Friday, August 15, 2014

What do I believe?

A few Sundays ago right after church I got a Facebook message from someone I went to high school with.  It immediately started with questions about my Mormon faith…wait I don't' know if they were questions more like accusations, because the tone of it was that of someone who felt they already knew everything about me and had their mind made up.

Caught of guard I kinda fumbled a bit in my response, first trying to find some common ground or temper the situation but then after a few messages back and forth I was getting upset as I was being told the Jesus that I believe in is not the real one and he was sure that I and my family would not be going to heaven.

So I just had to take a break and cool off.  Not check Facebook for a bit (something I have to do every once in a while if someone bothers me enough to affect my mood or how I'm treating my family because of my mood!)

But then when I getting ready one morning a thought came into my head.  It was from Elder Jeffrey R Holland one of the quorum of the twelve apostles and something he said at the most recent general conference.

Defend your beliefs with courtesy and compassion, but defend them.  

and I felt I sure had done a lousy job.  Part of the problem being this man was asking me very detailed doctrinal questions without knowing the foundation or any basic beliefs.  Wanting the meat before the bread.  And the bulk of he was telling me I believed was completely false.  And while I might not be the most knowledgeable or most articulate (haha, usually never actually), I do know the doctrine, I have put the time in to study it and most important I am teaching my children the gospel of Christ.  

So while there are other things I want to put on this blog, I felt like I needed to put my response on here.  Not my thought of for many hours or proof read version, but how it actually happened.  When I sat down for ten minutes as kids were yelling around me and tried to focus.  I won't include all of the conversation but just the part where I felt like my attitude changed and I spoke from experience and conviction.  Sorry the format is kinda wonky, I copied and pasted it in there.  

"Once again -- my theory was proven -- Def not your judge but what your saying is only your 15M members and their "families" will make it to Heaven?

My response:  Not at all, not at all. This is why we need to start from the beginning its hard to explain when we jump around from subject to subject.  Why would God make a plan of salvation where only a small portion of his children could return to Him?  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons is a complete nickname, after a prophet named Mormon from the ancient Amercias who helped compile sacred works about the inhabitants on the other side of the world) believe as cited in 1 Cor 15:40-42  that the afterlife is made up of degrees of glories and it it through Christ grace and Atonement and through our repentance and faith in Him that we can be saved.

  My family all left so I have a few minutes before I have to volunteer at school.  As far as the book of mormon being the most correct book, in my 35 years there has never been any content changes and there is only one version (albeit hundreds of languages) of the Book of Mormon where there are hundreds of versions of the Bible and interpretations.  I sent my kids to a non denominational christian camp this summer full of good people and their bible says that baptism is not required which is against what I read in the Bible that Jesus taught in Matt 3:15 "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh to fulfill all righteousness."

And for the trinity, I would love an explanation I cannot understand how other Christians do not see that there is a Heavenly Father and his BELOVED son Jesus who he told us after baptism "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  do they think he was talking to himself?  Or in John 3:16  where he says For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

My testimony is Christ who was crucified on the cross is tangible and real and I feel it in my heart and can defend it intellectually to the whit if time would allow.  Because I know that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever I know that HIS church would be one that has the same organization that existed in the primitive church with prophets, apostles and continued revelation.  For He loves his people in 2014 as much as the ancient world.  And who are his children?  Well the entire world, whether they believe in him or not, even the muslims   and one day we shall all stand in judgement of Him and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

and that is the whole point of life that we in John 17:3 and this is life eternal, that they might know these the only true God, and Jesus Crist, whom thou has sent (please tell me how the trinity idea works?) And who is our Heavenly Father, well in Hebrews 12:9 we read Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we game them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection until the Father of spirits, and live?

With so many different opinion in all the religious sects, that is why a young uneducated Joseph smith went to a grove of trees after reading James 1:5 if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God which giveth to all man liberally and abraideth not….and prayed to know which church is true.  He was told to join none of them but that the keys of the priesthood would be given to him and they were but Peter James and John in angelic form.

and the work we do in the temple is sacred, not secret and just as we do not put pearls before swine so we do not let the filth of the world corrupt the house of the Lord (and believe me, in Los Angeles I see a lot of filth) .

I admire your dedication to Christ, I am not your adversary, but there is one and He is actively trying to destroy so I will support you on any effect to thwart his plans.  I am not Mormon, I am a member of Christs church restored on the earth today.  and I love it.  and I've studied it, and any naysayers I ignore because I know the truth of it for myself.  When I hear President Thomas S Monson speak, I know he is prophet of God. When I hear the apostles (seriously, Presdient Uchtdorf or Elder Holland!, amazing!) the spirit confirms its truthfulness again and again.  Thanks for letting me defend my faith.  I will until I die.  It is unequivocally true regardless of the imperfections of man.  sure there are the occasional bonehead members who drag it in mud but church is for sinners, not for the perfect.  Thanks so much for letting me say this, I don't know if you will really read the whole thing but ten pretend bonus points if you do.

and if you ever are in my neck of the woods you better come and drop by.  sorry i think i'm on like number 2 question, will get to the others as time permits (kids fighting right now, duty calls 

and if you are ever in SLC go visit temple square!  or there are temples in Birmingham and Atlanta and Orlando and they love to answer questions are probably way more knowledgable than me and thanks for saying i'm a good mom, means a lot.

Okay that was it.  So did that satisfy him?  Nope.  I was not clear enough, He was still telling me I should pray to Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive me and receive Him as my Savior.

My response again: 

 No way we can ever earn our way by works and deeds only Christ can save us and it is his gift which is why I love him for it. That he paid for my sins and not just my sins  but all the pain in my life even the pain that is caused to me by other people and sickness and loneliness. Everything. I think we agree on this. 
It is not my church it is His. Christ is the head of it. That is my point . We share many of the same core things when I visited that other church recently I was reminded that. Do I think Mormons will be the only people to be saved? No way. what about people who have never heard of Christ who would have accepted him if they knew of him? Christ is our only hope I completely agree . Love all those Romans scriptures agree with them all. I must not be expressing myself clear enough sorry I never proof read.

I doubt it was enough or if I convinced him of anything but at least I felt like I defended it and I will not be swayed.  

My sister Lindsey told me a few months ago to start reading Preach My Gospel and that it had changed her life.  So I did.  Just one page a day I read and then look up the scripture references.  So while I am not expert and am only on page 77, I felt like I had been prepped and the scripture references came easily and without much effort.  I was so glad I put the effort in.  I have the mini $4 one that I got on by the way and gave one to all my kids.  Great way to study the scriptures, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  Shows the references in both and really makes sense.  Starts from the very beginning and explains things simply and clearly.  

Anyway, I just wanted to get this on here before too much time past. After all I have vacation and first day of school photos I need to show ya too.  

So grateful for my testimony of the Jesus Christ.  I am far from perfect and grateful for His Atonement.  Okay, now gotta run and get kids ready for school! 



Alvhild Evans said...

You are so awesome!! I need to be for like that when I get asked questions or overhear people talking about the church. Great post!

Lindsey said...

You are so good at explaining everything!! You should put that on your profile. Way to go knowing your scriptures. Very good post. Love your testimony. It is mine as well. xo

embot said...

wow! that guy was obviously very very aggressive. You are amazing and i want to be JUST LIKE YOU!!! xoxo

Amber said...

You know I want to know who it was!! Lol! You did great!

Nancy Jo said...

Wonderful! Great explanation. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you say, if they don't want to hear the truth.

Heather said...

I doubt he really read what you wrote, or his mind is completely closed. You explained things great!

RachelAA said...

Really, fabulous job! Fact is if you're not listening with an open heart, you won't really "hear" or understand anything. So it's not you, it's that person not really listening. I loved hearing your conviction in your "voice". I was told by my father that I do not believe in the right God and I would go to hell for that. I would say you responded much better than I ever did. Good job - and hello, love the way the Lord used your sister to help prepare you for this very conversation. Tender mercy!