The last two weeks Brother Rick requested we do our personal testimonies of what God has done for us individually. After thinking about it for some time I thought the best way to post this was to break it down into three main themes that were evident in the testimonies.
The first main theme was from those who were raised in Church and never left Church to see what the world had to offer. Each one mentioned that there came a time in their life when they had to make a conscious and definite decision to have their own experience with Christ and to "cut" the apron strings of their parents experience or to recognize that just "acting" like a Christian wasn't deep enough to withstand the onslaught of the world. The thankfulness that was expressed from those who has been spared the emotional and (sometimes) physical scars of sin was evident. Several (both men and women) expressed the wisdom of having watched others who had left Christ and had been taken farther than they had ever thought they would go.
The second theme was from those who were raised in Church but decided they needed to decide for themselves what the world had to offer and left Christ (and Church) and went out into the world. The thought that stood out was the Faithfulness of God. How God had followed after the ones who had left and that they knew when the Saints were gathered together and that thier family was praying for them to come back and renew their relationship with Christ. It was VERY encouraging to listen to one who had left and hear them say how God was so faithful to deal with their hearts and to remind them of what was right and what was wrong. They also expressed a deep and sincere thankfulness to God for being so faithful to them and for having mercy and saving their soul again
The third and final theme was from those who weren't raised in Church and didn't know Christ or the teachings of Christ when they were young. The depth of mercy and the breadth of forgiveness was astounding. Different people were in different situations and had done different things they knew were wrong, but without fail God had mercy on them and cleaned them up and gave them a life that was free from sin.
The one constant in all the themes was Gods mercy, love, chastisement and forgiveness. Regardless of ones understanding, upbringing, or magnitude of committed sin, God was willing and able to save to the uttermost.