This means LOVE

As I was laying in bed last night, trying to sleep, my mind kept wandering. I thought about my family and friends in Florida. I thought about the changes we’ve experienced. I thought about all the changes still to come. Mostly, I thought about Easter.

I grew up in the church. My Mama was a Christian and she taught us from birth about the Bible. I grew up knowing about the sacrifice Christ made on my behalf. I knew the Easter story. I knew the truth. Frankly, as a child, there wasn’t anyone in my life that didn’t know the Gospel. Especially living in the South. (and yes, compared to Utah, FL is SO the South) That’s not to say that everyone I knew in my life were Christians, but most were. In my adult life, honestly, most of my friends/family/contacts are Christians.

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You can imagine then how shocking it was for me to move to place where the vast majority of people view the cross in such a negative way. Not even that they are indifferent. That I’d seen before. It’s that they are offended by it. Mormons are, in fact, insulted and even angered by the cross.

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We’ve had this discussion with multiple Mormons and they almost always say the same thing. The same exact thing. “If your brother was killed with a butcher knife, would you wear one around your neck?” I suppose this would be an effective argument if Jesus’ life was taken from Him but it wasn’t. He freely gave it. Jesus saidNo one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” (John 10:18) Not only did He freely give His life, He rejoiced to do so. Not that the physical pain was in any way pleasurable but His love for us was so great that He took joy in providing the way to salvation for us.

For ME!

For YOU!

Last Easter Sunday, I sat at the sunrise service on the lake in Windermere. I sat listening to music and a message of love and redemption. Behind my pastor, stood a large wooden cross. The view as the sun rose was beautiful and peaceful. Just beyond the cross and the lake, the Mormon Temple was also in view. For Barry & I, it was a visual reminder of what God was asking of us.

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A year has passed and it feels like we are on the other side of the lake. The Temple is now so visible and all encompassing. The cross is in the distant view. Yet again, God continues to remind us why we are here.

We are in Utah to share with the people around us what the cross really means. We are to share that Jesus is not our brother, but He is our savior. We are to share that His life could never have been taken from Him but it was His free choice to give it. We are to share that the sacrifice made on the cross, no where else, is the only way to forgiveness and salvation. We are to share that the cross means LOVE.

 

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We’re having a BOY…or maybe a GIRL…

I bet that got your attention!

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Several years ago, our Pastor asked the congregation to prayerfully consider becoming foster parents. Adoption and fostering holds a special place in his heart since his parents became fosters after he left for college. Once we left the service, I asked Barry if we should think about that. He looked at me like I had two heads. I guess that was a “No”. A couple years after that, the Pastor brought it up again. In the car on the way home, I asked Barry. Still, I appeared to be two headed. I guess nothing had changed since the first time. This happened several times over our marriage and each time the answer remained the same. That is until about a month ago.

We were contacted by an organization called Holding Out Help. (www.holdingouthelp.org) HOH is a group who’s focus is to help individuals who are exiting Polygamist communities. For most of you reading this, Polygamy is not something you think about very often. Most of you many not even realize that this multi-spouse culture still exists to the degree that it does in this country.

It is estimated that over 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly fundamentalist Mormons, practice polygamy secretly (and not-so-secretly). The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) is estimated to consist of 6,000 – 8,000 members.  A large concentration of these members live in the twin cities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah. (This area is referred to as “The Crick”) The average American FLDS polygamist man has 3-4 wives and each wife averages 8-9 children. The culture of abuse and corruption is so prevalent in this area that those who are brave enough to leave do so at great risk to themselves. They leave with nothing and no one to turn to. That is where Holding Out Help comes in! (…and maybe us!)

I cannot give you the children’s names in order to keep them protected. For now I will just say “Boy” or “Girl” but I want to give you as much information as I can about where things stand right now so that you can be praying.

Boy is 16 years old. He left The Crick a little while ago. His father is being punished and has been sent to “repent from afar” by the FLDS church. When that happens, the church reassigns the man’s wives and children to new men. It is an unthinkable practice, but it is happening. When Boy’s family was reassigned, he decided to leave. Boy has only a 4th grade education and is painfully shy. He is alone and in order to make it successfully into adulthood, he is going to need a lot of help and love. Generally speaking, HOH doesn’t place teenage boys into host homes that have small children. The reality is that 80-90% of the kids that live in The Crick are physically and/or sexually abused. The leadership with HOH have spoken to Boy multiple times and they do not believe that this particular child has been abused or that he poses a threat to the Littles. (I should mention that in the years since they have been doing this, HOH has never had an incident of abuse in a host home)

One benefit to coming to live with us would be that we homeschool. Boy does not want to go to public school because of his shyness. That may be the best since there is no way he can perform on a high school level academically or socially. If Boy does comes to live with us, we can assess his knowledge in each subject and just go from there. The idea that this 16 year old would be learning the same things that Conor (10 years old) is learning completely blows my mind!

There is another family that has stepped up and offered to take Boy into their home. They do not have any small children so that is a bonus. They also have a couple of older children that might be an added benefit. Plus, they live further south than we currently do. I’ll explain why that is good in a little bit.

Boy is meeting with the other family tomorrow. He may want to meet us next week. The decision is his to make about where he goes. We are OK with it either way. We are just praying for his well-being.

There is another child, Girl, that might be in need as well. Girl is still in The Crick. She has been in contact with HOH for a while now. She is just trying to get the courage to take that first step into freedom. It could be tonight…it could be next week…it could be never. We are praying that Girl will be kept safe until she decides what is best for her.

So for right now, we pray and wait for a call. Boy or Girl…or another child entirely. There are new placement needs all the time.

In the meantime, there are some changes we will need to start making. The main one being a move further south. Holding Out Help has a fantastic system of resources to help these people start their new life. Mentoring, tutoring, counseling, job-training, clothing, education, etc. It is amazing and all of it is south of Salt Lake City. We are just too far away to utilize all of the things they offer for whomever comes into our home and it wouldn’t be fair to this child not to give them EVERY opportunity to succeed. So, Barry is looking for work in that area and we are researching housing down there. I am NO fan of packing and moving, but I have to be honest, I am kind of excited abut the possibility of this move. We’ve been unable to really grow roots since we’ve been here and maybe this is the reason why. There are a lot of things to do and this will not happen over night, but we are ready to make the effort.

So many opportunities could come from a partnership with Holding Out Help. They are too many and too distant future to write about now but know that we are praying for God’s will in this every step of the way.

There are a couple of things I’d like to point you to if you are interested in learning more about HOH and the kids coming out of The Crick:

20/20 did a special featuring Holding Out Help last January. In fact, we sat on our couch in Florida and watched it. God broke my heart that night. I do not believe it is a coincidence that we watched that special over a year ago. Here is the link to the 20/20 episode:

Also, if you have Netflix, there is a documentary called “Sons of Perdition” that follows the story of several kids just like Boy and Girl. (Warning, there is a bit of bad language) This will give you a great insight into the lives of these poor kids. In fact, some of the guys in the documentary are now “graduates” of HOH and some have their own families and some are in college! If you do not have Netflix, you can download the movie using this link:

http://sonsofperditionthemovie.com/Sons_of_Perdition_Home.html

We have been so blessed to have a loving family and amazing friends in our lives. Our hearts are now burdened to give that same unconditional love to someone else. Someone who has never known that love.

1 John 3:16-18 ~ “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

PS – A church in Georgia has contacted us and are interested in joining us for a mission trip. The opportunities for them to serve here in UT are so numerous! We are very excited about this possibility and the future mission teams this could lead to. Just one more thing to pray about!!!!

photo by Dominik Gwarek

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Skiing, Serving, Singing & Ravi

We have had a pretty amazing January so far. Conor and Reagan each had a birthday – turning 10 and 8 years old. As their gift/party we took them to ski for their very first time. They both did so great and are eager to go back again. (Their blossoming love for skiing sure makes for one happy daddy!)

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Last week, we also started volunteering at a thrift store run by our church. The store sells clothes, shoes and accessories to the people in downtown Ogden. It is a low income neighborhood and predominately Hispanic. They sell everything in the store for $1 with few exceptions. They sell the items rather than give them away in order to give the customers a sense of pride and ownership. It is a way for them to shop for and purchase things with their own money to provide for themselves and their family. The church also offers free ESL classes and a kids club at the store each week. We are going to be working there every Friday and we are so blessed to be a part of it.

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In true God fashion, the Church’s thrift store is directly across the street from a Mormon Temple. This is the Ogden Temple and it is undergoing major reconstruction. In fact, when Barry & I came out to visit in February of last year, the entire building was lifted up on stilts as they were redoing the foundation. As we stand in the thrift store, it’s easy to see the Temple construction going on across the street. Every time I look out that window, I am reminded of why we are here.

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Barry also had the opportunity to meet with one of our church’s pastors to discuss some ministry ideas. The church is open to some of the things Barry brought up and we will be praying over what God has in store. It can be frustrating sometimes. We are here, we know God wants us to do something here specifically, but we just don’t know exactly what that something is. We believe that God brought us here for something LDS specific and until we know exactly what that is, we will continue to pray about it and visit Temple Square (LDS headquarters) to share the gospel. We do know, however that one of the reasons we are here is because in a place where Evangelical Christianity is such a minority, the workers are few. (Matthew 9:37-38) We know that God has us here to serve with our church and be His hands and feet in anyway we can. The thrift store is just one way we can do that.

On Saturday night, Barry & I were blessed to be able to hear Ravi Zacharias speak and Fernando Ortega sing at the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle. Ravi is the only Evangelical Apologist to ever be invited by the LDS to speak at this historical venue. This was his second invitation, the first being in 2004. I cannot begin to tell you the feeling I got standing in that building singing praises to my Savior. Awesome barely does it justice. “I will Sing of my Redeemer” & “Give me Jesus” have never sounded more precious. As about 1/2 of the building was filled with believers, I imagine that place had never been bathed in more prayer. Those prayers were answered and Ravi gave a very clear message of the importance of knowing the true and living Jesus and trusting the Bible alone. It was an amazing evening and the Holy Spirit flooded that building.

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If you would like to see the message given that night, you can watch it here:

As for now…Please pray!

  • Pray for this desperately lost area and for the thousands of people here who are following a false prophet.
  • Pray for us to stay focused on God’s will and to follow His direction without hesitation.
  • Pray for financial provision. Barry is still looking for more stable work.
  • Pray for the local Christian churches here who are fighting an uphill battle. Praise God – We know the Victor!

We are so grateful for all of you that pray over us and love on us. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.

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For those who have asked, here is a reminder on how you can give:

Make a check payable to FBCW and write “Utah Mission” on the memo line. Then mail it to:

First Baptist Church of Windermere

300 Main Street

Windermere, FL  347686

or you can give electronically through the church’s website:

http://www.fbcwindermere.com/AboutUs/Give.html

(If you have any trouble, the church finance office will be able to assist you – 407-876-2234)

Party of 5

Yesterday, I threw myself the biggest Pity Party I’ve ever indulged in. I’m talking a MASSIVE Pity Party with all the fixin’s; sobbing, pouting, going back to bed multiple times, crying while folding laundry, crying while unloading the dishwasher, eating way too many Oreos, zombie walking through Wal-Mart thinking mean things about the “happy” people around me, etc. I really wallowed in it. I mean how dare the other people at Wal-Mart to be laughing?!?! Didn’t they know that my children had just flown back to Florida!? Didn’t they know that my house was quiet once again after 2 weeks of laughter and togetherness had ended!? Don’t they even care that we are back to being just a party of 4!?

Then, just like God, He reminded me in several ways that we are not a party of 4. We are, at the very least, a party of 5! He is WITH us. He is with me. I will never be a party of 1. Praise Jesus!

One of the ways He spoke to me was through a very special friend. I go to her when I am at my ugliest because I know she will love me in spite of myself. She listened to my whining, she hurt with me and then she pointed me straight back to God’s word!

“O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.” ~ Psalm 38:21-22

What a comforting scripture that is. I mean, really, think about it. The God of all creation is NEAR to me. He is NEAR to you. No matter how dark your view is, there IS a light and His name is Jesus.

After a day that seemed to never end, the Littles were finally asleep and I went to bed. I lay there crying off and on and praying for God to allow my mind to rest. I prayed that He would show me tenderness and peace…He did. My husband came in. He laid down beside me and began to just quietly rub my hair. He didn’t tell me to get over it. He didn’t tell me it would be alright. He was comforting me just by being there. I didn’t tell Barry how much I needed that. I still haven’t. He knows. He knew then too.

Finally, God spoke to me after the stillness of the night had settled in. I woke up several times during the night. I often do. As I laid there, I expected to start tearing up again, but instead I started smiling. Memories of the 2 weeks with our family starting flooding into my mind. Instead of the sadness I had allowed the day to bring me, the night was filled with reminders of how good God has been to me. Here are a few pictures of some of the blessing during those 2 weeks:

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What a fool I had been! The enemy knows our weaknesses. I allowed him a foothold in my emotions. I allowed him to whisper lies in my ears all day. A day wasted.

When my feet hit the floor this morning, I promised myself and my Lord that I would not waste today. As I showered, I thanked Him for forgiving me yet again and for loving me. As I dressed and got ready, I praised Him for every minute that he gave me with my family and thanked Him that they were now back home, safe and sound.

I know that I will mess up again. I know that there is a good possibility that I may throw myself another pity party in the future. More importantly, I know that even if I do, He will be there with me. The only guest to such a dreadful event. He will be there reminding me to give all my worries to Him because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)


Thanksgiving Mission Trip

Our very first mission team joined us November 23 – December 1! The team was a small group from our home church, First Baptist Church of Windermere. The week was such a blessing to us. We had the opportunity to serve our Lord with some of our best friends. God is so good!

The trip was construction based. The team did work on The Blue House for Utah Partnerships for Christ. They corrected some electrical issues, added some new lighting, tiled a bathroom that was previously carpeted, pulled carpet out of a room and refinished the hardwood floors underneath, rearranged and organized two main rooms of the house, painted, installed a threshold, etc. To say that they worked hard would be such an understatement. They were fantastic and the house shows it!

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Doesn’t it look amazing?!?!

Along with construction, the team spent time in Temple Square sharing the gospel. Temple Square is essentially the hub of the LDS faith. The Salt Lake Temple is there along with several visitor centers, The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Brigham Young’s home, The LDS Business Center, LDS History Library, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, etc. It is a beautiful place but filled with so much darkness. The devil delights in the lies being told about who God is. The team went into Temple Square two days during their trip to speak to the LDS missionaries there and anyone else that would listen. They went with a message. The message of the Gospel. The one and only true living God loves them and the Bible is the full and complete message of that love. A mission trip to Utah is not like a mission trip overseas. The people here don’t know how lost they are because they have been following a false prophet. The goal here is to get them thinking. To get them to question the inconsistencies in their own faith versus the truth of the Bible. We were so proud of our little team and their bold and passionate faith! So many Christians are either uneducated about the LDS church or they’ve written them off. Praise God that there are still a few that are willing to step out of their comfort zone and reach out to the LDS people who are NOT a lost cause.

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Another thing the team was able to do was to spend time with a few ex-LDS and ask them questions, listen to their stories and gain some perspective on what life is like inside the Mormon mirage. We were able to meet with Pastor Larry of Wasatch Cowboy Church. Larry is a wonderfully sweet and caring man who spent 30 years in the LDS church. He spoke to the team about his life as a Mormon and his salvation out of that life. He told of a God of love and redemption and a relationship with Jesus Christ that has nothing to do with religion. What an awesome night we had with this delightful man.

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We were also blessed to have Mike and Lynn Wilder over for dinner and discussion. Mike and Lynn also spent decades inside the LDS church. They were fully dedicated, temple recommend Mormons that were highly active and committed to their faith. In fact, Lynn was a tenured professor at BYU. We spent the evening listening to their amazing story first hand and having the opportunity to ask questions of them as well. They spoke of God’s unwavering GRACE!!! What an encouragement it was to all of us to hear that there were real people and real stories of Mormons coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We were so blessed by Mike and Lynn. (If you are interested in reading their story, Lynn has a new book out called “Unveiling Grace”…you will not be disappointed in it! www.unveilinggracebook.com)

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On Thanksgiving Day, we went to a hotel to serve lunch to the poor. It was PACKED both with the needy and with volunteers. Amazingly, in that sea of people, we met Teri. She is a Christian that has lived in Utah for 2 years. Sadly, she is here alone. She talked about how lonely this place has been for her and our hearts broke. We know that feeling too, but she’s been living it for 4 times longer than we have. We know that God brought us there that day, if for no other reason, than to meet Teri. We invited her to have Thanksgiving dinner with us and sort of left her with no other option but to accept. She did and what a wonderful blessing that was for us.

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We ended the week with as much fun as we could possibly cram in! Skiing for some, movie for others, shopping, Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the museum, gondola ride, dinner, etc. It was, according to our 7 year old daughter, the “best day ever!”

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When they left, my heart broke a little….ok, a lot.

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Still, we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve, evangelize and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will now start counting down the days until the next mission team joins us. Will that be you?

If you would like information on bringing your family, church or group on a short-term mission trip to Utah, please feel free to contact us.

Barry – 407-375-0516

Jennifer – 407-375-6492

barryjensmith02@hotmail.com

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It’s Not the Little Things…or the Big Things

We have all heard “It’s the little things that matter most” or “It’s the big things that count”. Both of these phrases apply in individual cases. For example - Little gifts friends give to each other. (Like boot socks given to a woman who just moved from Florida to Utah) or Big things like out of state Grandparents choosing to be at every big event, graduation, wedding or birth of a new grandchild.

Still, I don’t think these statements really apply to us and our relationship with God.

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

It’s not the little things or the big things, it is All Things. God has been reinforcing that to us these past few weeks. We have been struggling to find our place here in Utah. I have, in particular, struggled balancing what I should be doing for ministry work and trying to work enough “secular” work to feed my family. After a lot of prayer and bible study, I am reminded that there is to be no separation between “ministry” work and “secular” work. If I am doing ALL things in the name of the Lord Jesus, that is what matters.

I have had a couple of good moments where my bosses have recognized me at work, both at the hotel and riding the pedicab. Sadly, I have not always taken those moments and turned them into opportunities to glorify the One who really deserves it. As I start another new job tonight, working for backcountry.com, I am seeking to be pleasing to God in ALL things. Little and Big.

- Barry

Barry is absolutely right. Our goal in everything we do should be to glorify Him. How I homeschool the Littles, how I maintain our home and my overall attitude should be just as much of a witness as standing at Temple Square sharing the love of Christ.

My conviction in these past several week has been about my attitude. I read about Jonah and his push back against God’s desire for him to go to Nineveh. God was clear. Jonah was too. “No thanks, God.”  What Jonah would soon learn is that you can either obey or pay. Jonah finally did follow God’s direction but only after he’d been in a horrible storm, cast overboard, spent time in the smelly belly of a fish & then vomited onto the beach. None of which sounds appealing.

When God called us to move to Utah, we did. However, I am convicted that perhaps I am even worse than Jonah. At least he did his grumbling right up front. I waited until we were here to start complaining. God – This is so hard! Why us? How are we going to have enough money to support ourselves? Who will listen to us? We don’t even know anyone here, God. I miss my family and friends, this seems kind of unfair. Why do Conor and Reagan have to feel the sadness too? Blah, Blah, Blah.

In an effort not to become fish vomit, I am praying for God to be the King of my mind and my attitude. He knows this is hard. Why not us? God will provide for us financially; one way or another. Even if they don’t listen, our job is only to pray and to share the Gospel and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. God will bring relationships. It’s ok to miss my people. Besides, He orchestrated this move in a time of free long distance, Facebook and Skype. God loves Conor and Reagan so much and He will be their comforter. It’s my job to teach them that in those difficult times.

Thank you, God, for your grace and patience with a wretch like me.

~ Jennifer

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Our whole purpose in this blog it to be as transparent and honest as possible. We want to share every step of our journey with you and eventually we pray that we are able to share stories of many coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. To be as open and honest as we desire to be means that sometimes it is going to humble us and it may occasionally offend someone who reads it. Please know that we are purposeful in what we say and have the goal only to win the approval and acceptance of an audience of One.

I’d like to use this blog update to answer some of the questions we’ve been getting. Hopefully these may be some of your questions too.

#1 – Are Mormons Christians? I’ve been told that they believe in Jesus. Doesn’t that mean that they are saved?

Sadly, the answer is empathically No. Mormons are not Christians. They are not just another denomination of Christianity. Yes, they do claim to believe in and worship Jesus, but it is not the Jesus of the Bible.

I would start by saying that many people believe Jesus existed. Historically, that can be proven. However, believing a man named Jesus lived does not equate to giving your life to Him and following His commands. Even Satan believes in Jesus but he certainly will not be in Heaven.

Mormonism uses many of the same terms as Christianity does but the meaning of these words are so very different.

The LDS church teaches that God was once a man that became a God. The Bible says something completely different. In Psalm 90:2 the Bible says “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” From everlasting to everlasting! He was ALWAYS God. Revelation 1:8 also sates “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” The God of the Bible and the God of Mormonism are not the same.

The LDS Church also teach that man may become a god and that there are many gods of many planets. The Bible clearly sates in Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” It also says in Isaiah 44:8 “Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Clearly, there are NO other gods according to the Scriptures.

Here are some other teachings of the LDS church that lead me to the conclusion that Mormons are not Christians: (None of these teachings line up with Biblical truth.)

Trinity – The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy  Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).

Jesus – “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was  begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers” (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie,  p. 547).

Jesus is the literal spirit-brother of Lucifer; a creation (Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).

The Holy Spirit – Mormonism distinguishes between the Holy Spirit (God’s presence via an essence) and the Holy Ghost (the third god in the Mormon doctrine of the trinity). “He [the Holy Ghost] is a being endowed with the attributes and powers of  Deity, and not a mere force, or essence,” (Articles of Faith, by  James Talmage, p. 144).

Salvation – Salvation has a double meaning in Mormonism: universal resurrection  and . . . “The first effect [of the atonement] is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General  Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins,” (Articles of  Faith, by James Talmage, p. 78-79).

“As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness  for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed  requirements — ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’” (Articles  of Faith, p. 79).

The Bible – “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it  is translated correctly. . .” (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church).

To go into all of Mormonism doctrine and beliefs would take a LONG time. I just wanted to give a brief overview. If you have any questions on it, please fee free to ask us. We’d love to answer them. We also have several books and video links we could recommend. (This information and more is available at www.carm.org)

#2 – How are you guys doing? What do your days look like?

Barry has 2 part time jobs in addition to ministry work. He works every day (yes, EVERY day) from 6 am to 10 am for the Hampton Inn. Then, he also rides a pedicab in downtown Salt Lake. Some days he goes straight from one job to the next. Other days he has a split between the two that he uses to do work for the ministry. He is calling churches to recruit new mission teams, studying, leading training sessions, speaking to Mormons directly, meeting with people at the mission house that have other needs that we can help them with, helping the interns, etc. His days are always different and very busy. We are praying that the recruiting starts to take off and that his time will be able to be spent predominately on ministry.

My days start with homeschooling the Littles. That has been such a blessing to me. I love watching them learn new things. I also spend my morning doing housewife type things that I can do while schooling the kids. After we are done with school, I work on the paperwork side of the ministry. I am doing broadcast agreements and production orders for the radio portion of our ministry. I send emails following up with those who are contacting UPFC. I am also working on developing a SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for the ministry as well.

We have had the opportunity to work at an evangelical booth at the fair, work at an event to promote the radio station and attend a symposium taught by Bill McKeever & Eric Johnson (http://www.mrm.org/about).

#3 – Have you found a church home yet?

Honestly, it’s not home yet, but we have chosen a church and are attending regularly. It is called Washington Heights (http://washingtonheights.org/home/) and we like it there. The kids are involved in AWANA and they love it! We are attending a class on Wednesday evenings and we really like the teaching. Sundays are good and we are starting to get the flow of it. It’s weird to be in a church where we really don’t know anyone. I mean, the pastor has no clue who we are, but in time that will change. Regardless of the fish out of water feeling, Sundays and Wednesdays are two of the best parts of our week.

#4 – How is it being away from the Bigs?

It is HARD! It is so hard sometimes. I have some feelings of guilt about not being with them. I suppose that is a mom thing. I just have to remind myself that they are safe, they have lots of people in Florida who love them and that ultimately they are His. We are trying to get them to Utah for Christmas. That will be such a special time!

#5 – What can we do for you guys?

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! The devil is a real and formidable opponent. He is pushing back in several areas against us. Please pray for our health, our ministry, the teams coming to Utah and our wisdom.

Give – We are still in need financially. If you feel lead to give to support this ministry and our family you can do so online at www.upfc.org or you can mail a check to UPFC, PO Box 150571, Ogden, UT 84415.

Care Package – We (especially the Littles) love to get stuff in the mail. Puzzles, cards, little toys, gift cards, etc. We are thankful for all of it. (A friend recently sent me a bottle of 4 Rivers BBQ sauce and some adorable dish towels. It made my week!) Our address is 1674 North 450 East, North Ogden, UT 84414.

Go! – or should I say Come! We are eagerly seeking groups, churches, families that will join us in Utah to share the love of Jesus with this lost mission field inside our own country. If you or your group are interested, PLEASE let us know. We’d love to chat about the possibilities with you.

(For those of you that are part of our church family in Windermere, there is a team coming out 11/23 – 12/01. You can still join that team!)

We love you as always! Thank you for your encouragement and support. To God be the glory!!!!!

Isaiah_52

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