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Archive for the ‘Foundation of Mormonism’ Category

Many new ideas stemmed from the visions of Joseph Smith.  As we begin our foundation series I felt it was better to begin here with testimonies.

If it weren’t for the tesitmony of Smith, everything in Mormonism is all for naught.

No testimony is more significant to us in our time than the witness of Joseph Smith.” – Robert Hales, Ensign, Nov. 2009, pg. 30.

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In the spring of ’92 I was expecting my third child in four years and wondering how many more babies I’d have to give birth to before the Mormon god would accept me.  Half way through my pregnancy I went out for a walk with my 14 month old daughter Jacqui and noticed a couple of women about my age standing outside chatting with each other.

As I got closer I saw one of the women wearing a cross necklace.  I thought of it as another opportunity to find out more about the all elusive cross that as a Mormon I was told not to worry about and directly told not to have in our homes.

The questions I asked Nancy set into motion the things I should have done years before.  It had been a long road for me in the eleven years between the time I left Utah and Seattle.  I had traveled the world, lived in many places throughout the states and quite frankly, I was tired.  I was tired of trying to live up to the demands of what I had learned in my Mormon life of what it meant to go to heaven.

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This particular teaching of the LDS Church is one of the three main reasons I left the Mormon Church.

In order to believe in Mormonism, the acceptance of man living with God before the earth was created is a must.  They teach that mankind was created spiritually through a sexual union between God and one of his billions of wives.  Your behavior in the pre-existence determined which family you’re born into, where and when you would live your mortal life and what color of skin you’d have here.  If you had anything less than stellar behavior there, the chances of you being born “white and delightsome” here were slim to nothing.

I was taught in countless Sacrament Meetings, Primary, MIA classes and LDS Seminary that my black curly hair, dark brown eyes and olive skin was proof I hadn’t been valiant.  I always wondered what the millions of other people must’ve done to deserve being born in Africa or China.  In the end my biggest question was why God suddenly liked my family in June of 1978 when we hadn’t changed anything in our behavior.  Kimball’s revelation was the first time I started questioning the leadership.

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He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:15-16

The above two verses captured my attention as a Mormon teenager growing up in Utah.  I didn’t understand the meaning of the word Christ, but instinctively knew it had to mean more than what I was being taught.

Today whenever I meet a Mormon missionary, my question is always the same;

Who do you think Jesus is?

Not surprisingly, I get a different answer from each and every Mormon I encounter.  When I think of the missionaries who come to my door I can’t help but think of a song by Hillsong called “Inside Out”.  One of the lines says “…the art of losing myself in bringing You praise…”   It never would’ve crossed my mind to do such a thing as a Mormon and the way the missionaries talk about Joseph Smith I’m convinced it doesn’t for them either.  So again, I am asking:

What did Jesus do in your life today?

Do you even know?

Have you even stopped to think of it?

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In this part of our series on the “foundations of Mormonism”, we’re taking a look at the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit of Mormonism.  I remember being around Christians as a Mormon and wondered where they got their effervescent personalities.  They always seemed to be a “free spirit” without the shame ridden fears I carried around with me all those years.

Little did I know at the time I was witnessing the presence of the Holy Spirit.  This Holy Spirit moved them in their lives and allowed those around them to see God’s love for His creation.

Not long after the day of my salvation I remember laying face down with arms stretched out on my living room floor in total adoration for God and the unspeakable gratefulness I held in my heart for the God of everything.  It was the first of many times I’ve been in that position before my God.

A Mormon missionary asked me not long ago what if anything I felt when I “changed religions”.  I shared that experience with him and how incredibly free I am in Christ.  It is through His Holy Spirit that I have freedom to prostrate myself before Him and it is through the workings of the Holy Spirit I know that I am worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.

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Convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds.” – The Seer, pgs. 15-16, Orson Pratt, apostle

Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect”, 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271; “Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very 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.

Have you ever heard of Carfax?  It’s a cool little concept.  You can get a report on any car you’d like to buy and in that report is all the information you’d ever want or need to know about that particular car.  It’ll even tell you how many times the oil was changed and when, the number of previous owners, if it was a lease or loan, etc., the list just keeps going.  You’ll have no doubts or worries about the history of the car you have your sights on.  If you know what you’re looking for, the writings of the Mormon Church are like Carfax in many ways.

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A few weeks ago an e-mail came through asking for my opinion on whom I believe the Mormons are praying to.  You’ll find the original e-mail and my response below.

Dear Michelle,

I have been a Christian for many years, and along the way have had one family who were very dear Mormon friends.  I do know about their false doctrines, as I have read many books on people who have come out of Mormonism, but something really puzzles me and I crave to have an answer for this question, please…WHO do Mormons pray to and when they say they receive answers, is this really true?…She talks so much about answered prayer…which is a wonder to me and it bothers me very much…can you give me an answer, Michelle?

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