So, yeah. Today is a bad day. Today I'd prefer the rocks from the mountains to crush me to dust. Today, I'm mad and sad and...done. Just done! Had I only kept my mouth shut all those years ago. I'm pretty negative today so best for me to shut my mouth now (or restrain my fingers).
All I have for the post is a portion of what I emailed to one individual and said to the other person. Here you go:
Thank you for having the courage to share your feelings. It means you care. I am sorry that my observations hurt your heart. It will be easier to love me if you don't read my blog but I understand if you choose not to do that.
I shouldn't have shared the blog all those years ago. I made a lot of mistakes sharing my journey and if I could go back I would have stayed silent. I have been told by different people I love that I am "un-Christ-like", "prideful", "desiring to lead", "lack of light in my eyes", "not led by the Spirit", and more. I guess I can, to a small degree, relate to Joseph Smith when he said, “You don't know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don't blame anyone for not believing my history."
I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago about my family not going to church. They said that our belief in Jesus was "good" but - not enough. We needed to believe in the covenant path (which ironically is more than what the Book of Mormon outlines: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost). That broke my heart. Jesus isn't enough in the church. The sister missionaries stopped by last month and we talked in the driveway and they asked me some direct questions. I shared my heart and told them that when Jesus becomes the focus of the church, we will be back in a heartbeat. That if the baptism questions were just about Jesus, we would have the kids be baptized. If the temple questions were just about Jesus, we would be back. I expressed that I was sure I was strange to them and they'd probably not meet another person who had these issues and they said, "Actually, we have met someone who said the same thing yesterday."
So you may feel that I am critical of the church and that I'm not devoting all my energy to the Lord and I will, like the other opinions leveled at me, accept that as your view of me.
I love the members of the church and I have given a life in service of the church. I am thankful I have. I learned so much and grew so much.
May I share a glimpse of how my mind works so you can have understanding?
Reading 4 Nephi chapter 1. I compare what happened to the people of Bountiful to us in the Church today.
Bountiful: Jesus personally ministered to those at Bountiful after His Resurrection.
Us: Almost none of the Saints in Joseph's day to the present day have been ministered to by Jesus Christ. Those lay members that do claim to have seen Him are looked at as a person to avoid.
Bountiful: Jesus left 3 translated beings among them.
Us: Joseph died when the church was in its infancy and no one knew who should lead the church until a vote was taken 3 years later. Our Church continued on by a vote. There were no translated beings among them then or us today.
Bountiful: Jesus told His disciples at Bountiful that they would go on to do the works they saw Him do (3 Nephi 27:21) They went on to heal the sick, raise the dead, cause the lame to walk, be put in fire and not burned, put in dens of beasts and received no harm (4 Nephi 1: 5, 32-33).
Us: After Joseph died there have been almost none of those miracles listed above by those in leadership.
Bountiful: They were personally ministered to by Jesus Christ. They witnessed and some experienced many being raised from the dead. They witnessed and experienced profound healing, even people that couldn't walk - walked! They watched disciples be thrown into fire or in dens of beasts and come out unscathed. And lastly, they were left with three translated beings. Even with all of that, 200 years after Jesus came to Bountiful, the church fell into apostasy.
Us: Miracles nowhere near the magnitude of what they experienced. No visitation from Jesus Christ to those who testify they are Special Witnesses of Christ (and if one were to argue that maybe they have seen Jesus but it's just too sacred to share - the first chapter in 1 Nephi blows the belief of, "not sharing sacred things" out of the water. That's what they are called to do). Additionally we have no translated beings living among us. And yet - we proclaim, "We can never and will never be led astray." Translation: We will never go into apostasy.
The church, 200 years after those at Bountiful were ministered to by Jesus, fell into apostasy.
We are nearing 200 years since the Church was organized (and over 200 years since the first vision) and we are lightyears away from what the people of Bountiful experienced. To believe that they (who had Jesus as their leader) got it wrong but we never could (and never will) is vanity and pride. (2 Nephi 28:11, Moroni 7: 36-37)
My reason for where I am at today is because I don't believe I am chosen above all the rest of the world. I actually believe the Book of Mormon when it shows the amount of pride in people who believe they are chosen above all others (the LDS have so much in common with the Jews).
Moroni gave a chilling warning for the LDS church (one of the most wealthy entities on the planet):
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. (Moroni never mentions a special people...the LDS...he says of the church: "even every one")
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
I am pretty sure my blog posts are more tame than Moroni.
Moroni said we love adorning our churches. Here's something to consider. Look at the difference in temples:
Most temples the church builds are very expensive. Yes, the Lord did command Solomon to build a magnificent temple. But it was one temple. We have 335 (either announced or in some stage of remodeling, building, and operation).
What are Temples for?
To endow the living and then to redeem the dead?
If the work done inside is what matters - then why does it matter how ornate they are? Contrast Rome, Italy with the Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo temple:
If this temple, which looks more like a large stake center, is sufficient - why must the rest of the temples be so ornate with marble flown in from other countries, etc.
I guess sometimes people in scripture wrote about the corruption they saw and I don't view them as "not having enough energy for the Lord" but trying actively to tear down my idols so I only have Jesus Christ as my sure foundation. If we don't wake up to the fact that we are the people the Book of Mormon prophesied about, then all is vain. (Moroni 7)
The person responded and let me know they didn't understand why I still felt the need to blog negatively about the church. Here is my response:
We are in apostasy.
He condemned the apostasy.
We are living in the times Moroni saw. When I blog I am reiterating what Moroni said of the pride of the LDS leaders and people who are polluted because of pride.
We believe we are a chosen people and can never and will never be led astray. There simply isn't a single scripture that can back up that belief. Believing such pollutes the Holy church of God (Mormon 8:38).
People are leaving the church in greater numbers. Access to more church documents from the Joseph Smith papers has opened a floodgate for people to see, for themselves, documents that have been withheld. I literally thank the Lord that as my heart broke, it was divinely caught by a random simple Christian preacher's message and they pointed me right to Jesus.
If my writings can turn one person who is already on their way out not to leave Jesus too, I will.
If my writings can turn one person who is in the church and pridefully believes they are saved just by, "staying in the boat", to Jesus -then I will.
My blog has a purpose: 1. Acknowledge the areas of hypocrisy and pride of the church 2. Acknowledge the members desire (and the leadership's allowance) to place leadership next to or an inch lower than Jesus Himself SO that I can 3. Point the reader back to Jesus Christ.
Why can't I just do #3 ?
Why did Moroni write of the corruption of the Holy church of God? Was he someone who "couldn't leave it alone" too? Or was he trying to strip away false idols and point people to Jesus? He was talking to us. Why do we insist he was talking to everyone but us? Pride.
Who do I think I am that I know more than the church leaders, one may ask? Am I not filled with pride in doing this?
I don't think I'm anyone other than a total loser. Truly. I'm not saying this and hoping you'll say something nice about me when I say that. I don't think I'm smarter than or better than anyone else. That's how I got here - on this path. I knew my sins were great and that I wasn't fit for heaven so I pleaded with God and wrestled with Him in prayer until He answered me. But already knowing I am a loser...that's why these emails or criticism are so hard to receive and leave me bawling every time. I can agree with every accusation leveled at me. I know I am a loser or a jerk or prideful or an idiot or un-Christlike. I have nothing to defend myself with since I see all my flaws. Perhaps my only redeeming quality is that I love Jesus and I want others to know Him and love Him too. And if it means I have to tear down the idols of pride, I will.
How can you point an idolatrous people to Jesus if they believe they are chosen and can't be led astray by an arm of flesh (2 Nephi 4:34)? I can not express how many people I have seen **leave the church and leave God too.** That cuts to my soul and that is why I write.