It recently came to my attention that one or two who have left the faith read and draw inspiration from my blog. In an effort to leave the ninety and nine it is to these precious souls that I address my remarks today.
My dearly beloved Ex-Mormon Brother or Sister,
Nothing concerns me more than to see those who were once stalwart in the faith shrink in the face of adversity. I want you to know that as a Stake President I understand your plight. Your path to loneliness and confusion likely started out with something simple, like finding out that Joseph Smith owned a special stone. This threw you into a whirlwind of doubt where Satan carefully brought you down to the gulf of despair and misery that you now endure. As a lonely cynic you are now left with one option; to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and fight against God. You who thus struggle are in the throes of spiritual agony, drowning as it were in a sea of guilt and despair, seeking desperately for the safety of the gospel that had served as your anchor in the past.
And yet from this month’s *Ensign we learn that “all members of the Church at some time in their lives face moments that test the sincerity and strength of their testimonies. Braving these trials of our faith helps us stand firm in a world that is falling more and more into the depths of confusion.”
In my vast experience as a leader in the Lord’s Kingdom I have seen and will now reveal to you the main difference between those who fail in their testimonies and those who hold tight to the iron rod. It is that the Ex-Mormon had their hearts set so much upon the teachings and philosophies of this world that they did not understand this one principle; that you do not receive a witness until after the trial of your faith.
Those of us who did not succumb to the fiery darts of the adversary when our faith was tested took the correct steps as given in the *Ensign, which are as follows: “when the righteous are troubled, their first reflex is to search the scriptures and the words of the living prophets.” We learn from the article that the writings of the prophets “are beacons that (much like my blog) cannot deceive us.”
As an Ex Mormon you looked to other sources for answers. In time you lost your faith. Eventually you stopped attending Church meetings. You no longer prayed or pondered the scriptures daily. You allowed your temple recommend to expire. And sooner or later Satan whispered in your ear that there was no God, and you believed. You now make fun of the Church, the people still in it and those things which you once held sacred.
You can be seen drinking in the pubs, shopping on the Sabbath and without the guidance of the Holy Spirit you have likely lost your moral compass and are engaged in all manner of iniquities and lasciviousness. Oh that cunning plan of Satan. He seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
But I say unto you in that great day when you shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will you say that there is no God? Then will you say that the Church which only tried to help you was cultish, controlling and manipulative? Will you continue to complain before the Lamb of God that His Church, the one and only true Church upon the face of the earth, used its sacred funds to build a shopping mall? Will you dare counsel the Lord saying “Lord we should have used those billions to feed the hungry and clothe the naked”? Will you whine and complain that those who suffered from same sex attraction should have been treated with more respect and dignity in the Church; yea will you say this to the one who suffered and died for the very sins which they have committed? Will you say “Lord, there was no evidence that the gospel was true”, after the many miracles He hath bestowed upon you?
Nay I say unto you that you will tremble before Him and would that you could vanish from His very presence. And in that day you will know that you have not lived up to the covenants you made with him in the temple on that day, and you will be in Satan’s power. And if in that day with fear and trembling you raise your eyes heavenward towards me, even President Paternoster, I want you to know that I did my best to warn and exhort you.
Yet there is still time - there is still hope. I invite you now to return and enjoy the blessing of becoming a faithful tithe payer once again. I invite you to spend your Sabbaths away from the beach - joyfully attending the three hour block of meetings that have been prepared to uplift and edify your soul. I invite you to confess your sins in all detail to loving priesthood leaders. And I promise that in the due time of the Lord when you have sufficiently humbled yourselves before the priesthood of God you will once again be permitted to attend the temple where sisters will be reminded of their sacred duty to obey their husbands and all will be clothed in the holy garments of the priesthood,
Your humble servant even