I remember standing in front of a baby grand piano with three of my brothers during voice lessons. Our teacher had apprenticed Donny and Marie Osmond, who were famous TV entertainers and also Mormons. As a family, we were on the fast track to significant leadership positions in the Mormon Church—a church that held my whole-hearted allegiance. I had a passionate, loving community around me, and bolstered by several spiritual experiences, I was convinced that Mormonism was the only true religion.
Before I had become a Christian, I didn’t understand that every religion has believers who have their own spiritual experiences. I would later discover, to my surprise, that many Mormons just happen to be better at living what they believe than the rest of us. I have recently wrote a book that will explain why this is so, as I share the story of my life—a story that I hope will challenge the way you engage with God and become His very real presence in the world.
In looking back at my years as a Mormon, I have to admit the “becoming a god” part of their theology, and imagining people worshiping me someday, was a hard pill for me to swallow at times. And yet, at other times, I found the concept rather exhilarating!
One of my greatest fears as an eighteen-year-old was imagining getting married someday and having to wear ‘Mormon Undergarments; which at the time were a short sleeved, knee length one piece. I thought wearing them would cast a very unromantic shadow on my honeymoon experience. However, my deep respect for the Mormon Church’s tenacious devotion to family, community, and living for eternity substantially overrode my concerns about doctrines I didn’t always find palatable.
To this day, sadly, I have found the devotion and passion of Mormons unmatched in most Christian churches that I’ve observed in my ministry experience in over a hundred countries. Their growth as an international movement substantiates this reality. The U.S. News and World Report states that Mormonism is the fastest growing faith group in American history. Currently, there are approximately fifteen million Mormons worldwide. If the present trend continues, there will be 265 million members of the Mormon movement by 2080!*
However, there is a profound reality that overpowers this awareness. That is the presence of a relentless, scrupulous God whose love is always yearning to help us find our way home, no matter what religion anchors our allegiance, or what crisis or addition holds our soul in chains.
The book I’ve written is entitled, The Homeward Call: A Contemplative Journey Into a Love That Will Not Let Us Go, which follows my journey from Mormonism to Christianity, and eventually into a more ancient homeland of Christian belief— Bible-based Contemplative Activism.
My hope is that as you read my book and consider my story, and I ask you reflective questions about yours— at the end of every chapter with adjoining practices—we will be led into a life-altering intimacy with God, who I believe aches for our full presence and invites us to experience His. That is the invitation of not only my book, but also this blog.
Let me receive some input from you.
What blog topics would you like to discuss that will assist you in your pursuit of God?
What did you find helpful in my book (or not) that you would like me to expound on?
Let’s consider the possibility that a Bible-based Contemplative spirituality can help dethrone the tyranny of Christian nominalism so prevalent in the world today, and usher in a much needed and anticipated spiritual awakening.
I’m excited to journey with you towards this end.
*These last two sentences are taken from: http://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/mormons-are-fastest-growing-religion.