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Most Religions are Alike…

April 23, 2013

…in the sense that all religious people are pursuing the same main goals – 1) they want to please God and 2) they want to have their sin debt paid.[1]

What are you doing in your religion to get your sin debt paid?

When I recently asked a religious person this question he started going into great detail to explain to me how he tries to obtain forgiveness on a regular basis and to maintain as much as possible a state of perfection.  I asked when he could know that his sin debt had been paid and that he was headed for heaven when he died, and he said he could never know that.  He had just been to church and had prayed and asked for forgiveness for everything up to that point, but he could not know if he was clean right then because he might have sinned in his thoughts since that prayer.

This opened up the perfect opportunity for me to share why I believe something different.  The Bible says we can KNOW that we have eternal life [2].  We can have assurance that we are going to heaven.  Not because we have achieved a level of perfection by our own effort, but because God has provided the ultimate sacrifice for sins.  We are trusting in the Lamb of God who was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

When I got done sharing the beautiful good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ he was very quiet and thoughtful and said, “You mean all I have to do is believe Jesus Christ died for our sins and that’s it?  I’m clean?”

Read more…

Rethinking My Theology

March 28, 2013

This blog has been silent for many moons as I have traveled to the other side of the globe and back.  While I was working in the Middle East, I encountered people who had been raised in a religion very similar to Mormonism.  Many of these people have serious doubts about their religion and a growing number of the younger generation are becoming agnostic or atheist.  Some of them are very interested in following Jesus, but intense fear, family and social pressures, and a lack of basic human rights are huge barriers for them in responding to the gospel (or from admitting it to anyone if they do believe).

I found the similarities between Islam and Mormonism striking when it came to their objections to the gospel.  I sometimes felt like I was having the same conversations I have with Mormons – it was like the same soup reheated.  Their objections centered on three main things: Read more…

Looking Unto Jesus

June 11, 2012

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Heb. 12:1-2)

At the beginning of this year I began to read a chapter from Proverbs every day.  Proverbs is immensely practical and the general advice found there has proven itself helpful for me.  Practices like holding my tongue, striving for wisdom, and choosing the right friends stand out immediately.  But a more troubling character flaw revealed itself to me lately.  Proverbs also deals with the issue of pride.  How easy it is to see pride in others but never to admit to our own!

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My update

April 9, 2012

The past year has found me completely disengaged from the blogosphere.  I have happily contented myself with finding a wonderful young man, and, in due course, marrying him.  I have since moved out of Mormon country and find myself living in the Deep South, far away from everything LDS.  I’ve been living here six months and have not even seen where the local ward meets, let alone a temple!  I have only met Mormons (non-practicing) since my relocation and I miss chatting and dialoguing with my Mormon friends.

I hope that I can post more frequently now that I am done wedding planning and writing a multitude of thank-you notes! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter celebrating the resurrection of our Lord!

My Mormon Dermatologist

February 9, 2011

I love my Mormon dermatologist.  He helped me get my acne cleared up and I am extremely grateful to him for that!

I am going to be moving out of the area for awhile and so I wanted to make sure I took the opportunity to share with him before I leave about my concerns with Mormonism.  We were talking about the mission he had served and I decided to ask him if he was a hard-core Mormon or more of a doubting Thomas.  He said he thought he was more of the hard-core type.  I then asked him if he would be open to watching a DVD if I sent it to him.  He wanted to know what it was about so I explained it compares the prophecies of Joseph Smith with the prophecies in the Bible.  He looked a little skeptical and uncomfortable and said he knew there was a lot of “anti-Mormon” information out there, but he felt he had received his answer.  He said I could send it to him, but that he probably wouldn’t watch it.

He then jokingly asked me if he could send me a Book of Mormon. Read more…

Martha’s Testimony: Religion Destroys, Jesus Restores

January 25, 2011

I have not had time to blog lately so I asked a friend of mine who was raised LDS if she would like to share her testimony for a blog post.  This is her testimony in her own words:

I was born into the Mormon Church and raised going to Sunday school and Seminary. I went to church regularly. I attended Brigham Young University. I had a brother who did the same. My brother was a bit more rebellious than I was, but met a woman and married her in the temple. The marriage was short lived and they divorced. After a time, my brother met another woman and moved in with her. My father was the Bishop at the time and my brother was in the Ward. The LDS church required my father to excommunicate my brother. My brother and his future wife moved away to a place only I knew of. I was devastated. I could not believe a God would destroy a family like that. I became agnostic. Even to the point of finding the nicest atheist I could find and marrying him – to spite God and my parents.

At one point, the Mormon Church began harassing me. They consistently sent their 14-year-old boys to collect tithing and calling me. One day the Bishop showed up at my door and I asked him if he had a piece of paper. He gave me one and I wrote down the request to take me off the Mormon list. They held court, which I did not attend. Read more…

Inspired by fallen men

December 4, 2010

Perhaps nothing stirs the hearts of believers more than learning about the human nature of saints of old.  The leaves of Scripture are filled with stories of men who both served God and also failed miserably to match His holiness.  Some of the tales read like a modern tabloid magazine.  Judah sleeping with his daughter-in-law.  Noah lying naked in a drunken stupor while his son mocks him.  Jacob deceiving his father and stealing his brother’s inheritance.  Solomon amassing a legion of wives.  David hiring the military to murder a man to conceal his own adultery.  Paul violently persecuting Christian believers.  No student of the Bible wears rose-colored glasses when looking at the people portrayed in it.  The struggles that they lived through and the choices that they made were fleshly–just like the men themselves.

In the New Testament James urges believers to confess their sins to one another and to pray for each other (5:16).  The ideal church model is not for pious Christians to put on a facade on Sunday morning.  Like the believers in Acts who came and “openly confessed” their sins, we too are to be authentic and expose our faults to our brethren.  Confessing sin is a humbling process that requires great humility.  But it is the process of overcoming sin that truly magnifies our Savior.  What a blessing it is to hear of someone caught in an addiction, in a lifestyle, in a horrible situation who cried out to Jesus for help and was rescued.

Read more…