Joe attended the initial interview alone.
He and his wife had been married in the Temple. Their two boys were “Born In The Covenant.” He successfully completed a full time LDS mission. He had been serving in his ward in various leadership positions.
It was Monday night and he and his family were having Family Home Evening.
The detectives rang the door bell … They examined and confiscated the families’ computers. The detectives informed his wife that Joe had been downloading child porn.
Joe went to jail. The detectives found a collection of over 2,500 images of child porn hidden on the families’ computers. He had been charged with 20 Felony “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor” charges.
Joe is now seeing me. It is never good when you have to see Dr. Hawks 🙁
Joe’s life is about to change, perhaps even for eternity.
How could Joe as an “active” member of his religion be so “actively” involved with “illegal deviant pornography”? (I could understand better if he was a Jack Mormon and denouncing his religion.) The Sunday before the arrest Joe had taught the lesson in Elder’s quorum.
Joe’s story is not a rare event.
I’ve never seen a crime -including murder-
that a “active” member of the LDS Church hasn’t committed
Attended Church on the Sunday before the crime!!!
How could someone “ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH” as evidenced by:
Do behavior like:
View child porn
Drink and drive
Sexual molest children
Steal money from old people
Joe was “active” in Church not the “gospel.” He hadn’t had a testimony – a spiritual experience with the Holy Ghost for years. Sometimes we use the terms “active in the gospel” and “active in church” interchangeably as if they are the same thing. But they are not.
Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed. By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants? (Converted to His Gospel Through His Church, Donald L. Hallstrom, Conference April 2012)
I’m confident Satan and his special forces (See: Satan’s Special Forces) smile as they see thousands of Mormons carry-on believing they are “Converted” because they are “ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH“!
But they are not. 🙁
For some of us there is a lack of real personal conversion to Christ and His Gospel.
Let me try saying it this way: The Church and Church activities may appeal to some for social or some other reason, but real conversion is when we feel something usually in our hearts. We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ ONLY by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See: Holy Ghost). If you do not have ongoing experiences with the Holy Ghost you do not have a testimony and therefore are not converted – as a result “You are only active in the Church” like Joe.
With all of our doing. With all of our leading. With all of our teaching, the most important thing we can do for those whom we lead is to cultivate in their hearts a living, vital, vibrant testimony and knowledge of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, the Author of our salvation, He who atoned for the sins of the world and opened the way of salvation and eternal life. I would hope that in all we do we would somehow constantly nourish the testimony of our people concerning the Savior. I am satisfied–I know it’s so–that whenever a man has a true witness in his heart of the living reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, ALL else will come together as it should… That is the root from which all virtue springs among those who call themselves Latter-day Saints. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, Deseret Book, 1997, 648)
Our greatest responsibility is to become truly converted to Christ and His Gospel. This alone will carry us through the storms of life. “You have the primary responsibility for your own conversion. No one can be converted for you, and no one can force you to be converted.” (True to the Faith, pg. 43)
In one who is wholly converted, desire for things contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ has actually died, and substituted therefor is a love of God with a fixed and controlling determination to keep his commandments…(Conversion, Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, Oct. 1963, 23)
See: Spiritual Anorexia
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