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I Felt A “Burning in my Bosom” When I Read The Book of Mormon!

June 5, 2017
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When I read the Book of Mormon a number of years ago there were some beautiful passages I read about Jesus. My favorite verse was 2 Nephi 33:6 which says, “I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.” While reading some of these passages that align with the truth of God’s Word, I experienced a warm, “burning” sensation in my chest that felt familiar – it was a sensation I had experienced a few other times quite recently prior to this. Because of the close connection with the other times I had felt it (which had been during times of spiritual encouragement) I thought for a moment that perhaps this was the “burning in the bosom” experience that Mormons had told me about. They had said this was how the Holy Spirit would testify to my heart that the Book of Mormon was true.

However, as I continued to pray and ask the Lord about what I was experiencing, He impressed on my mind very clearly that this was a deception. Then He brought to my mind several specific reasons why this “burning in the bosom” test was not legitimate:

  1. Feelings/sensations are not a reliable source of knowledge. God has already revealed to us in His Word that feelings can be deceptive. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
  2. He never commanded us to test anything in this way. The scriptures always point us to the scriptures as our source for spiritual knowledge. The Word of God, not our feelings, is to be “a lamp” and “a light” to our path (Psalm 119:105). We are instructed to be diligent to study the scriptures so that we can “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2 :15). (From my previous study of scripture, I knew of many contradictions between Mormonism and the Bible’s teaching.)
  3. There is no evidence in history or archaeology that any of the Book of Mormon peoples or places ever existed. A sensation in the bosom is not a legitimate reason to overturn these facts. We are commanded to love the Lord with our mind, as well as our heart, so we should not dismiss the mounting evidence that the Book of Mormon is a 19th century work of fiction.
  4. There is a mountain of evidence that Joseph Smith was a very sinful man who failed the biblical tests for a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22, Matthew 7:16-17) and was biblically disqualified from a leadership position in the church based on the very clear command that leaders in the church could only have one wife (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6).
  5. The “burning in the bosom” test is a deception because The Book of Mormon does not even teach most of the unique, unbiblical doctrines of Mormonism.  So getting a positive test for the Book of Mormon is not a legitimate test for the entire religion of Mormonism.

(There are a lot of other reasons I think the Book of Mormon is not from God and I blogged about those previously here and here. I also wrote some rather lengthy reviews about my analysis of the Book of Mormon here and here and here.)

It’s been many years since I wrote those previous posts so I can’t remember for sure if I ever shared about the “burning in the bosom” experience I had. I certainly never wrote a provocative title like this one, drawing attention to it. To be honest, I was a little creeped out after the Lord impressed upon me that it was a deception.

I’m sure some people would say my experience was merely psychological (I was expecting to feel something because that’s what Mormons had told me would happen) or emotional (tons of familiar words/phrases and even huge direct quotations from the King James version of the Bible are woven throughout the Book of Mormon) or physical (maybe I had just eaten a spicy burrito). I acknowledge that any or all of these could be true (it’s been so many years I have no idea what I had for lunch).  But I also wondered how much my Mormon roots may have contributed.

My grandma was born into a large Mormon family (her grandparents were even personal friends of Brigham Young). She left the religion as a young girl and became a Bible-believing Christian. I have sometimes wondered if my ancestors’ spirituality made me more vulnerable to the same deceiving spirits.

Thankfully, Jesus has authority over all the spirits and they are all subject to Him!  The Bible says Satan can appear as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) so just because something feels good or right doesn’t prove it’s from God. The following verse gives some of the Bible’s teaching on how to overcome deceiving spirits:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… (Ephesians 6:10-18)

I highlighted a couple of words above which underscore the importance of having our foundation firmly planted in the truth of God’s Word.

I got to meet Micah Wilder recently, a former Mormon who now travels the country sharing the gospel of salvation that is found in Jesus Christ alone. He says that he discovered Mormonism was wrong after he went back and read through the New Testament like a little child – not reading it through the Mormon lenses, but from as unbiased a perspective as possible. My prayer for any Mormons reading this is that you will also take up this challenge of reading the New Testament cover-to-cover like a little child.  As you read, pray.  Ask Jesus to teach you His truth from His Word and to untangle any lies or deceptions you might be believing.

Thank you for hearing my heart and listening to my personal perspective and experience.

Blessings,

Jessica

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
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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!

Read more…

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…