I was sitting in church with my family and looked down the row at them all thinking how nice it was they were all there with me. I looked across the rows to two other couples sitting without their children. They were exmormons whose kids didn't make it out. I thought wow the Lord is so good to me.
Then Pastor Joe starts getting into Romans 3. I was thinking yeah no one's good enough and thank goodness for Jesus - and then he started on verse 20. By the time he got to 31, I was almost ready to sob, but I held it back. I had just realized the depth of my stupidty and untrust. God saved me for real! Even me who can never be enough or do enough to be worthy. I said to myself I know I got saved, but the Lord said you didn't trust me to have saved you, you doubted me.
All I could say was I'm sorry Lord I'm sorry I'll trust you now. I felt so convicted. To think I didn't even trust Him - didn't even realize it either. Things you had said came flooding to mind - well I should have got it. If that wasn't enough we had to sing Foundation:
You are my foundation,
You'll stay close by my side,
I feel sure the Lord set me up today so I'd finally put all you've been telling me together. I can never ever as long as I live thank you enough for all you've done. I know I still have a long way to go but I feel like I can really go forward now. I no longer fear facing my family or anyone else - it's like poof I'm over it. Realized lot's of things today. What a day. Praise the Lord!
I almost forgot to tell you that we didn't go to SLC afterall. The snow was too bad.
That is the best news ever! I think it is the real deal this time. Not that you were not saved before today, but today you put it all together. Very similar to me and what happened here in chapter twelve of Beyond Mormonism
Arriving in Basin Saturday night, I joined Fred and Stan around FredŐs kitchen table. They were excited for me as I recounted my conversion experience with enthusiasm. Then we discussed what I should do about my affiliation with the Mormon Church.
"Whether or not you remain a member of the Mormon Church is not really the issue, Jim," said Stan over a cup of coffee. "The point is, you will need strong Christian fellowship."
"I know that already. I canŐt get enough of the Bible!"
Fred reached over and touched my hand. "Remember, youŐre going to have to be charitable toward Margaretta and your friends. You need to move slowly."
I took a sip of coffee. "What do you think I ought to do about leaving the Church?"
"I think thatŐs going to take care of itself, Jim," said Stan. "Probably sooner than you realize. YouŐre going to go through some things you wonŐt like. Your faith will be tested."
We talked until nearly dawn, praying for guidance, patience and understanding. I resolved to give up my teaching position in the Church.
The next morning the three of us attended their small Baptist church, where I found myself in my first actual church service since my conversion. As I listened to the hymns and preaching, I began to weep. I didnŐt know why sobs shook my two hundred-plus pound frame, except that as the preacher spoke I saw for the first time the heart of my loving God. I saw my sin and rebellion contrasted with GodŐs gracious, forgiving nature. I experienced the cleansing and acceptance that comes with repentance.
After the service I stood outside looking at the ground, trying not to attract attention, but the tears wouldnŐt stop flowing. Over lunch with Fred, I got myself together emotionally. But afterward my eyes began to fill up, and I found myself unable to speak. When I pointed to my car, Fred squeezed my hand, nodding understandingly, and I got in without saying goodbye.
Driving home that night across the isolation of the Wyoming Rockies, the stars looked like dancing diamonds in the black void above. I listened to at least half-a-dozen radio evangelists and preachers on the clear channel stations of the West. As I listened, an incredible thought struck me: All these speakers were preaching the same message!
I donŐt mean they spoke on exactly the same subject, but the common thread was salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. I realized there is a simple message of salvation that pervades Christian preaching. That surprised me, since I had been taught that the formation of different denominations proved that people could not agree doctrinally. But the evangelists I heard seemed to represent the same God with the same message, speaking almost with one voice.