I don't know if you remember me or not but 20 years ago you helped lead me to the Lord, along with Mary and Ed while you were the pastor of Faith Church in Idaho. My name is Vicki Smith now. I lived next door to Mary and Ed. We talked on the phone about seven years ago.
The reason for my letter is because the Holy Spirit has laid something on my heart and I wanted to tell you so that maybe you could put it on your web site if it touches you like it did me.
First I want to thank you for this site. I am so thankful that I had you, Mary and Ed when I was looking for the truth. I am a 5th generation Mormon. 20 years ago I had been excommunicated and my life was in a mess. I moved to Idaho to start over and thought that if I got the Mormon Missionaries to teach me I could then get back into right standing with God. The first night I met my neighbor Mary next door to me she was on the porch playing the most beautiful music that I had ever heard. Songs to Jesus, just her voice and the guitar. After I listened to her for a while and cried at the beauty of the words, she stopped playing and asked me which church I went to. I told her that I was going to the LDS church down the road, She said, "You know that the Mormon Church is a cult don't you?" I said "NO!" She asked me if I would like to come over to her house in the mornings for a Bible study and she would show me.
Now in my mind I was thinking, being the good Mormon missionary that I was, I will convert Mary and show her the truth and she will become a Mormon. (All Mormons consider themselves to be missionaries) So I said yes.
This began for me a three month journey and sometimes it was a painful journey, that led me to Jesus. It opened my eyes to the love of God and how I could trust the Bible to be His word. It gave me a freedom from all the years of never being good enough. Jesus took me right where I was and He has brought about spiritual growth in my life over the past 20 year of my walk with him.
Now to the main reason for my letter to you. Being raised in a cult, many of us have left the LDS church with many hurts toward family and friends or other church members because of the way we were treated. Example, my mother died when I was 12, and my father remarried after one year to a very active Mormon women. We had been Mormon, just not active. All that changed the day my mother died. Grandma was also very active in the church. Anyway when Dad and my step mother came home from the honeymoon, ground rules for the family were put into place. Rule one, the word Step was never to be used. Two...My step mother said that she couldn't compete with a dead women so my mother was not to be mentioned...there would be no saying things like "When my real mother was alive we did this or that" From that day on it was like to everyone else that my mother had never been. I hated her for that. I was not an easy teenager and many of the problem we had were because she didn't know any other way to deal with my real mother.
God showed me something the other night that really helped me and I think will help other ex-Mormons to forgive what happened to them while they were in the church and even now to help them have compassion for the family members still in the cult. God told me that my step mother could not have done anything different other then what she did, because she didn't know any better. But, more than that she doesn't have the Holy Spirit to guide her and teach her how to love. See, if my step mother had known the true God and then had the Holy Spirit living in her she would have been able to help me grieve for my mother and find peace with the new family. God would have helped us all. But without him Satan had free rein. That is why there are so many broken families in the Mormon church. Yes, people do know how to be good parents but knowing how to be good parents and having the Holy Spirits guide them makes the difference between broken families and families that walk in God's Presence.
This has really helped me in forgiving my step mother for all the hurtful things that she did. Also it has helped me see that we need to have compassion for the people that are living their life thinking they have God in it when what they really have is a wannabe god....who's real name is Satan.
Thank you for letting me write this. God is so wonderful and has blessed me greatly in my life and having set me free yet again from the bondage of resentment toward 33 years of living in a cult. I always thought of those years as wasted years. I now know that God has a plan for me and I needed those year in the Mormon church to do what ever it is that He has prepare for me to do. I pray that when He calls I will answer and do all for the Glory of God.
Jim I can not thank you enough for the time that you put into helping me find Jesus. You will always be special to me and I keep your memory in my heart. I know that one day we will meet again.
Your sister through Jesus Christ our Healer
I think I do remember you.
Thank you for the very nice letter. I am so glad that God was able to help you through me and Mary and Ed. They had quite a story themselves!
I will post your letter on my web site. And, I am sending you a packet of information that shows what all God has been doing through this minisistry during the past 25 years.