Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To Trust In Man (Part 8)

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

Still Connected

Although I was back in school in Iowa, I was extremely interested in everything having to do with the Kirtland Temple and Jeffrey Lundgren. I was determined to do what I could to get back to that place. Jeff had made me a believer in the concept that Zion, God's Kingdom on earth, was going to begin from that place and not Independence, Missouri, which church tradition held to be the center place of Zion.

My first attempt to return was applying to be a "historic interpreter" once again at the Kirtland Temple for the summer of 1986. It was to be a big year because it was the 150th anniversary of the completion and dedication of the Temple. What I didn't anticipate was my mother's interference. Because my mother had voiced concerns over Jeff's teachings and his influence over me, the man in charge of the church's historic sites did not want me to be there at a time when more than the usual number of people would be making the trek to see Kirtland. I was not put off by this event. Sure it was a kink in the plans, but not insurmountable. After all, I still had family in the area.

My boyfriend, Brian, was also playing a much bigger role in my life. We became officially engaged in October of 1985 and were planning on getting married when the school year ended. Having worked at the Temple the previous summer, I knew that weddings were occasionally held in the Temple gardens. I began dreaming of an outdoor wedding there. Because of my family in Ohio, I was able to pull off the preparations for my dream wedding in Kirtland. We even considered having Jeff perform the wedding ceremony, although in the end we opted to have Brian's dad do the honors.

Brian and I were married in the Kirtland Temple gardens in May of 1986. It turned out to be a beautiful day for the wedding with many family members and friends in attendance. In fact, my roommate from the previous summer had helped me get ready for the big occasion and one of my male coworkers played Pachabel's cannon on his acoustic guitar as I walked down the aisle. He, too, was in Kirtland permanently.

After a brief honeymoon, Brian and I stayed with my grandmother. Brian was able to find some work, but after a few weeks of looking I couldn't find anything. We decided to go ahead and move back to Iowa for the rest of the summer because Brian found a better paying job there.

Things seemed to be shaping up in Kirtland. Alice had told me about the latest happenings--Jeff had learned some amazing things and people were looking up to him more and more, etc., and now two of my coworkers were in Kirtland ready to help "establish the cause of Zion". While I was not physically present in Kirtland, my heart was definitely there.

The 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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