Those who have spent a large percentage of their lives in Utah and Southeast Idaho will be the first to tell you that Mormonism isn’t just a religion, it’s a culture. The teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints influence everything from the family to the workplace, from volunteer organizations to government and, most times, in positive ways.
Unfortunately, this intertwining of religious belief with every-day life can become a hindrance to anyone who decides to sever their ties with the church. As members of the LDS church take their first steps into traditional, Biblical Christianity, they are often accosted by sights, sounds, and philosophies which (at times) differ greatly from those with which they are familiar. Wading through the positive and negative aspects of LDS culture and its relationship to the Truth frequently leaves these new believers feeling as though they are “immigrants in a foreign land”.
It is for this very reason that the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies has produced the Transitions curriculum. The series explores not merely the differences between LDS and Biblical Christian culture and theology, but also the emotional aspect of leaving behind that with which a person is most familiar. Through interviews with former Latter-day Saints, Transitions addresses the effects which a change in faith has upon one’s view of one’s self and one’s place within God’s story and provides hope for those who are facing this transition, themselves.
The curriculum also has something to offer those who are already in a relationship with Christ and are seeking to ease the pain experienced by members of the LDS church as they transition to Biblical Christianity. In listening to these believers discuss the frustrations they encountered as they shared their new beliefs with family and watching as they commiserate about their struggle to find a place within a traditional Christian congregation, your eyes will be opened to the many ways in which both churches and individuals can help and support these new brothers and sisters in Christ.
I found the materials both helpful and informative and hope that you will do the same!
The curriculum can be previewed at http://www.ldstransitions.com/preview where it can be purchased for either individual or church use.