Can Feeling Unworthy be a Blessing?

My oldest daughter Jenifer was born three months early, weighing only two and a half pounds! We couldn’t take her home from the hospital until she weighed four pounds, which seemed like an eternity. My second daughter Laura was born just two days before Jenifer turned one. I had my hands full with two small babies but it was mostly fun. Laura was often colicky and it was hard getting her to sleep at nights.

One of those nights has been etched in my memory forever. It was my Dad’s birthday. He loved cinnamon rolls so I had baked him a pan for his birthday gift. It was late when we got home from my parents house and I put the kids to bed and went to bed myself. Laura started crying so I got up to see what she needed. She wasn’t hungry or wet, and so I rocked her for several hours. I tried everything I could think of to get her to sleep, but nothing worked. I stayed up with her till after four, but finally just left her crying in her crib and went to bed. When I woke up around 8:00 am I immediately knew something was wrong because she always woke up before 7:00. I ran into her room and to my horror, she was dead!

I had never been through anything so traumatic and devastating in my life. The Paramedics who came said she probably died from SIDS. For days everything was a blur but I remember a few things very clearly. My parents and my little brother came as well as the Bishop. And then a few days later I remember running into a teenager from our Ward who occasionally babysat. She said, “Where is Laura?” I remember thinking “How do you tell a teenager that your baby is dead?” I also remember that the whole thing was very hard for my Grandma who had also lost a baby at about the same age.

When her casket was placed in the ground I realized that I would never have the opportunity to try and rock her to sleep again. I learned that death is not negotiable and that life goes on. A few weeks later I went to see my Bishop to get a Temple Recommend. We talked about Laura’s death and he promised me that if I was worthy, I would get to raise her during the Millennium. He also promised me that if I was worthy, Laura would appear to me when I was in the Temple. As the day approached to go to Salt Lake I was filled with nervous anticipation as well as excitement. After Laura’s death I had become consumed with guilt because I had left her to cry in her crib. I desperately wanted to tell her how much I loved her and that I was sorry for leaving her alone to die.

The day came for us to go through the Temple. Laura did not appear to me. I knew the reason why! My Bishop had told me that she would appear to me IF I was worthy. I knew she didn’t come to me because I was unworthy! The pain that this added to a life already full of pain, was unbearable. I didn’t speak of it to anyone. Every LDS person I knew was worthy and I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t. How could I tell anyone else what I was going through? I didn’t know any one as unworthy as I was.

Many years later I still wish my daughter hadn’t died. But looking back, I trust God’s promise that everything will work out. I now know that my feelings of unworthiness when Laura didn’t appear to me in the Temple were a blessing! This major event in my life became one very heavy weight added to many hundreds telling me how unworthy I was! These weights led me to seek a solution outside of myself–my Savior. Now, I realize what a blessing it is to know the truth! No one is worthy!! Every single person is unrighteous! Jesus Himself declared that no one but God is even good.

But in Mormonism, there is a façade that you can somehow be worthy based upon your own actions. LDS Bishops determine that some people are more worthy than others. To determine your worthiness, you are asked a handful of questions based upon a false man-made grading of sins. Certainly Jesus did not grade sins in this way. Simply read the Sermon on the Mount and you will see that the questions your Bishop asks are very different than what Jesus would ask to determine your worthiness. Along with many other questions, He would ask you if you were as perfect as Heavenly Father Himself! (Matthew 5:48)

Have you ever wondered why Jesus commanded you to be as perfect as Heavenly Father? He gave you this command, knowing that you couldn’t do it. The reason is because He loves you and knows that unless you are one hundred percent perfect, you can’t dwell in God’s presence! Jesus testifies that no one will ever be found worthy through obedience. He knows that the only way for you to be worthy is through faith that He was worthy for you–as your Substitute! Jesus wants you to give up trying to be worthy through obedience.

Heavenly Father wants you to realize that you can never be as worthy as He demands. The main purpose of God’s laws — His commands, is to show you just how unworthy you are. God’s law is like a mirror for us to look into and see how often we fail. Only when we know just how much we need a Savior will we turn to Christ and be saved!

It was in 1994 that I learned that all my sins had been forgiven. I gave my life to Jesus and have dedicated my life to sharing my Savior with everyone I meet. One blessing that I never even knew exhisted is attending a Christian Church where everyone knows that everyone else is equally sinful. At my Church everyone freely admits that they struggle with sin constantly. Nobody pretends to be something they aren’t.

In fact, every Christian I know believes what Christ said:

“..there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17)

At the same time, Christians also know that they have been credited with Christ’s righteousenss–through faith! In God’s sight, believers are as pure as Christ. That’s why true believers live their lives dedicated to their Savior Jesus.

If you feel unworthy, realize what a blessing it is to know the truth! Christ came to save the unworthy and it is through His Atoning Sacrifice that you have been made worthy (perfect) forever! (Hebrews 10:10-14) Because of what He has done for you, spend the rest of your life praising your Savior! He is the One who made you worthy by perfectly following God’s commands all of His life. And He did this for you, as your substitute!

I pray that you will turn to God’s holy Word and read what the Apostle Paul wrote about these truths: Galatians 3:21-24/Romans 7:7-8/Romans 3:19-20.

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11 Comments

  1. catzgalore said,

    August 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    This blessed me so much. It IS a blessing to know the truth– NO ONE is worthy– but Jesus is!!!

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 14, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Thanks Catz. Isn’t it wonderful to know the truth? It is this truth that sets us free. Instead of spending our lives trying to be worthy, we can spend our lives praising our Savior. He alone is worthy and He was worthy for us!

    I really can’t believe that you or anyone else is still reading my blog. It is so long between Posts! Writing isn’t easy for me–it takes so much concentration just to try and organize my thoughts. I am still trying to learn how to live with a body that has zero energy and is in overwhelming pain most of the time. God is so good! To help me, the Holy Spirit whispered into the hearts of two Christian friends and enticed them to each give me a book last Sunday. These books have really begun a change in my heart and my attitude. One is called “Streams in the Desert” which has daily devotionals for the whole year. It is especially for those who are going through trials. The other book is called “Doing Well at Being Sick“. Both of these books have begun a change in my heart as I have realized I have been praying for the wrong thing. Every day I have been begging God to heal me. I know that He has the power to do so, but He hasn’t. I have never understood how the Apostle Paul only asked God three times to take away his “thorn in the flesh“. To justify my incessant prayers to God for healing I told myself, “Well, Paul cerrtainly was not bedridden for the rest of his life or he would have asked God more times than three.” Now I understand. God’s reply to Paul was that His grace was sufficient. That is the answer to anyone, no matter what trials they are going through.

    The Apostle Paul learned how to be content in every situation. Here’s a great thought from one of the books: “Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have.”

    Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Every time I started to beg God to heal me I remembered these words. Instead of asking for what I wanted, I turned my thoughts in thankfullness to my Lord and Savior for what I already have– the forgiveness of all my sins!!! Being reminded that I already have all I could possibly ever want made my week wonderful.

    Catz, please pray for me, that I will submit to God and allow Him to change my heart to serve Him however He wishes.
    God’s blessings, Becki

  3. catzgalore said,

    August 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I do pray for you, quite often… when the Lord brings you to my heart. He has given me a special love for you for some reason. I see Jesus in you… yes it is a hard struggle. I have SOME physical challenges that get me down as well. I don’t want to be sick any more either, and I tend to panic when I get those unwelcome familiar symptoms that I know lead to worse. It is easy to say, God will supply my needs… but the trusting has to be a gift, I sure can’t do it in my own strength. Day by day…
    I remember Streams in the Desert. I have used it several years, not recently. I haven’t heard of the other one.
    I am still dealing with the grief of last year losing my friend, my nephew, and my dog… my father is still in and out of the hospital, my mother has been in a couple times too. My dear 95 year old MIL is still hanging in there and I am still caring for her daily. We are interviewing someone today to live there, to take some of the load off me… it is hard to be stretched so many directions.
    God DOES supply our needs. In abundance! Looking at God instead of ourselves is key, isn’t it… from my perspective, things don’t look hopeful or encouraging. But remembering what God has already done… sure changes my perspective,
    Turning to the Lord every day….
    Catz

  4. Margaret said,

    August 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Becki,

    This post was beautifully written and reminded me of my Grandmother who lost several babies. But, it’s much more than that, Becki. You mentioned how you still miss your babe. We never lose our love for our children — just as our heavenly Father never stops loving us.

    In all His love, God’s ways are so far above ours. Your child is safe and blissfully happy in our Lord’s presence, and yet we can long for that child. There really aren’t words for all the feelings in our hearts — like knowing we are greatly loved, and yet have need to endure things we don’t understand.

    To learn the miracle of being made worthy through Jesus Christ is a priceless treasure. We need to cling to that and take comfort in the and take comfort in Psalm 116:15 — “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones.”

    We cannot totally understand death the way God has ordained it. But, it is only a spiritual death that really needs to be mourned. When our loved ones go from life to life everlasting, we feel pain, but they don’t.

    In all these thoughts, I want you to know that even though I visit your site only on occasion, I have been very blessed every single time I have stopped by. Your messages speak so loudly and clearly to the root causes of many peoples fears and feelings of unworthiness. Please take this as an encouragement to continue striving to get God’s message of salvation out to those who desperately need it.

    And, I will pray for your daily needs.

    Love, Margaret

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 16, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Thank you so much for your kind words of encourahement, Margaret. Margaret is my oldest daughters middle name. My first husband and I gave her this name because both of her Grandmothers names are Margaret. Her Paternal Grandma died a few years ago from Lung Cancer and is experiencing the bliss of eternal life in the presence of her Lord and Savior. Her Maternal Grandmother (my Mom) will be 89 in a few months and desperately needs to hear the Good News that all her sins were forgiven when Jesus shed His life’s blood on the Cross. Unfortunately, she refuses to listen to me. I pray fervently that God will soften her heart and bring this truth to her somehow.

    Again, I thank you for your prayers . Please pray specifically that I will be given the strength to share my Savior through this blog. My hearts desire is that all Mormons will know the truth–that all their sins were forgiven at the Crioss. Believe it and receive it! God’s blessings, Becki

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 16, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Oh Catz, it sure is good to be reminded that others have struggles also. Thanks so much for letting me know what you are going through. It seems that you had mentioned some of that before, but I had forgotten. It always helps my prayer life when I understand what to pray for.

    You are so right about changing our perspectives–looking at God instead of at ourselves. I love to do topical Bible studies and a few years ago I noticed some similarities in various passages. But, the similarities doesn’t have a “Topic” that I could find, like in Nave’s topical Bible. My study Bible gives references to passages that have similar meaning, but none of these seemed to be linked. If I could put a name to the Topic, it would be something about changing our focus. When I did a Bible Study on those who struggle with various sins, in every situation God doesn’t just tell them simply to stop sinning. Instead, He gives them the “antidote”. Things like “instead, sings songs of praise”. Each antidote that I have found has always had something to do with changing your focus–take your eyes off of yourself and look to your Savior. My Pastor always told it this way: In our walk of life, we should always keep our eyes focused on the Cross–what Jesus has already freely done for you. Every time you take your eyes off the Cross and look at yourself, (whether it’s because you have sinned and feel guilty or because you think you have done a good work and want to pat yourself on the back) you will loose your way and wander away from the Cross and Jesus. He is a wise man because his wisdom comes only from God’s Word found in the Bible.

    I do love James chapter 1, where he tells us that we should consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds. Notice he doesn’t say that it “is” pure joy, but that we should “consider” it pure joy. It isn’t fun to go through and yet, James tells us, the testing of our faith produces perseverance. That is God’s wisdom, certainly not mine. I would run from it. But I am thankful that God is in control of my life and not me. One day you and I will be together in eternal glory and our eyes will be opened so we understand why God gave us trials. We will run to Him and hug Him and kiss His feet in gratitude! I can’t wait! God’s blessings, Becki

  7. Margaret said,

    August 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Becki,

    Yes, I am praying that you will be given the strength you desire. And, in all these, we need to keep in mind that the Lord is our strength, which, as you show in your reply to Catz, is very hard to do. When we’re in pain and things just keep on looking bleak, we are sorely tempted to look to our woes more than we look to our Savior. I’m thankful that your faith is strong.

    I’ve got some ardent prayers that are more than twenty years old. Even though they are not yet answered, I have to admit that there have been glimpses of God’s working in ways that I would never have thought. As I endure the pain, I still have to give thanks. That is something you, too, have experienced. There is an awesome grace as God carries us through the fires that refine our faith and will eventually make us as pure gold.

    And yes, it is so hard to wait.

    Margaret

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Margaret, Amen and Praise the Lord!

  9. Kent Appel said,

    August 27, 2011 at 3:05 am

    It was cruel for the Mormon bishop to say that she would see her baby in the temple who died if she was worthy because no one can see the dead and also, as pointed out, no one is worthy.

    I remember an ex Mormon saying that he always felt guilty because he was struggling with a certain sin, I am going to assume he was talking about lust as a lot of people, especially men, struggle with this. But when he would tell his Mormon friends about it they would act surprised and say things like, “really, you struggle with that”? as if they also didn’t struggle with the same thing.

    Ironically the bishops themselves, if they were honest, also very likely struggle with the same sin too so they, at least in the way Mormons look at things, are not truly repentant as they have not overcome their sin.

    What I find amazing is that Mormons actually think these bishops can judge their hearts when the Bible says that no one can judge the hearts of men except God.

    Years ago a Mormon friend of mine used to hide food at my house so he would have something to eat, behind his family’s back, when they had their monthy fast. A funny line I remembered him saying was, “aw roast beef! as he tore into his snack at my house. I saw him at a high school reunion and he seemed a little embarrased when I brought this up in front of his wife. I guess it tarnised his image a little bit.

  10. Kent Appel said,

    August 27, 2011 at 8:55 am

    The part about Mormons having to conquer their sins to be truly repentant was told to me by a Mormon. Of course, often, they will make comments but then claim they are just stating an opinion.

    Even Mormon officials, especially prophets from the past, make comments and when we bring them up the response sometimes is that they weren’t prophets yet or they weren’t speaking in their official capacity as a prophet.

    It is easier just to go by the Bible as it never changes and we know where we stand.

    I wonder why, if the Bible is only the word of God as far as it has been translated correctly, Mormons even use it at all.

  11. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Kent, that’s why we need to share the Good News with Mormons–the truth that only Jesus was worthy and He was worthy for us! And, as far as seeing my dead baby in the Temple, many Mormons claim to have seen their dead relatives in the Temple. One of my Aunts went to the Temple as often as possible because she could see and talk to her long dead husband there.

    The Apostle Paul explains these “signs and lying wonders” in 2 Thessalonians 2. The work of Satan is displayed with all kinds of power, signs and lying wonders; to decieve those who are perishing! And those who are perishing are those who refuse to believe the truth. Paul explains that God Himself will send them strong delusions, so they will continue to believe the lie:

    And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they shoudl believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    Notice that unbelief is unrighteousness? Only through belief that Jesus is our Substitute for Righteousess can we be found worthy in God’s sight! All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior!


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