I met with my realty specialist to analyze what I'll need to prepare to purchase a home and what area to look in. Mike (not his real name) knows his stuff when it comes to the Utah housing market. When we sat down to talk I just assumed he was a Mormon as most of the population of the state is. During our conversation I told him I would like to be in striking distance to my future church home and he asked what church that was. When I told him, he said, "I've been to that church." I was pleasantly surprised.
He then shared from his heart with me how the LORD brought him out of the church of the LDS despite the fact that his family goes way back through Mormon history. It's funny how I have written before on my fb page that there is a crisis in the Mormon church due to the availability of information on the Internet and for the popularity of Cartoon Network's South Park and their parody of Mormonism. Both of those things figured into Mike's search for the Truth in spite of his ingrained worldview.
Now the kicker! Mike is church-hopping, unable to find a church where he feels comfortable. The cultural shock of leaving the LDS cult is almost unbearable. He shared going to a local Calvary Chapel and not being able to bring his children into the service, but his wife had to deliver them to the right age-group class and leave them there at the door, not welcome to stay with them for a while for them to get comfortable. They were in a strange place and they were scared.
Then during the worship time, the music was so unbearably loud that he felt he could not sing to the LORD quietly and thoughtfully to prepare his heart to hear the Word. Then all the people standing, swaying, and raising their hands in the air was even more of a negative distraction.
His children now beg him to take them back to the Mormon church where it is more friendly and comfortable for their family. And it is a big temptation for Mike to do just that even knowing that the religion is a cult and totally false. The cultural comfort there is almost worth the compromise. But for now, he listens online to an Evangelical teacher he likes but is in another state. He's become a scattered sheep with no home pasture. And he says he knows many, many others in his same condition.
One thing he shared really struck me. When he was still a Mormon and would speak to Christians he said many would say to him, 'how can you be that blind to believe all of Joseph Smith's tall tales? You must be so naive to fall for that.' That approach never did him any good except to make him believe more in the rhetoric of the elders that the entire world would persecute them just as their prophets said they would.
After coming to believe that the Bible is the authority of the Christian faith, he said that he was struck by Jesus' love for others. The story of Lazarus had an impact on him. The fact that Jesus wept, even though He knew what He was about to do, demonstrates His love for those who get it wrong. He wasn't crying for Lazarus but for those in grief. If His followers could just show that much love for people, demonstrate love for them, only then can they come alongside someone and assist them with their spiritual confusion. Ridiculing them only pushes them further into their entrenched position.
Mike wouldn't take the word of the critics that he was in a cult -- he searched it out on Google to find original information from Mormon sources themselves to conclude that it was all built upon deception. Many others have done the same thing - and now they are scattered with no place to pasture.
Pray for them - that God would do a work here in Utah. And if you meet a seeking Mormon, weep with them, don't ridicule.
"Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept." - John 11:33-35
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." - Rom 12:9-15