Are You One Hundred Percent?

I was reading an article at MormonTimes.com about a talk given by the Young Women’s General President, Elaine Dalton. She issued a “challenge” to Young Women to study the Book of Mormon at least five minutes a day, say morning and nightly prayers and to smile. The article states:
“Elaine Dalton hopes she soon has young women approaching her with two thumbs up. That signifies they are ‘One-hundred Percent’ — one hundred percent in daily prayer, scripture study and what she says may be the most challenging, smiling”.

Two phrases in this article jump out at me. They are “challenge” and “One-hundred Percent”. They bring to mind one of my favorite scenes in the life of Jesus. It is the story about Simon the self righteous Pharisee and the woman who loved Jesus so much she washed His feet with her hair and tears (Luke 7:41). As a Pharisee Simon daily challenged himself to follow the teachings of his Church one hundred percent.

But Jesus used the example of the sinful woman to teach Simon a beautiful message: Someone who is forgiven much—-will love much! This Young Woman did not need to be challenged, because her focus was not on one hundred percent obedience; but rather on her one hundred percent forgiveness. Even through her tears you can see her smiling. Her tears were not ones of pain, guilt or stress; but tears of joy, thanksgiving and devoted love!

As a Mormon I was familiar with the concept of being challenged. I felt guilty reading Jesus’ words: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). I desperately wanted to be worthy but I knew in my heart that I loved my children and husband more than I loved Jesus. Since I didn’t know how to love Jesus more, I challenged myself to worthiness by trying to keep the commandments. And the greatest challenge was putting on a smile over my pain.

It was 1994 when I learned what Jesus tried to teach Simon. That was when I heard the truth that one hundred percent of my sins were forgiven! Like a giddy young schoolgirl I fell in love with the man who took away all my guilt! The love of my life became my Savior Jesus! That was over 14 years ago and I still love Him more than life itself, more than my husband and my children. My love for Jesus transformed me from a person who needed to be challenged to follow God’s commands—to a person who is compelled to follow them by love. Now, I would be challenged to hide my smile!

Elaine Dalton issued the challenge to be “One Hundred Percent”. She said “Can you imagine the implications that this has, if a young woman is 100 percent for 10 years, for 15 years?”

I imagine that the Young Women will dutifully say their prayers every morning and night. They will read the Book of Mormon, checking the clock to see when they have accomplished their goal. But without the knowledge that they have been one hundred percent forgiven, will they be any closer to loving Jesus? Will they be any closer to being compelled by such love?

The desire of my heart is that every Mormon hears they are “One Hundred Percent” forgiven! Can you imagine the implications if every Mormon knew this? They wouldn’t need to be “challenged” to pray and read scripture! Since Jesus would be their very best friend they would willingly pray to Him and their Father in Heaven whenever they could. They would willingly read the Bible—God’s love letters, and pour over its pages for comfort and guidance. And, they certainly would not have to be “challenged” to smile. The joy that comes from knowing you are “One Hundred Percent” forgiven, brings a sincere smile that lasts through eternity!

Click on this link to listen to a short video clip of an ex-Mormon Young Woman who discovered the joy of obedience through love:

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6 Comments

  1. daveymike said,

    January 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Who are the people in the video? The guitars, and the quality of the video, lead me to believe that they are part of a ministry of some sort. I am always interested in finding former Mormons who are looking to lead people to Christ not just lead them out of the LDS Church.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    As far as I know, this family is not part of a Ministry. A young man from Texas was traveling through the West, going to various Churches and trying to find ex-Mormons to interview. God gave him a passion to reach out to Mormons, and so he decided to talk to ex-Mormons and video them as he asked them various questions. He felt that God was leading him to put together this video so he could share it with Mormons. He used his own money and time to do this, simply because of his love for Jesus and Mormons. He has a good friend in Texas who is Mormon.

    He heard about me in my neck of the woods and so I spent the afternoon with him and his friend who was the camera guy. After he put the video together, he sent me a copy. His name is Robert Lord. After just one afternoon with him I could see his great love for the Lord! I tried to call Robert a few years back but the number I had for him was disconnected. It will be exciting to go to heaven and meet him again!

    As far as the family you see in the video, I don’t even remember their names. I do think it is on the video somewhere. One time I tried to locate them, but was unable to find them. Robert assured me that I could use any part of his video, and that this family’s hearts desire was to share their faith with Mormons.

  3. daveymike said,

    January 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for the information. Praise God for people like Robert Lord. Hopefully, it won’t have to wait until heaven for your paths to cross again. But if it must wait until then, how glorious a meeting it will be.

    Is it possible to obtain a copy of the video? Is it posted somewhere online?

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 5, 2009 at 12:46 am

    As far as I know, it is not posted online anywhere. If my memory serves me right, it’s a DVD, not a video.

    I could have my husband make a copy of the one we have. If you would like for me to do that, send me an email with your mailing address. You can email me at latterdaysaintwoman@myheavenlyfather.com.

    God’s blessings

  5. ames4truth said,

    January 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I can’t get enough of your blog. I am sitting here tearing up because everything I am feeling you are expressing in your posts. I have not been blessed with the talent of putting my words down to bless others. But it is in my spirit to be relational and connect through words.
    I was a mom and a wife in the mormon church for many years. I never felt I could do enough. Even to this day I have to remind myself the pressure of performance is gone. My mormon friends and I have conversations about my new passion for Jesus. They say they don’t get it. You could have had this passion in the mormon church. Jesus is so different to me then before. I love Him more then anyone. And then I love others.

    Are you located in the mormon belt?? Utah, Idaho, arizona area?

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 8, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    What a blessing you are! Thank you for your kind words. I certainly understand what you mean about the pressure. Being taught that you are saved “after all you can do” is so uncertain. If a person is truly honest with themselves, no one can ever do all they can do for even one day!

    It is actually a blessing to know that you can’t do enough. It’s kind of like a swimmer almost drowning. As long as he thinks he can make it on his own, he won’t cry out for help. It’s only when you know you can’t make it that you cry out for a Savior!

    Isn’t it awesome to be in love with Jesus? I would never have understood it before I experienced it. It’s God’s love that compels us to love.

    I was originally born in Montana but moved to Idaho when I was ten. I grew up in a small farming community and then moved away after I got married. I moved back to Idaho in 1995.


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