I emailed you a few months back requesting an information packet, as I am considering leaving the church. I have complete faith that you mailed it to me, but while I was on vacation, my *MORMON* neighbor gathered our mail and such, and I wouldn't put it past her to have thrown it out. I do however, know that you posess my adress as I received your latest newsletter.
I have attended the church all of my life, but was not baptized until I was 18, mainly due to my parents opposition. (Now I know to listen to my parents! They are always right!) Growing up, I had the Baptist and Mormon spectrum, although I have not ever really felt completely comfortable with either. I was baptized while I was attending Basic Training in the Army, with plans to be endowed and sealed in the temple to my member fiancee. Instead, he stole in excess of $30,000 from me, and I was left high and dry. When I approached the bishop in our church who had been counseling us, I was told it was our Heavenly Father's will....since that day I have had doubts about the religion....Less than a month later, my ex was married and had purchased a house....with my money. Being as brainwashed as I was, I didn't pursue any legal action, I just sucked it up like a good Molly Mormon and came to Alaska where Uncle Sam saw me fit.
Anyhow, long story short, (we could be here for days) I am married to a non member, have attempted several times to have my record expunged from the church only to back out at the last minute, telling myself that I had no justifications, and I continue to pay tithing and all of the other hoopla associated with "The Church." It has caused a lot of tension in our household, as my husband cannot see himself in "the mormon way" He justifies it by saying he loves me too much to see me being belittled and whatnot. He, and I for that matter, cannot understand why it is that there are men who will go out and bowl--for example--while forcing their wives to have no social life, besides to stay home and make/raise babies and clean the damn house. Why is it that 98% of the LDS families that I know are struggling...could it be because they will not stop having babies they cannot afford to raise, or sending their 4 teenage sons/daughters all 1 yr apart on missions that cost upwards to $4,000-5,000 a year????? I cannot fathom the logic....I have not ever attended Relief Society and not been preached at to have more babies.
Anyhow, with all of this confusion in my brain, I sat down and prayed about what to do, I am at a loss. God reached out his hands and led me to you. He is almighty! Now, as the humble author you are, when I ask which books would be best for me, I am sure you are going to say all of them, but times are tight at the moment, and I really need some guidance. Please help me Mr. Spencer....I feel as if I have no one to talk to.
Great letter. As Clinton would say, "I feel your pain." (Only I really mean it).
First, off, on the books: You can read most of them online. These are the best for you:
I read your letter to my wife. She said, "Tell her to just get out and forget about it!" :) Easier said than done.
My daughter, Jaime, is married to a career Army noncom, stationed at Fort Bragg. He is going to Afghanistan in January. He fixes Chinooks.
On a more serious note, Kristen, the real answer for you (for all of us for that matter) is to develop a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I recommend that you seek out, if not a base chapel service, at least a Bible study group. Surely some of the neighbor wives are Christians. I am not saying you need to run right out and join a church. But you do need to bring yourself into Christian fellowship.
The biggest difference I saw when I left my Mormon circle of friends and began to hang around Christians was that I was free to be exactly who I am. No pretending necessary.
The way to please God is to have faith in Christ. We do not approach God, "the Mormon way" through doing good works to please Him. We come to Him, admit we can't run our lives successfully and ask Him to take over. We submit our lives to the loving care and oversight of Jesus Christ. Only then will we begin to see real change in our lives. Change that comes from the heart, not from obedience to a list of regulations. You can read about the differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity in the first eight chapters of the book of Romans, or in the short book of Galatians. If you like to listen to tapes, I can send you some teaching tapes on the book of Romans.
Thank God for your godly parents!