This had to be one of the most blessed and exciting Holy Week and Easter celebrations I’ve experienced since I was saved on Palm Sunday in 1993. I had the opportunity to mentor several brand new Christian ex-Mormons. It was completed in a hap-hazard way, but it gave me much insight for next year. The blessing was in seeing and witnessing via e-mail and phone how wonderful their lives are now that they are saved.
The assurance God gave them and the rest they now feel in their hearts has started to settle in for them. They finally heard about Jesus on Easter Day instead of Joseph Smith and while they praised the Lord, they also felt the righteous indignation I’m sure the Lord experiences in relation to the lies being told. The doubts about their own salvation and making the right decision are all beginning to dissipate with each sunrise and spiritually speaking, their strength is getting stronger.
I had them look at each day from Maundy Thursday up until the day of Easter and discover what they could about the significance of that day when Jesus was living through it. Afterwards, I asked a handful of them to write up a short letter sharing their experience of their first Easter celebration as a Christian. One of them dubbed her work the “Easter Essays” so that’s what we’re calling them!
The stories are a collection of varying degrees as I’m sure you can imagine. Some are multi-generational ex-Mormons from Utah; some are converts on the other side of the country. As my stack of essays began piling up it became obvious what needed to happen next. We want your stories. Yep, if you’re an ex-Mormon and would like to share the experience of your first Easter as a Christian, write to us so we can post your story!
The stories are awesome, inspirational and I am positive will encourage those who need it. The Lord let’s nothing go to waste and through them we will glorify Him, honor Him and treasure all that He does as we watch Him work!
With Love in Christ; Michelle 1 Cor. 1:18
Dear Michelle: I wanted to share with you both that God graced me with courage to attend the local _________ Church on Easter. It was within walking distance and I just felt a huge desire to go there. And what a wonderful experience it was!
I now understand the importance of fellowship with other Christians, the richness of the body of Christ and being a part of it. The Pastor was wonderfully well spoken whose words that continued to reference from the Bible reached deep within me to teach and reach me more than I thought possible.
I was so fearful going, as I’ve never been in a Christian church before. I can’t tell you how many reasons I came up with not to go. Yet as I walked to church yesterday morning, I remembered Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with thee; Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yeah, I will help thee, yeah, I will uphold thee in the right hand of my righteousness.”
Then I began recalling that God does not give us the spirit of fear. God is love. And I know Whom I believe in. It was for Him I was going to church. To celebrate that He is risen. He would understand if I didn’t know when to stand, sit or words to sing. He was the Friend that I would know there.
The people were kind and welcoming. What a beautiful way to start the day. As I left, I was handed a potted Easter Lily, which I will plant in my yard…
From Melissa: My first Easter Sunday Service in my new church was very amazing and powerful. Everything was about Jesus, from the prayer said before the communion, and to songs sang. Not once did I hear one word about Joseph Smith or the wonderful thing he did for all of the inhabitants of the earth. The first song of the service was Via DoloRosa. I’ve heard this song a long time ago, and loved it. As I listened intently to the words of that song, it moved me very much. The message and music touched me like no LDS Easter Sunday ever did.
I don’t even remember Easter Sundays being very special in the LDS church. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around what Jesus did for me. I can’t believe that he suffered the way he did for me, for all of us. He gave us a free gift; all we have to do is accept it. I can’t imagine what it was like to have people cry out that they wanted you crucified just for teaching God’s word, and doing God’s will.
In the LDS church it never really hit me what Jesus did for me. I knew that he died on the cross for my sins, but I just didn’t get it. This is probably because they don’t want to you to think about that stuff. They try very hard to take the attention away from the cross. You’re not even allowed to wear a cross around your neck. When I think about it now I get upset with the LDS church because of what their leaders have done. At the same time I feel sad for the members as well. Now that I am a Christian I can see just how far away they are from the real Jesus Christ. They feel like they have to complicate Jesus and the way to Heaven. If they stay in that church they, like me will never truly get it. They will never really be able to understand what Jesus did for us. They will never be able to have a relationship with Jesus or pray to him. These things are not encouraged in the LDS church.
Since I have left the LDS church I have struggled with knowing that I am saved, and that I am going to go to Heaven. After the Easter Service I can say that now I know those things. It really helped me to fully understand why Jesus came to us, why he had to take our sins upon the cross and die for us.
I know that because of what Jesus endured and by accepting him, I am saved. I know that I will still be in Heaven with my family members, no matter what the LDS church says. We don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops, do “good works”, and have a temple recommend to enter Heaven. I know that all we have to do is to come unto Jesus and accept him as our Lord and Savior. Melissa G, Pa