Pity the poor singles who live in the Salt Lake City area of Utah.
According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune (“Loss of young adult members spurred changes to LDS wards,” 4/27/11, p. B1), 5,000 single Latter-day Saints between the ages of 18 to 30 who gathered at the LDS Church’s Conference Center were told by Apostle M. Russell Ballard that 147 student and Young Single Adult wards between North Salt Lake and 4500 South in Taylorsville are being dissolved.
In its place will be 121 new Young Single Adult wards. The reason for the change: too many Latter-day Saints in this age range are abandoning the faith. Redrawing the boundaries has been tried in other parts of Utah and, according to the article, helped retain the singles membership. In fact, Ballard begged those in attendance to use this new system to bring at least one other person back to the fold.
According to the article, “Ballard repeated LDS President Thomas S. Monson’s recent admonitions to young single Mormon men to stop ‘hanging out’ and start dating with an eye toward marriage.”
Listen carefully to the next paragraph: “‘We hope you’ve got the message: You have no option to bounce around,’ he said, referring to a common practice dubbed ward-hopping in which young Mormons shop around for congregations they like. ‘We know where you are. We’ve got our radar focused on you.’”
“We’ve got our radar focused on you”? Seriously? Certainly this admonishment cannot come from a general authority representing a church claiming to be Christian, could it? Correct me if I’m wrong—the followers of this blog are very perceptive—but this is nothing more than membership control. The goal: Push marriage on the young people (hardly a new tactic with the LDS leadership) so that they will settle down and become faithful little ward members, possibly evolving into future bishops and, according to Ballard, even apostles. Yet this control directive sounds like something out of Orwell’s 1984 than anything else. Can anyone say “cult”?
Criticizing these young people for “ward-hopping” and reestablishing the boundaries of the Young Single Adult wards sounds absolutely desperate. After all, could it be that single members were doing their best to find mates by looking outside of their own restricted boundaries? Is there anything wrong with this? I’m surprised Ballard didn’t suggest that the Church would now be setting up marriages as well. Of course, such a practice could take place only if the couple belonged to the same ward! Interward marriages are bad, bad, bad. How dare a member desire to draw outside the lines!
Of course, Ballard’s charge drew praise from the faithful. General LDS Relief Society President Julie Beck said, “These are wise, inspired decisions. This is the Lord’s way to bless you in your lives!”
Somehow, I imagine that not all 5,000 members at this meeting walked out whistling “We thank thee O God for a prophet.” If I were them, I’d start asking more questions and consider why this religion is having such a hard time keeping its young people engaged. Peel back the layers and see what stinketh.
"In fact, Ballard begged those in attendance to use this new system to bring at least one other person back to the fold."
Hmmm, this is telling isn't it? I think that the young people are questioning and that's a good thing. In this age of information overload it's hard to ignore the fact that all is NOT well in Zion.
OK guys, I'm a little creeped out right now. Yesterday I received a phone call from a lady in our ex ward (for those who don't know, I'm a recent ex mormon) she was asking about our two adult boys. She wanted to know where they are because they are "keeping track of our single adult members." Now, what's interesting is, they haven't called to ask about my boys EVER. She said that they are trying to get their single adult members active. This must be church wide, not just in the area mentioned in this article. In our rural area, they are going to have single adult activities every month. She told me about the activities planned for this Saturday and also for next month. I told her my boys weren't interested. She became very defensive and told me that she was going to tape an invitation to my door anyways so that they could at least see it! This has just pushed us to get their resignation letters ready to send in. Hopefully she won't be bothering us every month. I like this lady and I really don't want to have to get rude with her. I think the LDS church is in big trouble with these young adults as far as membership or conversion goes. These kids have been raised on the "information highway" and aren't as easily duped, misled or coerced as past generations. My boys aren't afraid to stand up and say no, which is what would have happened if my college kid would have been here. I don't know why I just didn't tell her to leave us alone. Sometimes I'm just too nice. This reminds me of the time when all the men in the LDS church shaved their facial hair because they were told to during conference. It all just gives me the creeps! Thanks for the article Eric, now I know what the phone call was all about.
It is really sad when you are contacted after you have decided to leave the church. Very clever of them the way they did it. When I left the methodist church no one contacted me. So they are showing some concern however belated. As far as the single ward goes there are problems with meeting your mate.
"OK guys, I'm a little creeped out right now"
A little? They are coming out as a full blown cult! Isn´t it enough to force people to attend their designated ward? I remember having a hard time in my mission with people from other wards who were going to church with their friends in their respective wards. When they wanted to be baptized they were told they could no longer attend church with their friends but had to go to the ward in their area… That was sad and pathetic enough but at least it was somewhat excusable, because of size of people a chapel can take, callings to be filled in, etc. But that´s ridiculous! I´m glad here we don´t even have enough faithful tithe-paying temple going single adult members to begin thinking about one singles wards, let alone this.
"After all, could it be that single members were doing their best to find mates by looking outside of their own restricted boundaries?"
Right, that happens around here as well, i don´t see what´s the problem. That gives headaches to bishops who have to deal with both the fact that they want they want their single adults married but at the same time they need people who can work in the ward… I´ve seen young men getting a hard time from bishops for doing that, there was one guy who almost said some indelicate things once…
I have a suggestion for the Mormon Church, why don´t you implant RFID chips in your membership(which will include temple worthiness status as well so that they can determine if you´re celestial marriage material or just telestial), set up a police(you could use those BYU apologists – they do magic with so little), and make sure to block their passage in wards where they are not supposed to be! And they get upset when people call them a cult! Go figure…
I think this specific age-range is a source of sadness for those of us of the Christian faith, as well. We hear countless stories of Christians going to college and losing their faith. I think the LDS Church has every right to be concerned about this age-range. Of course, the way they go about it with their program of forced-compliance is craziness. We respect a person's free will and the freedom one has for church-hopping until they find a church they want to attend. We trust the Holy Spirit to work in an individual's life as He sees fit based on the person's needs. Mormons don't get this.
Hay, is this revelation? It's always kind of hard to tell. If it is revelation, then these Mormon singles have to do it because it's what the Mormon god wants.
These Mormon leaders have to look on the bright side. With all the young people jumping ship on the good ship Mormon-pop, they won't have as many people to keep track of making it easier to control the Mormon poplulation.
Just a thought!
"With all the young people jumping ship on the good ship Mormon-pop"
Thanks for the laugh! According to mormon apologists, the number of mormons jumping ship is actually quite small. That's what I was told on another blog. The number must actually be quite high, especially in this age group, for the LDS leadership to be doing something about it. I clicked on the link and read the article in the Tribune. Funny thing is, why are they testing this out in other areas first? You would think a "revelation" would reveal that this is what needs to be done. I'm deeply disturbed that the LDS church has their "radar" on my kids. We have not been active in 4 years. Why all of a sudden? Creepers.
They have shown "concern" since the member records office in SLC received my resignation letter. I have not been left alone at all! Their concern is not "belated" and it's certainly not concern for me that they are showing. They want my tithing and they don't want to admit one more person has left. I have read that even though I have left and my name and records have been removed, they haven't subtracted me from the 14 million that they claim as members. No, I don't think that their "concern" is for me at all.
"We hear countless stories of Christians going to college and losing their faith."
This is so true. I've had many conversations over the past 3 years with my college age son. He's in a History of Religion class again this year and it is hard for them to weave it all together. Thankfully he hasn't lost his faith. I have learned a lot from him about other religions and their histories. Very interesting stuff!
This would be treated as revelation, and these people had better obey.
To me, it looks as if arbitrary divisions and boundaries are being placed ahead of relationships.
Consider people who have attended an LDS service for years, and really enjoy each other’s company. And now, it needs to stop because administrative changes have occurred?
Look at the quotation Eric provided from the article. I tend to think this is power lust.
" So they are showing some concern however belated"
Clyde, what concern were they showing? From what i read they were more interested about doing as they were told than in actually caring about people, and just loving them for who they are…
"As far as the single ward goes there are problems with meeting your mate"
Right, and because they are children, you have to tell them where to go to meet people… can you imagine if you find someone wonderful there and that someone breaks up with you… where will you go to find someone where you won´t have to stare at your ex´s face?
That´s nice… but hey, whatever, God seems to be bored about new crazy ideas such as Himself being a man, and He decided to be a match maker, giving useful 'dating' tips to his "apostles" and "prophets"… yeah, right.
Falcon, a few years from now mormons will be talking about that as if they were speaking just as men, using their own intellect… nevermind the people today take that as inspired. It´s funny to see those 'inspired' ideas fail, and then to watch as they come up with the reason why they missed the mark…
"I think this specific age-range is a source of sadness for those of us of the Christian faith"
I agree, and as i thought about that, one of the reasons i think that is is because churches haven´t been too concerned about preaching the Gospel, but have resorted to church growth techniques, becoming 'seeker'-driven, 'purpose'-driven, taking the focus off Jesus and placing it on themselves and their 'good' works.
It´s important to remember that a dead tree can´t bear fruit. We are dead in our sins, and only the Word of God can bring us back to life so that we can bear fruit. Mormonism tries the opposite, they try to make you first bear the fruit in the hopes that in the process you´ll become alive… it never works, and it never will. It doesn´t matter how many hours of service you put into your callings, that you attend every single meeting, that you pay your tithing, etc., if you´re not born again you won´t bear fruit… you can try if you want to, but inside you´ll still know you´re dead spiritually. Also, those mormon spiritual feelings are like any addiction, you have to keep getting more otherwise you´ll lose interest in the faith.
I am a single adult, the target audience of that article. That´s not new – that´s something that´s been a concern of the leadership for over a couple of years now. I remember hearing from the leaders that the first presidency was concerned for the single adults, so our bishop called a married couple to be the single adults´ leaders. I thought that was ridiculous… but they tried to get everyone to go to the institute. I wanted to tell them to take a hike, but of course, like Kate, i didn´t have the courage, and i was still a faithful member at the time – yet i made up some excuse and got them to forget about me. They treated us as if we were still part of the young men´s organization – i was so angry about it, i was so upset because they were treating us like kids trying to organize activities for us and telling us what to do on saturdays, etc. I´ll do whatever i well please – get off my back!!!!!!! If i want to get together with my church friends i got their number, thanks!!!!!!
No wonder the single adults are getting out, they manage to drive them insane! That´s when they are not making them feel horrible for not finding their eternal companion.
That initiative would only have a chance of succeeding if the leadership were also single adults, to lighten things up a bit, but i know that´s against the rules of the priesthood – so, just let them do it, they´ll end up driving more single adults out the door if they had just left quiet, or at least had the decency to acknowledge they are adults capable of making their decisions and if they are deciding to leave it´s because there´s something wrong with you, not with them…
Besides, why would a single adult these days sit in a church that does nothing more than give life-improving tips i can get from any self-help book? Why would they waste time in a place that doesn´t feed you spiritually, that promises and never delivers, that instead of being an aid and a source of comfort and solace it´s a source of even more burden? If i want tips on how to better manage my time, i´ll buy a book. If i want to get entertained, i´ll watch a movie. I don´t need religion for that. The reason that i, even though we are in the information age, with more entertainment and interesting stuff than was ever available in human history so far, still am interested in Jesus is because of the Gospel, not the politically correct Gospel, but the true Gospel that tells it as it is and offers me forgiveness from my sins through faith in Jesus and the promise of Eternal life in Him.
So, men in their wisdom will keep trying to devise means to keep people paying their tithing, but all those techniques will fail – do you want to keep people? Preach the Gospel as the Apostles did in the New Testament. Talk about Jesus with respect and truthfully. That´s all the Apostles ever talked about – and look at what happened then!
f-melo, your comment sums up well what Mormonism has been offering everyone for 180 years now,
i.e. human wisdom masquerading as Godly counsel. May LDS dismiss these men as controlling
figures in their lives. God give our Mormon friends the courage to do so.
I'm afraid what's happening here is that Mormons, like our buddy clyde above, see this as "normal", "loving", "concerned" behavior on the part of the Mormon church. It's not! It's dysfunctional controlling behavior masquerading as "love". HUH! It's flat out abusive and that's the problem. Mormons are in an organization that is all about control and these folks have that as their standard of "normal". When Mormons leave the group and suddenly they have freedom as to do with their time, their money and their faith, they are breathing new air and get intoxicated by the aroma.
You know, as a never been Mormon, it's very difficult for me to understand why anyone would put up with a religious culture like this.
News flash to Mormons. You don't need the Mormon organization……………..for anything.
I well remember my days of 'ward-hopping' in the late 70's. I was 18, I had electronic equipment and a large stack of current records, and put on dances for every ward and stake that would have me. It was much more fun and interesting, as the ward I went to was pretty dull. We would drive over 50 miles one way to put on these Stake Dances, and we loved it. There was great control though, even then, over music, dress and even how we danced.
When I got to B.Y.U. I was a 'free spirit' who never attended the same ward. I loved the diversity of going to a different ward every Sunday and meeting new people. I put on many dances in Provo during the early 80's just before I left the Church. I commend the Church for wanting to keep track of the young people, and keep them 'unspotted from the world', but when it becomes a numbers game, it loses it's true purpose. I found it extremely distasteful that they would knock on someone's door in the light of current programs when there was no previous contact at all before. Where was the Bishop? The Home teachers? Even as a Missionary we visited Bishop's of Wards and asked about the inactives and tried to visit them and give them a boost.
You would think, them being 'prophets' and all, that these kinds of things would have been foreseen and some kind of program would have been in place already. Would not God have informed his 'prophets' all about he internet and the world, and have taken steps to avoid this very problem years ago? It seems 'too little, too late' now. Ah, but as one Mormon recently told me while speaking about another subject: ". It is simply not a Prophet's job to know such information unless God wants him to know." I simply quoted him the words of Ezra Taft Benson, who said:
"To help you pass the crucial tests WHICH LIE AHEAD, I am going to give you today several aspects of a grand key which, if you will honor, will crown you with God’s glory and bring you out victorious in spite of Satan’s fury." …
Why? Because the living prophet gets at what we need to know now, and the world prefers that prophets either be dead or worry about their own affairs. Some so-called experts of political science want the prophet to keep still on politics. Some would-be authorities on evolution want the prophet to keep still on evolution. And so the list goes on and on.
How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness." …
"God’s revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore the most important prophet so far as you and I are concerned is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each month in our Church Magazines. Our instructions about what we should do for each six months are found in the General Conference addresses which are printed in the Church magazine[s]." (Ezra Benson, 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, Feb. 26, 1980)
My Mormon friend then enlightened me with this: "Prophets get their information from the same place anybody else can. There is nothing special about a Prophet and how he communicates with God. He has to pray, just like anybody. He receives revelation via the Holy Ghost, just as any faithful person does. The times when God has spoken in person to a Prophet are exceedingly rare. In fact, we don't even see Jesus Christ Himself talking directly to His Father in face-to-face conversation, but only through prayer."
Tell me then, why do we need Mormon 'prophets'?
I too received a call the other day from someone looking for my son. We have not been to church in 7 years and no one has ever contacted him about anything which is the way we like it. So when the caller asked for my son by name I asked who was calling. He told me he was brother X and he was calling on behalf of the stake president. I told him my son no longer does church. He responded with "OK I will pass along the information" .
It seems they are in damage control and trying to gather what they can.
"Tell me then, why do we need Mormon 'prophets'?"
This is a question that I started asking a few years ago. Up until that time I had been taught that the prophet is a "prophet, seer and revelator" and "when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done for you." Mormon apologists will deny or try to downplay the last one, treating older mormons as though they are lying and haven't really had those teachings and experiences. It's infuriating to me. Just look at some of the Hymns or even Primary songs sung by the LDS children. It starts early. All the singing about "follow the prophet, he knows the way" and "when the prophet tells you what to do, you get to work and do it, and do it now!" According to your mormon friend (and every mormon apologist out there) we can just speak to the mormon god ourselves. So indeed, tell me why do we need a prophet?
"He decided to be a match maker, giving useful 'dating' tips to his "apostles" and "prophets"… yeah, right."
I'm cracking up over this dating tips comment! The "adult" activity that is planned for this Saturday is kite flying, and next month is a pinewood derby! Are you kidding me? What adult man(or woman) wants to go fly kites and build a pinewood derby car? I guess they think the pinewood derby was so fun for them at 12, why not at 21?? I'm so floored! The mormon god is on a roll! Sorry, I'm being rude now. I'll leave it at that.
Johnny, I think your Mormon friend knows the extent to which his prophets and apostles have not
been consistent in what they have offered as spiritual guidance over the years so he must try and
rationalize out of admitting they're not worthy of his submission. Considering that he's bought the
idea that his relationship with God is measured by how well he submits to the prophet, it's no
wonder he has to come up with any type of response to protect this relationship. These people
are worth reaching for Jesus, so keep planting seeds brother.
falcon, you asked, " why anyone would put up with a religious culture like this. " I agree with you
on how sad this scenario is. we know that Mormons have been emotionally convinced that to gain
God's favor they must submit to the prophet. It 's even been stated that only those who follow counsel
from priesthood leaders will be spared from the havoc of Satan's evil influence in these last days.
Yet even with this belief many Mormons are leaving the fold. Why? It might be more than one reason
but I'm convinced that for many it's because they've seen the evidence , the track record, of their leaders
so-called spiritual guidance for the last 180 years, and it troubles them. It should. For all the claims
from their prophets and apostles to be trustworthy teachers , they just have''nt been such on many
important issues. Living a moral lifestyle is'nt all there is to being in the truth. Anyway , we hope
those leaving Mormonism will come to find in Jesus alone there is satisfaction and eternal life.
I'm confused here. How can a Christian "lose their faith?" (Reference: John 10:27-30.)
This tripped a thought. I was talking to an exMormon once about the Mormon singles' activities that he had participated in at one ward. Does "duck duck goose" sound like a suitable activity for single adults? I'm almost certain that it was that or something like it.
What's that about?
Maybe it was suppose to have been a joke. However, it would be a great way to keep folks under control and compliant; playing stupid and embarrassing games that were anything but "age appropriate".
No wonder young people are bailing out on the Mormon church.
Actually they need them so they can claim they have them. That's what's in the Mormon brag book when the missionary boys are trying to make converts. They try to draw a distinction between Mormonism and other religious faiths claiming that they alone have a dude at the top getting messages directly from God. No other religious group is said, by Mormons, to have this office in modern times.
So the prospect is suppose to gasp in wonderment that this (Mormonism) must be God's one true church because of the apostles and prophets that are leading it.
The problem is that these Mormon apostles and prophets are really not very good at it. Have any of them ever successfully predicted a coming future event? In fact they are miserable at that particular feature and pretty much settle for giving out "inspirational" messages and admonishments that anyone can do with very little practice.
These guys get to be apostles and prophets not because they are called by God but because they were good at doing church politics.
So what do the powers that be at the ward or stake levels do with Mormons who don't comply; you know the nonviolent resisters so to speak. I have zero experience in the Mormon world so I'm in the dark about this. What exactly do I mean? Well, what do they do with the fringe members; those who attend maybe half the time, contribute a little here and there to the coffers, don't "do" callings, could care less about doing temple rituals on the path to becoming gods? They have their kids in it for the activities perhaps but don't really embrace the in home activities and could care less about the doctrine or the history of the church. To them the Word of Wisdom is for the "other" people.
So what do they do with these folks? They aren't preaching or rebelling they are simply passively resistant and basically non compliant and could really care less what someone thinks of them inside the culture. So if the bishop calls them in for a settlement meeting, they have better things to do with their time that day.
According to this article and some of the reports we've read here, the church really seems to be into spying and tracking folks. What if someone could care less? I've read about the tracking and spying that goes on at BYU. They can at least hold someone's degree over their head, but if they have no leverage, what can they do?
Can anyone shed some light on this?
In regards to my comments above; when I lived out west years ago, I use to hear the term "Jack Mormon". I guess it meant the sort of person I described above. I remember being at a gathering one night as part of a college seminar or some such thing, and there was a guy there who happened to be a college professor. He was really funny and his appearance and behavior reminded me of the Tasmanian Devil from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. He was drinking and smoking and telling jokes in a hyper kinetic manner. I'll never forget that in the midst of all of this he said something about his son just getting back from serving a mission "for the church". I really found this curious and quite interesting. This was in an area that was about 90% Mormon!
I've often wondered how he pulled it off. He obviously wasn't all that into the finer points of Mormonism and to me he could really care less.
People find ways of surviving in repressive systems. When we hear of the myriad of social problems within Mormonism, it makes you wonder. Is it important to simply make things look good on the outside and know how far you can push the system? People have their "private" sins and the internet can supply all the scratch someone has for a particular itch. It's becoming more and more difficult for Mormons to monitor the activities of their members.
I suppose someone could just declare themselves a "prophet" like Joseph Smith did and excuse themselves to smoke, drink and chase women like he did. Just call it revelation or license due to the perks of the office.
In order to control people you have to have leverage. Lose the leverage, lose the control. What's the leverage in Mormonism? If someone doesn't care about becoming a god or doesn't believe it and if they don't care what people think, including their families, the leverage is gone. Economics is always good leverage so if someone's job depends on membership in the clan, I suppose they could figure out a way to fool the system.
These passive aggressive types can be the hardest to control. They can smile and engage in pleasant conversation but know how to "skate", "work the system", "shuck and jive" and do the dance. They can be hard to control because there is no outward sign of rebellion or resistance. Shame won't work on them, attempts to instill guilt won't do the trick either. It's pretty tough to deal with someone who doesn't care or is not intimidated or easily manipulated.
Well, there were times when we would fall "inactive". I would just get so tired of pushing my family into participating and I would need a break. During these inactive times I still believed 100%, but didn't participate. I had visiting teachers every month but that was it. They basically leave you alone and ignore you. At least that has been my experience and the experience of my non active siblings. It's like they don't really care about you until you decide to take your name off the rolls. That makes them look bad. Now I can't get them to leave me alone. There are so many "jack mormons" only 5 million of the reported 14 million LDS members are active. That's a lot of inactive members! Most mormons just go about their daily lives looking down upon those who are inactive. The judgmental attitude of the self righteous has always bothered me. If it were up to me, my family would move to another state. I absolutely hate it here because of the mormon influence on society. I didn't realize how bad it was until I opened my eyes and saw mormonism for what it is, a cult. So many brainwashed people. I was at the dentist the other day and all who work there are active mormons, I was about crazy before I left! I love my dentist to death, he's awesome, but he's a naive, brainwashed mormon and he obviously didn't know that I'm no longer LDS. 2 hours trapped in the dental chair listening to all the latest and greatest in momoville. YIKES! So in answer to your question, I'm not aware of them spying on me before I left. Now may be a different story. They didn't bother us or have anything to do with us during inactive times, not even our boys. We were just left alone. They had absolutely nothing to hold over our heads. Most inactive people really aren't mormon in the true sense of the word. They were just born into it and have never participated and really don't know or care what it's all about. They are basically just a name on the church rolls.
It all comes down to the power of belief. When people stop believing something, they can no longer be controlled. So, in a very real sense what people do is hand their will over to someone who claims to have the definitive answers to perplexing questions. It's one thing to believe something but still maintain personal control over our lives. It's another to be required to surrender to an organization and it's leadership in order to gain some sort of pay-off in the end.
Mormonism is really good at sticking that carrot out there just out of reach with the constant threat that the carrot will not be attained if the carrot seeker doesn't comply with certain requirements.
It's really a rip-off. Think about the con here. The person gives up at least 10% of their income, must dutifully comply with all "callings"(which in many cases is free work for the organization), and maintain compliance with certain rules, some dietary, in order to be considered a good member. But the novitiate must agree with the organization that the (organization) has the carrot. If the member ever figures out that the organization doesn't have the carrot and that there's really nothing special about the supposed carrot holders, boom, it's over.
Quite frankly, as spiritual as it may sound to some, it would take more than a tingly feeling to get me to hand my life over to an organization that requires my complete devotion and loyalty.
So the church now wants to track its young people. Well that seems to go along pretty well with what mind control cults do.
Why's it so hard for Mormons to figure this out?
There is a variety of opinion among Christians on the subject of losing faith/salvation. Many claim it is not possible, while others think it is. I believe it is possible to renounce your faith and leave it behind – I have seen people do it. It is not something that just happens as the result of a sin or sinful pattern, but comes from a life lacking repentance and finally a rejection of the faith they once believed.
Here are some of the Scriptures which indicate that we should be listening to God's voice in His Word, repenting, and constantly receiving His Gift of unmerited favor and forgiveness given to us in Jesus:
Luke 8:13 "Those on the rock are those who receive the Word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe a while but in time of testing they fall away.
Galatians 4:19 My dear children for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you.
1 Timothy 1:19-20 You may fight the good fight of faith, hold on to a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.
1 Corinthians 10:12 So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall.
We must alway hear the good news of Jesus death on the cross for our sins, how we fail to measure up and are sinful, and live a life of repentance before the Lord. Our hearts can become hardened if we will not listen to God's Word (the Scriptures) or hear it preached. It reveals our sin and brings us to faith. Jesus taught us to pray daily "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Our salvation is sure because we humbly rely on the gospel – Jesus mercy and grace:
1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 5:10-11 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Phil 1:6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:8,9 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
These two sets of Scripture appear to be contradictory, but we know both to be true. By faith we accept both God's promises and His warnings, and rely on God to hold us upright and push us on in faith. That's the difference between Peter and Judas, King Saul and King David. When confronted with our sin, listen to God's Word and promises and turn in faith and repentance to receive forgiveness. Do not harden your heart and turn away.
(Drawn from Life with God by Pastor Laurence L. White)
If people couldn´t lose their faith, why did Jesus warned people about wolves in sheep´s clothing?
Why was Paul so upset with the galatians for accepting a false Gospel? What about enduring to the end?
Thank you for the verses!
Nevertheless, I stay confused as to this idea of "losing their faith." If it were up to us, I don’t think any of us would persevere, and we would have very little to be secure about. However, the concept of eternal (not temporary) security as I understand it—from the verses I referenced from John (John 10:27-30)—is that God promises that no one will snatch us out of the hands of Christ, that he will preserve us.
From His lips:
John 10.27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
John 10.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
John 10.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
John 10.30 I and the Father are one.”
Again, thanks for your time in answering.
Now to be fair, some people survive and even thrive in Mormonism. Why is that? The hard core TBM would say it's because Mormonism is true and these "thrivers" have tapped into their real spiritual potential. There's another explanation. People stay in groups when they are getting their needs met. They leave (groups) when they are no longer getting their needs met. Likewise people will follow leaders who meet their needs and won't follow those leaders who don't meet their needs.
Abraham Mazlow developed a pyramid of "needs" and based a theory of motivation on this hierarchy (of needs). I think maybe he has something here when it comes to people who are "comfortable" in highly controlling groups. B.F. Skinner said that people are motivated when their behavior is reinforced. I think these two ideas together gives some glimpse into why some people join, maintain and even "blossom" in cults.
A person can realize a desire or need to belong when they are in a cult. Acceptable behavioral norms of the cult are reinforced so the person can achieve some measure of "success" within the cult especially if they perform the right tricks for the cult leadership. Compliance is rewarded/reinforced and the sense of belonging deepens. So, in an odd sort of way, a person could be happy in a cult. These are the types of people who would join another cult if their current cult stopped meeting their needs.
Freedom, as we know it, is a scary proposition for these people. They function well in an environment that is structured for them, but don't do so well when they have to be in charge of their own spiritual lives. It's a lot easier to have someone else provide answers than to do the heavy lifting yourself.
Some people can't survive being untethered and aren't real good at solo flying. The rope that tethers them, while providing some security, does not allow them to fly free and experience the thrill that comes with soaring to new personal spiritual heights.
Well, in our situation, we are just coming out of mormonism and are new to the True and Living Christ. We are still baby Christians learning Traditional Christianity. Our Christian faith is new. Learning that mormonism is a complete and udder load of crap, which was extremely painful I might add, makes one wonder if there even is a God. Rather than give up completely, we trusted God to lead us through the Bible. My son is a Biology major. Have you ever been a science major? Evolution is what's taught. Add in a History of religion class which shows histories of all religious beliefs and one can surely become confused. I have a friend who's son is now atheist because of his college science classes. I believe it is possible to give up and lose your faith. I've also seen it. Are you LDS? If you are, then this passage in the Bible should apply to you as well right? According to you, no mormon should ever lose their faith. Take a look around, thousands are leaving mormonism. According to the LDS leaders, massive amounts in the 18-30 age range are losing their faith.
Eric asked for sincere Mormons to " peel back the layers and see what stinketh ". I agree with Jackg
that this age group is a challenge for Mormons as well as other churches, to minister to. But what Eric
asks is important. I think that what is troublesome here is the control factor, the authoritative claims of
Mormon leaders. By teaching that one's relationship to God is measured by how well you submit to a
modern day prophet, Mormonism is thus presenting their view of the New Testament Church that Jesus
instituted. Does the Church of Jesus Christ have the arrangement of one man at the top who alone receives
insight from God for the whole body of believers? This man is said to be God's mouthpiece, and THE king
over this earthly kingdom who is liken to a "mediator" who STANDS BETWEEN men and God relaying
God's messages to all others. [ references to these teachings by Mormon leaders is available]
So the Mormon Church presents to us their model of the New Testament Church, it proclaims THE prophet
who alone is God's mouthpiece. THE king ruling over this earthly kingdom, THE man who stands between
all men and God as a sort of mediator . Given all this authority over them it's a sure bet that most
LDS singles will comply with this recent counsel . Sad. These precious singles should beware–Matt 7:15
Hi, Johnny. Thanks for participating here.
As best I can understand, the message of the LDS prophets to their followers boils down to something like this:
"You are good. But you could be better. Try a little harder. Always listen to me."
Unfortunately, this message collapses upon its first point: "You are good." The unregenerate individual does not need to wait to see how they will fare in judgment; they stand condemned already (John 3:36).
I think the LDS people need not a prophet who will tell them they are good, but God's word, which candidly tells them that they are separated from a holy God by their sins, and presents God's solution to this problem: the cross.
Advertised in the Church News [ 1-9-1982 p.12 ] as a handbook for engaged LDS couples,
"Between Ring and Temple" offers some advise for a 32 yr. old single woman on how to find
a mate. She is told to " move and keep moving until you find someone." Would this advice
be encouraging "ward hopping" ? Also, according to the Church News [ 11-6-1983] divorce
is the largest factor contributing to single status in the church. Certainly, life for teens and
young adults in the mormon Church is a challenge like youth everywhere. It does'nt help
these young people much when they are in a authoritative organization like Mormonism.
Especially disheartening for us non-Mormons is to see these singles influenced by a
prophet on matters pertaining to salvation.
[ above references gleened from the Utah Missions newsletter ]
Looks like you are reading into things ideas that aren't really there. If you don't belong to an organized church you can't know the answers because the concept of how the religion is organized is not noticed by you. You also seem to be magnifying small concepts. Making mountains out of molehills. Some people do need some type of church organization in their lives to feel that they are bettering themselves. Companion ship is important.
I belonged to that organized church for 40 years. I know exactly how it works. You know, there are so many places young adults can meet. It doesn't have to be at an LDS young adult activity such as flying kites or playing duck, duck, goose! Companionship is important. My bet is that the massive number of inactive young LDS adults are finding that companionship outside of the LDS religion. My son is dating a wonderful Catholic girl. She isn't constantly trying to get him to the LDS temple, forcing him to go to church, or putting a down payment on the future mormon minivan to hold all of those babies that she is trying to force on him at such a young age!
These young adults need to find out who they are before becoming a husband, wife, mother, or father. My feeling is that the LDS leadership wants them involved, trapped and sending in that tithing before they get too much out in the world and figure out that mormonism is a lie. Better to have them already saddled with a wife/husband and 6 kids, that way they have more control over them.