Repent and Return unto the Lord: Jesus Has “Washed Us From Our Sins in His Own Blood”

If someone who didn’t know the LDS Process of Repentance were to read this weeks Gospel Doctrine Lesson, they could be deceived into thinking that the LDS church is a Christian church:

“Samuel said that if the people would repent, they would receive a remission of their sins through the merits of Christ. Merits are qualities or actions that entitle a person to claim rewards. Why is it only through the Savior’s merits that we can be forgiven of our sins? President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “Even the most just and upright man cannot save himself solely on his own merits.” (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 35: Repent and Return unto the Lord, p 157)

Reading the words of the LDS prophet Helaman shows that our eternal life is conditioned upon our repentance. But a person would have to know (outside of this reading), that according to Mormonism; many works are required of you before you have truly repented. Mormon prophets have changed God’s definition of repentance. (For your benefit, I have recorded the words of LDS prophets on my page “The LDS Process of Repentance” and provided a link at the bottom of this Post.)

According to God’s Word and found in the Bible, we also learn that eternal life is conditioned upon repentance. But God doesn’t define repentance like LDS prophets do. The Greek word for repentance literally means “a change of mind”. That’s why repentance is usually tied with conversion–coming to faith in Christ. Repentance means abandoning trust in yourself and placing all your trust in what Jesus has already accomplished for you–in your place. Unfortunately, it was many painful years before God revealed this truth to me.

I guess I never really thought I would have a life so full of pain, both emotional and physical. I don’t think there has ever really been a time in my life that was “ordinary”. In fact if Hollywood made a movie out of my life it would have numerous dramas to focus on: my first husband cheated on me for years, my oldest daughter was a 2 ½ lb preemie and my second daughter died from SIDS. I truly don’t know if her death was more difficult to go through as a mother than when my daughter Jen was addicted to methamphetamine’s. I didn’t even know where she was for over a year.

In 1999 I was diagnosed with late stage kidney cancer and given a prognosis of less than two years to live. In 2003 it was a brain tumor with resulting surgeries and radiation. Two years ago it was discovered that I have a Mitochondrial disease which has left me bedridden and in constant pain.

These “highlights” don’t even begin to address the emotional trauma associated with growing up in a prominent LDS family and being sexually abused for most of my childhood. (Not by my father) I grew up with President Kimball as my prophet—the author of “The Miracle of Forgiveness” where he wrote the words that haunted me for most of my life:

It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

My own sinfulness overwhelmed me and intensified my feelings of guilt and shame. Trying to obtain forgiveness for those sins through the LDS Process of Repentance consumed my life as I lived every day in complete and utter failure. You see, unlike many Mormons I actually believed the words of my prophet when he declared:

“Trying is Not Sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin… It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To “try” is weak. To “do the best I can” is not strong…Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load.… 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.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness)

Of all the pain I have gone through in life, nothing has compared to the sure knowledge that I could not do the works which President Kimball claimed were necessary to obtain forgiveness. And in a way, I am thankful. This pain led me to give up on myself and find the true Savior of the world. This Savior’s work has already won the forgiveness for every sin I have or ever will commit. In fact, the sins of the entire world were covered by the life-shed blood of our Savior when He died on the Cross and “taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Apostle Peter revealed that forgiveness is obtained through our faith—not our works: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Did you notice Peter’s words: “all the prophets” bear witness that we receive forgiveness through belief? Peter’s words show that LDS prophets are not prophets of God.

Today, I rejoice, because even though I live in daily physical pain because of my health issues, the God of all comfort has blessed me with the peace that passeth all understanding. That peace comes through the sure knowledge that Christ has “washed us from our sins in his own blood”. (Revelation 1:5)

The desire of my heart is to share the joy I have found with you. God has shed His light in my heart and given me a passion to reach others who have gone through similar pains and trials:

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Click here to go to my Page titled “The LDS Process of Repentance”:

Temple Blessings for Ourselves and Our Ancestors: Can Eternal Marriage Be Perfect?

When I was a young girl I dreamt of having an eternal marriage. One day I would be in the celestial room kneeling across the altar, looking at the love of my life. We would see each other in the reflection of the mirrors as we were sealed to each other for time and all eternity. This man would cherish me and love me unconditionally, as I would him. He would be my best friend—someone I could trust. We would share all our joys, our hurts and pains, and the desires of our hearts. Most importantly, he would be faithful and true to me forever.

As I said, this was my dream. But I really never thought it would come true. Before I was even old enough to know what it was, I had lost my most important possession—my virginity. For most of my childhood I had been sexually abused and I felt so much shame. I knew how unclean I was, how inadequate to be a man’s wife. Who could ever love me if they knew? I was a broken and unhealthy young woman.

I dated quite a bit. One young man was very special to me, but I never felt worthy enough for him. How could I ever tell him the truth? While he was on his mission, I made horrible choices that confirmed I was not worthy. Getting drunk one night led to getting pregnant by a man who was not LDS. My dream of an eternal marriage was shattered by my sin.

We married and my husband was baptized our first year of marriage. We both desired to be married in the Temple and worked to become worthy. Our second daughter died of SIDS and we desperately wanted to be sealed together as a family. After we obtained our much sought after Temple recommend we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. As the years passed, my husband started questioning his faith in Mormonism. Much to my dismay, he left the Church. Then I found out he had been unfaithful to me. We separated and my girls and I moved to a new State and a new Ward. The desire of my heart was to be forgiven and cleansed of my sins. I clung to the words of my prophet Spencer Kimball about how to gain this forgiveness. (If you would like to read about this, read my post titled “God Doesn’t Lie—You Have Been Forgiven”)

After I left the Church, my husband and I reconciled. He promised he would be faithful and true to me and I trusted him. Over the next several years, he often broke this promise. My heart ached every time he cheated on me, but I always took him back. Deep inside I felt that the reason he was intimate with other women was because there was something wrong with me–because I had been sexually abused. Finally, after a rocky 14 years together, he left me for good. I vowed never to trust another man. I turned to other things I loved—my daughters, my artwork, college classes and gardening. But no matter what I did, I was still alone with the guilt and shame of my sins. I knew I was unworthy, unlovable and unfit.

Amazingly when I was 36, I met the man of my dreams! He knew everything about me—all my life of shame and sinfulness. Despite how unworthy I was, He still loved and cherished me! Nothing I had ever done mattered to Him. His love was unconditional. Even though I had vowed never to marry again, I was so in love with Him that I couldn’t help myself! His name was Jesus and in 1994 I was sealed to Him for time and all eternity by Heavenly Father Himself (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). He had already proved His love for me by giving His life for me—washing me of my sin and guilt and making me the virgin I never really had the chance to be! Because of this, I knew I could trust Him and that He would be faithful to me forever.

When He chose me as His bride, He showered me with so many undeserved gifts. But the gift I have treasured most is the forgiveness won for me by His shed blood. His blood has made me clean! My life of shame was taken away the moment He chose me to be His bride. He even gave me my wedding garments! I sing with joy the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “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.” (Isaiah 61:10) This gift of His robe of righteousness cleansed me of all sin, so I can dwell in the very presence of God!!

Having been given this amazing gift has changed my life drastically. One of those changes has been my desire to study God’s Word. I pour over the pages of the Bible, discovering the things that God wants to teach me. LDS Prophets claim that marriages performed in LDS Temples will last into eternity: “Grateful should we be for a knowledge of the eternity of the marriage covenant.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 8: Temple Blessings for Ourselves and Our Ancestors)

But when I did a study on whether a marriage between a man and a woman will last into eternity, I found God’s truth. The only marriage relationship that will last beyond the grave is one with Jesus. Jesus Himself testified of this truth:

“For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (Mark 12:25).

This doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Another gift God gave me was the courage to marry again. Four years after I met Jesus, God brought into my life a wonderful Christian man of God who, amazingly, is also Christ’s bride. The Apostle John taught us in the book of Revelation that anyone who has been made righteous through Christ is His bride. And my husband and I will be together for eternity because we both have faith in Jesus.

There is no earthly relationship that surpasses the love that Jesus has for you. He died for you and wants to shower you with His gift of righteousness. Please, join with the Apostle John as we shout: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:7-9).

Making Covenants and Virginity Pledges for Someone Who Has Been Sexually Abused

I was reading the newly revised “For the Strength of Youth” at the lds youth website. It reminded me of an article I read a few years ago at Mormontimes.com about Virginity Pledges. Both articles stirred up some difficult memories for me which took me back to my childhood, because I was sexually abused as a child. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when it first started, but it lasted for most of my childhood. I have memories of things happening before I entered first grade and I lost my virginity about the time I was baptized at the age of eight.

Many things about my life of abuse are hard to explain with mere words. Inwardly, I spent years in a fog, simply struggling to survive. All my life I felt so much shame and guilt. I was unclean and impure. I was different than every person I knew. My heart’s desire was to be clean, pure and normal. Outwardly, no one would have suspected the emotional trauma I was going through. I hid my pain well by pretending to the world that I was a happy and normal Mormon girl.

At the age of twelve, I entered Mutual. My teacher was a very nice woman and made an effort to connect with the girls in her class. But one class stands out in my memory as very traumatic. Her Lesson focused on Chastity and how important it was for us to be morally clean. She told us that our most treasured possession was our virginity. She asked us to make a covenant to remain a virgin until we got married. She said that we should never do anything that compromised our most precious possession. For my ears, this was devastating. It was too late for me. I was already impure and had lost my virginity years before.

Then, she told us something that I will never forget. She said that our virginity was so precious that if someone tried to take it away from us by force, we should kill ourselves to protect it. She testified that our virginity was more important to us than our life. Hearing these words cut through my heart like a knife. The abuse continued for a few more years and every time, in addition to the shame, I now felt guilt for not having the courage to take my life. My pain was devastating and my heart’s desire was to be free from shame and guilt.

About fifteen years later this was still my heart’s desire. I had come no closer to finding any relief from my pain. There was nothing more important to me than gaining forgiveness. My desire was to be clean and pure like everyone else I knew. It was then that I turned to a book written by my Prophet Spencer W. Kimball called “The Miracle of Forgiveness“. Here, I just knew I would find the answer to my pain. Instead, I found more guilt and a reinforcement of what my Mutual teacher had told me. I read:

“Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.

My pain was so intense I would have committed suicide had I not had two little daughters who needed me. And, it was these two little girls that helped me to realize the abuse hadn’t been my fault. As their mother I could see that these little girls had no interest in sex. I started reading about sexually abused children and I learned that children are victims, not willing participants. I myself had survived each ordeal by pretending I was asleep and trying to pretend it wasn’t happening to me.

Surprisingly, realizing it wasn’t my fault did not release me from my feelings of guilt and shame. Maybe it was because of my Prophets words that it would have been better that I had died in defending my virtue. I still felt morally unclean and impure. I was a defective and broken woman who did not know how to become whole and clean. A few years later I left the Mormon Church and about a year after that gave up on what I thought was Christianity in general. I pretended that my feelings of guilt and shame were gone, but they weren’t. I tried convincing myself that the God who created our world didn’t care about me or my pain. But I was wrong! And oh how thankful I am that I was wrong.

Jesus came and rescued me even though I had given up on Him. God sent a Christian into my life who told me that the God who created our world actually loved me! He didn’t care that I was broken and guilt ridden. This loving God led me to the truth and gave me the desire of my heart! He told me that through Jesus I was clean and pure! At thirty six years of age I learned that in God’s eyes, I was as pure and clean as a virgin! All because of Jesus! In fact, John the Beloved testified to me that everyone whose hope is in Jesus is as pure as Jesus himself! (1 John 3:3)

I have had lots of difficult things happen to me in my life but nothing has affected me more deeply than the sexual abuse. Today, even at fifty-three years of age I still struggle with emotional aftereffects from it. But, I praise the Lord that through Jesus’ blood I have been cleansed! My most treasured possession is the forgiveness of all my sins. I live my life devoted to my Savior who freely won it for me. And, I learned that my life is more precious to Him than my “virtue”.

Now, my heart’s desire is to share what I have been given with you. If you were sexually abused and have had to sit through a Mutual class like I did, my heart goes out to you. If you don’t know how to become whole, trust in the fact that your Savior has made you clean and pure with His blood.

“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.” (Isaiah 53:4-12)

The “God of all Comfort” Has Sent Me to Comfort You!

I’m sorry that it’s been so long since posting here to my blog. I’ve been struggling with some pretty difficult health issues—so much so that I haven’t been able to sit at my desk for more than an hour or so. For the past few years I have been living in constant pain all over my body. This pain has gotten progressively worse, and through an EMG study it was discovered that I have both a muscle and a nerve disease. I am scheduled to have a muscle biopsy in a few weeks which should help determine exactly what is wrong.

I sure never thought that I would have a life that was so full of pain—both emotional and physical. I don’t think there has ever really been a time in my life that was “ordinary”. In fact, if Hollywood made a movie out of my life it would have numerous dramas to focus on: my first husband was emotionally abusive and cheated on me for many years; my oldest daughter was a 2 ½ lb preemie and my second daughter died from SIDS. I truly don’t know if her death was more difficult to go through as a mother than when my daughter Jen was addicted to methamphetamine’s. At one point, I didn’t even know where she was for over a year and filed a missing persons report. In 1999 I was diagnosed with late stage kidney cancer and was told I had less than two years to live. In 2003 I developed a brain tumor and have undergone two major surgeries as well as radiation therapy. Because of that radiation, I suffer from chronic sinus infections, both fungal and bacterial.

These “highlights” don’t even begin to address the emotional trauma associated with growing up in a prominent LDS family and being sexually abused for most of my childhood. I grew up with President Kimball as my prophet—the author of The Miracle of Forgiveness, where he wrote the words that haunted me for most of my life: “It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.

My own sinfulness overwhelmed me and intensified my feelings of guilt of shame. Trying to obtain forgiveness for those sins through the LDS Process of Repentance consumed my life as I lived every day in complete and utter failure. You see, unlike many Mormons, I actually believed the words of my prophet when he declared in The Miracle of Forgiveness:

Trying is Not Sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin… It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To “try” is weak. To “do the best I can” is not strong…Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load.… 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.

Of all the pain I have gone through in life, nothing has compared to the sure knowledge that I could not do the works which President Kimball told me were necessary to obtain my forgiveness. And in a way, I am thankful. This pain led me to find the true Savior of the world—the Savior whose work had already won the forgiveness for every sin I have or ever will commit. In fact, the sins of the entire world were covered by the life-shed blood of our Savior, when He died on the Cross and “taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Apostle Peter testified that forgiveness is obtained through faith, not works: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Did you notice Peter’s words: “all the prophets” bear witness that we receive forgiveness through belief? Peter’s words prove that LDS prophets are not prophets of God.

Many times I have wondered why my life has not been an easy one. But through it all, I know and trust that God has a purpose for everything. I also know that because my Lord and Savior has given me my hearts desire and cleansed me of my sins, I love Him more than life itself. I place my trust fully in the promise of God: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

I also love these words from the Apostle Paul, who helps explain why I have dedicated my life to witnessing the truth in love to Mormons: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

I might live in daily physical pain because of my health issues, but the God of all comfort has blessed me with the peace that passeth all understanding. The desire of my heart is to share what I have found with you. God has shed His light in my heart and given me a passion to reach others who have gone through similar pains and trials. Yesterday my husband got me set up with his old laptop computer on a little table that slides over my bed. God willing, I pray that I will have the strength to share my faith with you more often than I have been able.

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:

Healing from the Emotional Scars of Sexual Abuse

God has given me a strong desire to reach out to others who are struggling from the trauma of sexual abuse. I say “others” because although I am 51 years old, I still struggle with emotional scars from the abuse I went through as a child. Unlike physical scars, someone traumatized by sexual abuse doesn’t “look” like he or she is hurting. Those who have been abused are often left with emotional scars that transcend all areas of their lives. Most of us have learned how to hide our secrets, our struggles and even our feelings, so we end up being numb and silent. Unfortunately, this silence exacerbates many of the unhealthy consequences of abuse.

I was 28 years old before I spoke of the abuse to anyone. Doing so was the beginning of a healing process that is still ongoing. Since then I have learned many things about sexual abuse, not only from my own journey but from that of others I have met. For one, the person abused is not the only “victim” of the sexual abuse. Sexual intimacy in marriage is one of the most common issues encountered by someone who was sexually abused. Because of this, spouses of those who were abused may also become “victims” of the abuser. At 51 years old I still struggle from this emotional scar. I have been married for eleven years to a man I love and adore. But my brain still can’t convince my emotions to relax and not tense up every time my husband wishes to be intimate.

Being a member of the LDS Church made my years of sexual abuse much worse. President Kimball’s words in his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness” haunted me for years: “It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.” One of the most difficult consequences of my abuse was being overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and shame. Even though I was four or five when the abuse started, I still couldn’t convince my emotions I wasn’t at least partly at fault. For most of my life I was driven by my desire to be washed clean, forgiven, to somehow be restored to normal. But, deep down, I knew that I could never be normal. (To read how Jesus healed me from the shame of abuse, read the Post “God Doesn’t Lie–You Have Been Forgiven!!!” In the Topical Guide on the left, click on the Topic “Sexual Abuse”.)

I am very thankful that I no longer believe in the words of LDS prophets and apostles. But at the same time, my heart cries out for members of the Church who do. “The Miracle of Forgiveness” is still one of the more prominent books in Mormonism. As well, one of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk in General Conference that actually heaps more abuse on those who have been abused! Elder Richard G. Scott claims

“These are some of the principles of healing you will come to understand more fully: Recognize that you are a beloved child of your Heavenly Father. He loves you perfectly and can help you as no earthly parent, spouse, or devoted friend can. His Son gave his life so that by faith in him and obedience to his teachings you can be made whole.” (Link to talk:)

Telling someone who has been sexually abused that they can be “made whole” through obedience is just another form of abuse! Don’t you believe him! Not only do Elder Scott’s words expose the fact that he knows nothing about those who have been abused—it also shows that he doesn’t know the true mission of the Savior! Isaiah prophesied of our Savior’s mission—and it’s not through our obedience that we receive His healing:

“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.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)

There is a parallel between being healed from sexual abuse and being healed from sin. “With His stripes we are healed!” Elder Scott would hold this healing ransom—to gain your obedience, before being healed. But he has it backwards. Jesus already gained both my and your healing—through His obedience. Those who hope in the Lord and Savior living a life of thanksgiving, in part by being obedient.

The Savior of the world does not use obedience as a bargaining tool to heal the abused! When I found out I had been washed clean through Christ’s atonement, I gave my life to my Savior. It is because of my love for Him and gratitude for His forgiveness that I am obedient.

Being sexually abused as a child is the most traumatic thing that has happened in my life. But, amazingly, God used what happened to me as a child to draw me to the Savior whose blood covered not only my shame, but most importantly, my sin!

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My niece Kristina designed and created this beautiful stained glass panel to help raise money at a local shelter for abused women. The colors symbolize the various emotions that victims of abuse go though—from pain, rage and eventually to peace. Unfortunately, this healing process is something that she is also dealing with personally.

Do You Have An Eternal Family?

I have a pretty awesome “little” brother. I love calling him my “baby” brother because it really irritates him. Even though he’s one year younger than me, he stands seven inches taller than me. He’s very hard-working and it seems that everything he touches turns to gold. I think one of the reasons he’s so successful is because he had to be responsible at a very young age. When we were both in middle school our father was seriously injured in an accident at the factory where he worked. He was unable to work for many years and as a result, my brother started working full-time at a local dairy at the age of 14. There were times when he helped my parents with the mortgage payment and gave them money for our older brothers while they were on their missions.

As far as his personality, my little brother can be intimidating when you first meet him. But, once you get to know him you find out how compassionate and awesome he is. If you have met my little brother, you would remember him, he’s just that kind of guy. One time when I lived on the east coast, nearly 3,000 miles away from our home town, I saw someone with an Idaho license plate at a gas station. When I started talking to him, I found out that he knew my little brother. As I said, if you have met him, you don’t easily forget him.

My brother and I have lived very similar lives. Both of us were sexually abused as children. Both of us committed sexual sins with our first spouses before we got married. Both of us desired to have an eternal family, so we became worthy to enter the temple and had our marriages sealed for time and eternity. Both of us, no matter how hard we tried, couldn’t hold our marriages together. Even though both of our spouses were unfaithful to us, we spent years trying to work things out. Looking back, it’s easy to see that we both simply made horrible choices for marriage partners. Even though we tried everything we could to make our marriages work, our spouses still abandoned us. For both my brother and I, we lived some very difficult years with lots of emotional pain and hurt. Both of us lost our testimony in LDS prophets and left the Church. We both spent several years without any church or religion.

After the Holy Spirit brought me to faith over 14 years ago, I desperately wanted my little brother to know of the joy I had found in Jesus. I shared with him the news of forgiveness as often as he would let me, but he wasn’t interested. I never ceased praying for him. I always had this vision that when he came to faith, I would be the one that led him to the truth. But God, in His wisdom, had His own plan. My little brother’s second wife is a Christian. Like me, she has spent many years in prayer, asking God to bring him to faith. I praise the Lord that He has heard our prayers and brought my brother to faith!! It happened a few months ago when he felt something missing in his life and started attending a Christian Church.

My blood brother is now my spiritual brother and a member of Heavenly Father’s eternal family!!! When I was LDS I always dreamed of being worthy enough to have an eternal family. Both my brother and I were born under the covenant. Our four older siblings are faithful LDS members and believe they will live eternally with their families. But the LDS teaching about eternal families is a mirage. There is only one eternal family and that is God’s! You become worthy to enter His eternal family the moment the Holy Spirit brings you to faith! At that moment, you become a child of God and inherit ALL of His eternal blessings.

I praise my Lord and Savior for choosing to save the weak and base things of this world (1 Corinthians 1). Because of our sinfulness, my little brother and I were well aware that we desperately needed a Savior whose blood covered over our every sin. We knew we could not gain forgiveness with our own efforts. Our siblings, whose lives seem pretty “good” in comparison to ours, still reject the Savior who did everything for them. Even though it is impossible, they still believe they can be worthy enough to gain eternal life with their own faith and works.

Do you want to spend eternity with members of your family? Then turn to Jesus and trust that His blood covers over all of your sins. Teach your children the wonderful message that the gift of eternal life is granted solely through faith alone. Then, spend the rest of your life sharing Jesus with those who don’t know that His blood gained forgiveness for all their sins!

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.

Virginity Pledges for someone who has been sexually abused

I read an article last Saturday at Mormontimes.com about Virginity Pledges. It stirred up some difficult memories for me which took me back to my childhood. I was sexually abused as a child. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when it first started, but it lasted for most of my childhood. I have memories of things happening before I entered first grade and I lost my virginity about the time I was baptized at the age of eight. Many things about my life of abuse are hard to explain with mere words. Inwardly, I spent years in a fog, simply struggling to survive. All my life I felt so much shame and guilt. I was unclean and impure. I was different than every person I knew. My heart’s desire was to be clean, pure and normal. Outwardly, no one would have suspected the emotional trauma I was going through. I hid my pain well by pretending to the world that I was a happy and normal Mormon girl.

At the age of twelve, I entered Mutual. My teacher was a very nice woman and made an effort to connect with the girls in her class. But one class stands out in my memory as very traumatic. Her Lesson focused on Chastity and how important it was for us to be morally clean. She told us that our most treasured possession was our virginity. She asked us to make a Pledge of Virginity and said that we should never do anything that compromised our most precious possession. For my ears, this was devastating. It was too late for me. I was already impure and had lost my virginity years before. Then, she told us something that I will never forget. She said that our virginity was so precious that if someone tried to take it away from us by force, we should kill ourselves to protect it. She said our virginity was more important to us than our life. These words cut through my heart like a knife. The abuse continued for a few more years and every time, in addition to the shame, I now felt guilt for not having the courage to take my life. My pain was devastating and my heart’s desire was to be free from guilt and shame.

About fifteen years later this was still my heart’s desire. I had come no closer to finding any relief from my pain. There was nothing more important to me than gaining forgiveness. My desire was to be clean and pure like everyone else I knew. It was then that I turned to a book written by my Prophet Spencer Kimball called “The Miracle of Forgiveness“. Here, I just knew I would find the answer to my pain. Instead, I found more guilt and a reinforcement of what my Mutual teacher had told me. I read: “Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.

My pain was so intense I would have committed suicide had I not had two little daughters who needed me. And, it was these two little girls that helped me to realize the abuse hadn’t been my fault. As their mother I could see that these little girls had no interest in sex. I started reading about sexually abused children and I learned that children are victims, not willing participants. I myself had survived each ordeal by trying to pretend it wasn’t happening to me. Surprisingly, realizing it wasn’t my fault did not release me from my feelings of guilt and shame. Maybe it was because of my Prophets words that it would have been better that I had died in defending my virtue. I still felt morally unclean and impure. I was a defective and broken woman who did not know how to become whole and clean.

A few years later I left the Mormon Church and about a year after that gave up on what I thought was Christianity in general. I pretended that my feelings of guilt and shame were gone, but they weren’t. I tried convincing myself that the God who created our world didn’t care about me or my pain. But I was wrong! And, I am so thankful that I was wrong. Jesus came and rescued me even though I had given up on Him. God sent a Christian into my life who told me that the God who created our world actually loved me! He didn’t care that I was broken and guilt ridden. This loving God led me to the truth and gave me the desire of my heart! He told me that through Jesus I was clean and pure! At thirty six years of age I learned that in God’s eyes, I was as pure and clean as a virgin! All because of Jesus! In fact, John the Beloved testified to me that everyone whose hope is in Jesus is as pure as Jesus himself! (1 John 3:3)

I have had lots of difficult things happen to me in my life but nothing has affected me more deeply than the sexual abuse. Today, even at fifty years of age I still struggle with emotional aftereffects from it. But, I praise the Lord that through Jesus’ blood I have been cleansed! My most treasured possession is the forgiveness of all my sins. I live my life devoted to my Savior who freely won it for me. And, I learned that my life is more precious to Him than my “virtue”. Now, my heart’s desire is to share what I have been given with you. If you were sexually abused and have had to sit through a Mutual class like I did, my heart goes out to you. If you don’t know how to become whole, trust in the fact that you’re Savior has made you clean and pure with His blood. “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.

Was God once a “created” man?

We live in a society where sexual immorality is increasing. Not only are people unfaithful to their spouses, homosexuality is a major issue and pornography is rampant. Members of the LDS Church are not immune to these sexual sins. A simple google search on the words: Gay LDS, LDS pornography or LDS sexual abuse will bear this out. I myself was sexually abused as a child and I know many other Mormons and ex-Mormons who were.

I have often wondered why sexual abuse, homosexuality and pornography are so prevalent within a Church which focuses so much of its teachings on being morally clean. I’ve also wondered why our society has so quickly deteriorated into one focused on sexual perversions. I discovered one possible explanation during a Bible Class on the book of Romans.

In Romans, Paul tells us that people who worship the “creature” and not the “Creator” have been turned over to vile passions and uncleanness:

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.”

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature” (1:20-26)

What Paul is saying is that anyone can look around at what God has created and know that there is a powerful God who created everything! Because of this, if someone doesn’t worship God, “they are without excuse”. And, these passages show there can be an earthly consequence for worshiping “the creature more than the Creator“. Paul explains that in some instances, God gives these people up to immoral acts through the lusts of their hearts. Many people today do not worship God and instead, choose to worship something that God has created.

Reading the Gospel Doctrine Lesson this week about the First Vision reminded me of what I had learned while studying Romans. The Lesson claims that Joseph “learned more of the nature of God the Eternal Father and the risen Lord than all the learned minds in all their discussions through all centuries of time”. From Gospel Principles, page 305, we read where Joseph taught that by nature, God is actually a “creature” and not the Creator! He says:

“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top… This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did”.

Joseph’s teaching that God used to be a man never really bothered me as a Mormon. But now that I know God as the creator and have studied His Word, I realize how false this teaching is! Joseph’s words elevate man and lower God! He makes God a mere creature, something created, and not the Creator!
Joseph “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man”.

My God—the God of Abraham and the God of the Bible; has never been a sinful corruptible man!

Compare Joseph’s words with the Prophet Isaiah’s, who testified that God has always been God:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 43:10) and “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (Isaiah 45:5).

I don’t know whether Mormons who are sexual abusers, homosexuals or into pornography are suffering the earthly consequences for worshiping the creature and not the Creator. But I do know one thing for sure. Joseph revealed that God was once a created man who sinned, just like you and me. My God, the God of the Bible, is the Creator of all things and has never been sinful!

This Almighty God sent His Son to pay for all sins—including sexual sins and worshiping the created. His action demonstrates His infinite love for you. He is calling for you to turn to Him to be healed. Please, don’t reject this amazing God of love, who has always been God. God is the only true God! He is the Creator and not a mere creature!

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