God Doesn’t Lie–You Have Been Forgiven!!!

I was born and raised in a prominent Mormon family. All my life I have felt broken—not normal. I was sexually abused for most of my childhood and this abuse has left me with many emotional scars. Until my mid-twenties my life was one of confusion and fog. I knew I was not a willing participant in the abuse and yet, I felt so much guilt and shame for what had happened to me. When I turned twenty I got involved with the wrong crowd and started drinking. I committed sexual sins with someone I was dating, got pregnant and then married. My own sinfulness verified to me that I truly was filthy and unworthy.

My struggles to earn forgiveness included many years of prayers and working through the steps of repentance. I felt so burdened down with guilt and shame. I couldn’t understand how I had committed these sins when everyone else I knew seemed worthy. I became consumed with guilt and I desperately needed forgiveness. The strongest desire of my heart was to be washed clean of my filthiness.

I once fasted for almost a week as I fervently poured over the pages of “The Miracle of Forgiveness“. Even though I read and re-read this book often, it only seemed to make things worse. I was especially plagued by these words from my prophet, President Kimball:

“Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness upon total repentance and meeting all the requirements, but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender, with a great humility and a ‘broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.” (p 325)

Finally, burdened with years of shame and guilt, I turned to my Bishop for help. Although I had confessed my sins to a previous bishop, I again confessed and then asked if I could be re-baptized. The sexual abuse had begun years before I was baptized, and it continued for many years afterward. I felt that if I could just be baptized again, I would have my sins washed away and I would finally be clean!

All my life my father had been a leader in the Church (he did not abuse me). He had taught me that Bishops have been given a special gift from God and could read a person’s heart. A week after confessing my sins, my Bishop told me that Heavenly Father had revealed to him that I was not really sincere in my search for forgiveness, and that I could not be re-baptized. I was shocked and could not believe what he said.

I went home and after a few hours, I realized: “I Could Not Believe What he said”! I knew in my heart that I was sincere. Being forgiven was the most important thing in my life! I realized that my bishop was a fake–he couldn’t really read my heart! I realized that everything I had been taught all my life was false. My LDS world came crashing down around me like a house of cards.

All my life I had been living something that was a lie. I could no longer live that lie because I had seen the truth, I had been set free! I asked to be excommunicated. I was so bitter and angry towards the Mormon Church that I moved three thousand miles to get away from Mormons and family.

It took years before I learned the biblical truth of forgiveness. Even though I had thought I was shown the truth and set free, my life sure didn’t feel that way. I still lived in anguish under the burden of guilt and shame. I was no closer to forgiveness than when I was LDS. Today I realize that even though I was set free from the false teachings of Mormonism, I was still a slave to my sins. I was still ignorant of God’s truth. I didn’t know that my sins had already been forgiven.

Nine years later God sent into my life a six-year-old Christian neighbor who led me to His Word by persistently inviting me to her church. The father of that girl took me to hear a born-again biker give a talk about forgiveness. The Speaker asked those in the audience a question. He said: “Do you feel forgiven? ” In my heart of hearts, I knew I had not been forgiven. I didn’t feel I had done enough to pay for my life of sinfulness. This man interrupted my thoughts and said “You have been forgiven! It doesn’t matter whether you feel forgiven or not. God has promised you in the Bible that you are forgiven, and God doesn’t lie!!!

I had never heard that message before. I so wanted to believe him, but I doubted his words. I went home and turned to my old LDS KJV Bible and did my first ever, real Bible study. I discovered that this man had told me the truth. In the Bible I read and read about God’s true Miracle of Forgiveness. And it comes through faith in Christ’s blood! When I read the ultimate truth about forgiveness in God’s Word, I trusted in what Jesus did for me—on my behalf. I now was free!

This was Christ’s priceless gift to me. His miraculous power came over me and the burdens of shame and guilt that I had carried with me all my life were gone in an instant! This God was the only true God. I learned about Him in the Bible and He was in my heart, never to leave me and always to comfort me. I didn’t do anything to earn His forgiveness or His love, it was a complete gift; one that I didn’t deserve!

That was years ago and my life has completely changed. I now have the priceless treasure that I spent my whole life searching for—I have been washed clean through Christ’s blood! And, with this gift came the peace of God that transcends all understanding. God’s love and peace have melted my anger towards my abusers and the Mormon Church. I am so grateful to Jesus for His gift that I have given my life to Him.

Out of love for God I follow His commands, but I know that the power to do anything good, all my works, comes from Jesus flowing through me. My purpose in life is to praise and glorify my Savior! My favorite way to do that is by sharing His message of complete forgiveness with you!

Heavenly Father has promised that all your sins are forgiven—and He doesn’t lie!! This is truth–it doesn’t depend upon how you feel! Please, don’t reject what Christ has done for you.

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11 Comments

  1. not2brightmom said,

    March 12, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    This was an excellent post. I was especially captivated by your realization, “while I was set free of the Mormon Church, I was still a slave to my sins. I also realize that what I thought was truth was just the knowledge that the Mormon Church was false; I was still ignorant of the truth. I didn’t know that my sins had already been forgiven.”

    So many times, people can *leave* a cult or false religion, but not walk in the Truth. They wander into other false institutions or embrace erroneous ideologies. Thank God He brought you *ALL* the way home.

    I recently found your blog and now subscribe to it through my google reader. I look forward to your insights as my 19 year old daughter was baptized LDS two years ago, then received her endowment and was sealed in the temple to her husband late last year. We love them both and pray they will reject this false religion and walk in the Glorious Light of the Gospel.

  2. Soy Yo said,

    March 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Now that is a testimony! Thank you for sharing it.

    My mom, who is LDS, was filling out some paperwork to have her past temple marriage canceled so she could re-marry. Part of the application was to re-tell in writing any sins she ever committed that required counsel with a bishop or stake president. I was shocked they would ask for such a thing. So much for Jesus saying he would forgive and forget.

    not2brightmom,
    From what I can see, you are pretty smart.
    It took years of prayer to open my eyes so don’t lose hope. I will lift a prayer up to God for you and your family.

    May God fill her with His grace and truth.

    Soy Yo

  3. peacethroughgrace said,

    March 13, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hallelujah! And AMEN. God bless you for being so brave as to share your testimony, and may He be so glorified through it that it leads many more away from false teaching and to His truth.

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

    not2brightmom–I also will pray for your daughter and her husband. May your unconditional love shine like a bright star in comparison to their LDS world where all blessings are predicated upon obedience.

    Soy Yo-Your poor Mom. Having to re-tell a sin, in writing is typical LDS doctrine. I cherish God’s truth, now that I have found it. The prophet Isaiah knew the true God, who said: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

    peacethroughgrace–thank you for your kind words. all glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus!

  5. shematwater said,

    March 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I really can’t say anything about the post as I would only offend and anger everyone in this thread. However, I would like to make a comment concerning the post by Soy Yo.

    The question concerning past sins referes only to those that have not been cleared and forgiven. If I have gone through and received a forgiveness for one sin, but not another, the second is still there. Or if I commit the same sin again it is still there.
    There are certian sins that require the assistance of those chosen of God to reach a full repentance. If one has any of these sins that have not been dealt with through proper authority they need to have that done before they can marry in the temple.
    So God does forgive and forget sins, but we must know which ones he has forgotten.

  6. Soy Yo said,

    March 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Shem, with all do respect, you are wrong. I had a very long conversation with my mom about it and her Stake President told her that any sins that were brought before priesthood authority had to be listed. That included those that were cleared up years in the past. Think of how embarrassing that is for a 50+ woman, who has held a current temple recommend for years, to have to do. There is no rational reason for having to do this.

    The teaching that past sins can be put back on your head is so sad. I fill sorry for all LDS that believe that to be true. The book “Miracle of Forgiveness” should be destroyed. Its teachings are damaging to the soul. It leaves those who read it with no hope of ever truly being forgiven. Think about it, let’s say you tell a lie when you are 10 years old. Now you are 50 and repeat that same sin and tell another lie. Under the LDS idea of repentance and forgiveness, that lie from 40 years earlier is put back on that person’s head, as well as any others he might have told, because they must not have fully repented otherwise they would not have done it again. Now expand that to all of the different kinds of sins. That would include sins of commission as well as sins of omission.

    Because we are natural man and as mormon scripture says “natural man is an enemy of God”, we have the natural propensity to sin. Despite our best efforts and sincere desire to repent and turn away from sin, it is highly likely and probably inevitable that we will, at some point in our life, repeat a sin from our past.

    I am so glad to be free from that way of thinking. I honestly hope that you and everyone else that understands forgiveness in this way, Mormon or not, would study how the Bible teaches the principle of Grace and see the freedom that awaits them in Christ.

  7. Todd Wood said,

    March 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks, LDSW.

    My family’s verse is Isaiah 61:3.

    You are one of those trees.

    For his glory.

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Todd,

    I have never been called a tree before–What a beautiful message from God! Reading that passage this morning brings me tears of joy. This verse truly speaks of me and my life, here it is:

    3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

    Only God, in His mercy, would do such things. My favorite part is that he took my spirit of heaviness and replaced it with a garment of praise!!!! This entire chapter in Isaiah is amazing! The first two verses are speaking about Jesus (He applied them to himself when reading in the synagogue–Luke 4:16/Matthew 11:15). Jesus came to “bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives”. I truly was brokenhearted and a slave to my sin. Jesus gave me liberty and set me free! My sins have no power over me any more because I know God’s truth! Christ has already paid the price for my sins, and met God’s demands for Justice. Now, Heavenly Father’s Mercy reigns!

    Reading on a few more verses to verse ten, we see that the garment spoken of are the garments of salvation and Christ’s robe of righteousness! This gift is the only reason that I can be called a “tree of righteousness”:

    10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

    My sins have been covered with Christ’s robe of righteousness!! Out of thankfulness for the gift of this garment, I shout praises to my Lord and King!!!! Every breath I take is for His glory!

  9. Todd Wood said,

    March 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    The trees are oaks. My first name is Elon. E sounds like a “long a”. The O sounds like a “long o”. Put the accent on the O. This is the underlying Hebrew for those trees.

    We are new trees, together, for His glory for eternity. And I, too, revel in verse 10. God bless you, sister.

    thinking of heart issues,
    et

  10. shematwater said,

    March 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Soy Yo

    I am not that familiar with divorce procedings so I apologyze if I was wrong. However, I would still venture to say that most sins need not be listed, but only the more serious ones, such as robbery, sexual sins, and violent crimes. Only those that could make a person unworthy of the Temple.
    Also, as it is a divorce, which is considered an action of last resort, and should only be used in the case of adultury (as Christ said) the strictness of the procedure seems very logical. To undo the sealing of a Temple marriage is serious.

    As to the bringing all past sins back, the “The Miracle of Forgiveness” destroying all hope of forgiveness, and this being damagind tot he soul, I have to disagree. I have read the book, and found it to be a wonderful discourse of the nature and process of forgiveness, and it gave me a greater hope than anything else.
    I also think you are misunderstand the idea of past sins returning, taking things a little too literal. If we are truly repentant, and than slip up, when can go to God directly and have no problem. It is when we repent, and then willfully commit the act again, and we do not go to the Lord that the past sins return.
    When we are baptised we are wiped clean, having no sin to stain us. Once a week a partake of the sacrement, eating the bread and drinkning the water. In this way we renew this covenant with God and our sins are again washed from us.
    We can never be perfect on our own, but with the help of Christ all things are possible, even the perfecting of every willing soul so that they commit no more sin.

  11. roxy77 said,

    March 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad everything worked out for you. I enjoy hearing peoples experiences and journeys out of the LDS church. It gives me hope that maybe someday my husband will discover these things for himself!

    It’s interesting that you bring up the topic of the free gift of forgiveness because when I think about it..and my few years of experience in the LDS church… I never really heard about forgiveness. It wasn’t focused on too much. However sometimes I would hear about the “process of repentance”. The impression I got was that repentence was not complete until that sin was never commited again. I could be wrong on the beliefs, but that was just what I got out of it! I can imagine it would be very difficult to be forgiven for ALL of our sins we are not and never will be perfect!


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