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Sterling Reconciling with LDS Church

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  • Sterling D. Allan
    http://www.greaterthings.com/LDS_Reconciliation/sterlings_catalyzing_experience.htm Today s being New Year s Day, I thought it would be a good time for me to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2003
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      Today's being New Year's Day, I thought it would be a good time for me to express to you, my friends on the Internet, a major development that has transpired in my life lately, that I've not yet told you about.  I've been sitting on it, mulling it over, letting it settle in.
      While I was in Johannesburg about a month ago, Sunday Dec. 8, 2002, I had a significant spiritual experience that set me on a changed course.
      It is hard to put into words something that happens on the spiritual level.  I will attempt to do so, but please bear with me as my left brain is still trying to make sense out of something that is very right-brained, intuitive.
      The bottom line of that experience is that I believe the Lord has a work for me to perform from within the LDS Church as one of its humble constituents.  He hasn't given up on the Church, and he doesn't want me to give up on it either.  [For those who may not be aware, I was excommunicated in 1993 for "apostasy."]
      The feeling that came very strongly to me is that the reconciliation between myself and the Church -- which, considering the rift, will be nothing short of miraculous -- is a function of a repentance clause being evoked -- a repentance clause that goes both ways.  My life needs to be brought back into harmony with some moorings that I have let slip, and the Church needs to repent for having ostracized some of its most zealous promoters of the core principles of the Church.
      This mutual repentance, the more it spreads, can work toward diminishing the great calamities that are slated to come upon this earth, first upon those of his own house.
      I wish I could convey to you publicly some of the details of the experience I've had so far in the past two Sundays as I've attended full church services in my local LDS ward for the first time since I moved to this town in August of 2001.  I feel constrained from doing so, for reasons that I will not try to explain, for they too should not be public at this time.  Let me just say that I have been finding the experience to be very fulfilling, introspective, and life-altering.
      Perhaps if there is interest, I could establish a private discussion group of people I know I can trust, where I can share these some of these experiences as they happen, and we can experience this metamorphosis together.  Perhaps there are among you those who have been similarly moved by the Spirit, and we can compare notes and be nurtured by each other's accounts.
      That said, I just now created a new discussion group as follows:
      NAME: LDS-'Apostate' Reconciliation Discussion Group
      DESCRIPTION: "For those who feel moved upon by the Spirit to work from within the LDS Church to facilitate a repentance clause spoken of in the scriptures to turn away the calamities that are slated to come because of the backsliding of the people from the core principles of the Church and the rock upon which they are to be founded, even Jesus Christ.  Also for those who are sympathetic to this move of the Spirit, though they themselves might not feel inclined to seek to work from within the LDS Church.  For now, this discussion will be private, but could be made public later as the move progresses.  The discussion group is called "LDS-'Apostate' Reconciliation" both because those who have been classified as 'apostate' by the LDS Church, but whose hearts were only zealous toward Zion, will become loved and appreciated by the LDS people; and because the LDS lapse into apostasy from the moorings of truth upon which it was to be founded will, hopefully, be restored through this reconciliation, thereby removing the cause for the calamities that would have been due otherwise."
      Membership will be restricted to only those who are known and trusted by other members of the discussion forum so that an open dialogue may be pursued.  The discussions will be unmoderated.  The archives will be private for discussion members only.
      Group members will be asked to refrain from forwarding messages from the group unless it is to someone they know they can trust, and it is prefaced with a request to respect the need to keep dissemination only to those who will respect the need to keep contents among those of like mind.
      I've also created an index at GreaterThings.com as a home page for this movement of the Spirit, and have titled it "LDS Reconciliation -- Restoring Faithful Outcasts"
      Gradually, I plan to revisit various pages at GreaterThings.com and modify them, at least with a preface, to indicate this change of course.  I am not comfortable with the heavy hammer tone that I wield in some of my writings in times past.  The same message of repentance and polemic can be conveyed without that tone.  Most things will remain essentially as they are, including "Man of Sin Revealed."
      This change is not a function of me changing my views, for I still hold essentially the same belief system.  Rather, it is borne of a hope that there has been enough of a change from enough good people within the LDS Church, that those who were once kicked out for beliefs consistent with core LDS teachings might now be welcomed back, and their messages of repentance taken to heart.
      The effect the Lord is seeking for now might not be global.  It could be local.  Perhaps the body at large is too set in its ways at this time, stuck in the ruts of cultural tradition, for a global repentance clause to be evoked.  Perhaps it is just this one ward where I live that the Lord has plans to bring about a transformation.
      The axiom: "new wine cannot be put into old bottles" would seem to argue against the idea of the main body being transformed, but rather that a remnant are gathered out -- which is my previous paradigm. 
      But is that not the power of Christ?  To make new that which was old?  And if he forge such a change in an individual, why not an entire body of people?  The "old bottles" are transformed into "new bottles."  That, in essence, is what the repentance clause of prophecy is all about.  The calamities are prophesied based on the "old bottles" not transforming, and only a remnant who are gathered out are spared.
      The scriptures give us precedent examples of entire nations that experience a change of heart.  King Lamoni and his people, is one example that comes to mind.  Another is the 300 Lamanites in prison who had a mighty change of heart resulted in nearly the entire Lamanite people at that time becoming a righteous people, as well as many of the Nephites -- who at the time were more wicked than the Lamanites.
      The question we ask ourselves as a civilization is if we can see the course were charting, realize the disastrous end, change, and avoid the calamities that would come otherwise, or if we have to experience the calamities and all their devastation before we will come to our senses.
      Just as those calamities are prophesied to begin "upon my house," so also must the repentance clause begin "upon my house," if it is to be evoked.  The setting in order can either be peacefully through informed decision, or it can be brought about after great humbling tribulations.  The latter is the paradigm portrayed most often in prophecy, but doesn't have to be that way.
      I have long believed in and hoped for the repentance clause.  This recent spiritual experience of mine heightens my hope that the repentance clause is indeed being evoked on a large scale.
      There were two other people present to witness the spiritual experience that I had in Johannesburg.  At some point, perhaps they would be willing to convey their version of what transpired that day.  One of them is an LDS Bishop, whose testimony of the Lord's present work within the Church was instrumental in the experience I had.  The other person doesn't feel the same tug to go "back to church," but did share that her husband had a revelation the week before we left in which he said, "Sterling is going to get back into the LDS Church."
      The experience that Sunday in Johannesburg involved discussion throughout the day that was punctuated with personal witnesses of the Spirit of the Lord, cumulating with a discussion of the matter that evening in which the Spirit filled me very strongly, ratifying that the Lord did have a work for me back in the LDS Church.  The climax of the experience was a prayer the three of us had together in which I voiced personal confession, testimony, and pleading with the Lord to the effect of what I've share above.  Several times in the course of that fairly long prayer, I was so filled with the Spirit of God's ratification of what I was expressing that I could not speak because I was so choked up with tears of gratitude, conviction, witness, and love.  There were no dry eyes among us.  Heaven was very close.
      I know of others who have had similar experiences to what I have conveyed here.  I hope they will feel welcome to join in our private forum as we bolster one another in this great and marvelous work.
      Sterling D. Allan
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