Home Forums MISSION FIELD: SALT LAKE CITY…

#3130
mike emanuel
Member

[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]About a year ago, I and my family felt a calling to move to Utah from California. Yes, my wife’s mother and most of her other family lives here, but we knew there was more to it than that. We felt it was a “God thing.”[/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]As a former Mormon- I had denounced the church as a young teen and ran away from it’s cult-like tentacles -now a born-again Christian and ordained minister, it has been a bit of a culture shock, only because Mormonism is such a part of the culture as a whole, here. I never thought I would become emersed in it ever again, let alone in the Mormon ‘mecca’ of Salt Lake City![/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]As I’ve worked and attempted to foster friendships in the community, I have found an unusual dimension to it all, one I’d never figured on. Most “Mormons” I come into contact with are really not all that devout in their religion. In fact, most don’t even go to church or adhere to most of the doctrines espoused by their leadership. (I’ve known many so-called “christians” like this, as well.) They’re pretty much apathetic when it comes to spiritual things. That is, until I try and share the Gospel of Christ or discuss Joseph Smith with them.[/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]No matter how disfunctional they may be in their lack of belief in LDS teachings, they are vigorous to say the least in their defense of “the church,” as it’s called here. The beer cans may be piled two feet high in their yard, but don’t dare challenge the Book of Mormon or your in for a fight! The air becomes as thick with acrimony as any hot, summer, day is from the inversion. Not only don’t they want to hear the truth of Christ, neither do they want to hear the truth of Mormonism. [/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]This is something I’ve never encountered before. Even ex-Christians I’ve encountered, aren’t as vehament in their discussions as these folks are. I have come to some conclusions though, as to why this may be. [/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]First, most Mormons are born-and-raised in the church, so they’ve known nothing else in their lives. Therefore, though they may personally not agree with the LDS church on many things, they still feel a sense of loyalty to it, much the same as an abused woman feels loyalty toward her abuser. In some circles, this is called “brainwashing.” It’s a common practice in cults and very hard to fight without proper training. And yes, I consider Mormonism to be ‘cultish’ in it’s practices and policies as one who has been both part of it and studied it deeply. All I can hpoe and pray for is that somehow God has used me through these encounters in order to plant a seed for Him to water and cause to grow.[/size][/#008000][/font][/b]

[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]Secondly, there’s the apathy part of it. Most- as I once did -feel that all ‘religions’ are basically the same as Mormonism. For what ever reasons they might have had for leaving the church, that experience has left them devoid of any spiritual aspirations at all. They say something is missing in their lives, but don’t think that God can be the answer. They believe that there is some “higher power,” but that the “Heavenly Father” of their youth can not be all there is, either. And yet, they will push back against anyone or anything that is contrary to what they grew up believing. Even surley athiests I’ve witnessed to aren’t as close-minded.[/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]All I can say to sum things up is, well, it’s been an interesting season of ministry here. I’ve found many areas of agreement with my LDS friends and neighbors, and learned to gently approach other subjects where we are in opposition, without compromising Biblical truth. And for the most part, they have respected me for this, and I in turn, them.[/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]My family and I love living here. It’s beautiful! I can understand why Smith and his followers decided to settle here. And from a moral/cultural standpoint, it couldn’t be more perfect. Spiritually though, there’s alot of work to be done still. And I, along with many other committed Christians, are willing- and by the Holy Spirits power – able, to try and finish the task that God has started here. To Him be the glory! God bless![/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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[b][font “Comic Sans MS”][#008000][size 4]Pastor Mike[/size][/#008000][/font][/b]
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