Our journey from Mormonism is like traveling through a swamp. A swamp is a difficult place to be. It’s full of hazards. It’s easy to get lost. We don’t even know if there is a safe place on the other side. If there is, we’re not sure where the trail lies. Is there a map through the swamp?
The Journey to a New Faith Has Many Hurdles
In this series (this post is the introduction), we identify seven factors that provide stepping stones through the swamp. You can call them developmental tasks, or hurdles to overcome. As you successfully negotiate these seven issues, you’ll find your way onto solid ground. That destination is the place in your life where you become mature and vibrant in a new relationship with Jesus, as you experience everything he promises. It’s when you have navigated the journey from religion into a relationship with Christ that is meaningful and healthy. But how do we get there?
We will be talking about issues that face anyone going through a faith transition of any kind. But they are especially relevant for people – like most former Latter-day Saints – who are coming out of a strong religious identity or controlling religious system. There certainly could be more than seven factors, but these seven are important. Our goal in this series is to identify those issues, and having identified them, we can then each evaluate where we’re at in journey. Just being aware of these challenges will help you feel less lost, and give you a sense of where the pathway lies.
These seven topics are organized in this series in sequential fashion. But we realize that life is not that tidy. Different people will experience these issues in a different order, or perhaps more than one at the same time. You might cruise through several of them, but get stuck for some time on one issue in particular. There is a logical sequence to them, but in real life they don’t necessarily work in sequence. Here are the steps we’ll cover in this series:
- Decide Who to Trust
- Handle the Difficult Emotions
- Sort Out Your World View
- Handle New Freedom and Responsibility
- Connect with a New Community
- Develop a New Identity
- Embrace Your New Purpose
[Related: 7 Steps Through the Swamp Series]
You Can Trust God to See You Through
We recognize that this is a very challenging path. The journey can be hard. But you can trust God to see you through this. God has a purpose for your life. He makes us this encouraging promise.
Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
God started the work in each of our lives. He won’t quit until his work is done. We don’t expect that it will be done tomorrow. But it will finally be complete on day – when Jesus comes back again. We have this assurance. God has a plan for your life. He will make sure it happens. We can affirm with confidence that the past is not wasted, and the future is not hopeless, because God is at work in our lives.