Saints of Polygamy

17 August

The Saints of Polygamy

     Tonight it is with both joy and a heavy heart that I write to you.  I pray that you, as our faithful partner with Life After Ministries, will continue to hold us up in your prayers and especially pray for all of those caught in the lies of Mormonism.

 

Today I spent my day trying to convince a 19 year old female convert to Mormonism that she should meet with me to discuss her decision in joining this cult.  The latter part of my day was spent detangling the lies in the minds of those who have been set free and organizing ways to help those in the exodus of the polygamy compounds in Texas.

And during all this I am comforted by God through the music of Sarah Groves who sang “When the Saints”.  While her uplifting song was playing in my ears I was reminded by our sweet Jesus that He is the Balm of Gilead.  The prophet Jeremiah asked if there was no balm in Gilead to heal the kingdom of Judah.  Imagine how it must have been to look around and see none who loved God.  The desperateness of their reality must have been dark indeed.  The nation of Israel had refused treatment to heal their shattered lives caused by a tradition of pride and complacency.  Fast forward six hundred years and we are blessed with the scripture of God reconciling Himself to His people.

While in Nazareth, Jesus declared to those sitting in the synagogue that they were looking at the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy given some 700 years earlier.  Jesus the Great Physician had arrived!  Luke 4:16-21 says;

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Oh my dear friends, I’m sure you know as well as I do that He can heal all things that have broken you in this life!  He is the Balm!  The acceptable day of the Lord has come; your deliverance is at hand!  When you’ve been putzin’ around in your everyday life, have you stopped long enough to realize there is a cure for your heartache?

Think about all the icky things that have hardened your heart and caused your doubtful mind to question this life.  When we hand all of those things over to Him with our brokenness He takes His healing balm to permanently heal each big and little thing.

Those women and children that we all saw climbing into that bus carry with them years of hurt and abuse.  Yet Jesus knows each of them personally and has the authority and power to provide what they need.  They may all look alike in their pioneer clothing and long braids, but they are as different on the inside as much as they are alike on the outside.

Satan can destroy through the stripping of personalities and unique characters that God bestowed us with.  Each of us carry a unique DNA and just as unique are the personalities and quirks God gave us.  Each of those individuals has gifts to bless the world with and through the help of others to pray, provide direction and gentleness, God can manifest His gifts to all through them someday.  God can provide a way out of the darkness of polygamy and an eternal destruction.

Believe it or not, my decision to work in ministry came almost as a surprise to me.  I heard the words of “yes, send me” escaping my lips as I kept thinking, “shut up now Michelle and you won’t have to explain a thing”!  Oh what God must have thought about that one!

We all have moments in life that we know our paths are about to take a drastic turn and we begin the ride of our life.  This is how it was for me as I sat across the desk of Ed Decker at Saints Alive more than a decade ago.  Part of me couldn’t believe that I was saying yes to go to Utah for a speaking engagement and the other part of me sat there with a determination to never back down.

I don’t know how it came to be, but a few days before my appointment with Ed I was on the phone with a pastor in Oregon.  Today I can’t remember the pastor’s name or even the town he lived in, but his words are still strong in my ears.  We were talking about the pros and cons of going to Utah and sharing my testimony with a small group of people at the Solid Rock Café in downtown Ogden, Utah.  I gave the pastor a litany of excuses as to why I probably wouldn’t make it.  He then said to me; “Is it that you can’t go or that you won’t go?”

His words seared my heart into action. Within the week I found myself sitting at that desk in Issaquah, Washington speaking with my soon to be friend and mentor.

It was a time to show my people the way out and to be an example for the wall flowers who wouldn’t dare say “boo” to a fly.  I had been a child of the Most High for less than two years at that point and obviously didn’t know a lot.  What I did know is that I loved God more than I feared what was about to come and was learning every new day of the freedom He had given to me through the death of His Son Jesus.

How many times have we said “No Lord, I can’t” when our reality is “No Lord, I won’t”?  I have spoken to no less than five people from around the US this week that are facing the same question in their personal lives right now.  (Today is Monday by the way!)

I am so very grateful that the God of the Bible is strong and powerful enough to raise me up to face each new day.  When I think about my daily existence just fifteen short years ago it sickens me to the bone knowing that I was living just as those polygamist saints we’ve all seen on television this week.

I know my true character and am certain I wouldn’t be strong enough on my own to do what He has me doing every day!  Being scared doesn’t quite capture the true nightmare that each of the polygamy refugees are living through right now.  They are controlled by threats of death and/or abuse and in many cases the threats have turned into action.  It took a few years to be truly healed from the paranoia I experienced every day.

As Christians we all hear the detailed description Jesus gave to His disciples in Matthew chapter twenty eight.  The Great Commission is every saved person’s call to action and as we all know,

“The great omission of the Great Commission is not obeying”.

While not all of us are called into the public eye in service to God, we are all called by Him who strengthens us!

What is your calling?

For me it is this ministry to Mormons.  If you put me in a room full of toddlers I am positive it’d kill me.  Don’t get me wrong, I truly love my own children and others too, but it’d do me in to be with ten or twenty of them every day of my life!  I am a good baby-sitter for my friends and I am a good listener to small people who love to tell stories about their doggies and friends.  But after I’ve given these tiny people a bunch of cookies and milk; it’s time to get them back to the mom as I’m going to need a nap!  Now if you put me in a room with a hundred Mormons I’d spend the rest of my life with the patience of Job…you get my point I’m sure!

If you’re one of the people who’ve written or called LAM this week wondering if God is calling your name – guess what – He is knocking!

We’re praying for all of you and want to hear what He is doing through you!  Once you’ve begun it’s really not as scary as you may have originally thought; I’m living proof of that.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18

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