Saturday, July 21, 2018

Response to Distressed Mormon

Hi -------------, Steve handed me a printout of what you sent. It's all true and all happening. In fact, that one thing that happened in Utah County at the stake conference where the mother of the trans child spoke about "ministering" apparently happened in a stake center up our street where two of our grown children and their families go (unless the same sort of thing is going on all over, which it probably is).  They both got up and left the meeting with their kids and told us all about it at the time. I am a firm believer that we are free agents and shouldn't sit there listening to dangerous false ideas because not only is it spiritual abuse but our very presence encourages it. If a whole bunch of people had left the meeting that would have sent a message. At least some people saw it for what it was.

I appreciated the scriptures you pointed out. It is hard to read the Book of Mormon now because it's all so painfully obvious, but we must. It is for us. We are the ones who have it. But like you say, people aren't using the scriptures or understanding them. So sad. They are caught up in the world and going right along, albeit a few years behind.

Sunday is the hardest day of the week for me too. Not only do I not get to hear the gospel, which I really love and need to hear, also when I say anything in church it feels like I am from another planet. I have been mocked several times for my testimony of Christ as the only way to get back to God because we are all humans and weak and lacking in one way or another, as it says over and over in the scriptures. This derision usually happens in Relief Society. When I was RS pres. I did feel as if I was wasting my breath a lot. I got a lot of eye-rolling. That was a while ago. I had pulled back recently, it was just so stressful (unhealthy!)to sit in meetings where Christ is overlooked,  which is essentially anti-Christ, and then to be ridiculed for my deepest beliefs. But after a break I am feeling braver and am speaking out again when it feels right to, come what may. It takes a lot of faith and patience and thinking of people as the Lord thinks of them and not caring if they think you are crazy or annoying or unkind or any of those things. Everyone is precious and needs to know the truth. So many are being deceived. You can just see it happening in slow motion. Those invisible flaxen cords. Of course we cannot help anyone very much--just throw out a few ideas which they can think about and hold to if they wish. That's how important agency is. 

I think when a people decide a sin is not a sin anymore, as in sexual impurity/homosexuality, they equivocate on other sins as well, perhaps even decide there are no sins they have to worry about at all; those who surrender on one issue tend to surrender on others as well. We find people hard-heartedly resisting the idea of sin. Just once in a blue moon will I hear something true properly emphasized. (There was a good talk in Sac. mtg. Sunday, which I am sure some people hated if they were listening.)  I have heard from others that RS has become all about making the sisters feel good about themselves, and there is no religion really. No Christ, no repentance, no humility, no meekness, just self-indulgence. Dostoevsky wrote, "Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth, and nothing easier than flattery." I have especially studied the Book of Mormon anti-Christs (there are lots!) and the one thing they preached in common was that there was no need to repent. That sums up what is happening in the trenches of our church, and in all churches. This is the secular spirit of the times in which we live.

When one starts paying attention and thinking for oneself there are lots of opportunities for long-suffering and trust in the Lord alone. And isn't that a good thing? I memorize scriptures to repeat and think about in my head to help keep my sanity and spiritual-centeredness.  As in Jacob, "Lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God (it is pleasing to me!) and feast upon his love, for ye may if your minds are firm, forever." Yes, you are right about all this happening within the church; some years ago we were told by a (now) apostle we know personally that the Church (capital C) is evolving and the Brethren do not agree on some fundamentals,  such as homosexuality. Who knew this would be The Thing that would deceive so many? A house divided . . .

We don't think it is helpful to blame anyone. But we do feel as if we must take on the world and share God's truth and righteousness wherever we happen to be whenever we can, as the scriptures say. The Lord gave us hearts and minds. We are supposed to use them.  It is a blessing to find firm like-minded people, now difficult to do even within our beloved church. Still, we can't put our reliance on each other either. We have seen so many people turn.

Hang in there. The trajectory is bad and it's only going to get worse. It's a test! A hard one.  I try to remember opposition in all things works both ways. We can rejoice in Christ and all Creation, in the good and true and beautiful, in God's loving merciful plan, even in the midst of all this insidious creeping falseness and evil and persecution. We can be made into different sorts of people fit for God's presence right now.

Lord bless!


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