By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon.

Getting Personal With Christianity: Spiritual Apostasy # 8

One of the most depressing things that I recently learned is that one of the youths that I watched grow up and get married in the temple no longer believes in God.

Many people I know over the years that have left the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for one reason or another. Most of them have left due to transgression--the ones that I know, which includes family members.

Leaving the church is one thing; but denying God...

It is different with this couple that I mention--it is different knowing that one if not both deny God. I did not grow up with these people. It is worse than that; I watched them mature and become beautiful young adults. I participated in ordinances with them and received edification from their testimonies.

It feels like I just discovered that my own child rejected God!

How does that affect me?

The Explanation

At one time, a brief time, I did not believe there was a god. I could not fathom there being one because of the lack of understanding I had of the Plan of Salvation at the time, but I did not know that I lacked knowledge then.

I thought of how cruel it would be for some supreme being, who could be some malevolent beast that watched in amusement while humanity suffered. I was afraid most of the time because I could not come to grips on what to think! I thought or believed many things depending on the mood or book I was reading.

I believed that there were intelligent beings who planted humanity here as a colony and forgot about us through some great cataclysm or maybe they monitored our progress for some unknown purpose for the future.  I later saw an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation where that was the origin of all the humanoid species. I really am a Star Trek Geek! I loved that episode.

I then thought that there was nothing. Evolution happened on this planet and through natural selection, the Homo sapiens beat out all of the other humanoids believed to have inhabited this sphere. I read books and snippets on the web about how the different races evolved, first the Negro, then the Caucasoid and then the Mongoloid.

I trusted the sources of my information and believed that the Asian races were the best of humanity being the youngest form of human evolution. I thought of my own race as the legacy group that evolved from the apes. I am not going to go into the therapy that I had to have after that.

I was confused and believed almost anything, except in a god. That made no sense that some magical being existed. I would prefer a Superman or a Batman to that!

I know how I felt without God in my life. I felt free! I felt free to do anything and be anything! I was the master of my own life and I answered to no person, until...

...until I realized that there were other people out there who controlled my life and that I was the master of nothing

...until I started truly being affected by the racist human origins teachings I had read.

...until I started feeling alone and lost in a sea of philosophies!

Without God in my life, I was my own source of strength or lack thereof.

The Weird Jealousy

I capitulated and began to believe in a supreme manifestation. I sought out spiritualism. I finally settled on Islam, because, I NEEDED to worship something!  I could not live without a god.

After a string of events and manifestations, I was converted back to Christianity and received an undeniable witness that God is alive and well and very much in control of this tiny planet.

One of my issues, my nagging problem was I could not make it without God. It became an issue with me needing God! I would feel like I am cheating life when I prayed to God and received answers to my prayers and divine help in a hard situation. I would dismiss many blessings as coincidence when I was without God in my life, but now, I could not.

I felt ashamed when I prayed over a test or to overcome a hard problem. I was ashamed because when I found God, He answered all, and I mean ALL of my prayers immediately!

Anything I prayed about, I received! I am not talking about getting answers that I can see the Hand of God in if I worked backwards. I would ask for money and I would get money. I asked for my car to start working once, and it started working.

I was ashamed! Other people did not need God like I did, I thought. They could excel with no prayers, which fortified in me that I was the weak legacy chain in human evolution. My ancestors were slaves because of a divine curse I was taught in my Protestant church. I thought little of that until I joined my current church and the priesthood ban was added to that teaching--along with the false teachings that we hedge around it to justify it having happened.

Presently...

The weird jealousy I had when I first converted to God came back! I actually started think again about how I could not live without a god. 

I did not think that I was less of a person for that truth, but I did have familiar feelings of mourning. I felt betrayed by the missionaries who taught me for telling me to speak to God for the first time. I could not go back. 

I know there is God and I could not un-know it! I could deny it. I could ignore it; but I know it. 

I recall once wanting to go back to my without-God-in-my-life days and feeling angry that God was there answering my prayers! I tried, but I could not ignore the fact that He revealed Himself to me and an unmistakable way!

I was jealous of people who did not believe in God. They were in ignorant bliss. I longed for that! Life is some much simpler when there is no purpose to it.

I accept that this life is not all that there is, but sometimes it is so easy to wish that it was. I think of that couple that I saw married in the temple making those promises... I wonder if they ever believed in God.

I wonder that because I tried not to believe in Him. Now that I know He is there I need Him. He is the only One who can help me to continue living my life in a productive way following this life.

I still think sometimes, "What if it is all a great big lie!"

I then remember that no one forced me to talk to God. I went to Him seeking and He revealed Himself to me. I know that I can do things where I can make it so that I cannot feel His Holy Spirit. I can make it so that I cannot hear the answers to my prayers. Heck, if I stop praying I can make it so that I doubt ever having an intimate experience with Him.

I like myself with God in my life though. I hurt that my young friends are no longer believers. They seem happy though. They seem settled. They seem good. I can only pray that they may find Him some way. 

I am confident that I will not let go of my faith in Jesus Christ and ever deny my Heavenly Father. I am confident!

I know that it is possible. Cain did it. Judas Iscariot did it. Millions do it. I pray that I will endure to the end. I expect to.

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