We meet every Tuesday with our small group of Transitioners. To say that we look forward to Tuesday nights would be such an understatement. We are so moved each and every week by just how great God is! For us, personally, just sitting in that room is the fulfillment of a calling that the Lord placed on us a couple of years ago. We are humbled and in awe of just how specific God’s plans have been for us. Even when through our eyes things seemed to be confusing, He always had this group of people in mind. It blows me away! Even more so, to listen each week as they talk about their experiences both in belonging to and leaving the LDS church truly brings me to my knees in gratitude.
Last night was week 6 of our 9 week class. The sheer volume of information being consumed in such a short amount of time is mind blowing. Last week, we had the opportunity to explain a little to the class about who we are. We were able to give them a very short explanation of why we are here in Utah and invite them to continue to come to the Transitions class after the 9 weeks is up by joining us each week at our house.
It seems so normal to us to join a small group, but for people leaving the Mormon church, choosing (or not choosing) a group to attend is foreign. They are not given that opportunity. They are assigned their church location much like school zoning and then they are given their roles in the church as well. Not accepting the assignment isn’t really an option. Praise God, we have heard from quite a few of the people in the class that they do intend to begin meeting with us in our home starting at the end of November.
Will you please be praying that God would move in the lives of the people He wants in that class? It will not be easy to step so far out of their comfort zone. Still, they have already made the effort to attend the Transitions class. We pray that they will keep the forward momentum.
I would love to be able to share all of what we’ve heard from these precious people in the class but that would be quite the long blog. I’m not sure you really want to read that much or that I really want to type that much so I will just try to summarize and hit a few key points.
- One gentlemen was an auditor for the LDS church while they were building the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City. It is a beautiful shopping mall directly across from the Salt Lake Temple and it is owned by the LDS church. When this man saw some things he found questionable and approached someone about it, he was dismissed. This caused him such grief, confusion and depression that he eventually left the church. He then, in turn, lost his wife and his children along with the rest of his family.
- One woman had two weddings to attend in the same weekend. One for her LDS father and one for an Evangelical cousin. She spoke of how at her father’s marriage in the Temple, it was just him, his bride and her. It felt cold and rehearsed. “Creepy” is how she described it. She then told of how at the Evangelical wedding, there seemed to be so much warmth and true compassion and love. That weekend, she began to search for the truth.
- In fact, many stories we heard involved people starting to question their LDS faith after visiting the Temple. One gentlemen told his story of being in a Temple ordinance class and feeling so uncomfortable, that he got up and left in the middle of it. Ironically, he drove away and immediately went and got a tattoo that reads “I just need someone to save me!”
- An older lady in the class told a story of spending her life trying her hardest but always knowing she fell short. After years and years of carrying this heavy burden, she decided to try to figure out if there was a way that she could just know God and be known by Him without all of the pomp and circumstance that came along with religion. She is now 64 years old and said she feels like just a child having to start all over again.
These are of course only a fraction of the stories we have heard. There are certainly others and many many more we’ve yet to hear. I know, however, that God is working in Utah. I know that there are thousands here that are following a false prophet and worshiping a false Jesus, but there are so very many that are having the veil of deceit lifted. Praise God!!!!!
Please continue to pray that we will see a mighty revival in this place. Please pray also that God would use us in any way He sees fit to help accomplish His purposes. To those of you who will pray for us and who always have been, we cannot thank you enough.
One final prayer request, if I can be so selfish…
The Devil is a very real adversary. He knows that we are here to thwart his plans and he does not like it. He is attacking us in a place he knows will distract us. I wish I could tell you that it hasn’t worked at all, but that would be untrue. Please pray that our eyes will stay focused on Jesus Christ alone and that we will trust Him fully over all aspects of our lives.