Sunday, August 27, 2017

About Me

Someone suggested that a brief biography would help people be more open to the things I write on this blog. I can see how it might add context, but I do this reluctantly. Please do not consider me an authority on anything. Please do not idolize me. Please do not desire to associate with me any more than you would with anyone else. I share these things only to stir up others to believe God and develop their own relationship with God.

For the first 18 years of my life, I was raised as a non-denominational, non-practicing Christian. I sought truth through a secular lens. I was exposed to Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Charismatic, and other Christian sects through family and friends. I did not read the Bible, and I did not worship God, but I did believe that he existed.

I have always sought to test what I accepted as truth, have always rejected certain things as not being effective, and sought out new putative truth.

When I was 18, at basic training, I was exposed to the LDS church. As a result of the insistence of the missionaries, I prayed about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Before doing so, I prayed and asked God if he was real. He responded and made it known to me that he was. When I prayed about the Book of Mormon, he responded and made it known to me that it was his word. I believed what the missionaries had told me--that if the Book of Mormon was true, I should be baptized into the LDS church.

Over the next decade, I invested my entire being into LDS doctrine. I went on a 2 year ecclesiastical mission, spent my time volunteering in church responsibilities, and was married to my wife in an LDS temple. Throughout this time, I felt that while my relationship with God was ever-improving, and though I received revelations and other spiritual manifestations from God from time to time, there was something more available. I started blogging during this period. Meanwhile, I witnessed more and more limitations in LDS theology and culture.

One day, through the intervention of a book recommended by a friend, I was reminded of the months I spent reading through scripture for the first time. I thought about how I used to consider the interactions with God described in the scriptures, and how I used to think much about how that happened and whether it could happen to me. The promises in the scriptures referring to a relationship with God are general to anyone who lives the gospel. I realized that my experiences with God in the LDS church--which are not general to most in the LDS church--were still nothing compared to what was described in the scriptures. My soul hungered more than ever for a closer relationship with God. My daily prayers increased in earnestness. I begged the Lord to again forgive me of my sins and to bring me into his presence. I prayed again and again.

The Lord came to me one night in a dream, and showed me that the things taught by the LDS church that were occupying my time were not helping me draw closer to him. It was both the happiest moment of my life until that point, and the most heartbreaking. I spent much time after that event praying and repenting of my false traditions, seeking the Lord anew.

After a period of years, I completed a book that documented my search to identify what from LDS traditions actually hindered one's search for God. Shortly thereafter, I was excommunicated from the LDS church.

My exodus from the LDS church provided an opportunity to learn much more about the Lord. He taught me a great deal about repentance, prayer, and just how wonderful a relationship with him can be.

I continue my lifelong search for truth. I am not a professional historian, theologian, or apologist. I have a full-time job, a family, and many other demands on my time. I don't make any money on my writing. This blog serves as a notebook for my learning process, a mechanism to help others obtain the things that I received, and a testimony of the hand and goodness of God in my life. I am nothing special. I'm just a normal person trying to seek God. Nothing I've done is exceptional, and nothing I've experienced is unique to me. We can all have revelations, visions, dreams, hear the voice of God, see angels, and see God. All it takes is diligence in seeking him and consistency in obeying him. All glory belongs to God. All truth belongs to God.

I hope the Lord speaks to you through it and outside of it, and that you find progress and success in your search for God. The gospel and the content on this blog are for everyone. Not just for Mormons, not just for Protestants, not just for Catholics, and not just for non-Christians. It is for everyone. We all should be searching for truth from God, drawing closer to him, and preparing for his second coming. We should all be coming to know him here and now, not just counting on seeing and knowing him after we die. A religion that cannot bring you into God's presence today cannot bring you into his presence after you die.

Because of what God has shown me, I can testify that he is real. He is alive. He cares about you, as an individual, more than you can comprehend. He is intimately aware of your life--everything you have done, thought, suffered, and desired. He is very desirous for you to know him better than you do. The Lord Jesus delights in showing his children how much he loves them, and what miracles he is willing to work for their good. I have seen him on the cross, I have seen the nails in his hands. He has talked to me face to face. He has touched me. I have seen his indescribable condescension. It is not possible to describe in human language how loving he is, how perfect he is, and how important it is to seek him, trust him, and obey him in order to stand comfortably in his presence. Happiness is obtainable only through loving him as he has first loved us. Seeking him is worthy of all our time, talents, and energy.