GP is currently in a series called, Arrested Development and it's totally kicking my butt - in a good way. In a much needed way. In a life changing way. Today, Devin mentioned, that we come to times in our lives when we are in a "need to grow" basis. At the risk of sounding disloyal (bear with me) - I have been really struggling with this series (and we're only two in). I've found myself in moments when I've wanted to get up, walk out, and yet just sit there and shake and quietly wait for God's grace to come and calm me. It's been a super hard series and today, I was able to take a GIANT leap forward.
It's been on my mind for a long time now that the very prescence of LDS books and such are becoming "high places", temptations to return, and stumbling blocks. I clearly hear God speaking to me - showing me His vision in my life, telling me that I will feel amazing liberation if only I'd be obedient, and yet - I totally disobey. I've decided to give a large chunk of my books and such to our pastor - I have to get rid of them, they are spiritually holding me back because of my refusal. Yet, I cringe, I flinch, I HATE that they're just going to be thrown away. It's of course the only logical thing to do, but really, I don't want to know that they're being tossed in the trash. Eh. (I want to be clear here - I totally agree that they should be thrown away, but in general I hate books being either burned or thrown away, so in general not just because of their content or emotional connection, do I dislike that they will hit the trash. But again, I totally agree that they SHOULD be thrown away - so I 100% agree with my pastor, it's just HARD. If I could do it, then I wouldn't need to give them to him to do it. Make sense?) So the ones I'm not quite ready to just toss out, a friend at GP has agreed to store them for me until I'm ready. I sent the first "load" to her home today - both temple bags with temple recommends inside. It was a HUGE step for me. Yes, there is a "risk" that either her or her husband will look inside a see a temple costume, but for the first time in my life - I am totally (okay mostly) okay with that. The temple is not what I should be protecting - my FAITH, my WALK, my belief in God is what I should be and will be walking to protect and hold tightly to.
There is also this really amazing ex-Mormon who found my blog in Canada (love to ya R!) who sent me the most amazing email today. She found me when she was just first hearing God's call out of the LDS church and has been such an inspiration to me in her emails - yet, I was out for almost six months when she first came out. I've felt like such a disappointment for still struggling with things that I should have moved past and so have not been writing her lately. Today, she sent me an email explaining how she totally connected with what I've been writing about. She was a total Godsend. I'm going to quote from her email because it's just so good at totally summing up my thoughts about the LDS church.
" Even knowing that so much of the doctrines are false, even knowing that so many of the programs and works actually take my focus off of Christ, so much of it makes sense! It all fits together so nicely, so logically, it seems so good, it’s hard to leave it behind. I like my world being neatly ordered and defined, with no ambiguity. And, taken as a whole package, the LDS church gave me that. Of course, when you start to really dig into it, and really compare it with the Bible, it starts to fall apart, but hey, Joseph Smith “fixed” the Bible, so that’s okay, too! If you can just believe that, then it all works, and it has all the answers. I really see so much of the theology as being a way of “fixing” the gospel, taking the parts that are hard to understand, and making it all understandable on a human level. The Trinity hard to swallow? Fixed! God to much for the human mind to fathom? Fixed! Hell an uncomfortable thought? Fixed! So, it’s hard to leave it behind, because it takes care of everything, at least on a certain level.
So, like you said, even having experienced Christ in a whole new way, and knowing that there is so much more out there, I have a hard time pulling off those tentacles. Especially since there is so much “truth mingled with error”. It’s hard to know what is good and true, and I should keep, and what I need to throw away. I catch myself so often thinking in that LDS mindset, and I have to shake it off. I know what you mean about being more easily offended for the LDS, I still have that inner apologist, and I don’t know quite how to shut it up."
As a Latter Day Saint, I didn't really believe in spiritual warefare in the same way Christians do - but as I've walked out of the LDS church, my eyes are becoming so open to it. And yet God walks us through it - we just have to rely on Him.
Today, has been a hard day - but it has also been a totally awesome one as well. If you can, take about45 minutes to listen to today's GP sermon, "Adolescence" - it's a hard one, but well worth it. Caution: there is no "tickling of the ears" but really blunt truth.