Those who call themselves Mormon are a family. And as many of us know by experience, members of a family can for a time be all over the place regarding their feelings towards their Mormonism.
Following is a short-list of attitudes, or the states of mind, among Mormons I am currently acquainted with:
Thankful for their Mormonism
Questioning their Mormonism
Evolving in their Mormonism
Leaving their Mormonism
Rejected their Mormonism
Returning to their Mormonism
There is one thing that binds us together in our individual families, and in our church family—covenants.
We’re taught that we made covenants before we were born that resulted in our Mormonism in this life. Church membership isn’t an accident (John 10:23-27).
Covenants are a strong binding cord that can withstand terrible abuse. As the list above illustrates, those who have made covenants can be forgetful, but the Lord doesn’t forget.
Remember what Elder Orson F. Whitney said:
“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.” In Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 110.
In a future day the gates of the Celestial Kingdom will open and the Savior with His sons, and daughter, His joint-heirs with Him, will enter into the Father’s presence. Many who enter on that day will have formerly been estranged from their covenants for a season.
I was and I know what it is like to be “drawn back to the fold”. I know what it is like to have the eyes of the Shepherd upon me. I know by sacred experience what the following scripture says is true. It was fulfilled in life years ago:
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.“ Luke 15:4 – 5
I know what it is like to be carried on His shoulders. I tread a thorny path for a time. I was lost and He found me! My story.