and no veil. It is done and Jesus finished it! 

The Mormon Temple has it's own veil in each and every one of their temples. They set themselves back under a law and again set things up that separate themselves from God, setting up men and other things to stand between God and themselves. Why would someone choose to put themselves under the law when Jesus already fulfilled it?

There are only 2 commandments we are to keep and they are both about Love.  
Matthew 22:37-39
"Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" 

Love God and Love your neighbor.

Praise God for his Gift of Grace. Thank you Jesus for your freedom from the law and freeing me from the burdens of my sins. You, and only you, knew my heart. You are my Sovereign Lord. My righteous judge. My Savior and my God. Praise your name, always. 

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 
-Romans 8:1-2


Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy First Birthday!

One year ago, today, I gave up a lot. I handed over my heavy yoke I had taken upon myself through a man made religion. I gave up my righteousness. I gave up a false Jesus. I gave up a God who's spirit would leave me every time I sinned. I gave up family. I gave up close personal friends. I gave up my former life. Most of all I gave up my sins and my demons. I gave it all up for one thing. The Jesus spoken of in the bible. That day, August 26th 2012, I died. The person I use to be died.

That same day, I was also Re-born. I was willing to give up so much and all I wanted was for Jesus to be my personal Savior. He was all I wanted! I didn't care what else happened after that.

What did I unknowingly receive in return? What have I learned this last year?
~ I was washed clean in the shed blood of my Savior Jesus Christ and was re-born a new creation through him. 
~He gave me a deep love for his word, the Bible and opened my eyes to the truthfulness of it's authenticity.
~I gained HIS righteousness.
~I gained a God who lives in me and never, ever leaves me. 
~He healed me from a deep dark depression I've fought most of my life.
~He removed daily anxiety, panic attacks and despair. 
~He removed my want to take my own life.
~ He gave me the knowledge to know that I WILL go to heaven and be at his feet after this life. I no longer "hope" I will make it into heaven after I die.
~For every friend or family member I gave up for him, He filled that void with many of the body of Christ. His Church.

Today is my birthday! Today, I am a 1 year old baby Biblical Christian.

True Believers of the biblical Jesus, get to enjoy two births and one death. We are born of water at our birth from our mothers. That is the born of water spoken of in John 3:5. Through nothing that we personally do, we are born again through the fire of Jesus, then we become his Child and he becomes our Heavenly Father. We don't fear the death we will all one day face.  We look forward to our mortal death because we know we will be reunited with our God, Jesus Christ and live with him forever. 

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
- Romans 5:1-2

Those who choose to rely on their own good works and not fully on Jesus get one birth and two deaths. The birth is from their mother. From the womb. The first death is the death of the body and the second death of the spirit. Jesus warned that we are to fear the second death more than the first one. Revelation 20:14 tells us, "Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." The second death is mentioned again in Revelation 21:8, which says, "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." The second death is hell.

If you can't answer the question, "Are you going to heaven to be at the feet of Jesus if you died today?" with anything but an unquestionable, undeniable, YES, you may want to reconsider what it is you truly believe. If your answer is, "I hope so" what's stopping you from giving your life to Jesus now!? How can you live your entire life in question when it's as simple as accepting Jesus and having a full and complete knowledge of your salvation? None of us knows when we will die. It could be today, in a car accident. It could be in some unforeseen natural disaster right after you read this. It may not be till old age finally takes you.

There is no denying it. We will all die. Why not make a decision today, right now, to accept Jesus and gain a full knowledge of where you will be going when you die. Having that peace and security the rest of your days?

Romans 10:9-10. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

How would you go about doing this? Some call it a Sinners prayer and other call it Salvation prayer. There is not a wrong or right way to do it. It is simply understanding and professing with your mouth, that you are a sinner. Romans 3:10 proclaims, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned. We are all sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness from God (Titus 3:5-7). Because of our sin, we deserve eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). The sinner's prayer is a plea for grace instead of judgment. It is a request for mercy instead of wrath.

The second aspect of a sinner's prayer is knowing what God has done to remedy our lost and sinful condition. God took on flesh and became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14). Jesus taught us the truth about God and lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus then died on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead to prove His victory over sin, death, and hell (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). Because of all of this, we can have our sins forgiven and be promised an eternal home in Heaven - if we will just place our faith in Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe that He died in our place and rose from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). We can be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8 declares, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

You can choose to recite the following prayer out loud or pray your own from your heart, out loud, it makes no difference.

"Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.

If you prayed your prayer, with a sincere heart and truly believed everything in it, you have now been Born Again.

Remember, being born again is a spiritual phenomenon. You may have felt an emotional response to your commitment to Christ, but don’t be concerned if fireworks didn’t spark, bands didn’t march, sirens didn’t sound, or trumpets didn’t blast in the background at the time. There will be plenty of ticker-tape for us in heaven, which is where our rewards will be revealed. If you meant what you said, you can be assured God, Who sent His Son to be crucified on our behalf, overheard your every word. Even the angels in heaven are rejoicing.

“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

God Bless you!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

With Complete Love and Concern.

A heart filled, loving message from Aaron Tunell to his friend Danny. It is a loving, truthful message to all Mormons. I needed to share it with anyone who is willing to take the time to read. Mormon and Non-Mormon alike. Thank you for your permission Aaron.
"Let me see if I can help you see where I am coming from as an Ex-Mormon who appears to you to be having some kind of schizoid panic attack about nothing. (which the 2011 Aaron would have thought also ) I hope you'll slog through what I'm about to say even though it's kinda long. And please think about it coming from someone who you once knew and trusted as a friend and confidant rather than as the lovable idiot Bobby Boucher.

Imagine you want to take your family to an amazing theme park resort. You've heard a lot about Disney World on TV and your friends have talked about it a lot, so you decide to drive down to Florida to stay there for a couple of weeks. You arrive to Florida only to be confused because there are 50 theme parks all lined up that all say "DisneyWorld" on the front. They all have a picture of Mickey Mouse on the front, but 47 of them all share placards on the front that say "Confirmed Mousketeer Park. Some Peripheral Rides May Vary, But the Core Park is Identical"

Most of these 47 parks are very small and unassuming, and in fact don't look super amazing or super fun. They only have a couple of rides that can even be seen over the top of the wall.

Now of the other 3 parks, one of them towers above the others in an amazing spectacle of fun and amazement. The front doors are beautiful, and there are hundreds of happy looking people inside, and people going in by the thousands. It is perhaps the most beautifully constructed theme park ever designed. It has it's own placard that says "The REAL Disneyland" but there is no Mousketeer placard on the front. This MUST be the real disneyland because it is so amazing. It has many things that are lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report. Obviously you want the best for your family so you decide to go to this disneyland, even though the mouse on the sign above is slightly different than the others (the others must be wrong). Perhaps it has a mustache or 5 fingers instead of 4. It doesn't matter, it's still Mickey, right?

You get inside and have an amazing time with your family and friends who are all there too. You go on rides together and have an amazing time playing, relaxing, and doing all the THINGS that theme park visitors do. And the most amazing part? At the end of the trip, everybody who hasn't left early gets to go through the big doors in the back to the largest and most exhilirating ride in the entire park. It's going to be the high point of the entire trip, Hooray!!!

One night, you're out after dark getting a churro and you walk past a crack in the wall by the back door and look through. Instead of seeing a fabulous roller-coaster, you see a giant filthy rat sitting on a towering pile of corpses. Each corpse has a frozen grimace of shock and horror on its face, limbs twisted and broken and mouths gaping. You retch inwardly, telling yourself over and over "This can't be real, This can't be real.... This is the TRUE Disney World!"

You run back to your hotel room to warn your family, and as you're going you start to notice a lot of alarming things you hadn't seen before. You notice black smoke coming from a chimney near the back door where the corpses are being burned, you notice more and more of the details on that Mickey Mouse sign that are slightly different from the ones on the "Confirmed Mousketeer Parks"... In fact, every direction you look there's something ugly being covered up by a conveniently placed sign, or being plastered over with a fresh coat of paint. Once the rose-colored glasses have come off, you see the signs EVERYWHERE. How could you have missed it?

When you get back to your room, your wife and friends say:
"How could such a beautiful theme park with a picture of Mickey on the front be bad?"
"This Mickey is the same one, it's just more complete than the other Mickeys"
"You're overreacting, and just being 'Anti-Tourist'"
"Every other theme park has chipped paint too"
"If this theme park is bad, then all theme parks are bad"
"The other theme parks don't have as many rides"
"If you leave the park, you can't go through the beautiful back door with us."
"The staff says this is the only real park"
"The staff would never lie"

Would you walk away quietly while your friends and family walk casually through the back door, confident they are in the REAL Disneyland?
Would you just shut up?
Would you play nicey-nice and pretend all of the disneylands were the same?

Hell no.

I see my friends walking excitedly through the back doors, high fiving and slapping each other on the back, ecstatic to be at the REAL Disneyland. All around them are the signs that you could see plainly but they don't want to look! And when you frantically point and scream, they call you a troublemaker. And add to that the Staff who is constantly telling people about how awesome the park is and that people like you are just hateful and jealous.

A lot of Mormons want us to just walk away quietly and "stop attacking the church" when we start to see all this stuff. But this is how I see myself, Danny. Horrified and what is happening.
This stuff is real, Danny. I believe God is real, Jesus is real, and hell is real. You think I'm going to let this continue?

Every denomination has issues, I agree, Danny. But NO TRUE CHRISTIAN will tell you that their church saves you. They will ALL tell you that it is their direct saving relationship with Christ. 100% Grace 0% works and ordinances (contrary to Article of Faith 3)
This is taught in all 47 of the "Confirmed Mousketeer Theme Parks", but it is not taught in the so-called "Real Park"

I'm telling you, Danny. I believe this is important. And Mormonism has 72,000 missionaries out there knocking on the doors of Bible-Believing, Traditional Christians. What would YOU do?" 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christian Essentials - Are you a true Christian?

Could a Christian Pastor go up to a pulpit in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel and preach the Gospel?  Could a Bishop, Stake President or even a regular LDS church member go up to the pulpit at a Christian church and preach the Gospel?
 Let's ask this same question about a Jehovah's Witness, Muslim, Jew, Wiccan, Hindu, Taoist and other religions that believe in Jesus Christ.
Would it be the same gospel that is being taught? The answer is No. They would all be very different "Gospels".

 Why? They all have a belief of Jesus Christ. They all speak of him. We all know a John or a Jane. But is it the same John or Jane we are talking about? That question can be answered by asking a few simple questions about them. What they look like, where they are from.. etc.. You have to ask these same question about Jesus.

Jehovah's Witness believe Jesus is Michael, the Archangel. He was God's first creation and was used by God to create all things. 

Muslim's believe Jesus is a Prophet and the Messiah of the Israelite's.

Mormons believe Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan and all of those who live on the Earth. 

Wiccan's believe Jesus was a highly advanced spiritual person, a great sage and saint.

Hindu's believe  Jesus was an avatar and, more specifically, as the reincarnation of Krishna.

Taoist don't deny anyone else God's so although they believe in Jesus, Jesus is just the God of the Christians. They believe “God” is just a force that people need to harmonize themselves with. There is no personal relationship between you and the Tao. Taoist beliefs seems to be what most are drawn to today in the New-age teachings. Harmonizing ourselves with a force. They don't pray to any deity.

None of these are biblical (Meaning, they aren't in the bible)

For someone to say they are Christian, they would have to believe in the essential Christian teachings. Some of the religions above say they are also Christian while rejecting the Christan view of  essential teachings. To a true Christian (Someone who holds the Bible as the only writings needed without adding or removing other writings) that hears when one of these other religions state they are Christian, yet don't hold to all the essentials cause the Christian to question or reject their claim. This would be like a person in a Polygamy Group, who follow all the teachings of Joseph Smith INCLUDING Polygamy, saying they are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How would an LDS member take that? What about an LDS member saying they are a member of the RLDS? What about someone saying they were a "Tao-Jew" a "Muslim-Mormon" or even a "Wicca-Jehovah's Witness".

There have been and are many sects that follow the teachings of Joseph Smith. All have prayed and have received a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that their church is the "One and only true church on the face of the Earth". What truly distinguishes them from each other? If they aren't true then why have they all received a burning of the bosom testimony? Can truth always be confirmed by a strong emotional feeling?

The trouble with a Mormon saying they are a Christan is they don't hold to the essential teachings. They may use the same terms and wordage but have vastly different definitions. They may ask then how can a Catholic or a Protestant be Christian? Because they teach the Essentials, as do many other Christan denominations where Mormonism reject, add to or subtract from these essentials. 

What are the Essentials?

1. The Deity of Christ.
2. Salvation by Grace alone.
3.  The Resurrection of Christ
4. The gospel.
5. Monotheism.

As well as secondary essential doctrines.

1. Jesus is the only way to salvation
2. Jesus' Virgin Birth
3. Doctrine of the Trinity 

You and a Friend go out to play Golf. You both go out to the green, stick your tee's in the ground and place your golf ball on top of it. Step up to your ball and get ready to swing. You pull your club back and follow through, hitting the ball square on and watch it sail down the fairway and land near the 1st hole. Your friend then steps up to his ball. Pulls back his club and follows through hitting his ball down the fairway. Instead of watching his ball sail down the fairway till it lands, he proceeds to chase after it. When it hits the ground he then kicks the ball down the fairway till it lands on the green. While on the green, You step up with your putting club and in one soft tap you knock your ball in the hole. It's a Birdie! Your friend walks up to his ball. Takes out his putting club and  then goes onto his stomach on the green. Takes the putting club and holds it like a pool cue stick. He then hits the golf ball like a pool ball till it rolls near the hold. Your friend then stands up walks over to the ball, turns the club around and taps his ball into the hole. "BIRDIE!" Are you both playing golf?

He has his way of playing his version of golf and you have your way. Who's following the true directions for golf? If we could all play games and follow our own directions the games would be chaos. No direction or order. That's what the bible is. A rule book. A set of Scriptures for us to read daily and follow. We really can't pick and choose what it is we want to follow and still say we are Christian. We don't add to it or take parts away. We have to hold to the whole Word or not at all.

Since I have experience with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormonism) I'll be bringing up some examples concerning them.

Mormonism seems to be a floating point. One prophet can contradict a former prophet. They claim to have Modern Day revelation and are given daily guidance by it even if it does go against what God's holy words says or even what previous prophets have stated. There are no set rules that are placed in concrete. Everything can be changed, moved or are up for each individuals interpretation. One example. Joseph Smith stated on November 28th 1841,  "I told the brethren,” he said, “that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (Smith, History of the Church, 4:461; see also Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 194.)

I agree with a verse in the Book of Mormon that is explaining the Trinity. 2 Nephi 31:21 "...And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen."

Joseph refuted that Idea later in his life in 1843 when he stated. " “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-346. Italics in original).

Also stated in the year 1843:

"I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods," (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

How could Joseph contradict the Book of Mormon with his teaching? Didn't he question 2 Nephi 31:21 when he was translating. According to the official accounts of his First vision, he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, side by side, in the flesh before translating the Book of Mormon. (It's interesting that there are many accounts of the first vision and all are different. Joseph, personally, also didn't write it down till 1838, 18 years after it supposedly happened. Wouldn't such an important event have been written down sooner for clarity and historical purposes?)

Other Book of Mormon scriptures supporting the biblical view about the Trinity:
Alma 11:27-39, 44
Mormon 7:7
3 Nephi11:27
Testimony of Three Witnesses

In these examples, the book which Mormons hold to as the  "most correct of any book on earth" teaches about the trinity (A Christian View). Yet modern Mormonism choose to teach that God is three Persons, one in purpose. Even they are picking and choosing which of their own scripture to live and believe by what their leaders choose to teach.

No wounder there are so many different sects that follow Joseph Smith. Yet, unlike Christian Denominations, they all deny one another as sharing in the "One and only True church on the face of the Earth."

As a Christian, we believe all who believe in the true Biblical Jesus are "The Church". It's not a building you go to, or a certain sect or denomination you choose to follow. Those who Love Jesus and accept him as God, who came down in the flesh, to die for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day as well as believe that he, Jesus, is all we need for salvation to go and live with him in heaven, putting our full trust in him and him alone, are true Christians. If you are putting your focus on a building build by man, and ordinances that are not biblical, how can you call yourself Christian?

It is only recently that the Mormons wanted to be called "Christians," preferring not to be included with Christian denominations, which Joseph Smith Jr. said were, "all wrong ... all their creeds were an abomination in His sight, and that those professors (Christians) were all corrupt" (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, 2:18-19); Mormons have preferred to be called "saints" in the past. In recent years, the LDS church has spent millions of dollars in an intense "PR" campaign aimed at moving the Mormon church into the mainstream of Christianity. The political and economic benefits of Mormons being included in the mainstream of Christianity are obvious. Further, for Mormons to be accepted as traditional Christians would greatly aid in proselytizing the members of Christian denominations into the LDS church. This is why the LDS church is trying so hard to present itself as Christian and is trying to overcome the stigma of it's past anti-Christian, un-biblical teachings.

What is the Gospel?
  1. "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" (Gal. 1:8-9, NIV).
    1. Verses 8 and 9 here in Galatians are a self declarative statement that you must believe the gospel.  The gospel message which in its entirety is that Jesus is God in flesh, who died for sins, rose from the dead, and freely gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe.
    2. Furthermore, it would not be possible to present the gospel properly without declaring that Jesus is God in flesh per John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8.
  2. 1 Cor. 15:1-4 defines what the gospel is: "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.  Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," (NIV).
    1. Within these verses are the essentials: Christ is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9); Salvation is received by faith (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10), therefore it is by grace; and the resurrection is mentioned in verse 4.  Therefore, this gospel message automatically includes the essentials. 

    The True Gospel message automatically includes the Essentials. Nothing added upon and nothing taken away. If your religion isn't in line with these and you are claiming to be Christian, you may want to take a second look keeping in mind Gal. 1:8-9.

    God Bless.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

He's so Amazing!

I'm in awe most days! Totally amazed how a life can change in an instant. Jesus truly does keep his promises.

He said. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24

Having experienced this first hand, and knowing what it is Jesus did for me, I can't help but share when people who have known me or years, known my struggles and history, say, "You've changed." "You're different." and one of my favorites, "You are glowing".   It was nothing I personally did. He changed me in an instant. It took a little while to put my thumb on the change. One day I was sticking to a strict schedule of exercise and daily rituals and using oils and herbs to ward off anxiety, depression, panic attacks and daily suicidal thoughts that hit out of no where, to totally forgetting about them, not needing to take them. It was a full week before I noticed. When the realization hit, I was floored, and still am. 

How many times I begged, pleaded, threw myself on on the ground, to my knees and begged to have the weight lifted. Wondering what was wrong with me. Why was I given these things to deal with that would cause me to dread each day? Was there some sin I still needed to repent of before he could help me? It was like I was literally shoving these heavy burdens, these chains, onto Jesus but he was rejecting them. Was he "rejecting" them or was he unable to take them?

I had to take the journey I did to find Jesus. The real true Jesus. I am happy and free, in Christ!

1 John 4:18-19 NIV "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."

Why I'm not comfortable with anyone being a Mormon.

Recently, a 10 year friendship was very hurt over my blunt honesty. She couldn't be friends with someone who wasn't comfortable with her being Mormon. She didn't want to read any of my "Anti Mormon Propaganda" so how else am I suppose to tell her why? (Anti Mormon Propaganda = Anything that isn't "Church Approved" material)

Truthfully. I am not comfortable with ANYONE being Mormon. Not just her. I wish she would have been more open and willing to discuss it but she put on the usual close minded Mormon facade, said she was happy I was happy and chose to be extremely hurt. Can I accept her as a Person? Absolutely!! But being comfortable, sorry. I am not only being honest with her, but also to myself. I can't be comfortable, which is what she asked me to be.  

She, in a sense, may as well tell me I need to be comfortable with someone being gay, or a child molester. That will never happen. Can I accept them as people who are misguided or made mistakes? Absolutely! Just like my acceptance with someone being Mormon and misguided. I would hope I would be afforded the same courtesy for my sins and mistakes. I have friends who aren't "comfortable" with me being a total "Jesus Freak" but they still love and accept me, as a person.

Another thing she brought up was she feels personally attacked when I point out bad doctrine about the Mormon Church. She stated that's who she is. She is Mormon. She is the doctrine. No... The LDS church is a Corporation and cannot be a person. If the LDS church were to one day be null and void, would that make her null and void? No.. Because she is an individual. A beautiful creation of God. She is singular.. Not physically woven into the Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You cannot share your identity with a corporation.

At times in the conversation I was silent. I wanted to tell her the truth of her words but was restrained. Other times I wanted to lash back at her, as she was lashing out at me but the verse in James kept coming to mind. "...everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry," I'm sure she took it another way but I could not speak without it, in some form or another, hurting her or cause her to yell at me.

I've felt this friendship might never have been built on trust and honesty but more of a "tickling of the ears", feel good to be around, relationship. I knew I would be putting our friendship in jeopardy by being honest but I had hoped my complete honesty would have been taken better then she took it. Hopefully time will help heal the hurt and bring some light on things. If what I said really bothered her enough, I hope she takes the time to look into the reasons why.

Here are the reasons why I feel this way. It has nothing to do with the people but the doctrine and message the LDS church teaches and sends.

#1. It's built upon lies. They have white washed their history and provide a wide array of propaganda materials and videos to twist and distort the true Gospel in the bible. They put it to heart felt music and use Christian terminology with twisted meanings. They tell their followers to only use "church approved" materials for teaching and studying. Those materials constantly change. They send messages of fear, worded so sweetly, to coerce the members to stay away from anything not "church approved" to keep them ignorant of their true history. In most of their messages it's not what they say that sends the most powerful message but what isn't said. What is always being implied.  

#2 Their Temple endowment was stolen from the Masons by Joseph Smith. The symbols the endowed members wear are of the occult and keep them spiritually blinded as they wear them. In the Temple they covenant to wear the garment, day and night and never remove them. Satan is with Adam and Eve in the "loan and dreary world" and he threatens the patrons, before he's cast out by Peter, before they make any of the covenants. He says " If they do not walk up to every covenant they make at these altars in this temple this day, they will be in my power! " I truly believe they are under his power by wearing occult symbolism day and night. Before 1990 The penalties for braking any of the covenants were some pretty gruesome and explicate ways their life would be taken. Brian and I experienced them in 1994 in the Polygamy Endowment. Polygamists hold to the old ways the Mormons use to do things without changing them to fit the comfort level of it's members.

These are some things that we noticed were missing between the Polygamist endowment and the LDS endowment:
1. Protestant minister paid by Lucifer to preach false doctrine was eliminated.
2. All penalties (and gestures like throat slashing, chest slashing and bowel slashing) were eliminated.
3. Women's promise to be obedient to husbands was modified.
4. The intimate position at the veil (foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand on shoulder and mouth to ear) was eliminated. (5 Points of fellowship)
5. The strange words "Pay Lay Ale" (meaning "Oh God hear the words of my mouth") were eliminated.

Since then, other changes have been made in the "washing and anointing" session and sitting and standing ritual during the endowment. All changes were made to make the patrons feel more "comfortable". Does God change to fit everyone's comfort level? Would he ever require something that would have to change because of a cultural difference, comfort level or physical ability?

#3 Temple Symbolism. The symbols on the Temples are of an occult origin and have also been stolen.. Or perhaps they are where they should be considering the different gospel according to Paul. Many excuses have been made from "Satan stole it from God" to "They were on Solomon's Temple". One must also consider that Joseph joined the Freemasons along with Sidney Rigdon Tuesday, March 15, 1842. The Mormon involvement in Freemasonry reached its heights during the early 1840's in Nauvoo. The Mormon Endowment was introduced around 1 month after they joined Masonry. Before then there were no Masonic symbols/rituals anywhere in Mormonism.  

Study the symbols on the temple and then study their original origins then you decide their true meanings.

#4 They preach a different Gospel then one in the bible. What is the gospel preached in the bible? Do you know your gospel? Is it simple enough for a child to understand?

...There are more but I will stop there.

Why would I be okay with someone being involved in something so twisted and full of lies?  Or someone who is living a lifestyle that is specifically spoken of as being an abomination (Homosexuality) in God's word, the Bible.  I'm not and I never will be comfortable having my Mormon Friends and family being lied to. If it's not from God and his word then where is it from? Who is the Father of all lies? I will always love Mormons/Polygamists and I understand why they don't see the truth. I was in their shoes for 36 years! I pray daily that God would remove the scales from their eyes and allow them to see. Give them the drive to look and study things out for themselves. See the simple truths of the true gospel and one day, find Jesus. The True biblical Jesus. Not Satan's Brother and their Brother. The true Jesus. God who came down in the flesh and died for your sins and mine. Who offers the free gift of Grace. Not of works. If you work for Grace it's no longer a free gift and no longer Grace.

I would rather be hated for telling the truth then loved for telling a lie. Don't expect me to comfort you with a lie.