Dear Truth Seeker (at least I hope you are),
Hi, my name is Sydney Greenburg Thiede. You do not know me, but I really wanted to share some of my own experiences I have had with this work because I hope that they may be of help to you.
I was born into the LDS church to a faithful LDS family, the eighth of nine children. I was raised in the “mission field” of the church and I did enjoy being a member as a youth, attending church and early morning seminary, playing sports and participating in activities, etc. I attended BYU and BYU Hawaii, then served a mission to Sweden, where I learned a lot about the church and myself. It took a while, but I got married in the temple and tried to attend as often as possible. Although I played the game on the outside, I was pretty much a mess on the inside. My parents were wonderful people but they were very busy trying to provide for a lot of children. One of my brothers was mentally retarded (is that the correct term now?) and my sister was a dwarf. Both needed special attention that took time away from the rest of us. I grew up feeling pretty much alone, thus It has been a challenge in life for me to let love in.
I did my best to be a good and faithful member by attending church almost every week and serving in whatever calling I was asked (mostly music). What I am trying to say is that I did my best to play the game as others told me to. But I wasn’t happy! I had attended church for a few years before finding “The Marvelous Work and a Wonder” thinking that maybe I could help someone else, even though I didn’t feel like I got anything out of it. My problem was that I didn’t like Sydney. Fact is, I didn’t even know who Sydney was because she was pretty conflicted by what others said was right for her.
Before I found this work, I had to go through some major shake-ups in my life in order to start thinking for myself. It was finally, at this point, that I really started listening to my “Holy Ghost ” (my inner guidance system). The thought came that I should do EVERYTHING I could to be close to God. So, I started being as spiritual as I could in all the ways that I thought would work. I prayed, attended church and temple, I read the scriptures as often as I could and started getting answers by opening them up and reading randomly, I fasted, (once for 3 days) listened to only spiritual music, served others the best I could, etc. At the end of doing this for a year, I again got the thought that I needed to get closer to God. What?? I thought that I had done all I could think of to do and I still didn’t feel any closer to him. The thought came to me “Exactly.” It took me a while, but I finally figured out that I was being shown that the church “ways” of being close to God didn’t work for me. When I opened up the scriptures, many times it landed on verses that talked about being a prophet, which I didn’t believe I could be. The Church became pretty leary of me, I started saying things in meetings that I hadn’t really thought about before but seemed prophetic in nature. I felt compelled to do things that got me called in to face my Bishop and Stake President and be reprimanded. Many of my paradigms were blown to bits and changed by new information after those and other experiences. I believe that in my case, it was my higher self, trying to get me to believe in myself. The good news is that I finally started thinking for myself (ok, I’m still not perfect at it but…), as I trust you have. If you have, I say GOOD FOR YOU! You must be searching for something or you wouldn’t be reading this story!) My questioning, along with my husband’s, led us to a book called “The Sealed Portion.” We were led into looking into the Conspiracy Theories. One day, probably when we were finally ready to hear, we were listening (me at home and him at work) to a talk radio show about 9.11. Someone called in and said that if we wanted to know real truth about the Mormon Church, then we should go to http://www.thesealedportion.com then he hung up. Denton printed off the introduction, read it and brought it home. He asked me to read it and tell him what I thought. I wrote an email to the address given on the website that I didn’t know for sure but because of my experiences with my ward, I felt I knew a little of what Christopher was saying when he didn’t want to go up against the powerful church and that I felt the book could very well be true. When I started reading that book, my insides started coming alive. The more I read, the more I understood why I had felt so out of step with others all my life and how the “Church” was leading everyone to call evil good and good evil. I felt like the chains that had held me bound started to drop off.
I feel I need to explain one of my chains (believe me, it’s not because I want to) because it will help you understand where I am coming from. My parents were great people but like I said, busy. To further exacerbate my issues, somehow in my early years, I had started to masturbate. I don’t know what happened because I don’t remember much about my childhood, (although I did have an older cousin that I had been around in my youth that went to prison for molestation). it caused me to feel dirty, hate myself at times and withdraw from others. It was hell that my “niche” in the family was being the “religious” one so I felt I had to go to the Bishop and confess every time I didn’t control my “urges.” I became pretty frozen inside as a result of the guilt and self judgement. I think I have an idea of what it must be like to be gay and be told that your natural urges are very wrong. These were however some of the chains that were set free, over time, in learning the Real Truth. The chains dropped, even more, every time I heard Christopher speak to us, explaining new truths. I wished I could sit there forever and listen to him.
Through this new information, the puzzle pieces of questions that I had all my life started falling into place. Don’t get me wrong, it was never an easy process, it hurt like hell (or heck if it makes you feel better to realize that I had lived my whole life based on a lie. Many days, I didn’t want to go on. I was in a situation in my life that I felt was way out of my control. When I heard the truth about prayer, and that I was all alone with no “Heavenly Father” to help me, it was like, “Oh HELL, who’s driving this thing!” But the real truth was, I still had all the help I needed to get me through, I just had to learn to trust that my “Holy Ghost” was the one helping me all along. This was hard for me because I don’t trust easily.
You know where the freedom came for me? It was in knowing that I WAS, in fact, IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE! All of it! It was very scary at first, but so freeing. I don’t have to listen to ANYONE other than myself to find my answers. I don’t have to be who someone else says I do any more and I don’t have to tell anyone else what to be or do either.
Once I had read the “Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon,” I asked my higher self if I should stay in the church or not. I opened up the Bible (I hope I can find the scripture again sometime) but it said something like, if we believe in Jesus, we will confess him, meaning to me that I should leave. I then wrote a letter to the church telling them that I had found the Sealed Portion and I knew that it was true. I wanted my name removed from the church records. I don’t recommend taking away other’s free will to find the truth on their own, but it was right for me…I felt I needed to let people know why I was leaving the church. I read my children that chapter in TSP about the profile of a prophet so they would understand why I was going to do what I did. I waited for Fast and Testimony meeting. For some reason my daughters came with us but they waited in the foyer. At the very end of the meeting I got up to bear my testimony and tell people that I didn’t feel as if I, as a member of the church, was going in the right direction. I talked about how we weren’t living what Jesus taught and lived only what the church leaders said. Jesus wouldn’t be spending his time chasing worldly success. (It wasn’t in those words but maybe the gist of what I said)
This has caused major changes in my family and friends. Most of my family and friends, that are LDS, don’t know what to do with me; but the ones that are true friends have stayed my friend. My immediate family has grown way closer because they know they can be themselves and not what the church says is right for them. My son served a mission in Africa and it made him happy. I am very glad he served those people because it was right, FOR HIM! Even though we are alienated because of our religious differences, I am glad that I know that it is his right to do what makes him happy.
My marriage came back from divorce. I have discovered that my husband is really a wonderful man, even though I didn’t used to think he was “spiritual” enough. He has a good heart and he helps many people. I stopped judging people as to whether they belonged to one group or another, if they swear, drink, steal, lie, etc., and love them all just as they are (granted, I don’t want to be around some of them much).
We have been tested many times by Christopher, our messenger, to make sure how faithful we are to the work, but we understand that It’s only a message/test he is bringing from our True Higher Selves. We have, also, been through a lot of tribulation in relation to Denton’s company. We would have lost the whole thing if it wasn’t for Christopher’s help with the lawsuits. We chose to make him the CEO of Filtagreen, Intl. because we weren’t doing very well in discerning whom we could trust to not try to steal the company blind. He has been someone we can trust with our lives.
But do you know what the greatest thing that has happened to me is? I have found out that I am not the bad person I thought I was. I have started to accept Sydney for who she is and even love her. I have started to allow her to be loved and be successful. That to me is the “Pearl of Great Price” and the peace that surpasses all understanding. The MWAW has truly been right for me and I wouldn’t EVER go back!
I admire my friend Christopher. He is doing what is right for him and at a great cost! I also admire that you are trying to find truth. If you feel that I can help you, feel free to call. But above all, go and do what makes you happy! Hugs!