had a pre-planned phone call with a friend I met whilst in YWAM on a
ministry trip to the Mormons at the temple opening in Taipei, Taiwan.
I went with a small group of others who had a heart for Mormons to
pass out tracts in Mandarin Chinese at the temple open house to those
who were attending so they could know exactly what happens in the
temple that the guides & missionaries won't tell them. They will
never know, even years after being members of the Mormon church what
goes on in the temple unless they go themselves as they are not
allowed to discuss it outside of the temple. This was before you
could just google it & discover via video or word for word text
one thing I did appreciate in my early years in YWAM was that one of
the leadership couples were involved in a ministry to Mormons &
the wife had come out of Mormonism to Christ. I moved to Hawaii from
very Mormon Idaho, so already had a heart for Mormons when I met
them. Unfortunately, the other leaders told this couple that a
ministry to Mormons was NOT part of YWAM Honolulu's calling (as if we
are not called to ALL unbelievers) so they were pushed out! After
they left, the abuse in YWAM Honolulu intensified!
we met Amy, a young Mormon missionary from Salt Lake City, Utah who
was inquisitive about what we had to share & our motive for being
there. She was told not to talk to us as the Taiwanese might think
that we could be Mormon missionaries as well. She did not do what she
was told & we became friends. The next few years, she came (still
a Mormon) to stay at the Honolulu YWAM base to spend time with me.
She also visited me when I was in Oregon to visit my family &
when I was in Idaho visiting friends. I visited her a few times in
Salt Lake. Several of us from YWAM went to an Ex-Mormons for Jesus
conference in Salt Lake & stayed with her devout Mormon family.
The difference in our beliefs did not hurt our friendship. How many
professing Christians would have open up their homes to people
attending a conference that was anti-Christian?
as often happens in life, we lost contact for at least a decade. She
became a lawyer in LA but due to medical problems, had to quit
working. I have prayed for Amy almost every day since we met that she
would put her trust in Jesus alone.
was a bit apprehensive about talking to her again after all this
time. I didn't need to worry. The connection was instant. She told me
she had gotten married, had gone on another Mormon mission with her
husband to Germany & had settled in Salt Lake. She also shared
that her marriage was not what she'd dreamed it would be. Most of our
lives are not what we envisioned as youth.
was transparent with her about YWAM and the spiritual & emotional
abuse that I experienced there, mostly after we had met. She told me
how hurt she was by some of the Christians (from YWAM) who she felt
passed judgement on her for being Mormon. Not all showed her
unconditional love. It was a great visit for close to two hours!
Neither of us judged one another or came across as better than the
other or came across as disappointed that we did not eventually come
over to the other's side.
discussed how we could both tell when we were talking with someone
whether they were speaking out of love, pride, superiority or
whatever. I shared how I do not discuss politics or religion, for the
most part on my personal FB page as I have friends who are atheist,
Christian, Mormon, Buddhist, Hindu & others. I also have friends
who are way left & way right in the political spectrum. I have
never noticed in a political or religious argument where one side
goes to the other. I have found instead that there are hurt feelings
& lost relationships as well as feelings of superiority.
told Amy that I still have a love for Mormons & belong to FB
groups where both mainline Christians & Mormons are members &
discuss theological issues. If there is bashing in them, the
offending members are banned. Every now & then, someone will get
on their high horse (from BOTH) sides and come across holier than
though. That attitude NEVER gets any converts!
you think you can intimidate people to believing a certain way, you
are mistaken. Just because someone believes the total opposite of
what you or I believe does not mean they are any less valuable as a
person or that they are not worthy of love & respect. This does
not mean you have to agree with their beliefs or values but should
all be adult enough to treat one other with kindness & respect.
person's YWAM experience & story of abuse was real to them and
personal. We are all individuals & if someone says they were
abused, we need to accept that they are coming from an honest place,
even if we can not get behind their skin & truly understand them.
How many things in our own lives do we not understand? How can we
think we can fully understand one another? We ALL want to be heard &
understood. Often, we are thinking about our responses rather than
trying to hear & understand what is being communicated in an
argument or discussion.
are ALL products of a series of events & people in our lives that
make us who we are, believe & act the way we do, be it positive
are ALL broken people. Some are just better at wearing masks than
others. PS: When a post looks strange, it is because I could not change the color of the font or background.