Monday, February 28, 2011

To Trust In Man (Part 6)

Author's note: The following post is part of a series dealing with my experiences in the Jeffrey Lundgren cult and what I learned from those experiences. My hope is that my story will teach others the importance of listening to the voice of God within for their answers. Peace. cse

Overcoming My Intuition

From the very beginning of my relationship with Jeff Lundgren, my intuition spoke powerfully to me, warning me to be cautious with this man. It seems strange that such a red flag would have been cast aside to be replaced by tolerance and even admiration, but that is indeed what happened. I could blame my naive desire for answers coupled with manipulation on the part of Jeff and his wife Alice, but the reality is I decided to trust my reasoning over the insights of my heart. Overcoming my intuition proved to be my undoing.

The process was gradual enough. The first chink in the armor was when Jeff seemed to extend the hand of friendship by his statement about hoping we could have a good working relationship despite our differences. The guard my intuition put up was lowered by the thought that anyone expressing such a sentiment couldn't be all bad.

Soon, my reasoning began to take over as I noticed certain other facts. He was quite well respected by many people in the local congregation of my church because of his vast knowledge of all three books my church considered scripture. Local Mormon leaders also seemed to fawn over him, often asking specifically for Jeff when they brought visitors through for tours. It did appear that many people admired him.

Then there was the issue of the Lundgren's finances. Usually full-time guides at the Kirtland Temple were retired folks because the job does not come with a salary. The only financial benefit is a free place to stay, yet here was a couple in their late thirties with four relatively young kids and no outside job. When I got to know Jeff and Alice, I was told their living expenses were being provided by a man in Independence, Missouri who believed in their mission of learning more about Kirtland and the power the temple was supposed to wield. I believe they told something similar to the man who ran the guide services for the church because he allowed Jeff and Alice to stay on as year-round guides. It impressed me that someone would believe in Jeff enough to pay his living expenses so Jeff could do the research.

What I was too innocent to realize at the time was that my rationale was based on lies. As I eventually learned, there is often a price you pay for naivete.

This story continues:

*(For more information on this incident, one of the best books written is Prophet of Death. the Mormon Blood-Atonement Killings by Pete Earley. It's very detailed and uncomfortably graphic, but he did his research well. Earley gets to the heart of why Jeff and his followers acted as they did, without bias. Also, A&E did a segment of their show American Justice on this topic: American Justice: The Cult Murders.)

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