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.”