I came to faith in God at 11 years old through an experience with a cat.
This cat was awesome… figured out how to use the toilet like a human (except she never flushed).
We also called her “The Nurse” because she knew instinctively if one of us five kids wasn’t feeling well and took it upon herself to nurse us back to health by laying on our Vicks vapor rub smeared chests while we slept.
Worked wonders in kicking down those high fevers.
I started off a dog-guy in my early years but it was just our luck that we had a string of the world’s dumbest dogs…
…so we tried cats and this one came along and was just so bright I loved her immediately and she loved me.
My dad owned and operated a fitness equipment/sauna shop and was having a time dealing with the mice there… so after some convincing, I said he could have my cat Cashmere go and do some mousing for him.
After a week he came clean and confessed he couldn’t find her.
She wasn’t eating the food he set out and most likely got through the attic into the outdoor and was lost somewhere in a neighborhood nowhere close to our house.
I was crushed of course and started praying earnestly for the first time in my life.
Yes… I went to Sunday School but I was a complete turkey and led a veritable all-star team of misbehaving kids that specialized in getting teachers to resign from their calling to teach us.
Here I was asking the Lord for help like I had never done before because quite honestly I led a pretty charmed life as a kid and a teen.
I remember having a distinct impression and hope that if I could just call for her… she would recognize my voice and come running.
Almost like the prayer in the heart of the woman that told herself:
“if I could only touch the hem of His garment”
My dad was trying to explain to me that the cat was gone but finally relented and on a Saturday nearly two weeks later my dad took me to the shop and I called for my cat fully expecting for her to come running out to me…
…and right on cue she did just that.
[Ha, I still remember the look on my dad’s face.]
I don’t remember thanking or praising God in prayer…
…but I do remember the very next day was Sunday morning and I went up and told my story to a beaming LDS church congregation of dear friends and ending my testimony:
“That I knew the Mormon Church was true without a shadow of a doubt”.
Not a dry eye from those that knew me as the Sunday School nightmare I was.
Seed of Faith Planted
So what happened there?
God answered my prayer and it is an early assurity and substantial evidence that is dear to me to this day.
In fact, my life is full of these instances! They just got bigger the more I learned to trust Him.
I would feel some type of God-given assurance, which led me to take action and then there was some evidence of God opening a door as I took that leap of faith.
And as I learned to trust those impressions and assurances that come in different ways… I gained more of an ability to trust in Him and take action.
Let’s fast-forward 20 years…
Mother of All Tests of Faith
Perhaps my favorite evidence of God operating in my life required by far the most faith up until that time.
It really tested and changed me.
It happened when I acted on an assurance in the adoption of my second child James.
Our first adoption with my daughter Sara was as clean as could be. Wonderful birth mother working through LDS family services and had the backing of the LDS church lawyers if anything went wrong.
A phenomenal experience that took some faith for a scared dude not completely sure what he was getting into with adoption.
I was ready and excited for this next child and we submitted our papers through LDS family services again and was told quickly that we had been selected.
And then another call came… there was yet another birth mother that wanted us to have her child and the caseworker confided that a 3rd was very close to making that same decision.
So instead of begging to be selected by a birthmother, we were in the driver’s seat and we actually had to be the ones making the choice and evaluating between three birthmothers!
We started looking at their different circumstances when the craziest thing ever happened…
…we met a 4 month old foster child and heaven itself came down in the form of the gift of Godly love and we might have well have birthed this child right then and there.
Same experience that most adoptive parents speak of… and we knew it well because we had that evidence of love come upon us from our first adoption.
This was our child.
I remember telling the caseworker we were going to attempt to have him placed in our home as we made a mad dash to become registered foster parents.
He told me I was nuts.
Told me there was only a slim chance that this child would actually turn into an adoption situation and us and our meager finances would be the only ones backing us if things went sour (as they often do in foster to adoption cases).
I also looked at his circumstances:
- tons of drugs in his system he was coming down from; not sure of permanent damage
- born 2 months premature
- birth mother abandoned him in the hospital running from the law
- we would be his 4th foster home and he was stressed from being passed around
- absolutely did not sleep
- completely drugged up by Big Pharma
- he cried inconsolably, had shaking tremors and serious nervous system issues
Okay, a bit of panic came in but this is how the Lord talked me down…
A Slight Side Story
There was a young man that I worked with a few years earlier in my 14-15 year old youth group class that was completely unabashed in telling us all the difficulties he had as an adopted child and the copious amounts of vodka he had to deal with as a newborn.
In fact, when he came into our quorum his dad sat down with us and let us know of his situation along with the difficulties they were experiencing…
…it made me all the more determined to make a difference in his life.
Sometimes it’s those special situations where you give more of yourself and again that God-like love is given to help you do what He put you on that path to do.
So me and this kid with the special circumstances hit it off in a major way. To the point his parents would call me for “special missions” (him acting out at home) and he ended up spending a lot of time with my wife and me on an individual basis.
If he got out of control he would listen to me… I learned to speak his language, we had fun together but most importantly there was a mutual bond of love.
So the Lord played this trump card on me when I was questioning bringing this special needs foster child into my home rather than use some basic logic and use LDS family services. I mean… we had 3 healthy birthmothers ready to deal with us in a way that no human should have to in giving away a child they would give birth to.
The thought came to me:
“Could you love a child like this teenage boy you worked with?”
And that’s all it took.
Powerful Evidence in My Life
Long story short… it took a year and a half before James was officially adopted into the Douglas home. But we loved him like he was staying from day one and never looked back.
But it was hard.
Today words do not describe my special feelings for him and this situation we have come through together. I praise God for all the early childhood problems that have been healed and the upfront training He gave me in dealing with my 14 year old friend in order to deal with James this day.
Nobody can reach my son like I can…
I love being his dad, imperfect as he is.
On Top of the World
Again, how did I respond to this major leap of faith?
I hung up my surfboard and moved to Utah.
I wanted to become a seminary teacher, CES speaker, LDS music artist…
…oh, and I loved watching BYU TV for the first time.
I wanted to serve in the LDS church in a larger capacity completely convinced that the Lord would use me as He had in the past.
I put together a master plan involving my music that was gaining popularity in many different countries due to my ability to gain exposure worldwide by generating traffic to my music website.
My plan was to be the #1 provider of independent missionary leads in the world.
Quite a foolproof plan in fact… as listeners would gain interest in me and my music (which they were and social media was just blossoming), introduce them to my beliefs which I was quite unabashed about sharing, ask them to hear a message and receive a book from LDS missionaries throughout the world.
Digitally automate the process and scale.
This was my plan to repay God for all the good he had done in my life. Something I was this close to implementing…
…until something funny happened along the way.
My world fell apart.
All at once.
This floored me because I was EXPECTING blessings from God in order to implement my plan to bless Him!!
Why would my finances go in the ditch, problems arise in my kids, marriage and something I had never experienced in being seriously shunned by my church social circles.
It seriously hit the fan.
I had a complete track record of being a model LDS person (although admittedly a bit odd)… however, one that others looked to and I loved being that mentor.
Maybe too much?
I loved the Church… absolutely loved working with the Youth, my 3-hour block hanging with the saints, being involved with musical numbers, took major notes throughout General Conference, Youth Treks!, etc.
I loved being Brother Douglas.
And I felt I was doing the other Brother Douglas, my mentor of a father that had passed away in my early twenties, some major honor through my church service.
In fact, many told me this was the case and it only encouraged me to serve… serve and then serve some more!
But in a way my dad helped set me on a path that I wasn’t expecting to be on.
You see, freshman/sophomore years of high school were incredibly formative for me and people who know me will admit I’m not too different from the guy that developed from those years on.
In fact, my path had me going back to that younger version of Brandon that the Lord was able to work with so well.
Allow me to explain… long-winded of course.
Some of the Best Years of My Life
In 1987 U2 released the Joshua Tree, The Princess Bride was in theaters, I scored 3 goals in my first home water polo game and seminary was new and awesome.
Some ridiculously cute upperclassmen Huntington Beach Mormon girls helped my regular attendance in those early mornings and I discovered a deep love for the Old and New Testaments those first two years.
The words of Jesus Christ resonated and sank deep into my heart.
They are still there.
But in my personal reading of the KJV I had some questions…
…Paul confused me.
My young mind reading it for the first time found inconsistencies.
I brought up my excitement for the Old and New Testament to my father as well as my concerns…
….he gave me a very un-Mormon like answer:
“Well, we have to look more closely in accepting that the words of the Bible are more correctly translated than the Church has intimated they were…
…because there was this discovery called the Dead Sea Scrolls and the book of Isaiah reads exactly like the KJV of today. They are also finding more evidences from New Testament manuscripts that match up.”
So instead of poking holes in the Bible as LDS are prone to do… he was honest.
He didn’t have an answer.
Just told me the truth and encouraged me to continue to learn about the life of Jesus, believing the Bible for what it says.
This is how I was raised and I love him for it.
Bearing Fruit in My Young Teenage Life
Because he answered me so well, I didn’t push it… I believed the words of Jesus, loved the people in my ward, wanted to serve a foreign mission and I actually liked and embraced standing out as a Mormon at school.
I was well-liked by my peers and respected because of my standards.
[And it didn’t hurt that God blessed me with the tools to become a tough water polo goalie and musical talent which allowed me to play the freak out of the bass guitar.]
I was kind to the young dudes that looked up to me and treated those poor googley-eyed underclassmen girls harboring crushes with kindness and respect.
I was developing love for those around me… and that grew to be my modus operandi to seek love out of a pure heart.
My personal mission statement and goal in life I made as a young man attending LDS Youth Conference was to develop charity or allow the love of Christ come in and operate in every aspect of my life.
It remains the same to this day.
So my love for The Church grew alongside my faith in God the Father, Jesus Christ and I was always listening for the Holy Ghost to guide my steps.
I loved being Mormon and… I was bearing fruit as I put my faith and focus in the words of the plain and simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Questions I Never Questioned
That’s why when those same assurances and promptings that I had grown to recognize and trust started to come again in a way that was very uncomfortable for me… I attempted to shake them off.
But the Lord was moving in a big way…
It was troublesome to say the least.
My obvious love for my dad and his legacy was on the line, my reputation, marriage and work I had done in many areas was on the line. The very things I was teaching my children…
And my salvation was on the line.
I was scared. What was happening?
I started reading the New Testament as if I was the Prodigal Son.
Like Jesus was sent on a complete rescue mission by a loving Father that still wanted me to come home even though I had left Him for dead.
I attempted to have eyes like a child and a different Gospel leapt off the page.
I was finding God in an all new way through the Bible.
And He was completely breaking me down in order to do it.
My faith was strengthening in His Word… and there was a clear separation happening:
Between my faith and love for the Triune, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Uncreated, Omnipotent, the First and the Last Being that can never be truly “known” by us humans
the Church I had dedicated myself to and sacrificed for.
[I did give up a UCLA water polo scholarship to serve an LDS mission in Japan. Basically, my goal of my entire athletic life and I was glad to do it! LA Times Article]
Huge Insight of Where I had been Operating From
I was at war with my mind that was reminding me of all the good that I had done in my life.
That I DESERVED to be with Him in heaven…
…yet the Bible was telling me that ALL I had done was but filthy rags. (Isa 64:6)
I was scared to death of becoming like those that start investigating church history and the inconsistencies there…
…and lose my faith in everything.
But God was showing me I had so many evidences of His fruit in my life:
I had discovered to love others…. regardless of religious affiliation, race or whatever.
But I was lacking in my love for Him.
That I was putting all of my faith and love into an organization that kept me so busy that I could barely find time to seek Him in prayer.
That He was a jealous God.
And I started to question wither leaving obvious issues with the LDS church and it’s history up on the proverbial shelf was the best idea.
Trusting that answers would come… either here or in the next life.
I decided this is the time I should prepare to meet God.
Discovering My Testimony
In the past I just figured that people researching Church History were just having an issue of faith. They didn’t know or have the experiences what I had in my life that boosted my faith in the Church.
So I would bear my testimony to them of how much “I KNEW” the church was true.
That went over well.
In fact, bearing testimony was my answer of demonstrating power to anybody brazen enough to question my faith, thump a Bible in my face, to teenagers struggling in finding God, or in testimony meetings to bolster faith in those listening.
Felt like Shwartz dropping the triple dog dare on Flick… the end all to any argument!!
That’s how I was trained.
If you want to end an argumentative confrontation on faith and come out on top… bear your testimony.
There is power in your testimony and they can’t argue with it.
What Made Up My Testimony?
Because God moving supernaturally in my life was living proof that the Church was true and people needed to understand that even if they had not experienced it I knew those experiences truly happened.
Evidences like with the cat, my son James, working as an influential youth leader, my connection to God and Jesus through my teenage years.
So many more lent to me placing my faith in the Church being true and anything that came against that was from the adversary.
Did it mean there was a loving God involved in the intimate details in my life?
My Mormon mind exclaimed:
It’s God’s Church! The Church of Jesus Christ!!
I know it’s true…
I was completely certain I knew God… but how can we truly know God???
Unsearchable His Judgments,
Untraceable His Ways.
And the path to coming to this unknowable being is by giving all my time and attention to a physical entity like a 501-C3 registered and chartered church led by fallible men?
Not through drawing to Him daily through worshipping Him in Spirit and Truth?
Praising Him in heartfelt song?
The Lord inhabits the praises of His people…
Again, my mind responded:
That’s just too simple.
The same Church that will claim that the fallibility of man was the reasons for inconsistencies in doctrine, backward quotes, unanswered prophesies, troubling historical events, etc.
But then we treat those leading today as completely infallible, never able to lead us astray.
Listen to them… and only them?
Always… always follow the Brethren.
Discouraging youth and members from doing even a simple Google search on Mormon history.
You must protect your testimony at all costs… all that historical stuff does is damage it.
Local leaders are propped up as well, totally incapable of making uninspired decisions based on their carrying keys and set apart as a leader in the kingdom.
I’ve known many Bishops and lived through some pretty poor decision-making.
Statements made over the pulpit that never should have been made.
But these men aren’t perfect…
Moses was fallible… killed a dude. Abraham… God didn’t give him Hagar, Sara did, God kicked her out of camp with the boy…then in His mercy preserved them. David was surely fallible, yet the Savior came from his line and was called “The Son of David”.
But I was learning through David and the Psalms how to praise God, true transparent repentance, and look to His righteousness instead of expecting that following eternal principles and laws would allow me to create my own.
That God created the eternal laws and not the other way around.
Isaiah says all of our righteousness are as filthy rags.
Only He is righteous.
God uses man throughout our 6000 years of written history but the only constant is how constantly man lets Him down…
All except the Son of Man.
The Word made Flesh.
Are we learning from our history when we boost these leaders up and never hold their feet to the fire?
Sing songs of praise directed to them?
We honor the sacred calling they hold, and you are starting to tick me off…
Okay, but why have they been admittedly lying to us? And why do we justify their lies and distancing themselves from doctrines and statements in an ever-changing narrative?
Do we continue to hang onto every word that comes out of these men because of their fantastic outward appearances?
Dieter F’s pilot stories, his accent and stupendous tie collection? (my admitted favorite)
Dude would never lie to us. Unthinkable.
God would remove him from his office.
Well… didn’t happen with the last lies admitted to. What else are they holding from us or directing us away from?
The movement to become just another body of Christians rather than the ONE and TRUE CHURCH???
All other Christian bodies an abomination according to the first vision…
(however, there are at least 4 differing versions of the first vision)
Did Joseph really die with a Jupiter Talisman on him like quantifiable LDS historians claim like Michael Quinn and Grant Palmer that have since been ex-communicated?
That’s a doozy if true.
Have they been holding onto that in the church office archives as well?
A mystical object that helps the holder score women???
14 year old wives.
Taking wives of those he sent out on missions…
…poor Orson Hyde sent to pray over the Holy Land and came home to his wife given to the prophet??
Leaves the Church on mysterious terms along with Thomas B. Marsh after they confronted Joseph.
Flimsy historical cover up story about Marsh’s departure involving milk strippings held up at the General Conference pulpit:
Keeping the narrative alive even today.
Rewriting their history.
Nevermind that we have had to skirt over every other word that came out of Brigham’s mouth for years and look past some shady Utah pioneer history he was involved with…
…yet still honor him with a school and root beer.
And about all this mysticism…
Historical fact: Joseph was a likable guy.
But that’s not the issue.
From what source was he getting his spiritual direction?
Could it be that this money-digging that almost got Joseph thrown in prison just years before the B of M came out have something to do with the supernatural nature of this book?
Those were just his imperfections he admitted to before he was worthy to receive the plates you dingus!
All you have to do is follow Moroni’s promise and you will experience its power!!!
Because I have experienced this burning…
Time and time again I gave this challenge to others over my 42 years of Mormon life.
And they experienced it.
I literally banked on it.
The Secret of Missionary Success
The supernatural is very real indeed and it is the foundation for the success of LDS missionaries throughout the world.
They give you the book, testify, follow-up and encourage reading and praying over it in order for those to experience this supernatural buzz and “burning of the bosom”.
But the truth is Joseph used a seer stone to bring this book about.
The Joseph Smith papers (released by the Church) states that he found this while digging in a neighbor’s well and used it prior to the book’s release in folklore magic.
Seer stones have been used in divination and occult practices for centuries.
Their use did not originate with Joseph.
Hey… I’m guilty of shenanigans in my youth! But all of this amounts to Joseph commiting some serious sin in the eyes of the Lord.
His words… not mine. (Isa 8:19)
Should not a people seek (inquire) unto their God?
Not a mystical go-between.
Michael Quinn’s 600 plus page “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View” was written with the intent to bring the Church back to the realization of its mystic roots and a call to action to return back to it.
Quinn remains a believer to this day citing “spiritual evidences” when reading the Book of Mormon.
The years prior to Joseph’s death had him delve even more deeply into ancient Jewish mysticism or “Kabbalah”:
This paper was awarded by the Mormon History Association for its historical accuracy.
But it shows how deep Joseph would end up going down the supernaturally-driven mystic rabbit hole.
Didn’t happen all at once, it was a process…
…powerful, powerful counterfeits.
Kabbalah and seer stones are as mystic as it gets delving into occultic powers that are all too real, highly deceptive and completely abhorrent to our Father in Heaven.
Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. (Jer 14:14)
Disguised as light.
We battle not against flesh and blood…
Any spirit is capable of moving within you supernaturally if you ask it to.
When invited in.
Always an Explanation
Dieter F doing his best to spin this on social media exploring the similarities between his iPhone and how a seer stone could be used as a communication device to hear from the Lord God???
Man, I hate cell phones.
What a bastardized form of communication. But I digress…
Back to these supernatural entities… again, they are all too real.
John saw gnostic gospels quickly creeping in the early movement of believers and warned against not just accepting any spirit willing to give supernatural evidence of any new revelation if it was contrary to the gospel they were teaching. (1 Jn 4:1-4)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits…
I’m Just Following the Spirit
I’m not against revelation, prophecy or any of the gifts of the Spirit.
We just need to try the spirits behind them as instructed!
As a Mormon I believed heavily in the supernatural operating and substantiating my faith:
- Depth of symbolism, typologies and supernatural experience found when studying the Book of Mormon daily
- Spiritual experiences and downright spiritual visitations at the temple
- Supernatural preincarnate visitations from the unborn to their mothers
- Energy work by members claiming LDS doctrines (specifically found within the D&C) give us the okay to delve into this stuff…
- Experiences in work for the dead
- Cranial Sacral Therapy delving into “shamanic” territory
- The Emotion Code
- FreeMasonic mysteries tied into LDS doctrine embraced
- Chakra and New Age meditation work common by members
- Visions of Glory
- More LDS NDE’s taken almost as scripture of the end times
- Yoga as great exercise!
All very, very clever…
That’s right… All Discepticons.
Mixed in with truth. Very tough to detangle from…
Very important to test the spirits operating behind them.
But I Know You and your Tomfoolery Douglas…
Yeah, how exactly could the Lord God move in a fool like me and gift me spiritual discernment to recognize and call all this out as terribly deceptive, paradigm shifting, almost unimaginably tricky counterfeits that much wiser people can’t see?
He broke me down first for a reason…
The Lord God giveth understanding to the simple. (Ps 119:130)
He resisteth the proud. (James 4:6)
Is there really pride tied into all the “knowing” that goes into an LDS testimony?
Is this why claiming to know the unknowable entangles us to the point that if the Church isn’t true… then nothing is?
The lines between love for Jesus Christ and love for the LDS church are so blurred that they are viewed as one and the same?
Bag it all.
I accepted for years that there were evidences that the Church was flawed…
…but the biggest moment in my faith would be to obey the voice prodding me to venture into forbidden territory in truly investigating the untold history and testing these spiritual counterfeits.
And make the difficult decision to leave.
Unfortunately… most leaving the church structure are scared, confused and flat-out upset at being lied to that they lose faith in God and the New Testament Gospel message as well.
In fact, I only have one person in my acquaintance of the many that have left the LDS church that still professes any type of faith in Jesus Christ.
This is very telling.
If you stay… the accuser stands before God accusing you of practices you partake in that are mystic in origin.
Entangled in his domain.
The Lord does not dwell in unholy temples.
But counterfeits do.
How many times did I hear…
…”there sure is a special spirit in the temple”.
Because it is a different spirit. But do you know which?
Yes, it can come over you pretty strong… I know it did for me.
Until I tried them.
The Gift of Discerning of Spirits
Eventually, the differing operations of the adversary become clear after enough time is spent in His word trusting it means what it says.
Like a currency counterfeiting expert… doesn’t spend time studying all the different counterfeit articles and techniques out there.
He spends his time studying the genuine article.
We can trust the Bible.
Again, most are upset and embarrassed that leave… hook up with the like-minded and berate the LDS Church and mock any type of belief as well.
And the active mourn their loss but rationalize that they brought it upon themselves by losing the faith they once had in the structure.
Put the blame on their imperfections, not the imperfections of the LDS Church.
Rationalizing that they need the structure. Continue to praise the structure and testify to not knowing where they would be without it…
Sometimes… members can be pretty harsh to those leaving
Because it scares them.
Shakes the foundation that the stone cut without hands rolling throughout the entire earth found in Daniel is, in fact, the LDS church.
When 5,000-10,000 members resign monthly. Memberships removed… even more becoming less active starting down that path.
Salt Lake had to hire a ton more to handle all of those leaving and wanting their names removed in a timely manner.
Out of 15 million members some speculate based on averages taken on ward/stake attendance stateside and all through the world about 1/3 are truly active.
And mass exodus IS happening among that number.
.49% annual growth in 2016 in the United States…
…slowest in 80 years Salt Lake Tribune
Compare that to the late 80’s when the LDS were the fastest-growing church in the world close to 8% growth in the United States alone.
It was very cool being Mormon at that time and bragging about this phenomenal growth boosted our testimonies.
Missionaries are still baptizing (but at 13% lesser rate)… but there is no retention and members are leaving at a faster rate than ever before that is not being accurately reported.
They can no longer cover this up by rearranging the deck chairs and adding stakes to continue to promote the elusion of massive growth that the LDS have become used to hearing about for decades.
The LDS Church is moving backwards.
A lot has to change in order for the Lord to return according to LDS end-time eschatology.
How late in the hour are we truly at?
LDS Youth are Suffering
64-65% retention of LDS youth is a complete black eye given the importance and priority placed on mentoring them by Bishoprics through the past decades leading to this point in time.
Directives from the top down to focus on the youth.
64-65% is a failing mark.
In the 1970s and 80s, surveys showed that the church retained about 90 percent of its cradle members like myself.
Have we been arming our children with the faith required to make it in this ridiculous world?
Or is there just pressure being applied?
How much focus is put on loving Jesus, His words and the Lord God… or are the evidences and assurances they have in life being funneled towards the Church being true?
Like my trained reaction to finding my cat at 11 years old, and still my reaction at 32 years old after the Lord blessed us with my son James.
All Glory to God.
I understood and taught that only once you truly understand the fullness of the Gospel found in the LDS church, its doctrine and temple worship you will experience more of the Lord.
But doesn’t that make Lord Jesus become secondary? Search, believe, devote all of your time and obey Mormon doctrine first and then you find Him?
This needs detangling.
Modern Day Temple Worship
Lord Jesus proclaimed he did nothing in secret.
There are secrets in the LDS temple that when we are honest with ourselves… in our first experience didn’t seem like the spiritual come to Jesus experience we were all expecting.
Do not trust in these lying words, saying, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.” Jer 7:4
Jeremiah was berated by those claiming the temple was living proof that God was with them. Brazen and proud without understanding that the paganism and mysticism that found its way into their temple worship was, in fact, a one-stop ticket into Babylonian captivity.
Oaths taken in LDS temples demand complete loyalty in finances, time, service, devotion to a physical church…
…contrary to the incredible movement of faith found in the early church that could not be stopped by death.
The Roman Emperor Nero lamenting “WHY DO THEY SING????!!!@#$”
as he tortured and fed them to the lions.
Completely different from the rag tag home churches that were the common practice for over 300 years after our Lord’s ascension.
Rome couldn’t stop it… finally had to embrace it in order to properly control and corrupt it.
The vail of the physical temple in Jerusalem was torn in two by an angel at the time of the crucifixion.
God’s desire is to dwell with man… we are His temple. 1 Cor 3:16
How many times have we heard and taught that all things we do as LDS lead to the temple?
But our poor kids have to wrestle with doubts that arise from a simple Google search…
… making it even more difficult to get to this temple experience by carrying high standards that are truly driven by faith and love for the Lord.
Not just following rules.
Nothing that I had to deal with.
In the 80’s we could always tell someone to take a flying leap if they told us Joseph used a seer stone to bring about the B of M and not the golden plates.
Obviously, this is a big problem for me having seen many LDS youth suffer because today they can research conflicting evidences more easily that the restored LDS gospel has some gaping holes in its foundation.
And choose a different path far away from the Lord and the New Testament Gospel.
Because Jesus was just filling a role or mission in the LDS gospel…
…instead of BEING the Gospel.
Claimed all things in the scripture pointed to Him.
[Man that must have ticked off the Jews…]
Mass Resignations Hurting All
But this exodus is becoming mainstream and people are asking what is happening with the LDS.
Entire Elders quorums, mission presidents confessing themselves as unbelievers… and even members of the 70’s meeting in secret with LDS Historian Grant Palmer.
His book “An Insiders View of Mormon Origins” is the best example yet of how Joseph could have used 19th century evangelism and his experience during this time of “religious activity” to create the book.
My defense of the Book of Mormon for years was the notion that Joseph could have NEVER have written it because he lacked the education and experience.
But Palmer’s book is turning the heads of even the most ardent believers.
Higher ups have no answers and people leave the fold after reading it.
[Live Lecture by Grant]
(I maintain Joseph also had help of a spiritual nature.)
My pop also taught me if someone goes out of their way to say it’s NOT because of something…
…it usually is.
[I’m breaking up with you… but it’s not you, it’s me.]
No, it’s you.
Many still continue to show up for reasons other than faith: wives, jobs, family, rationalize that it’s a good way to live their lives, etc.
But many admit to agnostic beliefs… just not at the church house.
Even those strong pillars of faith are leaving.
Members with fantastic testimonies, quick to serve, loving people that have had amazing experiences with God as active LDS:
- Experienced miracles of healing
- Evidences of prayer answered… tender mercies
- filled with gifts of love, faith, hope
- multiple blessings from paying tithing (amazing principle enacted even before the Law with Abraham)
- inspiration given in leadership positions on who needs help
- and many more…
Many in the LDS church bear fruit… but at what rate?
30, 60 or 100 fold? (Matt 13:8)
And does bearing some fruit and experiencing spiritual gifts mean that God is endorsing the LDS church and belief system?
Or have I had the true cornerstone of the Gospel in my life the entire time in His word?
Not the LDS Church.
I just need to simplify…
…and retain the many truths I was taught and love.
KJV version of the Bible has brought millions to faith throughout the ages.
Same Bible I was reading in 1987 is the one I read today. And even more evidences confirming what my pop was talking about that we can truly trust the Bible:
The oil of relationship being nurtured and stored up… that allowed the wise to enter into the wedding feast and sent the foolish out looking to procure it at the last minute.
I never knew you…. ouch.
They had the expectation that they were virtuous and clean to enter in as they were waiting for Him as a virgin.
But lacking something… vital.
Something coming between them and their ability to carry the same amount of oil as the wise.
Something that takes time to build.
Truly knowing the Lord…
…and what He is not
I had no idea the Lord desired a more intimate walk with me.
But as I have renounced worship that goes back to Egyptian and Babylonian mysteries and secrets… I communicate, praise and worship God and His Son like I have never done before.
Coming more into His Righteousness and Holiness that is available to us through the cross but takes daily break-throughs in order to get past the many things hindering us from knowing Him.
Most will continue to boost up and sing praise to the deception, cling to untested spiritual evidences, and lump in the true blessings in their lives that come from God being faithful to His word into their Church being true.
Yes… the LDS are blessed imperfect as they are.
But most will not face the uncomfortable truth that mystical practices abhorrent before God brought about the formation of the LDS church and there is a lie in your right hand (Isa 44:20).
A lie in temple work.
A lie in genealogy.
A lie in baptizing the dead.
Too much to take in? Probably.
But there is some cleaning out that needs to happen. Harsh realities like the time of Ezra and Nehemiah coming out of Babylonian captivity back into Israel and the holiness required by God for His chosen required complete removal of ALL paganism.
Tough decisions had to be made in order for His glory to fill the temple once again.
Cutting off from things that most likely were very dear to them in order to live the law of their day prior to the Messiah… including wives and children.
I do not come to bring peace…
…but a sword.
Imperative to get back to the basics of the Gospel message as taught by Paul:
He was buried
He rose on the third day.
Simplifying back to the awesome faith I had as a child and a teen.
This is the fullness of the Gospel… and the structure the LDS crave is happening in this late hour amongst a remnant of believers.
Back to the time of the Book of Acts.
The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
Faith as a child with signs and wonders following.
Even greater than what the Savior did on earth.
Working exploits in His name…
Bearing fruit 100 fold having renounced ALL worship rooted in mysticism.
His Power Unrestrained…
His work in the midst of the years revived and revealed (Hab 3:2)
I love my past… prepared me for such a time as this.
I love the LDS.
They will always be my people.
I still love Provo.
Not so much BYU TV… but Studio C does have some funny parodies.
And in surveying the beginning and what has become of my life I quote the ever quotable Ghostbuster Winston:
“I love Jesus’ style”
God is Good.