Praying for a Burning in the Bosom

10 May

Confessions of a Sixth Generation Mormon 

Heaven.  Do you know if you’re going there?  If you died today, do you know with certainty where you would go?

Originally I was a sixth generation Mormon from Utah.  I often wondered if I was doing everything I could to ensure my spot in eternity with my Heavenly Father.  My temple work was done on time, my works in MIA were done, seminary was taken care of with good grades, but still I didn’t have the assurance I could go to heaven.   The “burning in the bosom” was virtually non-existent for me personally.  I loved my church and my heritage, but secretly I was carrying the shame I hadn’t experienced the spiritual blessings of what others talked about at Fast and Testimony Meetings once a month.

The one thing I so wanted seemed to always be out of my grasp and not by anything I was doing, but from the fear of what I may not be doing.  I wanted to make sure that Jesus loved me as I loved Him.  The desperateness kept me awake at night and constantly made me feel less of a person…there was no confirmation.

I would lay awake many nights confessing my sins, promising to do better tomorrow, however relief never came for me.  Because I never felt that God had forgiven me I soon gave up on what I had been taught in the Church and looked for the next quick fix.

I was never articulate enough as a Mormon teenager to explain my confusion or confess my doubts to either my MIA teacher or the bishop.  Shame ran deep as you might imagine.

My concern today is for those who are toying with the idea of what it’d be like to be a Mormon and ending up on the same dead end road.

The first thing a Mormon missionary is going to ask you is if you would like to pray about the Book of Mormon.  They’ll tell you that if you pray with a sincere heart to find out if the Book of Mormon is true then God will manifest it to you by causing a burning in the bosom.

You really need to question this rationale.  The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9; ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?’ 

This explicitly says not to trust the heart and what our wants are for the moment.  We are to judge truth on what the Word of God says, not what our heart tells us.  My young daughter says that she wants the convertible ‘Beamer’ that just drove by us at the speed of sound; logically this isn’t what would be good to give her.  Our hearts are forever looking for what is pretty, what is fluffy and anything that looks as if it’s too good to be true.

If I prayed that Moroni 10:4-6 is true then the other scriptures they use would be true as well, right?  For the sake of argument let’s say for a moment that what I feel is the burning in the bosom, we still need to check out other doctrines in Mormonism to establish truth. One teaching should not a religion make!

 Moroni 10:4-6 says; ‘And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledeth that he is’.

If Mormon teachings are good then they shouldn’t contradict the Bible or other teachings in the Church so let’s begin with the nature and character of God in the Book of Mormon with the idea that we are seeking the truth.  For the sake of brevity we’re only discussing this one topic.

You can turn to the introductory page of the Book of Mormon and find this: ‘Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God’. Next we see a handful of other passages in the Book of Mormon that corroborates the same line of thinking:

2 Nephi 11:7; ‘For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation.  But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fullness of his own time’.

Mosiah 15:1; ‘And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people’.

Moroni 8:18; ‘For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity’.

We’ve established throughout various books in the
Book of Mormon that God Himself came down here to earth in the flesh as Jesus Christ to redeem His people and God is not a changeable God.  So if we believe this then we should be able to expect the rest of the LDS’ theology to reflect the same on the nature and character of God.

Let’s dig in to see what else Joseph Smith had to say about God.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith; ‘Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God.  I say that is a strange God anyhow – three in one, and one in three!  It is a curious organization…All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism.  It would make the biggest God – he would be a giant or a monster’.

Now wait a second here!  Hadn’t we just established the Book of Mormon said Jesus and God were one and the same?  Hold on, there’s more…

D&C 130:22-3; ‘The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.  Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.  A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.’

My first thought on this is confusion.  Didn’t Joseph Smith tell us in the Book of Mormon the Holy Spirit is God?  This is telling us that God and Jesus are separate beings, both having bodies of flesh and bones and now the Holy Spirit can’t even dwell within us.

Compare this with what the Bible tells us about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 9:6; ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace’.

Matthew 1:23; ‘BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God with us’.

Now, out of all these verses, which one speaks the truth?  You can’t accept just part of what the missionaries tell you; it’s either all or nothing.  The missionaries aren’t taught about all the things Joseph Smith said, nor are they equipped to know what all there is in the Bible.  These are 18-20 year old kids. Remember, the 8th article of Faith of Mormonism says; ‘We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God’.

The Mormon people have been trained since birth not to trust the Bible because other people throughout history have neglected to keep it pure.

If the Book of Mormon contradicts other Mormon canonical works, by default they’re not trustworthy.

It kills me to think there are several hundred missionaries out in the world trapping people into the snares of Mormonism.  I see where the innocent converts are headed, what’s in store for them in regards to the confusion and mistrust towards the Bible and ultimately God Himself.  I lived that life for 30 very long years.  When I spend any amount of time thinking about this, my thoughts are drawn to my own family who sits in Utah today as confused as the young men and women who knock on all our doors.

Just as time isn’t the friend of my parents who are aging, it isn’t our friend either.  There will be a day when we’ll hear the knock on our door and it’s either going to be the missionaries or the Lord.  Will you be prepared?  You need to know who God is and what He expects from you; His child.

Know with assurance that you can go to heaven and live with Him forever.  This, my friend is true salvation – eternal life – Acts 4:12 says; ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’.  This ‘none other name’ would include the Mormon Church.

Statistics tells us here at the ministry that just over 50% of missionaries leave the church after their missions are done.  Then around 55-60% of those who leave accept the Lord and become born-again believers.  The reason for this is God of course, but the Lord is using His people out in the Mormon’s mission field.  They’ve run into at least one born-again believer who has shared the truth with them about Jesus.

I urge you to have at least one verse that describes the nature and character of all parts of the Trinity; God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Then have at least one verse memorized on how to be saved.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle Grim

Jude 24-5; ‘Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.’

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