Thursday, October 30, 2014

Meet THESE Mormons

by Stephen and Janice Graham

As fourth and fifth-generation Mormons, it took us until our 40s and a proverbial tidal wave to experience true conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We tried our best all those years to be perfect, we accomplished a measure of works and achievements, but all of these outward actions did not get us any closer to Christ in any life-changing way. In fact, we were sometimes deeply, utterly, spiritually miserable. We obviously fell short and did not know how to deal with our faults. At least we were honest with ourselves. Perhaps this is the first essential step. Seeing our own emptiness and lack of true religiousity, we began to pray for some spiritual depth, some understanding, some integrity, some wholeness.

Then came serious trouble, and the truth we had begun to guess at pummeled us continually over some months and years like a slow-motion tsunami. The truth was: each of us was a lost lamb. Each of us was the one Christ came to save. We were sinners. Whatever our sins---however small they may seem to others---they were sins nevertheless, terrible sins to each of us, and we saw that we needed a Savior. Continually. And God loved us, and all his children, so much that He provided one.

This knowledge changed our spiritual lives in every way. It's made things a great deal more challenging, yes, much is required, we still make all sorts of errors, holiness costs like nothing else, it often hurts, but it's worth the glorious freedom, infinite love and patience, and joyful gratitude we feel through the love of God and the Atonement of Christ. Now we know we're on the right path. We both feel we are finally making progress, incremental as it is. Our only misery these days is the sorrow we feel for the increasingly Godless, anti-Christ world that exists today.These plain and precious, life-changing truths are being rejected in favor of creeping secularism, humanism, moral relativism, radical individualism, feminism, homosexualism, you name it, every kind of devilish -ism, or false god, imaginable or unimaginable.For heaven's sake, we allow the poisoning, mutilating, dismembering, and destroying of unborn babies! That's how wicked today's people have become. Legalized, legitimized, celebrated, elective abortion as a form of despising posterity is the barometer of our societal depravity. As a civilization, we are truly laboring in iniquity and dwindling in unbelief as the scriptures put it.

Christ as our essential Redeemer and the repentance he offers, take it or leave it, is the overwhelming message of the Standard Works of the Mormon Church, or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which Standard Works include The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. People who condemn the Bible, as many do today, have lost their power of discernment and are past feeling. People who condemn the marvelous Book of Mormon or miss its message, inside or outside the Mormon Church, have not read it, and if they have, refuse to understand it, the same as those who reject the Bible. We find that the eternal truths in these books are ours for the taking if we'll only set ourselves aside, along with our emotions, our oversentimentality, and our earthly treasures, if we'll only, as the scriptures say, humble ourselves, and ask, seek, knock. In fact, endless unchangeable truth, Truth with a capital T, if we'll only seek it, is available all around us.  

How did these Mormons miss it all those years? The fault may lie within us Mormons ourselves. Over the centuries, over the decades, amid the increasing influence and lure of the wicked world, what have we come to? What are we centering on? What do we emphasize? What are our perceptions? What have we abandoned? What are we embracing? What premises and principles do we operate under? And most important: What is going on in our hearts? Why do we do the things we do? Who or what is it that we truly serve? Who or what is it that we truly love?  It's interesting: these are the very questions posed, and answered, by The Book of Mormon,  which turns out to exist---Surprise!---not just for the world and potential converts, but for us Mormons, too, who have always and will always need Christ, not just to make up some imagined percentage of righteousness lacking, but as the only way, 100%. Yes, we must give it all up, open our hands, let it all go, and come to Christ.

These Mormons had to ask themselves all of the above questions. And these Mormons had to repent of a lifetime of worshiping many false idols. These Mormons had to be crushed to bits and born again, as Bible and Book of Mormon testify we must. And the exciting adventure continues.

Apparently there are different kinds of Mormons. What kind of Mormon are you?

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