I have a wonderful mother. She's as much of a friend as she is a parent, and she does pretty well at both. When in comes down to it, my whole family is a good family. Sure, my dad gets over protective, but I'm his oldest child and only daughter, its kinda a given. Sure, my brother can be annoying, but his a little brother, what else do I expect? I was always so happy to know that I'd be with them in eternity, when I was Mormon.
I think one of the most painful things said to me when I left the church was my mom's question: "You know we're going to lose you for eternity if you leave, right?"
My mom has said a few times that she's got nothing to lose by staying in the LDS Church. And I know that she feels that if she left, she might lose everything she holds dear in this world: her family.
I often wish, so badly, that I could just take her hand, look her in the eye, and say, "Mom, do you really believe God is so cruel that he would separate a loving family just because they didn't belong to a specific religion?"
And what would she have to lose then, if she understood that? If she understood that a loving God won't separate a family like that? He judges on your heart, not your religion, after all. But eternal, inseparable family is a huge draw in the Mormon church, and people will close their mind to so many things just so they won't lose that promise.
But how could God say he is love if he separates those who love each other with some of the deepest bonds known on earth? I don't want to believe in that God, but I had to when I was Mormon, because that's what we were told: if your family isn't sealed to you, if your husband and children aren't sealed to you, you won't have them in heaven. It puts an individual under immense pressure to do everything right to be good enough for that God in order to get where they want to be: there's no grace in that. Grace is a gift, after all, not wages for work done.
I wish so badly I could show her how much she really is losing in that religion. All the falsehoods and twisted teachings aside, where is Christ? Where is salvation in him? Over a few months at church, how many lessons do you get on Christ? How thoroughly is he mentioned? If you're not learning the New Testament (and perhaps even if you are) its probably a lot less than you realized, once you pay attention. How can you be Christian if you barely learn of Christ?
You are losing Christ.
I thought, for the longest time, that if I left the religion, I'd be losing so much: prophets, revelations from leaders, scriptures and teachings beyond what others have. When I realized it was all false, that it was all just the falsehoods of a man seeking power, it was so easy to let go. It really only needed one false prophecy to show me that man was a false prophet: I found several.
And what did I gain shortly after leaving? I gained Christ! And more than that, I gained the love and peace of knowing God was always going to be in my heart. I realized that all everything was, all every Christian teaching ever has been, is love. God, Christ, any decent faith in the world, is about love and striving to be a better person in love.
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me...
You lose nothing.
I wish I could say that to my mom, to my whole family, and truly be heard.