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JimRannells last won the day on March 25 2018

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  1. JimRannells


    I have “skin in the game” on this issue as I know what it is like to regret an abortion. But then I have found forgiveness from Christ for something I did many years ago. Forty-two years ago, my wife and I elected for that procedure as the Roe decision was just handed down 5 years earlier. The regional hospital close to where we were living, even advertised for the services. It was advertised as safe and gone were the back-alley abortion clinics, which were part of the reason for legalizing abortions. I do believe I convinced my wife to go this route as I rationalized with 2 children already, we could not afford a third. Over the years, I have realized that our false rationale for our abortion matched up with so many who quietly chose that route as a one-time abortion is far less expensive that raising a child to adulthood. Something dramatically changed after that day. We both avoided the issue and certainly could not talk about it. As I look back, I believe I proved that I was not protecting my family as a man. I believe my wife then, no longer respected me in the same way. She was to die in a car accident 9 years later in a tumultuous marriage where we managed to stay together----at least for the 2 years before she died. Then, she was starting to find Faith in Christ, while I was born into a Religious cult that I had yet to reject. I have watched the pro-life debate as it started about the time we had that abortion. One thing that always struck me is how that focus [by mostly men] is really only on the mother who elects for an abortion---as if the father who did his part in producing the unwanted child does not matter. In our case we were married, but it should not matter if a couple were married or not. There simply is always a Mother and a Father. Life begins at conception and the arguments as to when a child becomes a living being----- are foolishness on the pro-choice side. The pro-life side is really taking the Pharisitical route in part, as you will note that the woman caught in adultery was condemned to die by the Pharisees in John, Chapter 8 in their incomplete rendering of the Law of Moses. Absent was the man who should have been condemned also. An unwanted child is simply the product of adultery in many cases. Verse 7 lists Christ’s Word as “HE that is without sin among you, let HIM throw a stone at HER first” I found Christ immediately after the death of my son a few years after my wife died. Maybe I was more hard-headed than some, but it took two tragedies in my life to get the message. And yes, I found forgiveness for that abortion so many years ago. Current statistics still show that it is not simply a black and white issue as it never was. Four out of 10 women {and men] choose that route quietly in our Church-going population. Not surprisingly, further statistics show that they cannot talk about it with anyone in their Church. We have so stigmatized abortion that that is the result. It should be a goal of every Christian to lessen abortions in general, but that is not going to happen by a Supreme Court decision. We have to get the fathers of all these unwanted children to take their responsibilities and not just talk about “choosing life”, but living it as well.
  2. We can find this need in what Christ telling us of what to expect in these Last Days. Matthew 24:4- 5 4 And Jesus answered and said to them Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many. We have seen a rise of false prophets claiming to speak in the name of Christ--- leading many astray in deception. Notice that Christ first warns us of deception in what is called His Olivet Discourse. “ Take heed that no one decieves you”. Because, as He tells us in His the further descriptions of the Last Days—deception will be tantamount. Matthew 24:6-8 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be (F)famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. Many people are telling us of these “rumors of wars” that we should be fearful of in this deception. A rumor of course, is something that generally is not based on reality. Current examples of that would include this supposed invasion from the south—that we need a big wall to protect us here in America. Or the hundreds of conspiracy theories—each telling us to be fearful and even hateful to towards groups or races of people. We are a Nation of immigrants, yet we suddenly want to close the door for future immigration. Our current Covid-19 epidemic is one of those pestilences and a few earthquakes have come forth, along with famines in other parts of the world. As this pandemic originated in China, there is some underlying anger and hatred towards Asian-Americans. Matthew 24:9-11 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then )many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. We, who have our eyes fixed solely on Christ can expect to be hated for His name’s sake as Christ’s truth will offend. It is especially important that we do not match hatred for hatred or be a part of the hatred that society is producing. And then many false prophets who tell people what they want to hear will arise as they already are arising and once again deceiving from Christ’s warning at the first of this Discourse. Matthew 24:12-14 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come The love of many growing colder is already here as all sorts of evidences of that are present. And false prophets or even “teachers” to further that agenda--- who tell people what they want to hear to further that love of many growing cold. Teachers , of course, are highlighted in 2 Timothy. 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; There is a lot of anxiety in this Nation, so people wrongly look to politicians and false prophets and then “heap up for themselves teachers” to tell them what they want to hear and give them as false sense of security. I note that a lot of well-meaning Bible scholars are telling us that this tribulation is only about the Nation of Israel from Daniel’s prophecies ----but would not Christ “fill in the blanks’ in that? Especially since He puts in the prophecy from verse 5 in the Matthew passage “ For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many.” Anyway, all Believers are grafted into Judaism per Romans 11:11-36. Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. The word “evil” is definitely used frequently as many are rushing to false Judgments. We are living in a world right now where underlying hatred seems to be the norm. Hatred towards liberals for those on the right, or liberals against conservatives is very prevalent on social media. No one tries to disguise their hatred, as it is also towards the people who support one side or the other in our politics. People like to project their own hatred onto others as I have been asked ----“why do you hate our President?”. I point out that there is a difference between actually hating SOMEONE and hating the evils that are coming forth. Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. We have seen signs of that love of many growing cold[er] in the recent push from our President to build a Border Wall to the south. We seem to not bat an eye when we read or watch reports of children being separated from their parents in these facilities. This President is only feeding off the desires of the people he is speaking for [his base], and has made that a popular issue. In the recent Covid-19 spread it has become fashionable to not wear masks---as if it is only about us and whether we could catch it. Many are simply only thinking of themselves in this pandemic. The recent killing of a black man by police [and with other incidents] coupled with the false rationale for those incidents prove that many people are only concerned about themselves. They cannot [and will not\ imagine what it could be like to be a poor black man in America. All the false rationales for diminishing that “Black lives Matter” is more proof that the love of many has turned cold. I believe that notion should be changed to “Black Live Matter, too” As Christ said about these last days, the love of many will grow cold and it is a slow, subtle transformation in our society. Luke 21:26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken We are seeing signs of those things coming on the earth in recent earthquakes and certainly the effect of global warming. Covid-19 is one of those things coming on the earth as it has affected the whole earth. And the effects of global warming on recent high temperatures recorded above the Arctic Circle. Recently a Sahara wind with the dust it spreads has plagued our country and unfortunately we can only expect more of these strange phenomenon’s in the future. It is in that Peace of God where our hearts towards our fellow man will be preserved as in this Promise.. Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Do we want to live in this Peace or do we want to live in hatred and fears? To me, the answer is abundantly clear---that I desire Christ’s help in that Peace of God---to guard my heart [and my mind] from all the hatred and strife around me. Remember God searches our hearts: James 5:7-9 7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be [c]condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! Revelation 2:23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. This is as I do as a prayer each morning. [I use Psalm 51:10-13] Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me………
  3. Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. This aspect of love that has been growing colder as one of Christ’s prophesies in His Sermon on the Mount listed in the 24th Chapter of Matthew, and I will explain. We can get something like Cancer that invades our society and people do not realize it is spreading. Satan likes to introduce things in a slow, but very subtle manner. Watching society go through these subtle changes for close to 70 years, has made me realize that the love of many is, in fact---- growing colder. And as Christ prophesied, it is happening, and many do not realize it. How changes in society can alter our opinions Opinions are first of all---are not really of God, while perceptions should be aligned with God. We have really made our opinions tantamount in this opinion-seeking society where everyone is desiring our opinion from political polls to the products we buy. We are constantly being asked for our opinion in this society. MY opinion certainly can be prideful thing. How many times have your heard “That is my opinion and no one can change it”? Opinions are really brought out in this verse and others. Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Or from the World English translation of the Bible: Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion While perception or perceive is this: Mark 8:17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, And this from the Passion translation: Proverbs 24:14 For then you will perceive what is true wisdom, your future will be bright, and this hope living within will never disappoint you. So opinions are really of no value to anyone but yourself, in an often prideful way. While, perceptions are God’s gift to us when we ask for His wisdom---as James 1:5 says:. 5 (If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. We have to keep our mind on God in this world that seems to value our opinions. One aspect is found in Philippians 4:8 which says: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Mediating on these things keeps us from forming prideful opinions or certainly can help. Christ never spoke with His Opinions on anything---- why should we, as Believers in Christ allow our incomplete opinions to motivate us in our Faith in Him. After all it was the opinions of many who came together demanding His Crucifixion.
  4. Thank you for adding the Romans 2:14-15 reference to the conscience. It supports Romans 1:19-20 where it says "manifest in them" [NKJV] as more proof that we are each born with a conscience.
  5. 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. We live in a Nation in the world where there is much confusion and we try to lesson that aspect. We see a story on the News as Christians, and we like to have all our “ducks in a row” as to our opinions and move on. It seems like people rush too much to Judgement and do not think through things which are very rarely black versus white [literally]. But then, we are indoctrinated to form our opinions right now. Lately we have the blacks and a lot of other Nationalities, [including whites] protesting over racial profiling. Mostly they are voicing their views of all this in a peaceful way. People have come out against the fact that a white cop allowed a black man [in the case of George Floyd]--- to die. As if they cannot imagine what it would be like to be black. Or the excuses for a white cop in Atlanta who killed a drunken black man after he was sleeping it off in his car. He of course was shot as he was fleeing the police. The fact that is overlooked in that case was that he was running away when he was shot in the back---not shooting a reported taser, which I understand has no range anyway. I am a Caucasian by the way. Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. This is happening right now for many in these Last Days. We have the News at instant access and then many rush to Judgment on ALL the blacks in America. Christ prophesied these very Words and some whites are trying to rationalize it as a guilt thing. We should have some guilt, but then it should be guilt over the fact that we turn a blind eye to the very real problems. Christ gave us a good example of racial profiling in Luke 10:30-37 about loving our neighbor as in the case of the good Samaritan. That neighbor was one of those “disliked-by-Jews: Samaritans who rendered aid while those of this man’s own race walked on by our avoided the situation all together. We not only should share a word of thanks and encouragement to the good police but also get to know our black neighbors. It hit home for me here in a town that has few blacks when one black doctor left partially because there was a bit of racism directed toward her 2 years ago. We are overwhelmed by the opinions of so many others, who are trying to confuse this issue and many others. Certainly the news reports on the current Covid-19 epidemic. Should we try to go back to our lives before this epidemic?. Should we wear masks and should we social distance? Should we go to restaurants and into stores and shops, when this epidemic is far from over? Should we be tested, even when there are no facilities to test for people around here that only test people who are asymptomatic? Really we should pray to God how we best can lesson the odds of catching and then spreading it and then let our conscience be our guide. It should all be in His Hands, anyway. I have no problem with people giving me funny looks when I wear a mask as I wear one with a smiley face on it. I can win most detractors over by humor when I tell them my mask smiles better than my real face. My wife is a health care worker in a Nursing Home and she insists I wear a mask whenever I go out in public as she does not want catch it from me and then spread it to the Residents. Not only should we Trust God and find His Peace for these current problems but ultimately--- whatever comes our way.
  6. As to whether you referenced John 8:,7, it is still in the text, is it not? And since it is gender specific in many Versions, including the KJ,, should we not Study it out more? My Concordance study indicates that it can be rendered in that fashion, especially since it is very obvious that the "test' they were giving to Christ did not include any responsibility to the men for their own adultery. But they caught only this woman and were demanding that ONLY she be stoned. Where was the man she had this adultery with,--- when they caught her? . And a baby is oftentimes a product of adultery, whether it is aborted or not --right? The woman did not get pregnant on her own or at least medical technology has NOT advanced to that point,---yet.. Sounds like you are wanting to take any responsibility away from us men and then only apply that responsibility after a baby is carried to term.--just like our skewed Laws,---- even though you partially admit that that is not your intent. We are to take Scripture and apply it to ourselves [ 2 Timothy 3:16-17] and since adultery might .produce a potentially unwanted child,, we men have to share in that product of our own adulterous acts from conception onward. whether we know of a possible abortion or not.. The consequences or sex outside of a marriage is where the focus should be. as even with modern contraceptives it still happens that a child is the result. And since it is a problem even in our Churches should we not address that problem with our fellow Believers first? The proverbial "log" is in our own eyes--- as it were, It is a complex problem the simply overturning Roe will NOT fix. . Before I came to Christ, I know of one situation where my own adulterous acts MIGHT have produced a child that the woman MIGHT have aborted and I have found my Peace with God over that possibility. And like I admit is my first post, I certainly recognized MY responsibility for the abortion my wife had 40 years ago in certainly a non-adulterous act.. To blame only the woman who has an abortion for a child she [and very likely the man] doesn't want. or can care for is being just like the Pharisees. But that is where it is headed in some of our Laws that are being proposed.
  7. Thank you for you comments, However, I am familiar with what all Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery. Most Versions of the Bible use the male rendering as in, --- "HE who is without sin among let HIM throw the stone at her first " --- NKJVBible Gateway. . By the way this response in John 8:7 was to them------ not to her in this verse. They were testing Him by their mis-applied rendering of the Law of Moses which calls for a stoning of BOTH the man and woman.. That is the point I tried to make. The Laws we are trying to apply in this case are hypocritical as the man is ONLY then responsible if a baby is carried to term. And yes, the Church need to hold the men accountable.from conception onward.
  8. Certainly, the political climate in the Nation is partially guided by the abortion issue as Kavanaugh’s recent appointment was to get that 5th Vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Ever since Roe was handed down in 1973 I have paid a lot of attention to the abortion debate as my deceased wife and I chose that route in 1978. She was to die in a car accident 9 years after that abortion that both of us agreed upon. Even though we both might have listened to our inner sense [Romans 1:19] that might have told us that abortion was wrong, we still made that decision. A regional hospital even advertised for their services back then, --- and what could be safer and more sanitary that a hospital? Or misguided rationale was that since we already had 2 children, we felt we could not afford a third child. The after-effects of that abortion caused an underlying strain on our marriage immediately afterwards as neither of us were Christians at the time. I was to find a Faith in Christ later-- few years after she died. One of the things Christ caused me to address was MY responsibility for this abortion that both of us decided upon so many years ago. I sorely needed the forgiveness of Christ and I noted in the Bible of Paul’s wonderful example of being a part in murdering many Christians as formerly Saul of Tarsus. He did not personally murder Christians, but he had a part in it all. He brings up his story in many of his letters to the different Churches and I have no doubt that when he started those churches, he admitted to the same when he was saved by Christ on the Road to Damascus. From Paul’s example of his admittance, I have found my Peace with God as I tend to share my part in that abortion 40 years ago. From my studies of the Bible over the years . I sensed that the traditional pro-life side that essentially started with Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority was incomplete. In my ever-growing familiarity with the God’s Word, I eventually found out why it was incomplete. So many of these pro-life Groups have simply taken the man’s responsibility out of the equation and made it wrongly black versus white. That the product of any pregnancy and the possible abortion is with both from the mother and the father. A woman does not get pregnant on her own and so there is a shared responsibility for both the mother and the father and then the decision to abort. Many women do not tell the father of her pregnancy and her eventual decision to abort, but that does not really let these men off the hook in Christ’s eventual Judgement. I find that our Laws are very skewed when the man only then becomes responsible when the baby is carried to term when child-support Laws that are then, hopefully enforced. It is all very much like the woman caught in adultery which the Pharisees presented to Christ for His Judgement on her. His eventual answer to them was “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”.[John 8::7, NKJV].. The audience that Christ was proclaiming this to was likely all male and the question of adultery should have been first on their minds as to their own sins. Moses’ Law that they were making their judgement against this woman, of course applied to both the woman and the man. The product of adultery is in many cases, an unwanted child. Scripture does not tell us if there were children as the result of the adultery issue with the woman, but we can apply Christ’ s admonition to the Pharisees to how we want our Laws to reflect. From a few pro-life sources, I find there are statistics that tell us that it is problem in our churches that won’t disappear after we overturn Roe. One such Group called Care Net tells us that 4 out of 10 women who are regular church-goers have had an abortion. Of those women, only 7% admit that they shared their decision with someone in their Church. These statistics are from this site: https://www.care-net.org/churches-blog/new-survey-women-go-silently-from-church-to-abortion-clinic With these and other statistics, it shows to me that abortion is very stigmatized and personal, and it does not address the men for their part in the woman’s eventual decision. We simply have to share with others in our churches what we did or might be deciding to do and hopefully receive the Mercy of Christ and not man and his rendering of the law. We simply cannot change the world when we have the same problems inside our churches. I am old enough to remember what it was like before the Roe decision was handed down in 1973. In College for part of that time, there was much talk as to a decision to abort. The product of the Free-Love society that I was in at the time, was unexpected pregnancies so often. Mexico, for an abortion, was always an option and many States somewhat looked the other way in enforcing the abortion issue. There was a lot of talk about certain chemicals a woman could take to induce an abortion which eventually produced the modern drugs like RU-486 and other drugs to induce an abortion, even now sold at such pharmacies such as Walgreen's. And “coat-hanger abortions” and the problems with that option was discussed as well. I strongly suspect that if Roe is overturned we will go back as a society to similar conditions that were there at that time. Abortion will likely be even more stigmatized with real women and men more unwilling to share in their problems once it is criminalized. Real people with real problems that chose OR will choose the path of abortion----which we must first start to recognize in our churches.
  9. I am learning to keep that day of my first recognition of God;s Grace close to my heart. From Newton;s example. as I examined his biography.,He did remember that day he was saved for some 50 years until he died. That shows me to me that I also must remember. Thank for the comment,
  10. May 10, 1748 is a day that John Newton remembered for the rest of his life, until he died in 1807. It was the day of his conversion to Christianity---a day of humiliation where in which he subjected his will to a higher power. You see, as his biography notes, he was attempting to steer his ship, [which he believed to be lost], though a violent storm and cried out “Lord, have mercy on us!”. God answered his humble prayer and got he and his ship through that storm. He was a slave-trader and had given up on any religious convictions in his life thus far. His biography suggests that he was that wretch in his sinfulness and definitely lost. . I can relate to his experience as I too, uttered a humble, pleading prayer to God as I saw my only son in death on May 28, 1995. It was on that day that I uttered. “Lord, help me!” and so my life was never to be the same as I grew in my Faith from that day forward. I can only imagine the alternatives I would have taken in self-destruction, if Christ had not reached down and saved me from “my Storm”. My experiences and Newton’s always reminds me of the Storm that Christ and His Disciples endured in particularly Mark 4:35-41. [NKJV]. That as His Disciples were so fearful they would drown in the violent wind and waves of that Storm , Christ suddenly wakes up and tells the Storm “Peace be Still “-----and the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Nothing short of the Amazing Grace of God---which is the lyrics of the first verse of the song that Newton wrote about his experiences. This timeless Hymn has as it’s very words: Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. We should all try to remember when we became a Believer in Christ, and then relate to Newton;s words -----the very day when we first realized GOD’S AMAZING GRACE.
  11. “Jim, it looks like the blood work we did on you, indicates you have pancreatitis and likely Cancer”, said the technician from the Clinic on the phone to me. She also added---"you need to get to the Emergency Room of the Hospital immediately and we will send an ambulance if you need one” Not good news what you are sitting in a Walmart waiting for your prescriptions to be filled. I had what looked like a bad stomach flu that doubled me up with pain on a Friday. My wife came out to work to pick me up and took me to a Local Clinic where after ruling out a heart-attack, they diagnosed me with stomach flu and they told me to get a lot a bed rest and take Zantac for the pain. But during the weekend following, the pain was getting much worse and then Sunday afternoon my wife took me to an Urgent Care Clinic in another town about 60 miles away. There, they initially confirmed the stomach flu diagnosis and gave me some prescriptions to fill at Walmart Pharmacy. But they took a sample of my blood to test and that is when I got the phone call. In relating the phone call to my wife—she told me that was exactly what the diagnosis they gave to her now-deceased husband in 1998. He then succumbed to Cancer and died, leaving her with 3 children. And my Dad had the same kind of Cancer when he passed on in 2005. We sat in our car in the Walmart parking lot, praying before she took me to the ER and immediately the peace I had many times before flooded my wife and I. In the Emergency Room they were having a bit of trouble confirming the diagnosis of pancreatitis as I had another operation back in 1964 [as a child] for Ulcers and have a big scar on my stomach from that. But with an Ultra-Sound, they felt it might be my gall bladder that was the problem and their blood work confirmed again, that I had Cancer. So an emergency operation was scheduled early the next morning. It is only from Christ that you can feel the kind of peace I was feeling through the night. My wife related that as she drove back home, to return the next morning, she felt a definite peace as well. As I lay on the gurney just before I was to go in for the operation the song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow “went over- and- over in my mind. I had no real regrets in life and all I could was trust Christ as to the outcome. When I awoke after my operation the first person I saw was the surgeon who told me “Jim it definitely was your gall-bladder which we removed and we found NO CANCER of any form” As a Believer himself, he definitely does NOT discount God’s Miracles and it appeared that I just had one. The very best medicine in recovery that I could get, was when all my children called me up a different times later that day. The three that I adopted when I married their mother,--- told me how worried they were on the phone and expressed their love to me. My 2 biological daughters also called me and shared the same worry and love they had. My wife had, of course, spread the news of my Emergency Operation to them. Philippians 4:7 [NKJV] and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This verse I try to live in my life and I now realize that God’s Grace in this peace is available to any True Believer.
  12. Mormonism is definitely a cult. I was born into a family where the fact that my mother was deeply embedded in Mormonism and naturally she wanted all her children to be a part of that. As I was the only boy in my family, I was urged to receive both priesthoods in that Religion and I became a so-called Elder. Our genealogy indicates that we are descendants of Lot Smith, who was a Leader in Brigham Young’s Militia back in the 1850’s after the Mormons first migrated to the Utah territory. My family placed a lot of pride in being descendants of such a hero in the Church, who also had 8 wives and as some estimates indicate, 52 children. My ancestor led some of the Mormon defenses against what was called the Utah Rebellion in 1858 were the US Army, which had been directed to take over the Utah territory, became what in now called “President Buchanan’s Blunder”. I heard many family stories over the years from my mother handed down from her father, who was a grandson of this Mormon hero. Lots of LDS families have these “generational holds’ on them as the Mormon Church is very big on family and the Church, of course, has a huge genealogical library. My dad was a Methodist, but he joined the Mormon Church in 1982 to better get along with my Mom and I actually performed his baptism ritual. Even though I was an Inactive Member of the Mormon Church, I supposedly still had the priesthood power to perform his baptism. I think fairly early on, I felt an unsettledness with the Church. Did not know why I felt this “unsettledness” but it was to take me until my 40’s to determine why I felt [from God] that it was wrong. Mormons use their testimonies to cast away doubt and I felt if I developed a stronger testimony, I could cast away these doubts. And I remember reading in a book that was suggested by my bishop, [which was put out by the Church] that told me essentially that doubts are the tool of satan. I concluded that since I did not doubt God or His Existence, those doubts could only be towards the Church. Another tool that they use, is to pray to confirm the Book of Mormon. I think I prayed that false prayer many times---especially in my teen years. I just wanted a stronger testimony like so many others appeared to have. When I went off to College, I learned to drink and party and soon I was proud to be called a “jack Mormon” –out of my rebellion against the Mormon Church and against my dad, which Is a separate story. As it was the late 60’s and early 70’s at that time, I really had one more reason to rebel as there were lot of demonstrations on my college campus at that time, mainly against our involvement in Vietnam. We got out of Vietnam in 1973, but I continued to rebel against the Church I was brought up in for another 20 or-so year, but then, also against my Dad. I married a wife that tended to party with me and certainly we had a very rocky marriage from our partying for a lot of years. But, she had finally reached the point where she was seeking the True Christ to better our marriage. That was to be cut short by her untimely death in a car accident. I still had to deny the Indoctrination from my Mormon years, but I was definitely a least curious about the Christ she was finding at that time. As we had two children who I elected to raise on my own after she died ---I believe I was learning to be more responsible and after a 3 -year mourning period and then I sought another wife to fill this “God-shaped hole” in my heart. As the wife I eventually married was a Irish Catholic, I had a bit of exposure to that Religion. We later divorced. My two children had their own seeds of a True Faith planted in them at the time and they were both “Saved” at a church camp of a Baptist Church. Of course, then, I did not know what this being Saved entailed. My son who was 19 at the time shot himself in our family home and that was the start of my true humbleness before God--- [James 4:6]. Immediately after my son’s death I felt these definite feelings of calm as I read the only the Bible. While I had the definite temptation to get drunk and stay that way over my son’s death, Christ really saved me by His Word. A huge Hunger for the Word developed in me and I used to Study the Bible late into the night after I got off of work and then early the next morning before I went to work. My daughter who was 18 at the time of her brother’s death was mad at me, mad at God and was, for many years, into her own Rebellion. I simply shared many things from the Bible in many long letters to her as what I was discovering as she went on to college the next year. I suppose it was about 9 months of intense Study of the Bible [after my son died] that I knew then that I either had to embrace the Mormon Church or deny it. The new-found God that I had found made it very clear that I simply had to deny what had been a part of me for all the previous years of my life—Or embrace their teachings. I pitted many Mormon Doctrines against my new-found understandings of the Bible and such things as the adage most Mormons hold---- “as man is, God once was; as God is, man may become”, This of course, proved through the Bible to be very false. The Being of Jesus Christ is another area where I learned was false. He is simply another God to them. The Mormon claim He is our spiritual brother [along with satan} and they use verses taken out of context that supposedly prove that God Fathered all Spirits—including the Spirit of Christ. My mother blessedly always loved to discuss things. While she was definitely hurt at first when I announced my desire to have my name be taken of the Rolls, she did not disown me. This is the case for many other Mormon families, with children and others who leave the Church. My mom held onto the false hope that I would come to my senses and eventually return to the fold. We really started a dialog at that time, with so many discussions over the years about the very nature of God and I learned to temper my discussions with her and NOT say things like “Joseph Smith was a false prophet”. She also would try to “guilt me” at times that I had denied the Church, and the fact that I had supposedly lost the power of the priesthood, but I soon realized that she was Indoctrinated like I had been. I learned from her and the books she had in her LDS library that really there is a lot more to the false teachings of the Mormon Church than I had supposed. This verse, among so many others, became very clear to me early when I left the Church . Test all things; hold fast what is good.----1 Thessalonians 5:21 Put together with this verse: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him----James 1:5 Mormons will tell you that the James 1:5 verse is supposedly used to confirm their Book of Mormon, but it is not saying that at all. It has been 22 years since I left the Church that had been part of me for the first 40+ years of my life--- to find the True Christ. Always learning but I do know how to discern better now ---All to God’s Glory. My mother passed away in 2012 and I [and one other sister who also left the Church] led her to the True Christ. I went in to the hospital after I got off from work very early one morning a week before she passed on. Despite the fact she had advanced dementia, she was very coherent that morning and we spent 4 hours discussing the True Christ of the Bible and praying. It was almost as if God set up this appointment and lessened the effects of her dementia. She told me when I arrived that early morning, that she had been “waiting for me.” She blessedly remembered that I would stop by after I got off from work. I am so thankful to God for that experience and I believe I will meet my Mom in heaven
  13. Rebellious Son of a Rancher and the power of Forgiveness I think early on in my childhood, I did not think the ranching life was from me. My dad has aspirations, [as I was his only son], of me eventually taking over the family ranch in N. Wyoming that had been part of our family for 4 generations. My great, great grandfather was the first white man to settle in the valley back in the 1860’s and he even married a Shoshone Indian squaw. I can remember having an actual picture of him in my bedroom, when I was at an early age and his picture used to scare me. Mean looking fellow with a full beard as that was the way they posed for pictures back in the 1800’s---very stern. When I was in my teens and really was allowed to decorate my own room, I took that picture down and never had to look at again. My biggest problem with ranching was that fact that I could not stand the smell of cow manure. My dad used to say it was the smell of money, but how could something that smelled so horrid equate to money? MY dad had me started hand-milking our family’s milk cows as soon as I could sit and balance myself on a one-legged milk stool—probably at age 6 or 7. The drudgery of milking those cows morning and night, went on for over 10 years, until I went off to College. And I learned to help put up hay in the summer, by driving a tractor as soon as I could reach the pedals. I can never remember ever feeling bored as there are so many things to do with a ranch-life in the 1950’s and 60’s The concept of boredom is not in one’s vocabulary in such a life as I had growing up. I think my dad sensed that that I did not like the ranch life early on, but that I was willing to at least work at it. Maybe he was hoping I would learn to enjoy it [or really accept it], when I got into my teens. The relationship with my mom and my rebellion againt the Religion I was brought up in {Mormon] is another story to tell, My dad had the desire to teach me to rope at our brandings. Families up and down the valley would announce they were branding their calves and we used to help each other out in those brandings. And of course, the “women folk” would make a fantastic feast for the noon lunch at these brandings. My dad simply wanted me to be excel at calf-roping and thus be proud of me. I believe I was about 13 or 14 at one of these brandings when I really showed that I could not rope. I think I got tangled up in the rope and the men that were “busting the calves” for the branding were having to wait for me to bring them a roped calf. My dad showed his frustration with me by jerking me off the horse I was riding and humiliated me by spanking me in front of all the people that were there at this branding. That was the start of a deepening rebellion against my dad and I could only wait until I was out on my own after I graduated high school. But even in my rebellion to my dad, I still endured working for him for those continuing 4 or 5 years until I was free of this ranch forever. Still milked the cows morning and evening and did all the things one has to do to work on a ranch. My dad eventually sold the ranch as none of my sister’s and their husbands wanted to take over that ranch. And certainly in the 1980’ s when he sold the ranch, it was hard in the economy to make a go with a smaller ranch. This was during the time I spent many years living in cities and working at different jobs and places that I lived to avoid my dad. I think I said many times that I wouldn’t live around him, but I was in an accident at my job to where I and my family, finally moved back to the town he was in, and have been here for over 30 years now. This deep rebellion actually went on for about 20 years when I was on my own, until my son and my dad’s grandson shot himself in my home. In my humbleness before God then,I knew eventually I had to forgive my dad. You see, I had many of the same traits as a father myself that I had merely copied from him. I had a temper and I easily became frustrated with my own children—just like my dad. I was always too busy with working myself, that I did not share with my children’s personal interests. And I treated my wife just as dad had treated my mother---with a lot of frustration. My own wife was to die in a car accident in 1987 without me ever saying “I love you”. All traits I had picked up from my youth. My total forgiveness of him started in me probably 8 or 9 years before he was to succumb to Cancer. Many wonderful memories of my dad in that time and I even got him to attend regularly at the Church I have been a part of for about 18 years now. I even wrote him a long letter a few months before he died about all the good traits he instilled in me--certainly my own willingness to work and not be bored. As he was a Mormon convert, I planted seeds of the True Christ in him and was to hold his hand as he took his last breath in a hospital. Telling him “I would take care of Mom” and quoiting many Scripture verses about Christ as the only “Way to the Father”. I really believe at his last breath there was a look of total peace in him and I will remember that look his face always. parents, you can never enjoy the freedom that Christ offers. I am very Blessed because only through Christ was it possible to forgive my dad and I spend a few years before he died with a relationship with him that was one of love. Certainly, many people had to endure far worse situations as a child when they were growing up in comparison to my own example. I believe I said a few times that “I hated my dad” but if one cannot find forgiveness for their own parent they will never enjoy the Freedom of Christ.
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