After Mormonism

17 January

After Mormonism

      So you’re thinking about leaving Mormonism, the only thing you’ve known in your life and now what?  That thought goes through every single person’s mind when they come to this crossroad in life.

  Jesus or Mormonism?

      It’s scary, I know.  The doubts for me began stacking up with constant regularity.  All I knew at the age of 30 was that I loved Jesus.  I was looking for a way to know more about the man I’d read about in the Bible and every time I opened my Book of Mormon I became even more confused and concerned.

     I wanted to read stories of Him walking alongside the people in a village or the times He would gently touch someone to cure them of an infirmity.  I wanted to read about the socio-political climate of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and found nothing in my Book of Mormon about it.  I wanted those things and I wanted for them to fit in with my cultural heritage of Utah Mormonism.

     The more I read in the Bible and compared it to the teachings of the LDS Church the more I realized those two things were incompatible.  I began writing down my doubts on one side of a paper and reserved the other side for what the Bible had to say about it.  Godhood, other worlds, the color issue, eternal pregnancy, temple marriage and marriage in heaven were the items on my primitive list.

     As I was studying these things in the privacy of my home I met a Christian woman named Nancy and that encounter changed my life.  She invited me to her church and I accepted, thinking whatever they believed in was going to be heretical.  No other church or system was going to have the things I knew and held dear.

      As it turned out I ended up leaving Mormonism that day; it was Palm Sunday of ’93.

     The next day was filled with panic from what I had done.  How would I ever tell my family?  Would I have to go to the bishop’s office?  What would my family and friends back in Utah think?  The questions and bad scenarios in my head were relentless.  At the time I didn’t know enough about the Bible to sit down and begin reading it so I could be comforted.  I had never been taught that is what it’s for.

     The first thing I did in my new life was to sign up for a Bible study my church was offering.  It seemed innocuous enough and something I didn’t think would bring much attention to me.  Someone there handed me a pamphlet of activities the church offered and the idea of actually studying the Bible in-depth was very appealing.  And the rest as they say is history.

      If you’re wondering what there is after Mormonism you’re going to be happy when I tell you that this big wide world God created has some pretty amazing things to offer!

     Accept Jesus into your heart.  There is a simple way to do this!  Sit down in the private moment of your day and tell Him what’s on your mind.  Talk out loud so you can hear yourself.  Accept and admit that you’re a sinner in need of forgiveness and then ask Him to come live inside of you.  Tell Him you are in need of a loving Redeemer.  Above all else, know that He is there waiting for you.  Luke 11:9.

      Read through the Romans Road.  You can access it here.  http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/romans-road

This is a simple list of verses from the Bible to read through and pray as you accept Jesus into your heart.

      Tell someone of your decision today!  Rejoice with other Christians in your decision to not only believe in Jesus, but your decision to follow Him!

      Find a church.  There are many good Christian churches out there to attend.  If you don’t know where to begin you can ask friends or co-workers or feel free to call us too!

     At Life After Ministries we do not advocate one denomination over another.  We are an evangelical, para-church ministry.  We are not a church and we do not belong to one denomination.  We are a group of Christians who each belongs to a different Protestant church.  We are all members in the church of Jesus Christ.  Some of us live in the Seattle area, others in Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, Oklahoma, Ohio, Arizona, Idaho, California, Utah, etc.  Some of us are Baptists; some belong to Calvary Chapel, while others are Lutheran, etc.

     We believe in the promise Jesus gave to the apostle Peter in Matthew 16:18 when He said; “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

     If you’d like help finding a church we can do that!  We can call the churches in your city and begin the search for you if that makes the transition easier for you.

     Attending a certain church and becoming a member is not the same as it is in the Mormon Church.  You’re a Christian first and foremost.  Where you attend church doesn’t make you who you are.  You are not the doctrines of that particular denomination any more than you are a duck.  Becoming a Christian means you are part of the body of Christ!

      Ministries in the local body of Christ are filled by people who’ve been called on by the Lord in a personal way to fill a need in that church.  Activities in a Christian church are endless!  If you know you like working with kids then you can volunteer with the Children’s programs or if you enjoy helping others with your carpentry or computer skills, I know the church and the Lord will find the place for you.

     There are Bible studies, sometimes there are fishing and hunting clubs, running/exercise groups, art and cooking classes, tea parties, or helping shut-ins and the homeless.  There are also worship teams so if you’re musically inclined you can join the choir or the worship team if that’s the way the Lord has blessed you.

     The Christian church does not have “callings” like the LDS Church does.  There are all types of programs offered in the Christian church, but whether or not you volunteer or participate is a personal thing between you and the Lord.

      The holiday season seemed to be the most interesting for us in that first year of leaving Mormonism.  I found the Christians celebrated Christmas with an enthusiasm I’d never expected.  For the first time I celebrated the birth of Jesus without including the birth of Joseph Smith.  Not only do the Christians read the New Testament about the birth of Christ, they actually go back to the Old Testament and learn how the birth of the Messiah was foretold by Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others.  The biggest shock for me personally was the way Christians celebrate Easter.

     I didn’t know they actually begin the observances of this sacred holiday the week before Easter on Palm Sunday.  Then every day thereafter is another day of reflection on what Jesus had done the week leading up to His death.  Talk about culture shock!

      As for tithing, well this is a personal affair between you and God.  The pastor won’t call you in for a yearly tithing settlement.  Church members won’t know how much money you made last year unless you’ve openly shared the information with someone and even if you do, there is no one who will call to ask why you didn’t give a full ten percent of your income.

     Not long after Kirk and I got saved we were struggling with this issue.  Belonging to the Mormon Church made us leery of giving money away to a “man-made” organization.  All that changed one day when a friend we had met at church gave us his opinion about tithing when we asked what he did about this issue.

     He told us he had the same trepidations in the beginning and then one day the Lord laid it on his heart that the money he gave at the collection plate each week wasn’t about people.  It was a personal sacrifice on your part to God.

     Do you believe God gave you all that you have?  Why not give Him back ten percent of what He gave to you?  Those are the questions we had to ask ourselves.  Were we putting our trust in man or Him?  I can’t explain why, but when it was presented that way we had no problem giving it back to the Lord.

     It was the beginning or our understanding that everything about Christianity is a personal relationship between you and Jesus and not between you and a church.

     What I can tell you is that now we give more than ten percent.  The Lord has blessed us through Kirk’s work and it seems the more we give away, the more we receive.

      Jesus gave the members of His church two ordinances to follow; baptism and communion.  With that in mind let’s begin with the ordinance of baptism.

     Now many churches will want for you to be baptized when you join them in membership.  Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change that’s taken place within you.

     You are making a public announcement that you’ve aligned yourself to Jesus Christ, the One True God of the Bible.  As you are dunked into the water you’ve made a proclamation that your present sinful life is dead and buried with Him.  You are admitting that you are dead in your sins.  Being brought up out of the water signifies you have a new life that’s been resurrected from your previous way of life.  Romans 6:3-7.

      Now let’s look at communion.  Some churches serve communion every week while others serve it once a month and I’ve heard of some serving it only once a year.

     The significance of communion mustn’t be overlooked.  I’ve never attended a biblically sound Christian church that serves water and Wonderbread©.  And I do mean never.  The LDS Church is the only place I have seen this practiced.

     The elements used in communion are emblems of two things.  The wine (or juice in most Protestant churches) is emblematic of the blood Jesus shed for you personally while He hung on that cross to pay for your sins.

     The unleavened piece of bread represents His sinless life.  Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:51) and we are told by Him to partake of His life.  When He broke the unleavened bread to give to His disciples He was showing them that His body would be broken so they (we) might have life.  Just as the Passover is a symbol of the Old Covenant so is communion to the New Covenant.  1 Cor. 11:23-27.

     When we partake of the elements we are proclaiming the Lord’s death until He returns.  It’s an acknowledgement that He died and was resurrected and you believe His promise to return.  You are also proclaiming He is your only hope for salvation and He is your God and Savior.

     With all that being said let me also point out that unbelievers and children should not be participating in communion.  The scriptures are clear when the apostle Paul stated anyone partaking of the elements unworthily is bringing damnation upon his head.  Also see Hebrews 10:29-31.

      Will your life change when you leave Mormonism?  Absolutely!  Will there still be the everyday struggles of kids bickering and the dog barking incessantly while the phone is ringing as you’re making dinner?  Yep.  Those little things don’t go away when you become a Christian.

      You won’t be living in a plastic world of “everybody’s happy”.  Real life still happens, people die, people are born, cars break down and jobs are gained and lost.

      BUT – the Holy Spirit is living inside of you; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19.  Wherever you go, whatever you do, God is there with you.

      What does change is the way those things are handled by you.  Your focus will be on Him and the relationship you have with Him (Romans 12:2)!  He is your helper (Deuteronomy 31:6).  He is the One that will come and make His abode within you (John 14:23).  He is the One that gives you hope during the crazy day that never seems to end (Romans 8:6) – He is the Lord of hosts, meaning He is Jehovah Sabaoth – the Lord over everything (Isaiah 6:1-8).

               Gone are the thoughts of having to make sure you have your food storage up to date and worrying over the upcoming interview by the bishop for your worthiness.  If you believe in Jesus and His spilled blood for you on the cross, God sees you as worthy.

      The only “meetings” you have in your future are the precious and private prayers with God the Father and His Son Jesus who died for you.  You are a new creature in Him – (2 Corinthians 5:17).

      Welcome my friend, to the life of Christianity!  It is lovely to know you are free and it is peaceful beyond description.  Never in a million years would I have thought it could be this good.

 With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18

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6 Responses to “After Mormonism”

  1. Helen Andrew August 14, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    I am wanting to leave mormonism. I’ve been a member my whole life. How does one do this?

    • lifeafterministry August 14, 2012 at 5:56 am #

      Hi Helen! Thanks for visiting Life After Ministries! We want you to know that we’re praying for you!

      Oh Helen your question is a huge one! The first thing I’d like to ask in answer to your question is if you’ve had the opportunity to ask the Lord into your heart?

      Do you have a support system around you that you can rely upon and lean?

      Leaving Mormonism isn’t easy as you probably already know – being a lifelong Mormon comes with a lot of relatives, friends and sometimes even jobs.

      I highly recommend you find a good church in your area. If you’d like to e-mail or call me privately on our toll free line I might be able to recommend a good church in your area. If I don’t have any connections in your town we have a team of volunteers across the country that can help you look!

      You can call me at 877-362-2751 or

      e-mail at michelle@lifeafter.org

      After asking Jesus into your heart, finding a church to attend then the next thing I would recommend is writing the church a letter with your intentions of leaving and wanting your name removed from church rosters. The reason for this is to put the control over your life back into your hands.

      You can find a sample letter and addresses to send it to here:

      http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/resignation-example-letter

      The next thing is to start living for the Lord and for you! I wrote a mentoring handbook with the help of a handful of friends who are pastors, ex-Mormons, etc. In this mentoring handbook we’ve go through each of the major teachings in Mormonism with a biblical rebuttal for each.

      You can go through this with a mentor we can provide for you or with a good friend who knows the Lord. Whatever is comfortable for you!

      You can download it for free here: http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/mentoring-handbook-introduction

      And please, feel free to give me (Michelle) a call anytime! You can reach me on our toll free line: 877-362-2751

      I also suggest you get a mentor as I mentioned before. Many times we can find you a mentor in the town you live so you can meet personally or if you’d like it can always be via the internet – whatever’s most comfortable for you!

      So glad you contacted us and looking forward to hearing from you again!

      With Love in Christ;
      Michelle Grim

  2. hartm242 August 15, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    So, I stumbled across this blog, and now I’m curious.

    In the interest of full-disclosure, I am an atheist. I’m going to admit that I don’t know very much about the Mormonism. So as someone on the outside looking in, I’m curious about something in particular. From what I know about the church of LDS, denominations are usually defined by either a belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet, or acceptance of the Book of Mormon as scripture (or both). But I suspect this doesn’t adequately sum up what it essentially means to be a Mormon because there are many denominations that still identify as Mormon, but may believe in a few different things.

    The crux of my question is: does Life After Ministry exclusively work against the Church of the LDS? Or does its work also extend to all Christians who do not believe in the traditional hypothesis of a Triune God (“one God in three co-equal Persons”)?

    And if LAM does exclusively work against the Church of LDS, how do you all draw the line between what is a part of the church of the LDS and what is not? For instance, I’ve heard of “Prairie Saint” denominations, Rocky Mountain denominations, and the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ. Are all three of these groups considered Church of the LDS? And if so, do you all deal with all three of these denominations?

    Thanks for reading my comment.

    • lifeafterministry August 15, 2012 at 4:46 am #

      To Hartm242 –

      Hi and thanks for stopping by our blog and asking questions. We appreciate it! I want to make sure I answer all your questions so if I miss any write back and let me or any of my volunteers know!

      There are countless offshoots of Mormonism. As far as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquartered in Salt Lake City is concerned, there is only one “Mormon” church. All other denominations or off-shoots of the original are not true churches (in the eyes of Salt Lake), nor are they officially recognized by the LDS Church in Salt Lake – also referred to as mainstream Mormonism.

      So while the Community of Christ, Church of the Firstborn or the Restoration Church, Rocky Mountain Saints, Fundamental LDS (FLDS), etc are all off shoots, Salt Lake would never admit to that.

      LAM doesn’t work “against” anyone actually. I began Life After Ministries because originally I was a 6th generation Mormon from Utah and in the Church for 30 years. My heart and passion is for “my people” to be set free from the generational lies of false teachers.

      While much of the services we offer here at LAM are geared towards mainstream Mormonism we also provide help for those caught in polygamy, witchcraft, Masonry or any organization that tries to steal salvation away from people.

      The goal of all our projects is to show in a loving manner that there is indeed a God who loves His creation very much no matter what background you’ve come from. We try to convey that while sin has separated mankind from the Creator of heaven and earth, God Himself stepped down from eternity and provided a way out through His Son Jesus Christ who died for us on the cross and paid our penalty in full. And because He rose again on the 3rd day we have a guarantee that we can live eternally with Him when we accept Him as our Savior. I pray you will consider this as well! ;)

      This is the main message and focus. The other things we do consist of providing PSA’s for radio stations here in the states and Africa, we have mentoring programs, helping people find new churches or sometimes new lives if they’ve come out of polygamy. We also provide seminars, workshops and humanitarian relief projects in Kenya and our local communities. We have volunteers from Seattle to Atlanta and throughout the world.

      I hope I’ve answered all your questions satisfactorily and we truly hope to hear from you again!

      With Love in Christ;
      Michelle Grim

  3. hartm242 August 15, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    I appreciate the quick response! That leads me to another question, though. In the previous comment, you had mentioned that you provide help for those who belong to any organization that tries to steal salvation away from people.

    I imagine that your organization has a long list of organizations that try to steal salvation away from people. I’m not necessarily looking for an exhaustive list, but I’m trying to to get a better grasp of which denominations and/or movements of Christianity set people free, and which ones do not.

    For instance, are LAM’s services directed to Non-trinitarian groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses or Unitarians, for instance?

    Again, I appreciate your response.

  4. camdenc August 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    hartm 242 – If I may “step in” and comment…

    I first would like to thank you for posting on this blog. It can be difficult to understand or differentiate between all the different “churches” here in America and throughout the world. There are so many different “opinions” or “viewpoints” used in churches today…

    You have some very good questions and that is one of the great things about Christianity… questions are encouraged. For we, as Christians, are told in
    1 Peter 3:15 –
    “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.

    As a Christian, I am compelled out of Love to tell the world that Jesus paid for all of mankind’s sins on the cross. That He made a way for man to be reconciled to God and that by accepting Him as Lord and Savior and following Him, we can be saved from the “wages of sin”, which is death. (spiritual death).

    When it comes to preaching the Gospel, Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) put it best when he said the following;

    “I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward… How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
    “I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

    This blog site is here to proclaim the Truth of the Bible and to use the Word of God as a measuring stick against any and all religions. Whether they claim to be Christian or even have the name of “Jesus” or “Jehovah” in their title. Any religion or “sect” of Christianity or particular denomination within Christianity is open for “Fruit Inspection”. You see, Jesus said that we would know His disciples by their fruit, in other words how they acted: how they loved God and how they loved other people… Now you can have a church that is doing great outreach, many good works, helping the poor and fatherless, feeding the hungry, etc. but if they are preaching a different gospel or interjecting man-made rules and regulations into their followers or using the Bible as some kind of “billy-club” to lord over their congregation… Well Jesus said it best in a few of the letters to the churches in Asia, in Revelation chapter 2;

    church in Ephesus:
    2. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

    church in Pergamum:
    14. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

    church in Thyatira:
    19. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

    We look at the doctrines and beliefs being preached under the microscope of the very Words of God… The Bible. We don’t avoid false doctrines or sit by while the Bible is marginalized or mis-quoted. We are here to make sure that sound doctrine is preached to the utter most ends of the world. If it’s not in the Bible, then it is extra-biblical and man-made. Sometimes, certain verses of the Bible can be used out of context and whole doctrines or belief systems are made up around that one Bible verse. We have to look at any religion or denomination under that microscope of the Bible as a whole, not just parts and pieces. And from the very first book of the Bible, to the very last book it all points to Jesus as our Savior.

    Again, very good questions and very glad you found this blog site…

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