Dear Jim,

Thank you for your courage in telling your story, and your website. I am a fifth generation Mormon on my mother's side descended from one of Brigham's wives. I don't know which one nor do I really care. I left the church when I was 18 32 years ago. I am now an Episcopalian since 1993. It took me 20 years before I even considered joining another church I felt so scarred after my Mormon experience. Today I just try to enjoy breathing the air freely and giving my mind and emotions the liberty they need to grow. My family is still very active in the church and marches to the beat of the Mormon drum.

I do find though, I feel a growing sense of unease as the religious climate in the US begins to feel more and more like one being greatly influenced by Mormon doctrine. I hope that what I'm sensing is only a residue of being raised Mormon and not that Mormon doctrine has seeped into the collective consciousness of the Christians of all stripes. A little yeast leavens the dough I believe was how Christ put it. I'm not a dispensationalist nor do I believe in watching for signs. I do however believe in being aware of things going on around me and it seems to me I hear more than a few teachings that sound Mormon coming from non-Mormons. A mixture of Mormonism and John Bircher stuff. Bad from any rational perspective for democracy, and liberty. Well enough of my rambling. I'm going to continue to explore your site and others like it. Thanks again for your time and effort in sharing your experience with others.

Sincerely,

Sandy

 

Thanks for a thoughtful take.

1. Probably you are reacting to the joint conservative values shared by Mormons and the so-called "Christian Right." While I identify with conservative politics, I do know that there is a danger in identifying Jesus as a Reagan republican. And some of the criticism of the political left need to be heeded. We really, in defending "family values," should never lose sight of the fact that Christians are called to love and compassion. God loves the poor and downtrodden and bids us give of ourselves to them.

2. The real danger in all of this is not so much the political fallout, but the possibility that we become legalistic in our faith. That is the bane of human nature--the idea that we can control our destinies through our will power. We sing in church, "Let the rich say they are poor, let the weak say they are strong because of what the Lord has done for us." Sometimes we forget God's criticism of self-righteousness: "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:(Re 3:17)

Thanks for your interest in Through the Maze Ministries.

I am mailing you a packet of information I think you will find helpful.

Jim