Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

May we all remember the true reason for the day & honor those who protect our freedom.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Yes, but you're not completely a Christian."

"Yes, but you're not completely a Christian." I couldn't believe I was being told this! How can someone be a partial Christian? It is my belief that you either believe in the atoning sacrifice Jesus the Christ suffered for us or you don't. You either believe He was born of a virgin mother by immaculate conception or you don't. Either you believe he healed the sick, fed the hungry, walked on water or you don't. You believe he suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane enough he sweated drops of blood because He was about His Father's work or you don't. You believe he was beaten and crucified for being the Christ or you don't. You weep because of His pain you are responsible for and weep for joy because you know He forgives you or you don't. You believe He suffered and died on the cross so your sins are forgiven and atoned for or you don't. I DO! So don't tell me I'm not completely a Christian! You either are a Christian or you aren't.

I am Mormon. That's right. I am a Mormon. I am, more importantly, a CHRISTIAN!! I don't just believe all those things about the Savior, I KNOW IT!! I know of a surety that Jesus Christ endured all for me. I am grateful for His redeeming love. I am grateful for His atoning sacrifices.

So, how then am I NOT a Christian? She said, "Because you read the other book." AND??? Yes, I read and love the Book of Mormon. I also read and love the Holy Bible. If one has not read & prayed about the Book of Mormon, how can one even profess to know of its divinity? One cannot. The Book of Mormon does NOT replace the Holy Bible. That's right, end off sentence. I think that's worth repeating. The Book of Mormon does not replace the Holy Bible. It does testify of Jesus Christ and is another witness of the Holy Bible. We all know we believe the word of two people more so than one. It's our nature. Strength in numbers. Right? Yes. And God knows it too. That's why He sent a second witness of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon.

I was not raised in a religious home. My mother will tell you she is Lutheran, but she's not attended one Lutheran service in my entire life. I had no religious upbringing at all. But I hungered for it. I hungered to know who God is. I hungered to know if He loved me. So much so that the only Bible we owned was one that my aunt gave me and had burnt edges from a house fire. I was 14 at the time. I needed peace and I wondered if the Bible could offer it to me. I read. And read more. The more I read, the more I hungered for Him. By the time I was 15 I was asking the neighbors if I could tag along to church with them. I did this for a year and half. All the while asking questions, such as, "Why don't we have prophets and apostles to teach us anymore? How can God, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Ghost all be one being?" Do you know what I got for answers? From adults. And pastors alike? "I don't know." "Its not meant for us to know." "You shouldn't be asking questions like this." "Leave it alone." And let's not forget the unanswered ones accompanied with very intimidating scowls.

I had read and learned enough from the Holy Bible to KNOW God loves us. He is a very loving Father. I knew in my heart that my seeking to learn and know of Him was good. Not bad as some were inclined to make me think. My questions were good questions, especially for a 16 year old. I had thoughts of God and of Jesus, unlike many of my peers. I NEEDED them. I NEEDED them in my life. I NEEDED the peace and love they offered.

Because of the religious community I was in at that time of my life, I knew I was not going to get what I needed. I was attending for the spiritual nourishment I so badly hungered, they attended for more worldly things. They were more concerned with who had the most gold and diamonds on. Who had a new dress and where it came from. Who drove what. Who was at the bar last night and wasn't (and was) at church today. Who drops the biggest bill in the offering plate... So many worldly things that didn't pertain to my quest. So I stopped attending them all.

I felt at the time I must be a freak to have the feelings I had. My friends at school surely didn't feel the same way about church, God and Jesus as I did. They thought it was just another place for checking out one another.

I started my quest again with the birth of my second child. There is almost 4-years difference in my two children. Not by choice. I wanted them closer in age. But that was not to be. I had a few miscarriages in the early first trimester and another one in the middle of the second trimester before I became pregnant with my second child. Even then, my body tried aborting the entire pregnancy. It's a miracle she was only 3 weeks early. After her birth she would vomit after feeding and wouldn't begin breathing right away either. She didn't do it on a regular basis but often enough I became certified in CPR. I feared I would need it. And I did. She was 3 months old the last time it happened. She had turned blue. Her lips and tiny little finger nails were the ugliest scariest blue. She was dying. I didn't know what to do. I had become paralyzed out of fear. Finally I was "reminded" of what I had learned in CPR. I did it. She gasped and cried. And so did I. My infant was breathing again.

I was then reminded of the "deal" I made with God when my body tried aborting her & the doctor said I should be glad I'll only have one child. (Oh yes he did. I never seen him again after that day.) I had never been taught how to pray. But that day I did. I prayed if He would please let me have this baby I would renew my search for His church that would answer my questions and fill that hunger that was always with me. The day my daughter was dying in my arms, I was reminded. He let me have her and He could also take her back. I began my search in earnest again. I've attended Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Pentecostal, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Catholic, Mennonite, Methodist... All of these churches.

I knew I had found my place in the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. I learned we do have living prophets and apostles like the church of old. I learned God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are two people. Not one. And the holy ghost is a third being. All members of the God Head. But all individuals.

And I've learned so much more too! Another question I had is when I die, why does my husband and son have to be my brothers in heaven? Why would God do that to me? I could never love these two men so unique and important to me as brothers. My love for them is for grander than that. The same for my daughter. I love her too much to settle for being sisters. It's not the case I've learned. They will always be my family, and my brothers and sister in Christ. But especially, my husband, my son, and my daughter. For they have been sealed to me by priesthood authority.

You see, I know God loves His children. That's why he gave the people of Jerusalem prophets and apostles. They had the prophetic teachings we all read about in the Old Testament and New Testament. But He loves all people. And when He scattered the people with the fall of the Tower of Babel, He loved them too, so of course He would not forget them. They had prophets and apostles too. He wants ALL of His children to know of Him. Not just those that lived in the lands of Jerusalem. So if they too had prophetic teachings, isn't it only fitting that the people would record them? Just like in the Holy Bible? Yes! Of course they would! Thus we have the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon. Do I believe there are other Holy Script out there? Yes. I do. I believe with time the world will find more. Will I accept it as Holy Script? I certainly hope so. I cannot say for a surety though. I'm weary of Satan and his ability to deceive and betray, so I hope (and I pray) that I may always know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. For this I do know: that which bear good fruit is of God. That which bears bad fruit is not of God.

So, to the one who said I am not completely a Christian, shame on you! I am whole heartedly a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, who is my Savior and Redeemer! Without Him I am nothing. What are you?