I wonder what was missing in Michael Marin’s life that would cause him to end it so suddenly. He served a Mormon mission and was a faithful LDS man with a family. He traveled and apparently lived a successful life. Quite possibly he lived under the oppression of trying to appear like he had a perfect life. I wonder if the Mormon Church had not put such an emphasis on being perfect if he would still be alive. Maybe if given the ability to be transparent he could have come to someone within the church and let them know what was really going on. He is another example of the LDS looking good on the outside, yet hurting inside. It is too bad he did not know the Jesus that would love him right where he was at. The Jesus that calls sinners to come to Him so He can help them overcome anything in their life. The forgiving and loving Jesus. The LDS Jesus needs you to be perfect in order to be accepted. This indeed is a tragedy.
In Chapter 12 of Loved into the Light entitled Freedom vs Control, Michael depicts a man that is controlled by his religion, and life.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18
Freedom and Love
How would you describe love? If you must continually earn someone’s love, would you call it true love? If love is dependent upon your ability to be worthy of it, then love is something different than what is taught in the Bible. Imagine trying to be worthy of the love of a sinless, perfect, holy, and all knowing God. Is that even possible? Even if it were, we would live constantly in fear of wondering if we somehow measure up. How does a person know that he or she is really good enough in the eyes of such holiness?
Jesus loved freely without the need to control us with fear. We are called to be like Christ and therefore love as Jesus loved. What does His perfect love look like?
First of all, His love does not involve the fear of being rejected by Him in any way. Jesus’ love is unconditional. So to love as Jesus loves, to walk in His love, requires an unconditional love. In order to love as God loves, we must not make our love dependent upon, or limited to, anything the object of our love does or does not do. In other words, we cannot think or say, “If you do this I will love you, or if you don’t do this I will not love you.” This is controlling and manipulative.
To follow in the steps of God’s love also involves teaching others the perfect way that love operates. If we teach people that God is conditional in His love, we are not teaching pure doctrine unpolluted by man.
Manipulation is a subtle type of control intended to make someone do something they would not normally do of their own free will. In order to quietly or secretly manipulate someone, it is imperative that they do not feel controlled. Instead, you manipulate their desires (fleshly and spiritual) to create a fear that pushes them in the direction you want them to go. For example, you can manipulate someone’s desire to know God by telling him or her that God wants them to do something in particular and if they don’t, something bad will happen. Fearing the ‘bad’ thing, they will follow your instructions. Control is not from God at all. It is from the enemy.
If God’s love depends on ordinances or performance, then when those ordinances or performances are not met His love ceases. If love does not depend on anything, then love never ceases.
Mormons practice this subtle type of control by manipulating the process in which a person can come to God. If a person does not meet all the requirements in order to go to the Temple, and from there remain a perfect follower of the rules, then they might as well not come to the Temple since God will reject them anyway. The fear of rejection is one of the most primal fears that humanity shares. Who wants God to hate them? No one! Boyd K. Packer asks a question and then answers it according to Mormon doctrine: “‘Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances, etc.?’ ‘I would answer, No, not the fullness of salvation.’” Read More
For more on Michael Marin: