According to VOTM ministry, Padina had already made plans to commit suicide when she happened to hear a Christian pastor on her TV say, "Why do you want to kill yourself tonight? Our God is so powerful that he can change your life. Give Jesus a week!" Amazingly, Padina considered the proposal, and shortly thereafter came to receive Him as Lord and Savior. Her decision changed everything. She is currently "sought by the Iranian secret police” because of her involvement in the underground church, a choice she daily, willingly makes for the chance to share the good news of Jesus Christ with her Muslims neighbors.
I know many ex-Mormons who can tell a similar story to Padina's. My own mother, a veritable model of mainstream Mormonism, eventually confessed to me how often she'd cried in her bedroom when church services were over. Genealogy and temple work, ward callings and responsibilities, Mormon scripture study, a large family, gardening, canning, journal keeping... no matter how many wholesome endeavors she fit into her day, there was always more she should have done. Though the church authorities considered her "worthy" of a temple recommend, she still never knew if she would make it home to be with God or not. And indeed, the Mormon "gospel" was not the good news she desperately needed to hear. Thankfully, she found the biblical gospel of the Grace of God through Christ, and believing it, also found her hope and new life.
Months ago, when I began to discuss Galatians 5:22-23, it was to challenge the LDS religion’s claim that the Holy Spirit gives nice feelings of love, joy, and peace to the person who prays to find out whether or not his beliefs are true. I first demonstrated how erroneous it is to believe that our emotions can be trusted; how we need to trust God and His Word (the Bible) above our own hearts. Then, I tried to flesh-out the ideas of “love” and “joy," to show that Galatians 5 is not talking about the short-lived high of a good feeling, but rather something entirely more meaningful. This is my final post on the subject; now what about "peace?"
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”He went on to say how we who believed Him would find ourselves at odds with our own families. He talked about us daily picking up our crosses in order to follow Him. He even said:
"He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)But, in the very next chapter, Jesus also said:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)Does the average Mormon have the kind of peace that Jesus spoke of above? I think the answer to that can be found in whether or not she is remaining with “the Church” in order not to be ostracized, even though she is aware of some doctrinal shortcomings. I think the answer can be found in whether or not he is pretending that he is really as “righteous” as he tries to behave in public. What guides her life? How does he spend his time? And most importantly, does he believe that his eternal safety comes from his membership in the LDS church, rather than from his personal knowledge of, and relationship with, the God or Jesus Christ of the Bible.
The Mormon, or Muslim, or... person who is striving to be righteous and fit in with their religious crowd may find a kind of peace in their efforts. But it's an outward peace, the kind that Jesus was not sending. Jesus didn't fight, but His claims disturb us. He claimed that absolute truth exists and is knowable; He claimed to be that Truth! He claimed that righteousness and acceptance by God was impossible to attain, except through Him alone! These ideas are what separate the Muslim from the Christian, the Mormon from the Christian, the ideas that bring them to argument and war. But ironically, these are the same ideas that bring... peace.
Do you know that what you believe is the truth? How sure are you? If you died today, would you die a perfect person, ready to be ushered into the presence of Almighty God? If you truly did know these things - if you knew that you actually had found the ONE TRUTH that matters, and you had total certainty that you are going to heaven, completely forgiven of the sin in your heart at this moment, how would that understanding change your life? Deep down, is this the life you really want? Are you willing to consider these questions?
You must understand that God is right, and accept Jesus as your Savior, to have that kind of inner peace. It is this salvation through Christ, and Him alone, that makes all the difference.
In Galatians chapter five, just before Paul describes how a person walking "in the Spirit" will exhibit the virtues of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, and etc, he describes the "fleshly" person, who has not come to Christ. The works of the flesh, he says, are such things as adultery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, murder. Are the people who cheat on their spouses following their feelings? How about the ones whose need for revenge has brought them to man-slaughter? Clearly, "peace" is not gained in the long-run, much less in eternity, by trusting your emotions to rightly guide you. And as can been seen in the stories of ex-Muslims and ex-Mormons, neither can seeking to attain your own righteous virtues, apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Will Jesus bring peace? He has, and He will. With the saved, He uses sword of the Spirit and the Word of God to bring assurance and rest, and reason to live. Won't you leave your self and your religion behind for the one true pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46)?