CHERYL PATTON'S PERSONAL STORY
Please, just show me the Truth!
By Cheryl Patton
"Please, just show me the Truth!" I earnestly prayed vocally as I had been taught by my LDS upbringing. This was late 2004 or early 2005, after I had been actively searching for truth in many anti-Mormon books, NDE books (near-death experiences), gnostic gospels and lost books of the Bible and corresponding websites. I seemed to sense what I was looking for, but nothing really fit the bill.
Finally in May of 2005I accessed a link at the Greater Things website that took me to thesealedportion.com website. Of course I knew that 2/3 ofThe Book of Mormon was yet to be translated, but I wasn't really searching for it. I was searching for Truth! As I started reading The Sealed Portion on that royal blue computer screen, I felt the words resonating with my soul and that I had finally found what I had been searching for! I read it all within 3-4 days, at home or at work--it didn't matter. And I felt myself shedding tears of joy, unlike the "guilt-tears" I had previously shed at LDS testimony meetings. The only issue I had a little problem with was the homosexual one, due to my erroneous LDS teachings, but that was soon cleared up upon further reflection.
I was raised LDS, with ancestors reaching far back into the 1830s, some who knew Joseph Smith. But I lived in New Jersey, where there were very few Church members, and my parents would have been considered liberal, as they talked rarely about religious subjects, although we did attend our meetings.
There seemed to be some seeds of truth within the Church. The concept of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ speaking to us through the prophet Joseph Smith was intriguing. I came to revere the Prophet, especially as I read some of his writings, as in Lectures on Faith and section 121 in the Doctrine and Covenants. The word "truth" is mentioned in both of these.
I can remember the first time the plan of salvation was introduced to me. Although the Mormons have somewhat of an erroneous concept concerning the whole plan (as we have since learned from the Human Reality book), the general idea made sense. The part that doesn't make sense (except to the LDS) is trying to cram everyone intothe top degree of the Celestial Kingdom, as if the other kingdoms did not exist! But then, how could they justify their claims as guardians of our salvation, if there were no need for temples, endowments, Priesthood, or tithing?
I was pretty much a true-believing Mormon, even when I married outside of the temple at age 20. I had been bitten by the bug after going to BYU, to learn more about my religion. Being in the Honors Program, I had instructors the likes of Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen and Chauncy Riddle. They really didn't seem any different from the rest of us. In fact, Hugh Nibley used to lapse into periods of muttering to himself or just staring into space.
My husband didn't want a temple wedding because he "didn't want the Church telling him what to do" and has since admitted that he was afraid that he would have just gotten up and walked out ofthe the endowment session, if he came upon some promise that he was not willing to make.
As a young woman I always felt sandwiched between the Church and my husband, trying to marry the two, but it never worked. So, I took the resulting guilt upon myself, wondering what was wrong with me? I never was nor ever will be "Molly Mormon," so here is more guilt.
Something that was not my fault, however, was the Church’s policy of not letting me go to the temple to take out my endowments. My husband even signed an appeal and forwarded it to the Church leaders to that effect. Of course I missed by brothers wedding at the Washington DC temple--the only time I have known my parents to actually go to the temple.
Finallyin 1986 the policy changed and I went with my relief society president. Surely, there must be a "feast of truth" inside the temples! That’s why no one will talk about what goes on there, isn't it? Well, I was pretty confused the first time I went at age 38. And it didn't get much better after subsequent visits.
I still didn't get it that everyone was "play-acting" about the endowment, but into my 40s and 50s the hypocrisy inside the Church became more apparent to me. The same people-the insiders- were recycled into all the leadership positions. This definitely left me out, as I had no "priesthood-worthy" husband to politic for me. My children were confused, especially the boys. My daughter stuck it out for a temple wedding, but the two boys left during adolescence.
Still, this didn't bother me as much as the lack of vision I saw in the leadership. Where were the prophets of yesteryear? Did we have anyone speaking as a Nephi? A Moroni? Or a Joseph Smith? The second coming was coming, wasn't it? Didn't we believe in continuing revelation? Where was it, other than in the tired-old platitudes of a year’s supply and staying out of debt? And didn't the prophets of old incur the wrath of the people? Wasn't part of a prophets job toteach the words of Christ? And to be like Christ, whatever the consequences? Seems like our leaders enjoyed the adulation of the members more than they wanted to be examples of Christlike behavior.
Anyway, these were some of my thoughts when I discovered The Sealed Portion in 2005. I immediately called John Roh, who informed me there would be a meeting in Salt Lake in June where I could meet Christopher. I opted to wait until November when there was a symposium in San Diego, by then being thoroughly convinced of the truthfulness of the book I had found. I found Christopher to be one of the most instantly likeable humans I had ever met!He exudes caring and concern for all of those around him, so in coming to this seminar I also felt that I had "come home."
Since then, the other books of this MWAAW have only added to my quest for truth. The 666 book told us about some of the reasons behind our present predicament-the misuse of power and money by our leaders which has brought about the inequality of all of us. The judgments arenot literal, but all in our own minds, but still real.
Sacred Not Secret answered my endowment questions, unlike anything within the LDS Church. And how I am looking forward to feasting upon the truth of Joseph Smiths life, in a book yet to be published.
Human Reality answers most of my remaining questions. It all makes so much sense that we were who we are long before this earth life. And that we will always be who we were then, regardless of what happens in this life. This probationary period is really about us getting to know ourselves and accepting ourselves. Nothing I have ever read makes asmuch sense as this book written by Anonymous!
I am much happier now, as I can accept everything happening here as temporary. My real life is when I have an "aha" moment when something clicks in my essence about truth and reality. The outside world can go on like it always has, but the truth and reality I have found within myself permits me to weather any storm life can throw at me. And so I have accepted this work as thetruth that our creators have provided for us at this time.
Love and Peace to all my brothers and sisters
208-377-4583 or 208-429-2217
[Follow up 15 March 2010]
My Dear Friends,
As Christopher as urged us to say goodbye to the rest of our doubts and uncertainties, I finally took the opportunity yesterday, March 14th to say a final goodbye to the LDS Church. I already had a scheduled meeting with the bishop concerning music for the upcoming month, and my "holy ghost" was urging me to make a clean break.
The meeting was really rather amicable. I have lived in the same house and ward since 1984, the year my last child was born, so the bishop knew of my struggles to try to raise my children how I thought best. He knew I had faithfully paid my tithing up to 2005, the year I also lost my temple recommend. I merely directed him to the MWaaW website and told him to click on my story.
He, of course, had never heard Christopher's story or that the sealed portion had been translated, so I gave him a brief overview of what I, what we all here, now believe. Especially the part about each of us being in charge of our own salvation and that all that is expected of any of us is to live the GOLDEN RULE.
I told him that I would not attend a bishops court. I told him I was glad that he believed in the Church and glad that it worked for him, that I had no hard feelings toward anyone, but no longer saw any need for organized religion. I told him I wouldn't be back, but we parted as friends.
It's so nice to have a story posted. That way I don't have to send a letter requesting to be taken off the rolls. The "bretheren" will automatically excommunicate me since they can't stand anything anti-Mormon being written about them. I'm about to join all the rest of you "apostates" and it feels so good!
Love and Peace,
WHAT IS THE VOICE OF THE 'ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS' TELLING US? Ask Him Yourself!
© 2005 A Marvelous Work and a Wonder Purpose Trust