KEYWORDS: love, lord, way, family, people, time

Mama's Memos--No.11

Karen Zerby

By MariaMaria #498 CM/FM 3253 3/99


1. Is skinny beautiful?

2. No sex between CM and FM Family

3. More men needed!

4. Keeping "Loving Jesus" songs for Him only

Is Skinny Beautiful?

1. Not long ago‚ I received the following heart­breaking letter from a senior teen girl. Not only does she talk about such things as gossip, ostra­cizing people‚ and some young people's bad attitudes about sex, but also about a serious eating disorder called bulimia that is reportedly fairly prevalent with young women in the Family‚ at least in some Homes or areas. This is a serious problem in the world today, along with another common eating disorder, anorexia. Together these conditions are causing serious health problems or even death in many young people through self-imposed starvation. Here are this young woman's candid views on the subject:

(From a senior teen girl:)

2. Some of the stuff going on amongst the teen group and even quite a few JETT girls on this field is quite off. People have this mentality that you have to be so skinny to be beautiful. They will go to almost any length to get that way. The hard, ugly truth is that most of these girls, some as young as 12, are becoming bulimic—they chuck up everything they eat. Even though this is very hush-hush and the shepherds, ­parents, and anyone else wouldn't have the slightest idea it's happening, if you're a teen girl, you know!

3. A few months back I went through a time when I was always worried about my appear­ance and what people thought of me. I was never thin, and I'm more your average "Plain Jane." I'd get really discouraged and down on myself, because no matter how hard I tried, I was never accepted or thought of as "in" or "cool." I think what caused me to feel that way was the way people judge or segregate. There are all the top, beautiful "queen bees" and their little boyfriends, and then there are the low, ugly little nerds like me, who they all talk about.

4. Gossip is major big—like way, way too much. The boys will freely make fun of us ugly ducklings and size up different girls as to who's the prettiest‚ the thinnest, who are the fat and ugly ones, who's had the most sexual experi­ence, and those with lack of it‚ etc. You can never live up to their expecta­tions. They have this high standard of a super thin, firm, toned, Barbie doll. It just gets sickening after a while.

5. I don't even know where to start as far as what the girls talk about. It seems to me, from my past experience, that they want you to be miserable and make you feel lower than the dirt under their feet. That's how gossiping can make you feel. The Devil would constantly hit me with negative thoughts like, "Oh‚ I'm so ugly and good for nothing. Nobody likes me. I'll never be used of the Lord in any great way. I'm so fat‚ I might as well keel over and die!"

6. It got to the point that all I'd think about was how I looked, the exact amount of cal­ories I'd intake, how many more kilos I just had to lose in the next week, and so on. I was miserable. It was a total bondage.

7. I don't want to come across as Miss Perfect or self-righteously point a finger here, but thank the Lord I finally had enough of all that. I figured, "Look, this is the way I am! I'm definitely not perfect, but this is the way the Lord made me! I can't change the way I am, so I won't try. If anyone has a prob­lem with that, well, they can go knock themselves out!"

8. Letters like "I Love You—Just You!" and the '98 Feast mailings on jealousy and comparing were an absolute lifesaver—just what I needed at the time. Comparing was my middle name. It was very real, and totally took me over. Anyone I saw I would compare with.

9. The From Jesus—With Love book was so timely. I can remember sitting out on our balcony and crying bucketfuls over different things that were being said about me. But that book was perfect! I would flip it open and there would be something totally relating to the situation‚ as if it were written, packaged, and sent just for me! It was wonderful! I felt so loved.

10. Then little by little, I started trying to get prophecies for myself‚ and the Lord was so encouraging and wonderful, I ­really flipped out! I found myself in this whole new world where petty things like what people thought and said about me didn't matter anymore. I just wouldn't let them get to me. All that mattered was the Lord and the Family. I was just happy to serve Him. Whale or no, for the first time in a long time I was truly happy!

11. I grew a lot closer to the Lord through the whole thing. Thanks to the Lord, the Letters, and some very loving‚ understanding adults, I somehow got the victory!

12. I'm very concerned for the junior teens‚ JETTs, and anyone else who might be going through the same things I did, because people don't always accept you for who you are. You feel you have to carry around this image. People have their different looks: The boys are really into their clothes, brand names, and wearing their pants so low their butts hang out. If you mildly suggest they pull up their britches‚ they look at you like, "Hello‚ welcome to the twentieth century—it's my style."

13. I guess because teens want to be accepted, it's like, hey, anything to get laughs. I don't think the teens realize what an effect we have on the younger ones, especially if you're "in," "cool," or "beautiful." Teen girls get together and talk about how "fat" they are and the different diets they try, how so-and-so is fatter, thinner, prettier‚ and so on. Ugh!! It starts to grow on you until you can never lose enough; you'll always be a little too fat. If you weigh even a little over your standard unattainable "twig," you really must starve yourself. It's simple, "If you want to lose weight, just don't eat. And if you do eat, just get rid of it; chuck it up!"

14. I can understand how you feel if people are telling you this kind of stuff and you're surrounded by it. The more you think about it, the more "desperate" the situation seems, until you're stupid enough to try almost anything to get quick results.

15. People have come up to me and said‚ "Try living on liquids for a couple of weeks. It really works. I'm telling you this as a friend, but you really need to lose some weight." Gee, thanks a lot! I'm sorry, but common sense tells me that if these girls are throwing up after every time they eat‚ there's bound to be some irreversible damage to their insides! And what about when you get pregnant? Your kid might turn out with something wrong with it—that is, if you don't lose it first! Am I right or am I right?

16. I'm sorry this has turned out to be such a gruesome tale of woe‚ but maybe if you print something on the subject‚ they'd be more inclined to have second thoughts. When I tell'm‚ they look at me like, "Yeah, a lot you'd know, Fatty." The JETTs and ­juniors here are a real sweet bunch of kids, but it's really sad that they feel they have to try to be something they're not, just so others won't label them as geeks or dorks. Most people probably don't mean to be this way, but no one will buck the tide or stand up to anyone.

17. Please don't think I'm painting the whole picture black, I really quite love every­one here. The adults especially are great, I love'm all. They're always there for you through thick and thin, and God knows where we'd be without'm.

18. I'm really sorry if this has been a bit of a bummer for you to read—I just had to dump it on someone. I love you heaps and pray for you often. Thanks so much for every­thing you do for us. Even if it sometimes seems you've run into a brick wall with us teens and our trips, know that it's not in vain; someday, by God's grace, we'll get the point. (End of letter from senior teen girl.)

19. (Mama: ) I'm so saddened to hear that some of you girls are suffering from this terrible bondage of the Enemy, and trying so hard to be thin that you damage your bodies—not to mention the terrible effect that putting so much emphasis on the outward appearance has on your spirit, in many cases making you plain miserable and depressed!

20. I'm so happy for this dear girl, that the Lord helped her to find freedom and deliverance by just accepting the Lord's love and accepting that He made her the way she is!

21. This problem of eating disorders affecting some of our young people was confirmed by a mother in another Home, who wrote us shortly before this GN went off. She had no idea we were addressing this topic, but her comments echo those of the teen girl above. She wrote:

22. For some time now I have been very concerned about the number of young girls in our area who have eating dis­orders or are borderline. Some of my own daughters have had battles with both anorexia and bulimia. What helped one of them get the victory was when she read about the dangers of bulimia. She said it scared her so badly that she found the strength to get desperate and stop.

23. In just the past couple of months another one of my daughters has become anorexic. She was overweight and did need to lose some weight, but it went too far and now she is so thin she looks like a skeleton.

24. In thinking, praying and discussing it with some other moms, we realized how many of our girls, from as young as OCs through SGAs‚ are almost obsessed with a desire to be skinny. A few of the girls here are very thin, to the point of looking sickly. Then the girls who are normal weight feel fat and piggy in comparison, so go through big trials and begin dieting. Sadly, it filters down to the children, who then worry about their weight (although they usually keep eating).

25. I can honestly say that it has been the minority of girls that I have met in the past few years who are not worrying about their weight and what they are eating. Many girls I have known throughout our area go on diets ranging from vegetarian to I don't know what. Of course, most of them can't get the special foods they need to follow these diets correctly, so I'm sure they end up being deficient and having un­balanced diets. In some cases their periods stop and you know they are not going to be in good shape to bear a baby in the future unless they really turn around.

26. Funny thing about it is, many of them, no matter how vigilant they are about their weight, are not averse to eating junk food. Or some only want to eat seafood (some of it being unclean), since it's low fat. There are numerous diet "trips," but the underlying theme is "get skinny"!

27. It seems like a real sign of the times. The word "anorexia" was coined only 12 years ago according to some research we did. It seems like another trick of the Devil to try to destroy life‚ or if not that far, destroy health and trip our girls off by getting them so engrossed in their bodies and diets. (End of comments from mother.)

28. (Mama: ) Lord bless and keep our dear precious young people who are suffering from such eating disorders! Here's a message we received from Dad after reading the letter from the teen girl above. I pray that this will help others of you who are caught in such snares of the Enemy as this girl described to see the light of the truth, to be able to accept yourself and others the way the Lord made you, and to enjoy and be happy with it! Ask the Lord to open your eyes and help you learn what true beauty is all about!

29. (Dad speaking:) What a sad story! This is a real tale of tragedy! If only you girls who are into this trip would realize the road you're going down! What delusions of the Enemy‚ what blindness he's sent your way!

30. This business of barfing up your food or of starving yourself—bulimia and anorexia—is a quick path to self-destruction! Bodies weren't meant to run on air—or just water‚ ­coffee, juice or a few minimal raw vegetables—they need fuel! You have to eat healthy if you want to be healthy‚ folks!

31. I shouldn't have to get into all this, because I've said it before. You can read it in the Letters. You can read it in the Childcare Handbook. For goodness sakes, you can read about it in the newspapers and hear about it on tele­vision—and you should! You should read about some of the gory facts, and maybe that'll wake you up and shake you up and help you see that this "thin" trip just isn't the way to go.

32. There's nothing wrong with being thin if you're that way naturally, but there is something very wrong with going to ridiculous and unhealthy extremes to make yourself skinny if you aren't that way naturally—or to make yourself even skinnier when you're already a twig. Why worry so much about what you look like and what weight you are? I know you girls want to keep yourself attractive, but you are. Getting so into your appearance just makes you self-centered rather than Christ-centered and only serves to lessen your attractiveness.

33. This trip down the road of destruction starts with some real screwed-up attitudes about what's beautiful and what is sexy. True beauty starts with the spirit‚ not the flesh. It's the spirit that gives life and joy and beauty and happiness! Have you girls read "Revolutionary Women"? If all you remember from that Letter is that I said I'd prefer 200 pounds of curves to 100 pounds of nerves, you'd do well to read it again, because you're missing a lot. There's a lot in there about what true beauty is, and it's not just my opinion but the Lord's as well. If you have any doubts about that, why don't you ask Him yourself?

34. You know, it's not just me, your old Grandpa, who feels that way about women, who likes some curves and flesh on those bones. Even some of these young teen guys who say they want their girls all twiggy‚ I'll bet you anything a lot of them just say that because that's the accepted thing to say.

35. If they're honest with themselves, most guys will admit that true beauty, sex appeal and attractiveness are not at all based solely on whether a girl is thin or not. Everybody has their own ideas of what "thin" means‚ of course, and a very overweight girl is not usually what turns a guy on. But for goodness sake, there's quite a range between the super skinny and the overweight, and if you're anywhere in that nice medium range, you've got great potential!

36. God made you the way He likes you, and He gave you a certain body type and general weight range. It's one thing if you've messed yourself up through improper care—which, sad to say, some of you have—but in most cases, He's made each of you young women and men beautiful and healthy. Now I know some of you folks are probably going to say‚ "But the Lord didn't make me the way I am. I'm fat, and I made myself that way! So I need to lose weight and I want to take drastic action to do so." Okay, let's talk about this.

37. First of all‚ who says you're fat? Are you really overweight, or has the idea just been drummed into your mind by your diet-crazed peer-pressuring friends or the media? If you're not sure, find a friend or older adult who you know will be honest with you and ask them to let you know, with all love and honesty. After all, some people simply have bigger bones and larger frames than others, and the extra weight may just be in your mind. If you're still not sure, ask the Lord. You know He'll tell you whether it's in your mind or not.

38. But suppose it's not, and you do need to lose a few pounds. Well‚ you're not going to shed those pounds overnight, just like you didn't put them on overnight. You'll lose them gradually, and the best ways to do so are the old tried and proven methods that have worked for thousands of years: Eat less‚ especially of fattening foods‚ and exercise more. If you're not sure you can control your eating, have a friend make your plate for you. And if you're having trouble being faithful with your get-out, have someone remind you of that too. Please, don't starve your­self, folks! Those of you who starve yourself for the sake of a rail-thin look are going against His plan, and in the end you're neither beautiful nor healthy.

39. If you quit eating altogether or keep the nourish­ment from getting through in one way or another, your body is eventually going to just shut down. You're not going to see the results immediately‚ and if anything, at first you'll think you've gotten great results. "Wow, I'm skinny and beautiful now, and all the boys like me. I've got a cute boyfriend and I'm just ­having a real high time!" You've got to realize that you can't just live for the moment, though. That's a common problem with young people. Even just a few years down the road, you often really regret some of the decisions you made or the things you did without even thinking about the conse­quences.

40. You may think that it's going great guns now and you may see no need for concern. You may think you'll last long enough, and you may not even be concerned about the health of the children you might have in the future—­either because you may think you won't be having any kids anyway, or because you're just so selfish you don't care. But you've got to start growing up a bit and thinking ahead, realizing that the way you feel now and the things you enjoy now aren't necessarily the things that are going to be your priorities for life.

41. You know what the saddest thing about this trip is?—That most of you who are so into it are so into it that you're not into anything else! Let's face the facts here: What are we in the Family for?—It's for Jesus, for souls, to reach the lost with the Gospel. Anything that gets you so wrapped up in yourself that you get your eyes off that goal is dangerous. That's why the Devil sends these worldly attitudes and devices your way.

42. Besides this obvious problem with your eating habits, these worldly attitudes about beauty and looks reach their tentacles into other areas as well. It all turns into a very cruel and cutting game, when those of you who think you are really "hot" or "cool"—however you put it—start preaching your lifestyle to others and even pushing it on them. When you do that, you're hurting people in one way or another. You're either getting other like-minded kids to join you on your merry way to self-destruction, or in other cases you're really hurting and making life miserable for those who don't fit into your little mold—those who you consider not "thin" enough or "beautiful" enough, who you look down on and even gossip about or criticize and mock to their faces.

43. It's really a pretty disgusting attitude that some of you young people have toward your peers. If only you could have the Lord's love and see others the way He does. Maybe they're not your ideal of beauty, good looks or charm, but every person has something very beautiful, very valuable, very unique and precious about them. Sometimes you have to look below the surface, but that's where the most precious treasures are.

44. Right now, some of you think of life as fun and games, even looking at sex and relation­ships as a game‚ and other people's hearts as toys. You may not even realize it, but if you'll step back and look sensibly at how you're acting, if you'll stop thinking about yourself for just a few minutes and put yourself in the shoes of those around you, you'll realize that you've stepped on and squished a lot of people. It's time for it to stop‚ and also time to apologize to those you've hurt.

45. Folks, there's real freedom in hu­mility. There's so much fear and bondage and such a weight and cloud over you when you're struggling to live up to the ideals that you think are expected of you by your peers. You know who the happiest people are?—Those who just accept themselves the way God made them, who learn to be happy with what they have and to not care what others think.

46. If you were honest, I think you'd admit that you really admire people who have the guts to be themselves—to live right, live healthy, and have their priorities straight. Of course, those who make such decisions and take such stands often face loneliness battles and a feeling of terrible isolation from others around them, which is really sad. It's tragic and pitiful that within our own Family there are these cliques or clans that shut others out, especially on the basis of their looks or their style. Lord help us to be the Family of Love that we're supposed to be!

47. Those of you girls who are entrenched in these unhealthy habits, I want to let you know that the best time to get set straight is now. The longer you wait, the harder it is to recover. If you've been abusing your body by not feeding it, then the longer you wait, the more damage will be done to your insides. There's only one way to lose weight safely, and that's slowly, by eating smaller portions, by watching it on the sweets and snacks, and by exercising. Any diet­ing beyond that is hurting your body and is a problem that needs to be remedied.

48. If you've been into this trip for a while already, it's going to be difficult to overcome and start eating healthy again—but it's not impossible. You should ask for prayer and help from your shepherds and others in your Home. The Lord can help you. He can give you the strength and the guts to change your lifestyle and to forsake these habits that have gotten a grip on you.

49. Bulimia and anorexia are vices, nervous disorders, addictions. They're like drugs or smoking—hard habits to kick. But nothing is impossible for the Lord, and He can do it if you put your will on His side.

50. You need the Lord's help to overcome these problems, because bulimia and anorexia are more than just physical eating disorders. Even the world recognizes that, and they call them psychological problems or mental dis­orders. But they're even more than that. Overcoming these addictions is a spiritual battle, a battle against the Enemy.

51. The Devil is not only the enemy of your soul, but since the Lord has put you in this earthly body and made it His temple‚ the Devil is also the enemy of your body, and he and his demons are out to damage and destroy it however they can. This is one way in which the Devil has deceived and deluded thousands of young women around the world into throwing their lives away. You may think you'd never commit suicide‚ but really, if you get obsessed and oppressed with these eating disorders, you're embarking on a form of slow suicide.

52. So don't go foolishly throwing your life away over some worldly trip, but give your whole self—spirit and body—to the Lord and His service. You're the temple of the Holy Ghost and God's Spirit dwells in you, so treat that temple in the way you know the Lord wants it to be treated, amen?

53. I've spelled out the rules for healthy living from A to Z, and so have zillions of health experts around the world. But all our talking doesn't do any good if you don't listen. So please listen!

54. I beg of you, for your own sakes, take heed to the advice and counsel of your elders, of those who have seen the results and bad fruits of unhealthy living, and who are proof of the benefits of a Godly, healthy lifestyle. (End of message from Dad.)

55. (Mama:) Please do, dear Family! You're very precious to us, and we can't bear to see you, our loved ones, weakened or sickened by such eating disorders. You're beautiful to us just the way you are. Please don't compare your weight or your appearance with others. Here's another message Dad gave along those lines, to another teen girl who wrote us:

56. (Dad speaking:) You know, I didn't like the way I looked either. I thought my nose was too big and that I was too skinny and ugly. I had quite an inferiority complex about that, especially when I was young, and it took me a long time to get over it. Part of it was pride‚ part of it was comparing. But then as you grow older, you realize it really doesn't matter. You understand that the Lord made us the way He wants us, and made us the way we are because He loves us.

57. He loves you the way He made you, and we're all beautiful in His eyes. We're all unique and special. In His eyes there is no ugliness no matter what we look like. The only ugliness is in trying to destroy what He has created. But if you want to please Him and make Him happy and me happy, then you have to do everything you can to take care of yourself so you can win others.

58. You're one of my precious teen queens and I have none to spare; no, not one. I need you and the Lord needs you there, not Here, at least for now! And there are some pretty lonely teens out there who need you too, and who are waiting for you to help them. So do it for them and for Jesus, okay? You're gorgeous! I love you! (End of message from Dad)

59. (Mama: ) Please take heed to Dad's wise counsel in the messages above. You're each beautiful in your own way, and you need to ask the Lord to help you appreciate yourself and your body and be thankful‚ even if you think you have some imperfections. "In all things give thanks." Dwell on the positive, not the negative; the doughnut, not the hole. Pray against comparing and negative thinking. The battle against bulimia and anorexia isn't just a physical one; it's spiritual as well, and can best be won with the Lord's help and strength!

60. Here's some wise counsel from Dad on appearance and self-esteem which he gave several months ago in the "Law of Love" series:

61. Building self-esteem also often has a lot to do with your relationship with the Lord. The closer you draw to Him and the more at peace you are with Him, the more content and at peace you'll be, the happier you'll be, the more relaxed you'll be…. If you're close to the Lord, you're handsome and you're beautiful, because His love and His light shine through.

62. We really don't have any ugly folks in this Family. There's nobody that's unpleasant to be around or to look at when they're close to the Lord and they're clean and they're happy and they're content. In fact, that's the most attractive sex appeal there is—just letting the Lord shine through you the way He made you!

63. You know what I'd suggest you all do? Sit down sometime and let the Lord speak to you about yourself personally. If you can't do it yourself, then have someone else do it, and let Him tell you how He sees you, what your inner beauties are, what your inner strengths are, what those gifts and abilities are that He likes to bring forth, that He likes to see shine for others. Let Him encourage you‚ and then be encouraged by Him. (ML #3209:291, 293-294, 297‚ GN 812).

Some Facts and Figures

64. (Mama:) I'm very sorry for those of you who've gotten caught up in being bulimic or anorexic. It's a very common problem in the world, and of course, since we're the Lord's children, the Devil will try to use this weakness to hinder and harm us, because he's out to get us however he can. And while it's usually girls who get into such dieting crazes, boys can be affected as well.

65. I'd like to supplement Dad's talk with some facts and figures we've researched about the serious physical results of bulimia and anorexia, and the diets and attitudes that lead up to them.

66. It's reported that eating disorders are often foreshadowed by "innocent diets." Once dieting careens into an eating disorder, a girl (or boy) faces serious health problems, including stunted growth, menstrual cessation, even heart problems. Five to ten percent of long-term an­orexics actually die from the disease, giving it the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses.

Bulimia can:

• impair mental functioning

• lower your resistance to infections

• result in permanent organ damage

• cause heart attacks and severe muscle spasms

• erode teeth enamel, and cause gum disease and mouth ulcers

• result in death

Those with anorexia suffer many of the same problems as those with bulimia, in addition to the following:

• fatigue and muscle weakness.

• headaches, fainting spells and dizziness.

• irregular menstruation or loss of menstruation.

• Over time, vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys are damaged. Without inter­vention‚ there is emaciation, wasting‚ shrunken organs, and death.

67. Besides the obviously bad effects on your body, these illnesses—because they are spiritual, as Dad said—have a very negative effect on a person's mind and spirit and their attitude toward life. One research group found that pessimistic thinking is reported in 71% of bulimia nervosa patients, impaired concentration in 60%, lassitude (weariness‚ dim­inished energy, or listlessness) in 51%, sadness in 51%, sleep disturbance in 35%, inner tension in 35%, inability to feel (blunting of emotions) in 28%‚ and suicidal thoughts in 17%.

68. As the dear girl who wrote me brought up‚ it's common that bulimics attempt to hide their problem. They may eat normally with other people‚ but binge and purge in private. Observ­ant family members, roommates, or friends who suspect bulimia should look for warning signs: a chronically inflamed and sore throat that bleeds, decaying tooth enamel caused by frequent exposure to stomach acid that results from induced vomiting, and swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw which makes the face look puffy.

69. If you personally battle one of these poten­tially life-threatening disorders, please follow Dad's counsel to ask for prayer, which is the key to overcoming these serious disorders. Ask for and accept help from your shepherds, parents, and friends, too, who love you and want to help you be happy and healthy.

70. Also remember that we're our brother's keeper‚ and if you don't battle such problems yourself but you have a friend or sister or brother who does, it's your responsibility to reach out to them and do your part to help them be delivered from the clutches of the Enemy. Please let their parents or shepherds know. Encourage them to ask for prayer‚ and also tell them how beautiful and special they are, and how much they mean to you.

71. Do what you can to help others feel loved and appreciated for their good qualities and pleasant attributes, rather than awkward or out of place because of whatever physical lacks or imperfections they might have. Nobody's perfect, but everybody's beautiful or special in one way or another.

72. Let's be a loving Family and take good care of each other, and good care of ourselves so that we can be of some use to the Lord and others, amen?

(Following is the true story of one young woman who nearly died because of her bulimia:)

Kelly's Story

From Teen Magazine, Jan.1997

I grew up in California with my parents and older brother, Jackson, and my identical twin sister, Carey.

My mom has always been overweight. I think her fears of us getting fat were instilled in us. I first became aware of my own weight when I was around 15. One day, I looked in the mirror and noticed my face was changing. It looked kind of heavy, and I thought, "Oh, my God! I have to lose weight!" It just hit me like a punch in the stomach.

I had this diet of eating only steamed vegetables. One night, I ate too many vegetables and felt really sick. My mom said, "Oh, Kelly, just throw up." I said, "No way! That's so disgusting!" Mom said‚ calmly, "Just do it, Kelly. You'll feel better." She told me to just stick my finger down my throat. So I did, and after that it became a habit—a really long‚ bad habit.

I felt a sense of power after that first time l purged. I thought I felt great that night. Both my sister and I learned how to purge that way. We didn't think there was anything wrong with it. My mom knew the first couple of times, but then we decided we'd keep it our secret.

That secret lasted five years. I thought I'd kept it a secret from my friends, but later I found out they all knew. Your friends always know. They see how much you eat. You think you're being sneaky, saying you exercise a lot or that you have a fast metabolism, but after you come out of the bathroom and your face is all puffy, your eyes watery, and your nose runny, they know what's going on.

My problem began to take total control of my life, because all I did all the time was try to figure out ways to eat a lot and how I was going to get rid of it. That's what your entire life is about. You make sure you won't even get into a situation where you can't throw up. You constantly have to sneak around, change your plans, lie. You're always lying. It's sick.

I hardly ever ate fatty foods‚ because I was still watching my weight‚ but a few times a week I'd say‚ "Well‚ I can eat anything I want!" so I'd eat a donut or two and then purge. I got a lot of attention from being thin, and at the time, that made it worth it to me. I felt inferior to every­one else, so I'd think, "If I can only have control over this one thing, I'll be able to make up for all my deficiencies."

I didn't have much of a sense of self-worth and truly didn't like myself a lot, never thinking I was smart enough, pretty enough, or funny enough. You feel like you're not worthy of being loved or even liked. So you get into this self-destructive behavior, thinking that if you're thin, it will compensate for all your in­ade­quacies. But even though you think you've got it under control, you're way out of control!

During the whole time I was eating and purging, I never had a boyfriend. I didn't feel lovable; I figured no one would want me. I dated a lot, but didn't get serious with anyone. I was very social, but it was always very superficial, like going to dances and hanging out with large groups of friends, nothing intimate.

Things went from bad to worse that year. After a couple of years, I was throwing up six times a day, every day. One afternoon, I was sitting in traffic school and I suddenly got this tingling feeling in my hands‚ and then my muscles started contracting and curling up and contorting. My whole body just froze! I excused myself and went to the pay phone to get help, and when I started walking back, I screamed, "Oh, my God!!" and I collapsed on the floor by the classroom—my legs were paralyzed. I couldn't move any of my muscles, not even my tongue! My mom came to get me and drove straight to the emergency room.

The doctor examining me told us I had had a heart attack. He explained that I had hardly any electrolytes left in my body from throwing up so much. Those minerals maintain your heart and muscle activity, basically everything. The nurses immediately injected my vein with a needle and hooked me up to this potassium drip. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life‚ like razor blades going through every vein in my body! You can feel it going into your arms, your shoulders, your heart, your stomach, your thighs, your legs, and your feet. It's like someone is taking razor blades soaked in salt and alcohol and dragging them slowly through your body. I was crying through the whole pro­cedure, "Please stop it! Please, please!" But it was ­either that or I'd die.

I stayed overnight in the hospital, and you'd think I would have learned my lesson, but l didn't. I started throwing up right afterward. I felt like the alternative to purging was getting fat, and I really believed that was worse than having a heart attack!

My true friends decided it was time to take action, so they did an "intervention." That's when your friends and family get together and confront you all at once with your problem. My sister and four friends showed up at my house, and all day long they kept saying, "Kelly, you're so smart and so beautiful, you don't need to do this!" They said they just didn't understand how I could do this to myself, basically letting me know how much it was hurting them. I felt like I was really disappointing them, like something was really abnormal about me. That's what ­really made me feel like I had to do something about my bulimia; I felt so incredibly ashamed. The intervention was actually wonder­ful because my secret was finally lifted off of my shoulders. As painful as it was to be told I was, in a way, a failure, it was good for me. I realized I needed help.

At that time, I looked so strange because of my problem. My face became a "moon face"—kind of puffy and round—which is pretty common with bulimics. My teeth had decayed from the acids of regurgitating. My eyes were kind of filmy, and my hair had started falling out. Starting to eat normally again was incredibly hard. It was hard to start digesting again. You almost have to eat all liquids at first.

After that intervention, I stopped purging. But only a year later, I started throwing up again. I hadn't broken the habit. I ended up having another minor heart attack while I was driving home from the gym one day. Even at the hospital while I was getting that horrible potassium drip, I was wondering‚ "How can I keep eating and getting rid of it without dying?" I can't believe that I was that out of control!

Just one week later, I was back in the hospital with another heart attack, and that's when I thought, "Oh, my God! I can't control this!" That's when I decided to stop it for good.

It's been three years now and I feel great. Although I've never gone to therapy‚ I do talk to another recovering bulimic about it. I knew I didn't want to die, and I started realizing who I was and that I really did like myself. Today I'm 15 pounds heavier than I was when I was bulimic, but I think I'm in good shape. And most importantly, I'm really happy.

If you're starting to binge and purge, you aren't in control just because you're controlling your weight. Actually, you're way out of control. Once you start purging, it's like cigarettes—it's a hard habit to break. It's with you for years, maybe even a lifetime. You think you can stop any time, but your fear of getting fat is so overwhelming that you're driven to this extreme behavior. And even if you think it's your little secret, it's not! You're not fooling anyone! People close to you know.

Definitely talk to someone about your feelings. Confide in your good friends. If you're close to your parents and you have an open re­lationship with them, talk to them. Make sure you talk to someone before it's too late. Bulimia can kill you. I know. It almost killed me.

73. Question: Since Kelly tried and couldn't put a stop to her bulimic habits before, how did she finally make the de­cision and have the willpower to stop? Most of the time when they've gone that far, they simply can't stop—that's why they die.

74. (Jesus speaking:) Once you are ensnared in one of these eating and lifestyle disorders, it is very difficult to break free. Many are led into this trap of death and find no way out. Others continue living on the border with death for a long, long time‚ unhealthy and unhappy all the while. Then there are those who find deliverance and freedom, but often at the cost of much suffering or getting to an extremely dangerous state that shocks them and wakes them up to realize what is going on. Then they at last see the light and start fighting to overcome.

75. In order to overcome anorexia or bulimia, you need to either have an extremely strong will and resolve, or better yet‚ you need to have My help. There are some who did not know Me and who overcame, yet it is rare to find a person that strong‚ that determined. But you, My children who know Me, can always overcome. You have to have the desire to do so, and some willpower; but even if you feel weak‚ even if you feel it's beyond your control, you can still gain a complete victory over these spiritual, emotional and physical attacks.

76. In the case of the girl in the story, though she does not openly glorify Me, she did come to a point where she realized that she couldn't do it and her heart cried out to Me for help. As she says in her own words, "I thought, 'Oh, my God! I can't control this!' That's when I decided to stop it for good." She decided she wanted to stop, but she needed My help, as well as that of her family and friends, to completely overcome‚ because she couldn't do it on her own.

77. The key to victory is asking for My help, and also having a will to win. Even if you don't have the will, though, you can pray and I'll give it to you. You don't have to get to the point that she did, where you develop a will to live because you're about to die. I can give you that will to live and to fight much sooner and much more easily, if you'll come to Me and seek Me for it. (End of message from Jesus)

Waif-like women have a lean time of it with men

The London Times, Aug.14, 1998

Men find curvaceous women more attractive than waif-like supermodels, psychologists have dis­covered. Given the choice between a woman who is underweight and one who is overweight, most males prefer the latter.

"If a young woman gains a stone [14 pounds], it doesn't diminish her appeal very much; but if she loses a stone, she becomes very unattractive very quickly," said Martin Tovée, of Newcastle University's Psychology Department, who conducted the study published in The Lancet.

The psychologists showed pictures of 50 women to 40 male undergraduates, and after analyzing their reactions to the range of shapes and sizes, dis­covered that very thin women were a turnoff, even those with perfectly proportioned figures.

When Food Is Your Enemy

Awake! Jan.22, 1999

Reflecting on her teen years, Jean vividly recalls being a target of teasing and ridicule. The reason? She was the tallest and largest girl in her class at school. "Even worse than being big, I was shy and socially awkward," says Jean. "I was often lonely, wanting to fit in somewhere, but most of the time I felt like an outsider."

Jean was convinced that her size was the cause of all her problems, and that a lean, trim figure would fix everything. Not that Jean was obese. On the contrary, at six feet tall and 145 pounds, she wasn't overweight. Nevertheless, Jean felt fat, and at age 23 she decided to lose weight. "When I'm thin," she reasoned, "other people will want me around. At last I will feel accepted and special."

"That kind of foolish logic led to a 12-year trap named anorexia nervosa and bulimia," Jean explains. "I got thin, all right—so thin I almost died. But instead of building a happy life, I ruined my health and created more than a decade of depression and misery."

Anorexia and bulimia are the two most common eating disorders. Each has its unique characteristics, yet both can be dangerous—even deadly.


Anorexics either refuse to eat or eat in such small amounts that they become malnourished. Consider 17-year-old Antoinette‚ who says that at one point her weight may have dropped to 82 pounds—very low for a teenager five feet seven inches tall. "I ate no more than 250 calories a day and kept a notebook about what I ate," she says.

Anorexics are obsessed with food, and they will go to extreme lengths to avoid gaining weight.

Susan strenuously exercised to keep her weight down. "Virtually every day," she says, "I ran eight miles, or swam for an hour, or felt terribly anxious and guilty. And every morning‚ I got my greatest pleasure, usually my only real pleasure, by getting on the scale to confirm that my weight was still under 100 pounds."

How does anorexia develop? Typically a teenager or young adult sets out to lose a certain number of pounds. When she reaches her goal, however, she is not satisfied. Looking in the mirror, she still sees herself as fat, so she decides that shedding a few more pounds would be even better. This cycle continues until the dieter's weight falls to 15 percent or more below what is normal for her height.

At this point, friends and family members begin to express their concern that the dieter looks extremely thin, even emaciated. But the anorexic sees things differently. "I didn't think I looked skinny," says Alan, a five-foot-nine-inch male anorexic whose weight at one point dwindled to 72 pounds. "The more weight you lose‚" he says, "the more your mind becomes distorted and you can't see yourself clearly."

(Some experts claim that a 20 to 25 percent loss of a person's total weight can induce chemical changes in the brain that may alter his perception, causing him to see fat where there is none.) (See ML #3125:49–79, Lifelines 24)

Over time, anorexia can lead to serious health problems‚ including osteoporosis and kidney damage. It can even be fatal. "My doctor told me that I had deprived my body of so many nutrients, that two more months of my eating habits and I would have died of malnutrition," says Heather. The Harvard Mental Health Letter reports that over a ten-year period‚ about 5 percent of women diagnosed as anorexic die.

Bulimia—Bingeing and Purging

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge­ing (rapidly consuming large amounts of food, perhaps up to 5,000 calories or more) and then purging (emptying the stomach, often by vomit­ing or using laxatives).

The sufferer may not be unusually thin, and her eating habits may seem quite normal—at least to others. But for the bulimic, life is anything but normal. Indeed, she is so obsessed with food that everything else is unimportant. "The more I binged and threw up, the less I cared about other things or people," says 16-year-old Melinda. "I actually forgot how to have fun with friends."

A 17-year-old sufferer named Lydia describes her condition with a vivid analogy. "I feel like a trash compactor," she says. "Shovel it in, smash it, throw it out. Over and over‚ the same thing."

Bulimia is extremely dangerous. For example, repeated purging by vomiting exposes the mouth to corrosive stomach acids, which can wear away the enamel of the bulimic's teeth. The practice can also damage the sufferer's esophagus, liver, lungs, and heart. In extreme cases, vomiting can cause stomach rupture and even death. Excessive laxative use can also be hazardous. It can destroy bowel function and can also lead to ongoing diarrhea and rectal bleeding. As with repeated vomiting‚ abuse of laxatives can, in extreme instances, lead to death.

What Can Help?

Eating disorders are not just about food. Let us examine some of the deeper issues that typically need to be addressed when someone is being helped to recover from anorexia or bulimia.

A Balanced View of Body Image

"I stopped buying fashion magazines completely when I was about 24," says one woman. "Comparing myself to the models had a very strong and negative impact." The media can distort a girl's concept of beauty. Indeed, one mother of a girl with an eating disorder speaks of the "unrelenting publicity in our newspapers and magazines and television advertising to be thin, thin, thin." She says: "Both my daughter and I like being slender, but we feel the constant barrage turns it into the most import­ant thing in life, ahead of everything." Clearly, recovering from an eating disorder may require adopting new beliefs about what constitutes genuine beauty.

But what if you truly do need to lose weight? "Perhaps the wisest course," concluded a survey on body image‚ "is to get plenty of exercise—and accept yourself the way you are rather than try to mold yourself into a narrowly defined and arbitrary ideal."

One woman found this approach to be help­ful. "I've had one simple rule‚" she says. "Work on improving what you can realistically change, and don't spend time worrying about the rest." If you take a positive view of life and supplement this with a healthful diet and reason­able exercise program, likely any pounds that need to come off will.

Living without Eating Disorders

As part of recovery, the anorexic or bulimic needs to learn to live without an eating dis­order. This can be difficult. Kim, for example, estimates that in her anorexic phase, she lost 40 pounds in ten months. Yet, regaining 35 of those pounds took her nine years! "With great difficulty," Kim says, "I slowly learned to eat normally again, without counting every calorie, measuring my food, eating only 'safe' foods, panicking if I did not know the ingredients in a casserole or dessert‚ or eating only at salad bars."

Clearly‚ recovering from an eating dis­order is challenging, but ultimately it is worth the effort. That is what Jean believes. "Returning to disordered eating," she says, "would be like going back into a padded cell after living free for a while."

A Challenge for Parents

If you have a child with an eating disorder, it is only to be expected that at times you will feel frustrated at her stubborn behavior. But be patient. Never stop showing love. Emily, whose daugh­ter suffered from anorexia, admits that this was not always easy. Nevertheless, she says, "I tried to always keep touching; I tried to hug her; I tried to kiss her … I thought‚ 'If I stop be­ing warm to her‚ we'll never find our way back.'"

One of the best ways to help your child recover from an eating disorder is to communicate with her. In doing so, you may need to do more listening than talking. Resist the urge to interrupt her with statements like, "That's not true" or "You shouldn't feel that way." When there is open communication, a youth will have somewhere to turn during times of distress and may be less likely to resort to unhealthy eating practices.

Some do's and don'ts in talking to those with eating disorders
From an Internet article by Colleen Thompson:

Assure them that they are not alone and that you love them and want to help in any way that you can.

Do not blame the individual and do not get angry with them.

Be patient. Recovery takes time.

Do not make mealtimes a battleground.

Listen to them; do not be quick to give opinions and advice.

You must also be careful with the remarks you make to the person suffering. Below are a few remarks to avoid.

"You've put on weight, you look great." We don't hear "you look great," we only hear "you've put on weight," leading us to believe that we are fat.

"I'll help to fatten you up." The words "fatten you up" are terrifying to a person with an eating disorder.

"If you think you are fat, you must think that I'm obese." Even though we are underweight, we still feel fat and see ourselves in the mirror as fat. We don't see others as being overweight. The only distorted image we have is of ourselves.

"Go ahead and have a drink or eat that. You'll just go and throw it up anyway‚ so what does it matter." A comment like this is very insensitive and cruel. If you have nothing positive to say to us, don't say anything!

"I wish I had that problem." or "I wish I could be anorexic for a day." No you don't! We wouldn't wish this problem on anyone‚ not even our worst enemies.

"For someone with an eating disorder, you're sure pigging out today." This comment is very insensitive and it could cause the person to panic about what they have eaten and end up purging.

"You look so healthy; you were always so thin before." If you make a comment like that, you are basically telling us that we are getting fat! We may in fact be looking better and looking much healthier, but when we hear comments like that, we will be made to feel that we are in fact getting fat.

Someone with an eating disorder has the best chance for recovery when they are surrounded by people that are loving and supportive.

78. (Mama:) Those articles are very insightful and sobering, aren't they? Most every­one in the System agrees that eating dis­orders are difficult, or in many cases, nearly imposs­ible to get over—and that's true, if they don't look to the Lord for help. But we do, and there is tremendous power and supernatural help available to us through prayer. So if you have any problems along these lines, the Lord is able to give you complete and total deliverance through united prayer.

79. Maybe you've tried to correct your eating habits on your own and have failed. Why not try the Lord and united prayer? When nothing else can help, that's when the Lord is able to show His strength and deliverance most clearly. So ask Him! Don't live with these problems when the Lord is more than able to deliver you, and help you to be fit and healthy for His service!

No Sex Between CM and FM Family

80. A number of people have written Peter and me to ask about the possibility of exceptions or a change being made in our current policy regarding Charter Members not being allowed to have sexual contact with Fellow Members. This is particularly an issue in the case of teens, YAs, or SGAs who are in a city where there are no other CM young people, though perhaps there are FM young people they feel close to‚ or vice versa. Following are excerpts of a letter from one young woman in such a situation:

(From a young CM woman: )

81. The Charter says that Charter Members are not allowed to have any sexual contact with outsiders, not even with Fellow Members. Living in small Homes, it's not easy to find people our age. There's usually very little to choose from, or in some cases, no one.

82. I've talked with the shepherds and looked in the Charter, and I know there are various reasons for this rule, such as the threat of AIDS, the possibility of falling in love, or pregnancy, and then having to deal with the possibility of leaving the CM Family, etc. But I think that for some of us young people, and even adults‚ it's a big deal, especially when you like someone that's not CM and can't demonstrate your love.

83. I'm not asking for permission to just fuck the first guy that comes around, but it's pretty heavy if you love someone or they love you, but you can't do anything or you'll get excommunicated. What about not recom­mending it‚ but not prohibiting it?

84. What can you do if you really love the Lord and don't want to leave the CM Family, but there's no one around who's your age for a long time? Then one day some­one appears that is not CM but FM, and the Lord gives you special feelings for that person. You know you can't do anything or you'll be out of the Charter Family‚ but you really feel lonely.

85. Maybe the Lord has something new to say to us about this subject. Thanks again for taking the time to hear and lovingly pray about all this. (End of excerpts from young woman.)

86. (Mama: ) In response to her request and similar questions from others, I asked the Lord if there was any possibility that He wanted to make a change in our present Charter rule of no sexual contact between Charter Members and Fellow Members. Here is His answer:

87. (Jesus speaking:) The restriction on sexual contact between Charter and Fellow Mem­bers is not because such contact is inherently wrong or unlawful in My sight. I wish that you could show your love freely between each other, regardless of status. Nevertheless, I am also bound by the freedom of choice and free will that I have given to man. Evil men‚ having made evil choices, have thereby affected the good, and all must bear the consequences. As Eve took of the apple and did eat and thereby sin entered into the world, and therefore you all suffer, even so because of the sins of those who have allowed this evil pest‚ this evil disease of AIDS into the world, all suffer.

88. The day is coming when I will rule and My love will be law. At that time there will be no need for such restrictions as you have now, and you will be able to enjoy and express My love to the full with one another, the barriers being cast aside. In that day I will destroy the diseases of the Egyptians, and they will be no more, neither will any man be cursed by them anymore. The curse will be lifted, because I will rule the world in love and harmony, and I wish for all to be able to enjoy My Law of Love to the full.

89. Satan has used AIDS—which began as an affliction on those who practiced unnatural sex‚ who did not operate according to My laws but according to their own lusts, because of evil choices—to afflict even those who practice normal‚ natural, loving sex. Therefore you must beware. You must guard the doors of your tents, that this disease enter not into your loving habitations.

90. Because Fellow Members have the liberty to have sexual contact with those not of My Family, I must build a wall stopping sexual contact between them and those of My Charter Member Family, that disease enter not into your Homes and spread through your ranks. This barrier is a result of the sins of the world, from which you must protect yourselves.

91. Again I say unto you that all things are lawful unto Me, and even this sexual contact between Charter and Fellow Members would be lawful unto Me; however, it is not expedient. For in opening the door, you would give the Enemy the opportunity to enter in with the diseases of the Egyptians. He is seeking for a way to enter in, for he knows that if he were able to do so, it could seriously hinder and even stop your practice of the Law of Love within the Charter Member Family. Therefore you must guard the doors of your tents zealously.

92. I wish for you to be able to share love freely, and you may share love freely in many other ways between Charter and Fellow Members. You may still have intimate friendships‚ commu­nication and love, particularly you younger ones who have no others your age in your Home. I only limit you in the area of sexual contact.

93. If two of you are particularly close and wish to take your relationship further, then the one who is FM could join the Home of the one who is CM, or vice versa‚ if it is My will. In most cases‚ I would not encourage you of the CM Family to leave this standard of discipleship and service simply because of your sexual desire or even emotional attraction. In some cases I have put a special love within your heart for someone who is not within the Charter Family, and more often than not‚ I do this so that you may help draw the other into the Charter Family—not so that you would leave your own place within it.

94. I have given My Family the gift of My Law of Love, so that in most cases your needs can be met within your own Homes, cities or countries. Or if one is in a situation where there are no possibilities because of age restrictions, I also give them the opportunity to move.

95. I try to open as many doors as possible within the Charter Family so that My young people can have their need for love and their emotional and sexual needs met. I am not encouraging you young people in the CM Family to change your status for the sake of a relationship—unless you have desperately prayed and sought Me and I have shown you that it is My will for you to be together with another person who is not of your same status. In most cases I would prefer that you of the Charter Family draw those of the Fellow Member Family unto you rather than vice versa.

96. You must seek Me and I will give you the answers for your situation. I will bring about a solution so that you may be able to share My love together to the full, if it be My will. You can share My love now and have feelings and emotions for one another, but you may not take that into the realm of sexual contact.

97. The day is soon coming when the restrictions which have been placed on sharing My love sexually, because of the evil choices of man, will be lifted, in that day when we will all be united together in My Kingdom of Love. For a short while longer we must bear the infirmities of the world, but the day will soon come when we will lay them aside and rejoice together in the fullness of the liberty and wild freedom of the Spirit that I will give you.

98. Now you have a measure of My joy, My love‚ and My Law of Love. In that day you will not have a measure, but you will have the fullness thereof! There will be dancing, rejoicing, and singing—a joyful noise, a joyful celebration, as you all unite in My love, casting aside the robes of sin and flesh, and being clothed with a new robe of love, unity and harmony!

99. Have I not said that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in you? Though you must make some sacrifices now, and some things are not expedient at this present time because of the world in which you live‚ dwell not on these things. Keep your eyes on My Kingdom, where you will dwell in the world of love and where the laws of My love may reign to the full. My Law of Love will no longer be restricted or hampered because of man's free will; in that day it will rule supreme, and your joy will be full!

100. So, My little children, cling to Me. Think not that I have hid My face from you, that I have taken My love from you, or that I do restrict you from giving love. No, I say unto you, love! Love from your heart! Love with the Spirit! Though there are some re­strictions on the showing of love through sexual contact, there are many other ways in which you can manifest the emotions of your heart, until such a time as you and the one with whom you are close may unite and enjoy the fullness of My love with your bodies also.

101. Some of the ways you can show your love are: Through simple, non-sexual affection—friendly hugs and kisses on their cheek, a comforting touch or pat, or holding their hand. You can also show your love through communication, through sharing your hearts‚ your ­lessons, the things that I'm showing and teaching you—your experiences, even your battles. It would not be so wise, however, to dwell on discussing your feelings and emotions and desires for each other, as this will only make it more difficult for you to resist the temptation to cross the boundaries I have set.

102. You can also witness together and share My love with others together through singing, lit­ness­ing, considering the poor‚ teaching Bible classes, and other forms of outreach. Working together can bring a great sense of fulfillment and a special depth of understanding to your relationship, and in doing so you can also better see whether you are suited to each other's needs, or even to each other's liking.

103. There are also many other kind deeds and little favors you can do for one you love—giving a helping hand in their jobs around the house‚ or the care of the children; or sometimes by preparing a surprise, a snack‚ a gift, etc. You can receive My Words of love, encouragement, or instruction through prophecy to help and support and sustain the other. You can read My Word together‚ and you can seek Me together for counsel—personal or related to your ministries.

104. So seek Me in each situation and I will give a solution. I will make a way for you to be together‚ if it be My will. If it be My will to bring two together as a partnership or as a marriage that will glorify Me, I will make a way for you to be of the same status so that you may express your love to the full through sex.

105. So love, My children! Love as much as you can within the boundaries that I have placed, until such a time as these be no more, in the day when I wipe away the sins of man and fill the world with My love, where My Law of Love will reign supreme forever! (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

106. (Mama:) Thank you, dear girl, for writing in, and for your willingness to make your request in faith and trust what the Lord gives. I under­stand how difficult your situation must be‚ and I pray that the Lord will continue giving you the grace to do what His will is for you.

107. In the message above, the Lord confirmed that the restrictions we have in place are necessary, and that it won't be possible to open the door for sexual sharing between Charter and Fellow Members—although He does want there to be sweet unity, friendship‚ fellowship, and communi­cation between all the Family regardless of status.

108. The important reason He gave for not changing our policy is to prevent the possibility of people in the Charter Member Family contracting AIDS. This possibility exists because those in the Fellow Member Family are allowed to have sex with outsiders. Were folks to start coming down with AIDS, this would be a great hindrance not only to our sexual sharing within the Family, but also to our mission of preach­ing the Gospel. (Remember, dear ones, this rule of no sexual contact between Charter Members and Fellow Members covers all physical sexual activity, including deep kissing. And it applies even if the Fellow Member in question promises to refrain from any sexual activities with others.)

Box text:

(Mama:) Although AIDS doesn't generate as many headlines as it used to, the disease is still very present in society, very deadly, and very much on the increase, as you'll note in the following news clip:

Global HIV infections increased by 10 percent in 1998

UN Daily Highlights, Nov.24, 1998

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has shown no sign of diminishing, according to a United Nations report. The report of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that during the past year a further 5.8 million people were infected with HIV. Approximately 11 men, women and children were infected every minute, and the number of people living with the virus rose by 10 percent to 33.4 million worldwide. The report says that half of all new infections are now occurring among young people aged between 15 to 24.

AIDS isn't the only fatal sexual disease these days. Hepatitis C has also emerged as a lethal scourge on society. Although it's mainly transmitted through blood transfusions or IV drug use, it's also passed on by intimate sexual contact an estimated 25 percent of the time. Some doctors say it will kill more people than AIDS.

"The real millennium bug" is a more lethal killer than AIDS

BBC, June 11, 1998

The liver disease Hepatitis C could be a more lethal killer than AIDS in the next 20 years. And many people may already be infected without knowing. Dr. John Dillon, consultant liver expert at Ninewells hospital in Dundee, told a London seminar on the virus that the disease had been called "the real millennium bug." Hepatitis C was only discovered nine years ago, but is already thought to have caused the death of 10,000 people a year in the U.S. And experts believe that the number is set to triple over the next 10 to 15 years. According to the World Health Organization, at least 100 million people around the world are thought to be infected.

(See also END 14‚ pg.7, "Life is too precious to waste.") (End of box text.)

109. While in some cases it would be a blessing for you of the CM Family to share with Fellow Members‚ especially you young folks who don't have many people your age around, the Lord knows that the benefits of keeping free from the plagues of the world are greater and more important, so He has instructed us to do our part to ensure health and safety.

110. The Lord did bring up the option that in some cases if a Charter Member is close to a Fellow Member, it may be His will for one of you to change status so that you can be together--particularly if you are pretty serious about having a relationship and are considering marriage. He emphasized that usually He would prefer that you of the CM Family draw those of the FM Family into your ranks rather than the other way around.

111. I hope you realize that a big decision such as changing your status shouldn't be based on sexual desires or feelings of attraction alone; this is not a good enough reason for you to give up your place in the CM Family, if it's the Lord's will for you to be here. It would be very important for you to pray and seek Him. Hearing His personal Words of guidance and comfort will either help strengthen you in your convictions to stay, though the going may be rough, or in some cases He may guide you to become a Fellow Member, if He knows that that's the only way you'll be happy or content. In such a case, you and your mate can still serve the Lord in whatever capacity you have the faith for‚ and in time you might decide to return together to full–time service with the CM Family.

112. In most cases, the ideal is that you can find the love and companionship that you need either within your Home or by moving to another field where there are others within your age group, or for the one you are close to who is a Fellow Member to become a Charter Member. We pray that the Lord will provide each one of your needs, including the need for companionship and sexual fellowship, as you give and love freely within the guidelines He's put in place for you, His children that He loves and cares for.

More Men Needed!

113. I'm sure that lots of you women won't be surprised to hear me say that there seems to be a shortage of men in the Family. While there are a lot of wonderful married men around the world, and in some areas there are even a fair number of singles‚ in many places it seems that there aren't many options for you women in the way of potential husbands. I know that this is very difficult for many of you‚ and you battle loneliness and wonder if you'll ever find the right person for you. Circumstances being what they are, it's natural that some of you have "looked around" a bit outside the Family for potential guys, even if unintentionally at first.

114. In your witnessing, I'm sure that you come across many precious men, some of whom would seem to be ideal companions, mates, and fathers for your children. I'm sorry that we've had to be very strict in our rules concerning sex with outsiders, mainly in order to prevent the spread of AIDS within the Family. In many situations it might seem to you that all, or at least a good deal, of your personal problems and battles would go away if you could have a relationship with one of your friends, supporters or contacts, or even marry them. We have brought this matter before the Lord on several occasions, and each time He has confirmed that the rules we have in place, while difficult‚ are necessary. However, there is a way out, and it's a pretty thrilling one to consider!

115. In the following message, you'll find some hot and exciting counsel from Dad to you women—particularly you young ones—about how, through your witnessing and follow-up, you might even win your future mate to the Lord and the Family. I really admire you girls who have stuck it out for a long time, even though a big part of your life seems to be empty, and you wonder how you can possibly continue serving the Lord in the Family and still find a man to love and marry and have children with. Dad's idea could very well be the solution to your predicament!

116. (Dad speaking:) If there's a shortage of men in the Family, why don't you young women get on the stick and win'm? What's wrong with winning your future mates to the Family? What better way for you young people to win the labor leaders of your own generation? What better way for prospective labor ­leaders and national disciples to get the training they need?

117. The Lord has a plan‚ folks! There's a great harvest to be reaped in these Last Days! What better incentive to go out there and win the cream of the crop of this generation than for you, our own second generation, to go out and win'm and get husbands and wives as a result? Why not take'm under your wing and marry'm and teach'm and train'm as you work side by side as husband and wife? It's the principle I laid out in my Letter "Become One!" Why not become one with your own generation by winning your future mate to the Lord's Family and work?

118. In our early days, there was a shortage of women, so our boys had to go out and win'm! I won Mama! Ha! I took her under my wing from the time she was a babe and trained her and taught her—and look at the fruit! A lot of our folks have witnessed to and won their mates to the Lord and the Family, and they've found just what they needed. Of course, there are some drawbacks in getting hitched up with someone so young in the Lord and so new to the Family. Don't kid yourself that it's going to be all that easy. But there are plenty of advantages if it's the Lord's will. If they're the Lord's choice for you, then with His help and leading as you faithfully train'm and care for'm, they'll catch up in no time. In fact, this gives our new disciples a tremendous advantage‚ as they're then able to get individual, personal attention, and this will bear tremendous fruit in the long run.

119. Faithy won Juan, and look at the fruit that bore! The personal attention he received helped him to grow by leaps and bounds into the leader he is today. Becky brought Arthur in, and look at that fruit! Look around, and you'll see that there's a good number of the older generation who won their prospective mates to the Family in the early days, and later on in our FFing days as well.

120. If you ask anyone who did‚ I venture to say that those who were the spiritual elder in the relationship to begin with will testify of all the good fruit of such a relationship—not only in a disciple won, but in their own life as well. They had to pour into that new babe and train'm and teach'm all they knew, and this was good! What do you think you have all that training and wisdom and knowledge for, anyhow, if not to pour it out and train others?

121. Many of our folks have gone out to the mission field and won the nationals and then married'm, and look at the fruit! Isn't that what we're here for—to win disciples? What's wrong with winning your future husband or wife to the Family if the Lord is leading that way? There are many precious hungry souls out there who are genuinely seeking the truth and wanting something to dedicate their lives to. Those who are fed up with the System and ripe and ready for true discipleship are the ones you folks need to be following up on! And in the meantime‚ you just might find there are plenty of prospective husbands and wives in a crop of new disciples! This is tremendous, and should encourage you young folks, because the possibilities are endless!

122. There's a lot to be said for you young folks who have been raised in the Family going out and winning your prospective mates. This can bear tremendous fruit! What better training and advantage could a new disciple have than to team up with a young person who has been born and bred in the Family from birth?

123. Both the veteran and the new disciple can greatly benefit from an arrangement like this! The babe will benefit from all your expertise and years of experience and your wealth of spiritual training, and you will benefit from having to pour into them all the love and care that they need. It will keep you alive and fresh and on the ball spiritually. And on the practical side of things, you'll benefit from the newcomer's experience and knowledge too. When coupled with your wisdom and knowledge of the spiritual, this can make a dynamite team as you grow close to the Lord together. What better way for us to go out and win labor leaders who will stand strong in the days ahead?

124. Of course, each new disciple needs to be here for the right motives—for the Lord and for the Word. As in all witnessing, you'll have to watch for the worthy and wait for the witness, just like I used to tell you. I'm not saying you should now open the door to every Tom‚ Dick and Harry to come into our ranks for the wrong reasons, but there are lots of prospective disciples out there—labor leaders who are hungry and ripe and ready to be reaped for a life of fruitful service to the Lord!

125. It's high time our second generation goes out and wins some of their own! How else are we gonna win'm? The Lord's commission still stands to go and win the lost—and there's certainly nothing wrong with our folks becoming one with'm, becoming husband and wife‚ after they've passed all the tests!

126. The Scripture says very plainly that the harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few‚ and we're to pray for more laborers. What better way to teach'm and train'm than to marry'm? Be a true missionary and become one with'm in marriage!

127. The rules of no sex for babes for the first six months will still apply, so you'll have to have a bit of patience. But among our crop of new disciples, there should be plenty of prospects for future husbands and wives for our single second generation.

128. If you're in an area where there's not enough personnel and prospects already in the Family, then go out and win'm! Just be sure it's the Lord leading you. Be sure they're the Lord's choice, His hungry sheep and labor leaders. Follow the Lord's leading and stay in close counsel with your team­workers and shepherds, and hear from the Lord in prophecy for explicit personal directions, and you can't go wrong! Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, and He'll never fail to send the laborers we need, including prospective husbands and wives! (End of message from Dad)

129. (Mama: ) Wow, what an exciting challenge! Doesn't that inspire you to want to reach out to and win those of your generation to the Lord and the Family? The Lord wants to use the shortage of available mates that you're facing to compel you to win more disciples!

130. Of course, I understand that winning disciples isn't easy. It takes a lot of work; it takes time. Most of all, the Lord has to be in it, and you need to be following Him and His plans and leadings step by step. You may not just go out tomorrow and find the perfect guy who will gladly drop out and marry you and live with you happily ever after. But it's not an impossibility, either, and if you pray fervently, that'll improve your opportunities, needless to say!

131. In the early days of the Family, when we were winning so many of our husbands and wives like Dad described above, many of our witnessers prayed every single day before they went out witnessing that they would win not only souls, but disciples. Recruit and win all the men you can, girls. You need them and the Family needs them. Even if they don't end up getting together with you for one reason or another, they'll almost certainly get together with some other needy woman sooner or later. And maybe some other woman will win your future husband!

132. So let's pray in the men‚ like the Lord instructed us. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest‚ that He will send forth ­laborers into His harvest" (Mat.9:37,38).

133. Perhaps some of you women might feel this is not a very practical answer to your need for a husband. Understandably, you might want someone who's already strong in the Lord and well-trained from having grown up in the Family or spent many years in it. But leave yourself open, because the Lord might just have another plan—and His plans are always the ones that turn out best. You've got to seek Him‚ hear from Him‚ and let Him lead.

134. I also realize that such disciple-winning ventures, when you have a companion or mate in mind or are attracted to the person you're ministering to‚ will have their share of lessons and battles. You'll need shepherding, and you'll need to keep within the boundaries and follow the rules while ministering to these potential disciples, and that might not always be so easy. But I'm sure that the Lord has some very special people out there waiting for you‚ and that if you pray and seek Him and follow Him, He'll lead you to them and help you and strengthen you along the way. I look forward to hearing testimonies from those who bear fruit for the Lord in this way!

135. In the meantime, while you are seeking out potential husbands to win to the Lord and the Family, I pray that you'll continue to find comfort and love and everything that you need in the arms of your Heavenly Husband. He loves each of you wonderful women dearly. You're His beloved bride, and He's able to provide the love and com­panion­ship that you need, even when the circum­stances are far less than ideal. He's also given us His Law of Love and a Family in which we can love and care for and sup­port each other. So until you can be with "the one" you love, you can love the ones you're near and receive a measure of the Lord's love through them.

136. To close, I'd like to share an excerpt of a personal prophecy received for an FGA woman who wrote me sharing her struggles with loneliness and her trials about not being able to have sexual contact with those she witnesses to. The Lord gave some beautiful encouragement and helpful counsel that might be a blessing to you, too. The Lord has told ­several of our single mothers and other women going through loneliness battles and needing mates that they might find the solution to their problems through winning a new disciple. Maybe that's the Lord's solution for you as well!

137. (Dad speaking:) Just hang on, Sweetheart! You don't know the future‚ but the Lord does! Just live each day as it comes. The Lord will give you faith and strength and anointing for each day as you live it. Don't be tempted to worry about the future, to worry about your needs. Hasn't the Lord given you faith and grace thus far, and will He not continue to? Oh‚ what joy, what unending joy awaits you! Just hold on, Honey!

138. Hang on to Him! Continue to draw nigh unto Him, and spend that time with your Husband. Feel His arms around you. Remember to call upon Him in your hour of greatest need. He'll supply!—Maybe not in the way that you want or expect, but He'll supply in the way of comfort and grace. He's given you great joy, hasn't He? He's given you happiness. He's given you contentment, as you delight to do His will.

139. Regarding your question about these men that you see and come across and meet, who are so needy and so desirable, I know what a trial it must be to not be able to give yourself physically to them. It was a trial for me to have to lay down the rules and to stop the FFing, because I knew what good fruit it bore in these men's lives, how much it changed them, and how needy they were. But we just can't take the risk in the Family, for the days have waxed worse and worse and the plague of AIDS has been let loose upon the world as a purging, a scourging, a judgment.

140. However, Honey, don't think that just because you can no longer engage in the act of sex with these needy souls that that means you can't minister to'm, you can't love'm, you can't give'm affection, you can't supply a need. There are many ways of ministration. It doesn't mean you can't see them, invite them to your Home, give them a hug‚ feed them spiritually. It's not "all or nothing." There is a balance.

141. There's just one little part of ministering to them that you have to withhold. But as they say‚ sex is a small percentage of our lives. If they love and respect you and what you stand for, they'll understand that and comply with your wishes. They can still get love and affection through your touches and your hugs, through looking deep into your eyes, through your words, through your feeding them spiritually‚ even if you can't be with them in the bed of love in the actual act of sex.

142. You don't want to put yourself in a position where you're tempted above that you are able, and that's why it's best to go two by two and to have someone to work with‚ to be your partner—whether it's a man or a woman. That way you're not tempted. And who knows? Maybe the Lord will supply a mate for you in this way, someone who you will win to the Lord and to the Family‚ who will decide to join, and whom you can eventually marry. (End of mess­age from Dad.)

Keeping "Loving Jesus" Songs
For Him Only

143. As some of you may know, the "Loving Jesus" song "Eternal Love" has been sung during some Family performances‚ but it was performed as a "human love song." A few of the words were changed to make it less apparent it was a love song to the Lord, and the male and female vocalists sang it as though they were singing it to each other and not to the Lord. When I learned of this, I asked one of our channels if they could ask the Lord how He felt about this song being sung in this way. I also asked the Lord if the ones organizing one particular performance had prayed about the presentation of that song. Following is His beautiful message:

144. (Jesus speaking:) In this new day I would that My brides reserve for Me that which is rightfully Mine and precious in My sight. There have been times in days gone by when singing a song that was originally meant as a love song to Me could be performed as an expression of human love between two people, and I winked at this. For in days past some of the songs you sang to Me did not contain the height and breadth and depth of love that your love songs to Me express in this day, now that you have become My intimate lovers. As your love has grown and matured and deepened, as you have become My intimate spouse, your songs of love and expressions of love for Me have taken on a more personal, deep, and meaningful nature.

145. These precious‚ intimate words of love can be meant for no other save Me alone. With these songs of love that I have given you since you learned to love Me more intimately, there may be a rare instance—depending on the content of the song and the wording, the circumstances and the situation—when I will make exception for you to adapt a song originally written as an expression of love to Me‚ to sing it as a human love song.

146. I will not be put in a box, nor am I limited. I will listen to the petitions and reasoning of My children, should the need arise, when they bring these matters before Me. Yet with these songs and expressions of love My brides sing to Me in this new day, this would be on the very rarest of occasions.

147. These songs and expressions of love are very deep, very personal, very intimate, and are meant to draw you closer to Me. They are meant to be a vehicle whereby My brides can set their minds and thoughts and affections on Me, where they can come to My arms and abandon all as we make sweet love and commune together in My private chambers upon the bed of love.

148. These songs are as a great treasure to Me, for they are the expression of your love to Me alone. How I yearn to hear these songs, for their specialness, their passion, their fervor, their drive, their fire and their warmth fill Me to overflowing! How I hunger for these tunes of sweet love to Me‚ for I want and need and desire this devotion and expression of your love—love between you‚ My Bride, and Me, and no other.

149. There are many things in the world that distract My Bride—many sights and sounds and amusements geared toward other interests and other loves. Because of this, I would that you reserve these precious songs as something very special between thee and Me—something sacred, something to be held in high esteem, symbolizing the love and devotion we share, declarations of love proclaiming to all the world that we belong to each other.

150. With this particular song, the wording is not interchangeable nor applicable when sung as a human love song. Therefore when performed as such, it is inaccurate and does not convey a message of truth. There is no human love that is "unchanging." There is no human love that is not subject to fluctuation, to ups and downs, for human emotions and feelings are constantly changing. I am the Lord, and only My love changes not. Human love will fail, and only through Me can love last forever.

151. The entire theme of this song is eternal love, and this cannot be mistaken for human love. Only I can give "eternal love." Only My love is "unchanging" and "everlasting." Only My love is "as the stars above which shine through the storm‚" and only My love is "as broad as the horizon." Only My love can truly ever "set one free" and only I can give the "price­less gift of love." Therefore singing this song as a human love song is inaccurate.

152. This song is a hit. It's very powerful‚ and this is why the musicians wanted to sing it‚ thinking it would go over well. However, by com­pro­mising its message and singing it to those for whom it was not meant‚ it does not convey a true message, and in the end will not prosper. Singing this song as a human love song will only be counter­productive, for this song is non-transferable, non-translatable, non-interchangeable. As a human love song, it loses its truth.

153. This is a danger when planning a program, when choosing a song, when making decisions concerning any aspect of a perform­ance or program for your public—that you sometimes settle for something that is less than truth. Should My children seek to please the System while compromising My message, it will not prosper.

154. Although this team did pray and they sought Me for general direction concerning this program and the songs to be sung, they did not hear from Me in specific detail on this song and its presentation, getting down to the nitty-gritty and the fine details. In the enthusiasm of the musicians and organizers involved in this performance‚ though they intended well in sharing this song with their public, the Tempter entered in and cast a veil over their eyes. It is easy to get caught up in the thrill of the stage, the glamour of the lights‚ the excitement of the popularity and the thrill of the crowds, in the melody and the power and dynamism of the music, and to leave the other most important detail of considering the words and message unattended.

155. This concert has gone far and wide in the hearts of many, for I have been in it. Yet in this one area the Enemy has sought to enter in with compromise. To sing this song as a human love song to the public is not what I would have, for to translate these words as human love words is not a portrayal of truth.

156. Yet to the Family is the greater damage, for the Enemy seeks to cast doubt in their hearts. Those in My Family know beyond a shadow of a doubt what this song symbolizes to Me; they have been given great truth and light, and realize that only My love is "everlasting, unchanging, and eternal." So to sing this song as a human love song will only serve to break down the truth and compromise My Bride's convictions in loving Me.

157. Now that you have become My intimate spouse, I would that these songs of love and expressions of love be reserved for just the two of us, My Bride and Me, for they are very special to Me. These songs of love are engraved forever in My heart of love. They are something very precious to Me—golden tokens of your love for which I yearn.

158. Even if the musicians were to slightly change some of the words in the song to make it fit as a human love song, this would still be a compromise, because My children have heard this song over and over again and they know the meaning for which it was intended. To hear the same song that they have deemed special to Me and associated with loving Me all this time in a different presentation—one that suggests that human love is comparable to My love—will only be as a chipping away, a watering down of the truth and veracity of My love.

159. These songs are reserved only for Me. They are sacred to Me. They are My most intimate treasure for which I long—to hear your words of love, praise, thanksgiving and adoration to Me expressed this way in song.

160. I do not force. I do not command in this thing. Yet I come to you now as your intimate Lover. I kneel down before you and bid you, My darling brides‚ to guard our special treasure. I desire that you reserve these expressions of love for Me alone, for I am your most intimate Spouse, and only I am "as broad as the horizon." Only My love is "worth living for and worth dying for." Only My love is "eternal love," and I love you‚ My intimate brides, like no other can. (End of message from Jesus.)

161. (Mama:) In the following message, the Lord speaks further about how much our praises and words of love in song mean to Him. He then cautions us not to criticize the mu­sicians who made this mistake, but rather to be thankful that we can all partake of these lessons. I feel very badly to even have to highlight these folks in this way. I would have liked to share this general lesson with you without having to mention any specifics. However, since this video has been viewed by a lot of Family members already and you may know the individuals involved, there really wasn't any other way to get across this important message from the Lord. But God bless these dear folks, they agreed to let this be published for the benefit of all.

162. (Jesus speaking:) How I dwell in the praises of My people! How I revel in their sweet‚ sexy outpouring in song as My brides woo Me and sing to Me of their love! Oh, that they would sing, sing, sing to Me at every opportunity, for keeping praise in their hearts and a song on their lips is a vehicle to victory! As praise is the voice of faith‚ so do their love songs to Me open the gateways to receive My seeds!

163. I do not desire to point the finger at these musicians who sang this special song as a human love song‚ for there are others who are tempted to think of human love when singing these songs of love that are intended for Me. Many have made this same error in the past, and even do so in the present. Therefore let him who is without fault be the first to cast a stone. But there is none who can do so; for all have fallen and come short.

164. I am proud of My musicians for their sacrifice and their desire to please Me, for their willingness to be made willing to sing My mess­age of love to the lost and dying world. How I love their melodies and songs of sweet love to Me. How I glory and revel in them! How I long to hear them! How I love their loving Me in this way! How I love My minstrels and commend them for a job well done. This is why I teach them now in this way, that all may learn and grow thereby; that they might continue playing and singing and making sweet love and melody unto Me in the way that I desire. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

Lyrics to "Eternal Love"

That golden moment, Lord,

When You first held me near‚

Is engraved forever in my heart and mind.

You gave me love I thought I could never find,

A love divine, You truly cared for me.

When I was in despair,

You wiped away my tears.

You gave me hope when I was lost and feeling down.

You gave me peace when fear was all around,

The day I found Your eternal love.

Yours is a love that is unchanging,

Everlasting, as the stars above,

Shining through the storm.

Yours is a love that is as broad as the hor­izon.

You have set me free. I am reborn.

A love worth living for,

A love worth dying for,

A love worth giving everything I've ever owned.

Your love is overwhelming me.

I'll live to show

The beauty of eternal love.

Now I give back to You the life You gave to me,

Even though I know it's not enough to ­repay

Your priceless gift of love.

A love worth living for,

A love worth dying for,

A love worth giving everything I've ever owned.

Your love is overwhelming me.

I'll live to show

The beauty of eternal love.