In a few words, the Light of Christ was not in me. I felt so numb as if I was only going through the motions. There was so much emphasis on all the extra things within the church when Christ should have been the number one focus. Those extra things were Primary/Young Women activities, Relief Society, Enrichment, the Temple, Home/Visiting Teaching, meeting after meeting, etc. I could go on. There were so many redundant activities and it just got SO stale. Christ certainly does not want us having stale lives. There was so much preaching on how to serve and when to serve that I was doing all those things because I was told to or because it was my calling instead of doing everything out of the kindness of my heart or because I actually wanted to.
I did enjoy some callings, but for the most part, I dreaded them. I wanted to know before I accepted a calling "how much time is this going to take away from my family? Will I be working with the same age group I have for 40 hours during my work week?" These things were normally not considered by church leadership. I am not referring to all; however, the majority did not consider those things. They were just trying to fill an open position. I think we get more out of choosing to grow in certain areas ourselves rather than being called by church leaders into specific callings. I do understand members should pray about callings prior to accepting them. However, only the Lord and I know the areas I need strengthening in.
MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT
The scriptures tell us to serve out of the kindness of our heart, not because we are told to or because it's our calling. I was doing "good works" for all the wrong reasons, as I believe many Mormons do. As a whole, I did not feel genuine, self-giving love in the church. There was way too much contention for me. So much bickering and complaining and competition...Love was certainly not the sole reason for the good works of many of the members. And since I have shared my blog with the world, it is very clear to me that many Mormons do not do or say things out of a love for God. Mormons are the ones who are bad mouthing me and putting me down, not the Christians. The Christians are encouraging and uplifting. There are a few Mormons who have been accepting of my decision to share my story. However, in general, the Mormons are the ones who disagree with my blog and my decision to share my life story with others. Temple attendance, home/visiting teaching and service were also not being done out of a Love for God. I was doing all these "works" because if I didn't, I wouldn't be good enough and ultimately would not make it to the celestial kingdom. And that's not how Christ and church should make us feel. The Savior would not say any one of us is not good enough. So why would a church?
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors-not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself:' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
1 John 1:6
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
1 John 4:20-21
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Do as you believe. Love God and love each other, even if you disagree with their decisions. Those that love have fulfilled the law. That's all you need to do! And that's what He means by being rewarded by our works. How do we love? Do we love our enemies? Do we love those that disagree with our beliefs? Do we love those who have turned away from our church? Do we love those who have been open and honest about their true feelings of another's church?
I do, even those who have said hateful words to me. Just because I completely disagree with your church and your beliefs, does not mean I feel that way towards you. I still love you no matter what you choose to believe.
A wise friend of mine says, "no church can force people to develop their faith." Well, no church should have to try to force people to develop their faith. If the church is teaching and doing what it should be teaching and doing, then people's faith will come naturally through their love of Christ. LDS preach so much about the importance of Joseph Smith, the temple, prayer, scripture study, selfless service, sacrifice, good works, what you should or should not be doing, etc., that they were definitely attempting to force me to develop my faith. The only thing I need and want to hear, as well as be taught to my children, is how much Christ loves us. That is the ONLY thing that needs to be preached endlessly, nothing else. If this is understood, then everything else will come naturally without having to be told or forced to do it again and again, over and over.
I felt as though sacrament was very stale, very boring, and very repetitive. My heart told me I need to really worship the Lord. My favorite way to worship the Lord is through music, and LDS music did not fulfill my worshiping needs. I am so blessed to finally be involved with a church that truly worships the LORD! Every song I sing is about One Person and One Person only; My Savior!
My unanswered question was:
If the lds church is the one true church, then why did I feel such a struggle within myself to try harder and study more and pray more and do more good works, etc.? Why did all those things not come completely naturally to me as they do now, with a desire to do them for myself and my relationship with Christ?
I was initially devastated when I received this answer that the lds church is not the one true church, yet overjoyed to find the truth that my spirit and my relationship with My Savior are both much stronger without a denomination! All I need is my relationship with Him, and I am so very blessed to have that now! He is with me every step of the way, and unfortunately, I was unable to say that as a Mormon.