Find Peace and Healing through Faith in Jesus!

I have such a passion for sharing God’s truth with Mormons. My love for witnessing started soon after the Holy Spirit brought me to faith over fourteen years ago. I want the whole world to know what my Savior has done for me. His healing took away my life of shame and misery and gave me the peace that transcends all understanding.

My life is devoted to sharing the good news that the forgiveness of sins has already been earned through Christ’s work. Mormons need to hear this message because LDS prophets claim that forgiveness depends upon their own works! All who believe this false teaching deny that Christ’s Atonement was sufficient payment for the sins of the world.

This is why I volunteer with a Christian Ministry that reaches out to Mormons. Truth in Love Ministry (TILM) proclaims God’s truth with love and respect to Mormons and equips other Christians to do the same. I am so thankful that God led me to be involved with TILM. I absolutely love working directly with Mormons and ex-Mormons. The thrill of watching someone come to faith is exhilarating and addictive.

One of the more difficult things I do for TILM is speak at Christian Seminars about my life as a Mormon. While this isn’t my favorite thing to do, I have come to accept that it is what God wants of me. The contribution I bring to these Seminars is invaluable because I can give Christians a glimpse into the life of a Mormon woman. While my struggles do not portray the life of every Mormon, they do expose how Mormonisms false teachings affect those who are sincerely seeking forgiveness.

Mine was a life full of suffering and sin. The memory of the shame caused by sexual abuse is so painful that it is almost unbearable speaking of it in front of so many people. Even after ten years of doing so, it still isn’t easy. Just imagine bearing your testimony at Fast and Testimony meeting—but instead of sharing your faith, you confess that your life is one of misery and sin. In spite of how much I dislike bearing my soul at these Seminars, I do so willingly–for my Savior. And, I do it for you too!

There are many Mormons who spend every day working with all their might, trying to gain the forgiveness of sins—just as I did. There are many Mormons who live in shame and misery. I know this because I have spoken to and read about many others who were sexually abused—just as I was. There are many Mormons who struggle with homosexuality because they were abused as a child. And thousands of Mormons recognize they are unworthy and can’t do enough to get right with God.

I know this because I have been blessed to be involved with many ex-Mormons who have found the truth and I have listened to their stories of pain and suffering. I have also read the words of many Mormons and ex-Mormons who are still hurting—stories written online in numerous blogs, websites and newsgroups. A simple search online will demonstrate that what I say is true.

While we can read these stories on the internet, there are few Mormons who will share their unhappiness with family, friends or neighbors. Looking back at my life I am amazed at how well I kept my life of shame a secret. I used laughter and a smile to ensure that no one knew of my misery. Mormons are not encouraged to share their pains with others. It seems that the image of the Church is more important to its leaders than getting help for those who are hurting.

A few years ago I wrote a Post showing an example of this from what I read in a General Conference issue of the Ensign. Click here to read it:. President Hinckley told single mothers in the Church:

“Now I speak to you single mothers whose burdens are so heavy because you have been abandoned or have been widowed. Yours is a terrible load. Bear it well. Seek the blessings of the Lord. Be grateful for any assistance that may come out of the quorums of the priesthood to help you in your home or with other matters. Pray silently in your closet, and let the tears flow if they must come. But put a smile on your face whenever you are before your children or others.

Were you one of the women that Hinckley spoke to? Did you disobey him and reach out to someone who could help you? Or, did you follow the words of your Prophet and put a smile on your face in spite of how miserable you felt?

Another example of this was seen in a talk given last year by the Young Women’s President, Sister Dalton. She told the Young Women to be “one hundred percent in daily prayer, scripture study and what she says may be the most challenging, smiling”. Click here to read my Post:. One has to wonder why Sister Dalton believes that “smiling” may be the most challenging aspect for LDS Young Women.

In both these cases the leader is encouraging an expression to create a false impression that the person is happy in the Church. It’s no wonder that most Christians have no clue that many Mormons are silently suffering in pain and misery. It seems that Mormon leaders don’t want them to know.

I believe this is one reason why telling my life’s story to Christians is so valuable. They need to realize that Mormons who smile a lot might not really be that happy. They need to know that many Mormons are miserable and don’t know their Savior. And, they need to understand that Mormons don’t know that all their sins have been forgiven. It’s with this knowledge that Christians will be compelled to reach out in truth and love to their Mormon friends.

I spent so many miserable years pretending to be happy, but I wasn’t. Amazingly, the recognition that you are completely unworthy may be painful to the unbeliever. But that knowledge is how the Holy Spirit leads people to see their need for Jesus–the free forgiveness earned by their Savior.

What a joy it is not to have to pretend any more!! The desire of my heart is to share my Savior with you. I pray that you will find healing through Jesus, just as Isaiah prophesied of the coming Savior:

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Is 53:4-5)

This good news has brought a genuine smile to all who believe it!

If you want to read some amazing stories of healing through Jesus, go to this website written especially for LDS women:

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16 Comments

  1. catzgalore said,

    August 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    When one of my grandchildren was born, we were not allowed to hold him when they came to see us (they said HE wouldn’t allow it.)

    Much later, we found out he had been a sick baby, not the perfect baby that slept through the night like his parents had told us. What is the point of always pasting a smile on and pretending things are wonderful when they aren’t– it doesn’t make sense. I know many times that smiling anyway helps, but honesty would be better.

  2. August 4, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I commend you for embracing the calling that God has placed on your life with such zeal; and passion

    I can empathize with the difficulty when witnessing I have family members that are Mormons, I cannot talk to them without them claiming that I am “attacking” their religion

    Thanks again for your willingness to fulfill the “destiny” at least in part that God has gifted you with

  3. shematwater said,

    August 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I really don’t want to talk about much, but I have to say that I think the words of President Hinkley and Sister Dalton are misunderstood.

    Answer this question: What good would it do to desplay a depressive mood before your children, especially for a single parent home?
    What good would it do to constantly complain about the hardships in life?

    I do not think these two leaders were saying to hide your pain, or to ignore it. They were saying don’t display it. Seek help, yes, but do not drag others down with your misery if they can’t help (such as children, and those you see every day in public).
    There are many times I feel depressed and miserable, and in the privacy of the house talk to my wife about it, or have private phone conversations with my mother or brother, because I know they can help. But when I am with my children I laugh and play, and do all I can to make their day a happy one. This is what they are talking about, not repressing your feelings.

  4. catzgalore said,

    September 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    from President Hinckley:

    But put a smile on your face whenever you are before your children or others.”

    My children and I went through major trauma years ago. We cried together every day. If I had “put a smile” on my face ALL THE TIME before them, I would have done them a great disservice. Yes we grieved for awhile and then did something silly. We even celebrated Waitangi Day that year. We had potholder wars. We sang, we laughed, we played, we prayed. But we also took time to grieve.
    I had a foster child at the time. I asked if they wanted to place her elsewhere because of what happened. They said no– they felt it was important to learn how to deal with things, because that was LIFE.
    Shem, you are being a wonderful dad by playing and laughing with your children. Of course you wouldn’t yell at them or have an argument with your wife in their presence, or complain about your boss…. But don’t keep all the bad stuff from them… they need to learn how to deal with it. They know you are upset already, they are smart. If you never tell them what is going on, they will not feel like part of the family. Of course I didn’t share every little miserable thing with my children. Sometimes, just thinking about sharing it made it clear just how insignificant it was and helped me let it go. 🙂

  5. shematwater said,

    September 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

    CATZ

    You miss the point. In your case I would agree that you did best, because they were part of the trauma, or were directly affected by it.
    Last semester I was told that I had to retake two of my classes, and was actually told strait out that I should consider a different major. What good would it do to show my fraustration in front of my children? Yes, they knew that something was bothering me, but in seeing that I could deal with it without causing them any unnecessary hardship will teach them a greater lesson than if complained about it all the time.
    If they were a little older I would have explained the situation to them and left it at that, putting on the smile and enjoying myself with them afterwards.

    We do not need to make our problems someone elses, and we will do a greater service to them and us if we refrain from such, which is what these leaders were talking about.

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    September 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Shem,

    You wrote: “We do not need to make our problems someone elses, and we will do a greater service to them and us if we refrain from such, which is what these leaders were talking about.

    First off, everyone needs to recognize that this quote was not simply from some leaders in the LDS Church. Specifically, Catz was quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley, the Prophet and President of the LDS Church.

    Secondly, your analogy of having to re-take a few college classes is NOT the type of trauma that your prophet was talking about. President Hinckley’s comment was addressed solely to single mothers who had been widowed or abandoned.

    In no way do I want to be-little the struggle you had to go through by re-taking a few classes. I have had to re-take a college class and it is a difficult thing to go through. But believe me, no comparison can be made to the life shattering trauma of having your husband betray you and abandon you. I know this because that is what my husband did to me.

    As far as being widowed, I don’t know how it feels to have my spouse die. But I have gone through the unexpected and sudden death of my daughter. I was LDS at the time and I acted as the model Mormon woman. I never cried in front of anyone and I distinctly remember at the funeral consoling others–because I knew that was what was expected of me. It took me years to work through my grief, mostly because it had been drilled into me by my LDS leaders to put on that mask of happiness whenever I was around anyone.

    Heavenly Father commands us to “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2). We cannot bear one another’s burdens if everyone pretends that they don’t have any.

    I am so thankful that God has led me to a loving Christian congregation where I am surrounded by loving and compassionate people. I can openly turn to others for support whenever I am hurting. And, I am blessed to be able to reach out in love to others who aren’t afraid to tell me when they just need my shoulder to cry on.

    I think the thing I appreciate the most about being a member of a loving Christian congregation is not having to pretend anymore. We don’t have to pretend because God loves and accepts us just as we are.

  7. shematwater said,

    September 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I am sorry you misunderstood what President Hinkley meant, but I can do nothing to change that. In no way did he mean to ignore your grief, or to hide it away.
    As to trauma, I know about it, I am just not as willing to talk about it as you. But since you insist on assuming that I know nothing, try imagining having your children taken from you in the middle of night by the social services, denied the right to even see them for over two weeks, and when you are finally able to see having them scared to death to even hug you because they are scared of doing something wrong.

    I do understand trauma, and I am still in full agreement with President Hinkley. What good would it have done my children if sat and complained teh entire time I had with them, or simple sat there and cried. I was aching inside, but I smiled for them, and reassured them that it wasn’t their fault, and that I was doing everything I could to get them back. I did not make my problem their’s, as they had enough to deal with.
    This is what is meant by President Hinkley, and what all people should be striving for. We don’t ignore our grief and pain, but we do not become so consumed by it that we drag others down with us. It is one thing to express greif at the death of a child, but quite other to talk of nothing else, and be constantly comparing your lost child to those that are living, and constantly talking about what you wanted, and so on.

    I again ask my question, which I have yet to have answered. What good does do to dwell in it? What good does it do anyone?

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    September 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Shem,

    You wrote: “I again ask my question, which I have yet to have answered. What good does do to dwell in it? What good does it do anyone?”

    It does no good to dwell on any problem. God’s Word tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

    But, since this whole discussion has been around President Hinckley’s admonition to single mothers, please show me even one little hint that what he was talking about was that they were not to dwell on their problems.

  9. shematwater said,

    September 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    The hint is the entire thing, and knowing the character of President Hinkley. You seem to take his words without considering who is saying them, or at least not considering his character. You also are not considering everything else that he has said before and since.
    I read his words, and this is the meaning I saw in everything he said, because I know him as a man.

  10. shematwater said,

    September 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    To be more specific, using only the part you quote:

    “Bear it well.”
    “Pray silently in your closet, and let the tears flow if they must come. But put a smile on your face whenever you are before your children or others.”

    These two sentences say it all. Bear it well, do not dwell on it. Cry if you must, for grief is good, but do not drag that grief around to diplay to others.
    The meaning is clear.

  11. catzgalore said,

    September 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

    While it is true there are times to grieve and times to put it aside, I think his statement, however well intentioned, is impossible. Having been in the position of being a single mom with 5 children and not knowing where I was going to live and how I was going to make it, I know there is no way to “bear it well”. That’s the stuff of old movies and old novels. It is not life. I am thankful that I had a support system around me that didn’t tell me to stuff my emotions and only cry in the closet. They let me cry and grieve and cried and grieved with me. It was only for a time, and then I learned to lean on the Lord and move on.
    Only someone who has never been in that position could say that.

  12. shematwater said,

    September 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    CATZ

    You still do not understand.

    I have been in similar situations, when I had to send my family away because I could not care for them. It is possible, and it is a blessing to the children. I had those around ot support me, but that is what they were for, support.

    President Hinkley has also been in similar situations. What he says is true, and is possible, because he is not saying what you are suggesting.

    Put a smile on around others. Enjoy what you can in life, and do everything you can to make everyone else’s lives enjoyable, even if you are in the depths of sorrow. Avoid those comments and actions that will only cause misery in others. Do not look for opportunity to dwell on your problems. This will make your life better, and will make those around you better.
    This is the message I read in his words, and it is a true message, and one that will enhance every life who practices it.

  13. echoechoecho said,

    September 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    “Pray silently in your closet, and let the tears flow if they must come. But put a smile on your face whenever you are before your children or others.”

    This reminds me of Jesus’ story of the white washed tomb wherein we see a graphic picture of how people act on the outside in front of others but how different those same people are on the inside. Of course this story is about being good on the outside while being bad on the inside. But can we draw a parallel from this story?

    Jesus’ advice was to clean the inside of the cup first.

    When folks are hurting, they need help with that hurt. So instead of putting on a forced smile in front of others. Get the help you need. Then when you do finally smile, that smile will be genuine and not the imposter of worthless white wash.

  14. shematwater said,

    September 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I think I am done on this thread. The true message from President Hinkley seems to be lost on everyone here, and so there is little point is continuing the conversation.

  15. catzgalore said,

    September 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Shem, I am not sure you are hearing what I am saying. The words are one thing. It doesn’t matter about HIS attitude, really, it is about how his words are interpreted…
    I do understand. I grew up in a family like that. Everything is Fine. Always. If you are angry, Go to your Room and don’t come out until you can put a smile on your face. Don’t let others see how you are feeling. After awhile, I didn’t feel, outwardly. I started feeling like a split personality, the smiling Good Girl and the hurting child that had no one to talk to, since Everything Is Fine. When I got molested, I didn’t tell, because Everything is Fine. I let others abuse me because I had been told to do whatever I was told– Everything is Fine.
    Finally there was a time in my life when I couldn’t do it any more. I could no longer put on The Face of Everything is Fine. I broke. I shattered. That’s what life does to you sometimes. But that broken place is where I met the Lord… where He showed me that I didn’t have to be the strong one, HE IS.

    Of course there are times when you have to put on The Face. Last week my best canine buddy died. Two days later we had a birthday party for my mother in law. Of course I had to shift gears and celebrate. Most of the time we have to do things like that. We have to make ourselves come out of the grief so not to make others miserable as well. But when you are talking about single moms, you hit a nerve with me. In your church, you have a wonderful support system for those in need. But if one of your elders took off and abandoned his family, how would his wife REALLY be treated? Would she be welcomed with open arms, or would she be asked what she did to make him run off? Her dream of the perfect family is gone. For an LDS, her dream of ETERNITY is ruined…what will she do? She is here being asked to keep her grief to herself– to put on her happy face. Everything is Fine.

    You are saying he isn’t saying what I think he’s saying. But if I was a hurting young single mother and I heard him say that, it would make me feel like a FAILURE… because there is no way to Just Keep Smiling and pretend Everything is Fine when life shatters you.

  16. catzgalore said,

    September 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Here’s a link to an article talking about single LDS moms…

    http://www.mormonchic.com/mommy/single-moms.asp

    I thought that the advice for single moms by Ezra Taft (on the right side) was basically pretty good.

    And one quote on that page from Gordon Hinckley…

    President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled, “Now a word to the single parents among us. … You need not be entirely alone. There are many, ever so many in this Church who would reach out to you with sensitivity and understanding. They do not wish to intrude where they are not wanted. But their interest is genuine and sincere, and they bless their own lives as they bless your lives and those of your children. Welcome their help. They need to give it for their own sakes as well as for your sake.” (“To Single Adults,” Ensign, June 1989)

    so one can see he has some compassion. 🙂


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