My Mormon heritage goes all the way back to Joseph Smith. My genealogy crosses his genealogy. My beginnings were in a small town in Idaho. I went to church in an old stone building across the street from my house. Sundays were fun hearing stories about Jesus and getting a gold star on my forehead. We had a big family and lots of friends, all Mormon. I have fond memories of friendships and social gatherings.
When I was about six years old I was with my Grandmother Lucy in the basement of that old Mormon Church in Rigby, Idaho. Grandma was talking to another woman about Jesus Christ. I wanted to know more and kept bugging her with questions. She took the time to tell me about Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins and if we pray to Him and thank Him for His gift, He will be the constant friend by our side and we can live in Heaven.
I went to another room all by myself and prayed to Jesus for his gift of salvation and Jesus has been my constant companion ever since.
As a child in the Mormon Church, all I wanted was to hear stories about Jesus. As I got older, I felt a conflict with the Jesus I knew and the Mormon teachings I grew up with. However, I did not know anything else but Mormonism, and I did not know where to go.
The Mormon Church taught that if you were not a Mormon you would not live with God in Heaven. “No!” I said to this teaching. “A church and all it rules and regulations cannot get you to Heaven. Jesus already did that on the cross at Calvary.” I came to the conclusion that all the interviews I had from the Church to check on my worthiness was not of God, it was of man. God is my daily interviewer. Everything from the Mormon Church was man intervening between God and me.
Beginning in High School and my two years at Ricks College, I began to ask some serious questions about Mormonism. No one could answer my questions in a way that seemed right, and I was told by the Mormon Church that I did not have enough “faith.” These are only a few of the questions I had:
- If this is our probation time on earth and Jesus is our brother, and we are working to be “Gods,” how can Jesus have been God when He came to earth? Wouldn’t He have been in His probation on earth, just like we are?
- I wanted to visit places mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but I was told no one knows where these places are and that there are no remnants to show where those people actually lived. When we have ample evidence of places mentioned in the Bible, it did not make sense that no even one of the Book of Mormon places could be found today. How could so many people live without leaving something behind?
- The Bible says that God will not let His Church be taken from the earth. (See Matthew 16:18; Hebrew 12:28) Why, then, did the Mormon Church need to bring God’s Church back?
- At Matthew 24:35, God promised to preserve His Word. He would never let it become corrupt. I was told that the Bible was “translated” wrong by men. This was impossible in my mind, because I firmly believed God was more powerful than a man and that He would make sure His Words were what He wanted me to know.
- I wondered why it seemed the Mormon Church targeted only the good people. Why don’t we go out and teach all people, even if they are bad people, like in prisons? Bad people need to hear about Jesus too.
- The Bible tells me I “have” eternal life with God. (1 John 5:11-13) The Mormon doctrine says I have a list of things I have to do to be able to live with God. So why, in Mormon doctrine, do I need Jesus, if I have to do things to get to Heaven? Was His blood not sufficient enough to make me acceptable to God?
- After going to the temple I told my husband, mother and father that I did not want to be a “god.” They replied that I would understand and accept this teaching “in time.” When I firmly stated I would not live with my husband in Heaven if I had to share him with lots of other wives, I was told I could choose whether I wanted to follow that command. But this only made me have more questions. If I could choose about this command, how many other commands could I choose to obey or not to obey?
Sometimes when I was given answers to questions, I found out that their answers were not reliable. For a great deal of time, I was branded a “troublemaker,” “rebellious,” and “faithless.”
For most of my life, I have felt out of place on this Earth. I know I feel this way because Earth is not my home. God has a plan. He created the earth as a temporary home. Also, for most of my life I was living in a belief system that did not match with the Jesus in the Bible. I was tormented for 40 years.
Then, one Sunday morning in 1986, a power stronger than myself assisted me. As my family was getting ready for the LDS Church, I announced I was not going to Church. I felt a strength I had not ever experienced. I was asked if I was sick or if someone hurt my feelings? My reply was no to all questions. I announced with power and affirmation, “I am not going to Church today, and I probably will not go to Church ever again.” My family was in shock as they went off to church. My two oldest sons were preparing for their Missions.
For 3.5 hours while my family was at Church, I prayed asking God to show me where He wanted me to go now? I did not know where I was going, but I trusted God to get me there.
I stepped away and just immersed myself in a quest to find the Jesus I knew as a child.
Jesus took me into the wilderness and with just Him and me. He must have known it would take a long time to remove all the years of wrong teaching in the Mormon Church. I did not attend any church. I did not want another religion to dominate my life and thoughts.
After long hours of prayer and time with Jesus, I attended Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel in the year 2003. The music was loud and I was standing and singing. I heard someone call my name as if it was the only sound in the room. I turned around to search out the voice. I saw no one. I still was uncertain where God wanted me and had only attended Calvary Chapel a few times. Then, in October of 2004, I became very ill. I was in so much pain. With medication, I slept 15-20 hours every day. I thought I might be living my last days on earth. I was humble and ready to meet my Lord. About January 2005 the Lord moved inside my heart and soul and has been active in my life ever since. Then, on March 30, 2005 I had an amazing revival experience.
I began voracious reading. First I was led to the end times and Revelation. I started reading the Bible everyday. I always believed I did not need to be baptized again after I was baptized when I was eight years old. Then, I was standing in Rocky Mountain Calvary Sunday June 5th, 2005. The announcement was that June 11th there would be a baptism at Fox Run Park. The thought came to me that June 11th is my birthday and I wanted to be re-baptized, but this time as a real Christian and not as a Mormon. I walked up to the water with Jesus, not just beside Me, but inside me! The water rushed over me. It was amazing! It felt like the water washed me clean of all the pain of searching for the Jesus my Grandmother had shown me.
On earth, we have a chance to know Jesus. Jesus came to earth and gave us a gift, an awesome gift! He gave us the path to our eternal home. When Jesus died on a cross, He took with Him all of our sins, sorrows, and earthly iniquities. He did this for me and He did this for you! What sorrow and pain he must have felt because of our sin. For a brief time, our sins separated Him from Heavenly Father. How horrible could that have been? We probably can’t comprehend such a thing. We need to release our sin to Jesus and thank Him for His free gift of grace that He gave us on the cross and allow Him to take us to Heaven. It is not about me. God says my good works are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) It’s about Jesus and the gift of His righteousness covering my sin.
My journey from a six years-old to a fifty-nine year-old is amazing! No one can take you by the hand and show you the way except Jesus. Relationship —not religion— relationship with the Lord is the way to eternal life with God!
Read I John through several times. If you do not believe you are saved the moment you place your trust in Jesus, then read it again. I believe His gift of salvation is not an “if” or “maybe” or “when.” My salvation and eternal life with God is not based on me. If I have to do something for it, then it is not a gift. I could never be good enough to be eligible for such a precious and eternal gift. If one believes they get to heaven by their own abilities, they step over the cross and raise themselves up above our precious and Holy Lord Jesus Christ.
When we surrender all to God, we empty ourselves of self and God fills us up with Himself. If there is room for despair and doubt and self-righteousness, then that is the part that we have not surrendered.
Trust God! Ask yourself some questions? “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” “Is He the path to life with God for all eternity?” “Or do you think you need to do something in the LDS Church or the Temple to get to the place where God is in Heaven?” There is only one answer: JESUS!!! One path leads to Heaven by Jesus Christ. The other path leads to Hell by your own doing. (Galatians 5:4; Matthew 7:13-14) Yes! There is a Hell and it is permanent. (Matthew 25:46)
I would like to put my Mormon history away and never think about it again. Two reasons I believe I cannot do this: For forty years the Mormon teaching was crammed into my head. I felt like my freedom to search out the truth and think for myself was terminated. And the second reason is that God is calling me to be involved in mission work. This call from God is the reason I wrote this testimony.
It is not about me! I will spend eternity praising and worshiping God! Everyday, for all eternity, He will teach me about the limitless and awesome aspects of Himself. I dedicate my life to the Father and Lord Jesus Christ.
UPDATE AUGUST 2009:
It has been a few years since I wrote this testimony (above) and I have a few more thoughts to share with you. I am still attending Rocky Mountain Calvary. A church cannot save you. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’.” (John 14: 6) Jesus is eternal. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and Word was God. (John 1:1) He is the Creator of heaven and earth and everything in them. He is not created.
Salvation is a free gift. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24) Jesus Christ did it all. It is finished. Read the entire book of Romans. You will clearly see salvation is by faith and not by works. The law is the Old Covenant. It was a covenant of works. It failed to bring righteousness. Just as works does not bring righteousness today.
Romans 5:17 KJV:
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. “
1 Corinthians 1:30 KJV:
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption”
The New Covenant is a gift of love. It is all about the Cross. Jesus had to die to fulfill the covenant. Read Hebrews 9 and 10. He is reaching down to us with this free gift of eternal life. All we must do is recognize that we fall short of God’s glory and acknowledge that we need the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Savior. We then walk in a personal relationship with God. I live to give God glory. I am not seeking any glory for myself.
My husband has also asked Jesus to be his Savior. We renewed our wedding vows in November. Our marriage covenant is a covenant of three, looking forward to our Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus Christ and the wedding feast in heaven.
Everything we do on earth is to give God glory. We are not working for our own glory. God is enthroned in the center of our lives and we act in obedience to Him by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
My prayer is for you to be willing to give up allegiance to a church and give your full worship and allegiance to God. He simply wants you to love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and spirit.