By Sharon Busby
I gave my heart to Jesus at the age of 8. I was raised in a Bible Presbyterian Church and had a good knowledge of the scriptures even in High School. I attended Covenant College and took 30 hours of College Bible Courses. After Graduation I returned to Ft. Walton Beach, FL(where I grew up) and taught first grade in the Elementary School I attended as a child. While there I went wild for a time and was smoking and drinking and hanging out in bars – which my strict upbringing had never allowed. I met Marine Lieutenant Stephen Wistrand and dated him from September until he left in January. I was very upset after he left and began to drink heavily. I visited him in LA at Easter and we talked each day on the phone. We decided to marry even though he was on his way to Viet Nam shortly. We married June 20, 1969 and he flew to VietNam July 21, 1969. He was Mormon and after taking the discussions I felt they taught the truth and joined the church July 19, 1969. We met in Hawaii at Christmas and I was very sick after that. I got a virus and could not get my strength back. The doctors said it was nerves and gave me pills that made things worse.
Steve’s dad died and he returned to the states. He met me in Salt Lake and we drove to Portland, OR for the funeral. After a two week leave we drove cross country, saw my family in Macon, GA and went to Pensacola, FL where we were stationed for three years. We were happy then, but I started Graduate school and got a virus and never got my strength back again. The doctor said I was nervous and depressed and gave me pills that made things worse. I failed to get pregnant and went through a complete infertility work-up there. Nothing was found. We bought a house and three months later Steve was transferred to Quantico, VA for a school. We were there for three months and then were transferred to Jacksonville, NC. We continued to have problems getting pregnant and I again went through an infertility work-up. They gave me Clomid and I got pregnant, but the day after I found out I was pregnant, I had a cyst rupture and had trouble with my left leg the rest of the time. Steve left for Okinawa and I moved in with Mother, Daddy, Cindy and Grandma in Macon. I started spotting and lost the baby in 24 hours in October. I found out about that time that Steve was having an affair. Steve came home because I wasn’t doing well emotionally( the doctor said I had an emotional break-down). He moved me into an apartment and returned to Okinawa. When he returned from Okinawa he divorced me after 7 years of marriage Dec. 13, 1976. My family were excited, they thought I would leave the church; but I didn’t. I continued faithful and worked very hard at my callings. I had and would continue to have many local and Stake callings, which I did my best on.
I moved to Atlanta in July, 1977 and met Kasey Coddington. We were just friends and went out to keep each other company. I was very fond of Matt, his three and a half year old son. We married Dec 10, 1977 and were married for 17 years. I again went through a complete infertility work-up and it was found that I had endometriosis which was cauterized. I got a virus and couldn’t get my strength back again and this time I lost a pound a week and the doctors couldn’t find it. I was hospitalized and Dr. Larry Mattingly found a large hole in my heart (ASD) and sent me to Emery for open-heart surgery June 21, 1982. It was found that I had a 70% back wash and my heart could hardly keep me alive, so when I got a virus it was too much and I took 6-8 months to recover. Before that surgery Kasey and I agreed that I would stop working after two years and we would apply for adoption through LDS Social Services. We got Jenny in May, 1984 and Kevin in July of 1986. These are the blessings I received from my years of membership. Each time my husband became inactive I would plead with the Bishop for help and nothing would be done. I did get frustrated and yell at both of my husbands and my children. I confess that this was wrong. But not worthy of being dumped twice. They both broke their temple vows. It hurt me and the children greatly.
I was a faithful member for 25 years. Paid tithes, went to the temple, did genealogy. I kept trying to do all the things a good Mormon wife should do; but that is impossible and cost me alot emotionally as well as physically. I felt like a second class citizen because I was a woman who couldn’t have children. People at church would ask if I knew that birth control was a sin and I only took it for 3 month when the doctor and Steve forced me to because of my own health. All the talks about being a good mother hurt me so much – there was nothing I wouldn’t and didn’t do to get pregnant. It just wasn’t to be. I felt so frustrated there. You can not work your way to heaven. “..all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;..”(Isaiah 64:6) “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”(Ephesians 2: 4-6) If you know that Jesus died for your sins you are a Christian. If you are not sure, ask Him to reveal it to you. He revealed Himself to me. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and that He died of my personal sins. By doing this, God the Father is duty bound to forgive our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
Jesus accepts us as we are and changes us from within. Not by coercion or force, but through love. I know there are many Mormons who know Jesus as their savior; but many are distracted from Him by all the programs and activities of being a good Mormon. Seek the face of the Lord Jesus and he will lead you to the truth. Only with a real relationship with him can you become who he made you to be. I left the Mormon church in 1994, but they have still not removed my name from the rolls after two requests. After going to a Christian Center for emotionally disturbed women I was healed of many of the hurts and frustrations of my life. I moved with the children to Macon, GA and started working for Good News Fellowship Ministries. There I met a fine man, Keith Busby and we were married Dec. 20, 1997. We both have human failings, but seek the Lord’s help and He is faithful to show us how to over come these and become who He made us to be.
I pray that you will prayerfully seek the Lord and He will guide you. I do not feel that the Mormon church encourages you to seek the Lord. I always felt put down and demoralized by their unrealistic standards and many tasks they wanted me to do. They do not emphasize a personal relationship with Jesus, but rather church relationships. These are not the same thing and will never be as fulfilling. They encourage counseling with the Bishop over asking Jesus what you should do. This is not what the Bible says. “If any of you lack wisdom, ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) He alone can meet your needs and answer your problems. Other people are counseling from their own wisdom and don’t really know what God has for you in your life. Seek the face of Jesus and He will guide you to the Father. I’ll be praying for you.