Posts Tagged church
On Monday, October 23, 2017 I got baptized by members of The Church of God World Mission Society. Early that afternoon two members of that church, a Korean named Jacob and a Mexican-American called Danny, were talking to my then housemate Steve as I spied on them from our house’s front window. I thought they were the Mormon missionaries checking up on me. They obviously weren’t.
After mustering a little confidence, I walked outside. I felt awkward thinking they had to send Mormon missionaries to lasso me back to church. When the two gentlemen introduced themselves as representatives from The Church of God, I was half-relieved and half-disappointed. Relieved that the Mormons weren’t concerned about my non-activity. Disappointed for the same reason.
But I was also excited. I love talking about religion. That’s what these folks were obviously here to do. First they showed me the verse in Genesis about God creating mankind in THEIR image — male AND female. “You see,” they explained, “the original Hebrew word for God is plural.” That’s when I got self-defensive and asserted that I, as a Mormon, already believed in both a Heavenly Father AND Mother. “We are all spirit children of our heavenly parents,” I tried explaining. And then Jacob, the Korean with an Asian accent, taught me a simple truth I did not accept as a Latter-day Saint. “Still there is only one God.” I confess I heard some sort of Asian gong or chime at that moment.
Then Danny started talking about Christ Ahnsahnghong who is the second coming of Jesus Christ. He explained how the Holy Spirit came down in bodily form in Korea as Christ Ahnsahnghong. He was on this Earth from 1918 to 1985.
Furthermore, our Earth was now in the age of the Holy Spirit. Basically, the ancient Jews comprised the age of Father-Creator. Christians ushered in the age of the Son Jesus Christ. And then I asked them something I always try to ask when discussing religion. I asked, “So what do I need to do to be delivered from death?”
This question usually shuts people up who try to preach. But they had an answer. I had to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “I’ve already been baptized in that manner,” I retorted.
Then they asked me what the name of the Father was. “Jehovah,” I answered. They were glad I knew the answer, but they pressed forward asking me what the son’s name was. “Jesus Christ,” I answered. Then came the million dollar question. “And what is the Holy Spirit’s name?”
Did I know the answer? Had I ever testified at testimony meeting on a Fast Sunday concerning the name of the Holy Spirit? But all of us knew. The Holy Spirit’s name was Christ Ahnsahnghong.
I dared not blaspheme against the Holy Ghost at that point. I submitted to the will of God. I let them baptize me.
I’ve been a faithful attendee at Church of God services since then. Sorry my Latter-day Saint friends! I have to live out my new faith. God put it in my heart. Mother-Father led me to the truth. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Christ Ahnsahnghong. All one God. Amen.
I have a job again. And I get a paycheck with the name of my church on it! Yesterday, I received my first check and left work early to buy a Nintendo Switch. But I didn’t forget that I need to tithe!
I work at the Deseret Industries in Glendale, Arizona. I stock books, movies, music, electronics, knick-knacks, metal house décor, wicker baskets, plates, cups, kitchen utensils, office supplies, crafts, toys, glassware, and domestic goods. I also answer questions from customers as I work on the sales floor. I wear a shirt and tie (not to mention my Deseret Industries apron over it).
I am so lucky to have this job. It’s the only job I can do right now. My church believes in self-reliance, and they are helping me become more self-reliant.
I recently applied for social security benefits because I’m disabled. But now that Trump is president I don’t think I’m going to get approved. I did get approved for government housing and food stamps but the social security check never came. I’ve been spending a lot of money on a credit card so I need to get a job. For example, I bought the PC that I’m typing this on right now on credit. I won’t lie: I bought some games too. And I spent a heck of a lot of money on food. I’ve maxed out the credit card.
My former Elders Quorum president warned me this would happen. But the good thing is with my job I can afford the minimum payment on my credit. And I even got to buy a Nintendo Switch!
But it hasn’t been all fun and games. My prayer life has been great. But I’ve had a spiritual crisis because I don’t feel like God is talking to me. Working at the DI in Glendale is great because we have team meetings that open and close with a prayer. These are people who have no doubt in their minds that God is listening to them. I am learning from their great faith.
I used to work at the DI in Mesa, Arizona. But my panic attacks kept me from working all my shifts. The medication I’m on now has curbed my panic attacks which is why I felt like asking my new bishop for a referral to work at the DI here in Glendale (I recently moved to Glendale from Chandler). I’ve made some great improvements. I don’t live with my parents anymore. I’m paying bills. I’m learning to manage my food stamp money to buy groceries wisely. And I’m cutting down on my smoking again.
But I’m still not ready to bear my testimony at church yet, though this is the only way I can magnify my priesthood calling. I have less teaching authority than a teacher in the church (I don’t have a home-teaching assignment). I’ve never handed out sacrament like a deacon. I only have memories of being a 17-year-old convert and saying the prayer over the sacrament as a priest. Now, I’m 33 and suffer from meth-induced schizophrenia. I exercise the same priesthood authority that an unmarried woman in the church exercises — bearing my testimony. But I promised God I wouldn’t bear my testimony again until I went at least 90 days without smoking.
I’m so lucky my church owns a thrift shop that will offer me employment. But I can’t stay here forever. I have an employment counselor through my clinic that is helping me find a call-center job. That’s what I really want to do. I just need to develop solid work habits. No one will hire me unless I can prove here at DI that I can work all my shifts, be on time, take breaks only when scheduled, and stay until the end of my shift. I developed some bad habits at the DI in Mesa because of my panic attacks. But my panic attacks are under control now and I’m still leaving work early like I did today to play with my Nintendo Switch.
I’m writing this mostly for myself: I’ve identified a problem and want to fix it. I’m pulling an all-nighter and working from open to close today. Then I can easily fall asleep tonight so I can go to church tomorrow. Besides, I need to make up the hours I missed yesterday.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably from the WordPress ward or one of my friends from church who I gave this blog’s address to. Please pray for me that I will establish reliable work habits so I can get a real job. While I am working, this job is pretty much like welfare. I get paid for very easy work. Easy money. I feel guilty getting paid. But I’ll feel better once I put my tithe in.
Thank you for reading this and caring about me (whoever you may be).
Anti-Mormons argue that the Book of Mormon couldn’t have been divinely translated because it makes the same grammatical mistakes as the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible. They ask why a book written in the 19th century has the same type of language used in the 1700s. Did Joseph Smith use a KJV Bible to write the Book of Mormon?
It is true that the BOM has many passages where the language mirrors that of the KJV. This only can add to one’s testimony that the BOM must be holy scripture. But why does it make the same mistakes?
If language is rendered a certain way in the KJV, we should assume that that was the correct way to render it. The KJV is the greatest piece of literature in Jacobean English and perhaps in all of English. Some contest that language is rendered a different way in other pieces of literature of the time. None of these were as great as the KJV.
Critics admit that the introduction to the KJV contains no grammatical mistakes. If you read that introduction, you’ll know that the KJV was composed under his majesty’s special command. There is no room for errors in the KJV. If something appears a certain way in the KJV, we should assume it was the authors’ intent and that it was the correct way to translate.
So why does the Book of Mormon language mirror KJV language? Because God wanted us to see it as just as great a piece of literature as the KJV! FairMormon defends the faith by saying, “…we do not claim to know why the Lord chose to reveal the Biblical passages in that manner.” They claim that the BOM passages were revealed in the same manner so that both books would be heavenly sealed together.
I registered for financial aid through my old private school, Carrington College, but wanted to find out if the community colleges I used to go to would still accept all my old credits from 10 years ago. So I didn’t automatically sign on for the Associate’s Degree from Carrington. Even though I did earn a certificate from them in Medical Billing and Coding. I got straight A’s.
Turns out the community colleges will accept all my credits but Carrington only accepts some of them. However, they do accept my credits from Medical Billing and Coding whereas the community colleges do not.
Anyway, it was a lot cheaper to sign up for a semester at Mesa Community College than all the money Carrington was requiring up front to pay for the Associate’s Degree.
I decided I wanted to get an Associate’s Degree in Business from Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
But my previous failed classes and withdrawls from when I was a dumb kid 10 years ago are flagging my financial aid. I have to appeal in writing and by submitting an application to get them to accept my financial aid award that Carrington was willing to accept in a multiplied amount. I have nothing but A’s with the private school. I think it’s because I’m Republican.
So, unfortunately, I’m not technically going back to school.
But there’s always Institute classes which are free! The problem is that it is geared for singles of ages 18-30. I’m an older single of 31 years. So I have to get a bishop’s letter to be able to apply. Had I been accepted to MCC I would’ve been automatically eligible. But my financial aid woes require this supplication to my priesthood leader.
Even if I don’t get the letter by next week, when registration for Institute closes, I will still have a chance to talk to the principal of the school to explain why I would like to take classes there.
For those who don’t know, Institute is a religious school that the Mormons put next to a college. It’s like seminary but for those who have already graduated from high school. Seminary is a religious school put next to high schools. I think this is a good fruit of the LDS Church. It shows how much they value religious education. What other church does that?
Most of the classes cover a half or more of a book of Scripture. I want to study The Book of Acts onward in the New Testament, the first half of the Book of Mormon, and the second half of the Doctrine and Covenants. This would be 3 classes, though. And I’m not even sure if they’re going to let me take even one class.
But if they do, I will sort of be going back to school. Religious school that is. Church-operated education. Allowed to thrive in a free state. Though not providing education of the state as opposed to the church.