That darn house phone. I lost it again this morning. It was outside by the grill - I've gotta start replacing it to it's hook at night. I had heard it ringing this morning, but couldn't find it. Curious as to my mystery caller, I scrolled through the missed call logs. My parents called.
I breathed deep and hit redial. Mamau explained that she had had time to think about the news I had shared with her yesterday and had some questions if I didn't mind answering them. I guess God was going to keep this ball rolling pretty steadily. It's sort of like a band-aid - do you pull it off slowly so it won't hurt so much or fast so it's over quickly?
Either Melanie had shared with her that we were now attending a new church (which I had shared in a reply email to Melanie yesterday) or she finally understood from our conversation yesterday that I was attending another church because it was the first thing she asked about. Followed closely by assuming that Grace Point was either influencing me or instructing me to get rid of my Mormon books, movies, and other items. I wasn't prepared for this question. It should have been a question I should have expected - but it wasn't. First, I strongly clarified that GP had never asked or directed me to remove LDS items from my home. So the follow up question was, "Well then, why are you doing it?"
I was silent for awhile. She assumed this meant I didn't have an answer. I did have one - but I didn't want to fight with her, I didn't want to hurt her feelings by saying, "Because, God has convicted me to clean my home of all false doctrines and teachings. That means I'm cleaning house." But I couldn't say that to her. This conversation she was upset - explaining to me that I cannot discern between God and Satan's guidance and I'm leaving the one True church. She shared her fear that I'm going to hell - which shocked me. The LDS church doesn't even teach of an eternal hell - a spirit prison for bad people until the Savior comes, but not an eternal hell. There's also Outer Darkness - but that's for a handful of people who have certain KNOWLEDGE of God and then turn and deny Him and work against His church and thirst for the blood of His prophets. Finally, according to LDS doctrine, the worst I would get (should I utterly refuse the church still in the Spirit World and no one redid my temple work) would be the telestial kingdom (bottom kingdom) - which technically I don't qualify for since it's for those who rejected Christ as their Savior - in which Brigham Young taught that people would kill themselves to enjoy this kingdom. I reminded Mamau of this and she didn't believe me!
Now, I know that Brigham Young taught that all apostates are liars (about their spiritual condition) - but to see this going into effect with my very own parents was very grounding. I couldn't believe it. I would testify of how powerfully God was changing our family, how Grace Point had been a vessel that God had been using - all these things and all my Mamau could hear was "stress" in my voice. The stress she was hearing was having this discussion with her, not because I wasn't sure of what god to follow.
I was trying so hard to hold ground for the Lord, to glorify Him, and yet not fight or debate with her. Apologetics would get me nowhere with her. And I knew if I brought one item up she'd immediately see me as an "anti-Mormon", although she might already view me this way since I'm cleaning house (and have been) of my LDS materials.
Without a doubt, I KNOW that God has been guiding me and teaching our family and that we are "heaven bound". I know without a doubt that God is working to create in us "radical obediance" to Him and that's why this darn "Band-Aid" of sharing this with my family has become such a huge thing to me and for some reason I cannot seem to convey that to my family.
Envision a person beating their head against a rough brick wall until it is a mangled, bloody mess. That's me right now. All my parents take from this is that I'm Satan led, stressed out, unhappy, and wasn't able to cope in the LDS church. But ANYONE who knew me when I was LDS knew how devout I was, knew how the Church was the CENTER of my life, knew that sure I had happy and frustrated times - but that will occur anywhere and I knew that. I likened myself to Nephi time and time again, telling myself that he never complained and neither would I. I embraced my bumps in the road with callings, scheduling, or Visiting Teaching assignments or late night Temple visits. Because I was passionatly in love with my "Savior" and the LDS church because with every part of my being I KNEW it was true.
Yet, that's not what my family hears when I tell them that. When I share that no we weren't having a hard time, no we weren't searching elsewhere, no we weren't stressed out, and no we weren't having problems coping with the standards they just don't seem to believe us. When I say, "The Holy Spirit was not at any of the meetinghouses - we went to our old wards seeking Him out and He was not there, but then we'd go to these other Christian churches because we enjoyed observing other religions different from our own and He was overpowering. He was present and I couldn't figure out why." When I shared that we prayed for so long for an answer about the missing Spirit in action, and finally were directed to GP and the Spirit manifested itself in our lives like never before, the reply, "It must have been Satan," or "You weren't patient enough,"
Of course, my tounge slipped then and some apologetics did come out, "Why wasn't I patient? Because I prayed all the time? The BIBLE says to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING."
I love my parents dearly, and I do not expect this to be over anytime soon. I should expect that the same responses I've received for the past six months would of course be the same ones I'll receive from them. Just for some reason, I had hoped that it wouldn't be.
In Pastor Devin's newest sermon, "The Flight", he asks the question - how many of us (Christians) are asleep in the hull of the ship while those around us are calling out to their false gods? I love my parents, after so long I finally obeyed God in honesty. Honestly, I don't want to be the one to tell them that the church is false. Plenty of people told me it was false and it never phased me - that's not how God reached me.
He showed me overwhelming Truth outside the LDS church first, then opened my eyes later. I don't want to fight or debate or argue with my parents. I can't wait until this Band-Aid is finally off.
Heaven Bound - thank God for grace.