Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How she found Jesus.

A few weeks ago I received a friend request on Facebook from an old high school acquaintance. Having accepted I thought nothing of it; because that's what we do for some reason--become friends with old acquaintances for the sake of being nice, or perhaps more honestly, to watch their life from one side of a screen.

What brought me to this post was what ultimately brought me to this friend. Today she had posted a statues that was giving praise to God for knowing that her children will grow-up to know the One True God and not a counterfeit.

If you have recently come to Christ through way of leaving a false religion, the word "counterfeit" creates pause and interest. My interest was caught and I immediately clicked over to the page of the acquaintance I had not formally spoken with in over ten years.

Her religion stated Christian and yet the next click over showed her wedding pictures of a Mormon temple ceremony. Confused without lost hope, I began the click digging; learning about someone through way of clicking through their Facebook page. It wasn't until I came to a photo album that showed her daughters dedication in a nondenominational Christian church that I realized she had left the Mormon religion. Without hesitation I immediately messaged her. Below is the sequence of conversation leading to her story which she later gave me permission to share.

Me: Your recent post on here caught my attention. The word "counterfeit" to be exact. After going through your photos and seeing Mormon temple wedding pictures and then, more recent, baby dedication pictures, I had to message you and hear your story, because naturally there must be a story.

Her: Yes there is a story! I posted this on Facebook a year or so ago, here it is...

My story of finding Jesus! Those of you who have known me for a long time are probably wondering why I left the Mormon Church. I want to share my story with you… 

I was born and raised in the Mormon faith. It completely defined who I was. I met my husband just as he was coming home from serving a 2 year mission for the Mormon Church. We were married in the temple. Those of you who knew me when I was Mormon knew I lived it. Down to every last detail the prophets laid out for me. No rated R movies, living the word of wisdom fully, no extra piercings, etc… I was attending the temple with my husband at least once a month or even more frequently. I had a calling in the Mormon church and was serving faithfully in my calling. I one hundred percent lived and believed in Mormonism, I was all in. 

One day my husband sat me down to have a talk. He said he had been reading the Bible and he didn’t feel the Mormon Church was the right way to follow Jesus. I was floored. What? How could this be? He proceeded to show me multiple places in the Bible that contradicted Mormon doctrine. He also began to show me that the history of the Mormon Church that I had been taught my whole life was not the whole truth. The history taught by the Mormon Church has many important details left out and many lies are told. (If you are interested in knowing these things I am more than happy to share them with you, also at Deseret Book you can buy a book called “Rough Stone Rolling” it is a book about the history of Joseph Smith written by a historian for the Mormon church.) I was shocked by these things but I remained in a place of faith. I had believed my whole life that this was the only true church, so I was going to continue to cling to it. 

Over the next couple years our marriage struggled in a major way. My husband left the Mormon Church completely and told me he wouldn’t be going back. I had family members (who are Mormon) telling me that my husband must be cheating on me and others telling me I should leave him so I could be with a “priesthood holder”. I even had thoughts of ending the marriage, but since we had our sweet 2 year old Mason I couldn’t bear the thought of splitting up his parents. So I began praying to God to tell me what to do. I got a very sure answer that God did NOT want me to split up my family. So I stayed and slowly through reading and studying I began realizing the true character of Joseph Smith. For a man who claimed he “saw God”, he did not act like one. I realized the things he did and the lies he told were not anything God would condone or allow for one of His prophets. That testified to me that he was not ever a true prophet of God. Once I came to that realization I was pretty sure that the Mormon Church wasn’t true. So I took it one step further and asked God if the Mormon Church was true. I got a very sure and quick answer and it shocked even me. God was telling me that Mormonism was false. 

During this time of questioning we were introduced to a non-denominational church. We began going occasionally. It was there that I was introduced to a new concept. It was that: Jesus died for us on the cross and there is nothing we can do on our own to go to heaven, all we can do is accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and His sacrifice for us and we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 4: 10-12). I was amazed that I felt the Holy Spirit so strong when they were saying these things. It was stronger than I had ever felt it in my life. One Sunday during the church service, it hit me. I realized I never knew this Jesus they were talking about. Yes I was taught of a Jesus in the Mormon Church, but it wasn’t this Jesus they were telling me about. 

When I was Mormon I was told that in order to go to heaven (their “highest degree of Glory”) I had to do things. I had to be baptized, and I had to make and keep covenants in the temple. I now know that Jesus meant it when he said “It is finished”. He died and was raised from the dead and when we accept Him we are saved. To think that there is anything you can do to get to heaven is complete blasphemy (Isaiah 64:6). You cannot earn your spot in heaven (Ephesians 2: 8-10, Titus 3: 5-7). Jesus paid it all, period! Either you are going to accept and trust in God’s sacrifice fully or you are going to trust in yourself. When we stand before God on the judgment day it will go one of two ways. Jesus will come forward for you and say “She/he is mine, I died for her/him” or you will be judged according to your own works. I can tell you right now your works will never be enough (Galatians 2:16). Accept God at His word (John 3:16) and stop relying on yourself. It isn’t about belonging to a specific Church or a joining a specific religion. It’s all about Jesus. I left the Mormon Church for a personal relationship with Jesus. 

I challenge anyone who is Mormon or in any other religion to take a good look at what you believe in. Do you trust in God? Or are you relying on your own works? It can’t be both! If your Church is teaching you that there are any works you can do of yourself to get to Heaven, then it is false. Don’t discount what Jesus did for you any longer. Accept Him into your heart and into your life and be saved. I would love to talk with anyone who wants to hear more or has any questions. Thanks for reading my story.

I was filled with abundant hope in reading her story. In sharing, I extend that hope to those seeking and to those who have been found.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

1 comment:

kELLO! said...

i am SO encouraged by this post. i have a lot of friends that are mormon and i often find myself wondering how on earth they will ever convert. I know only Jesus can do this in their lives but as a human it's so hopeless. Thanks for sharing her story!