Growing up, I never felt wanted. My parent’s relationship with each other was not good and when my mom died when I was 12 years old, I was left alone most of the time. Although I accepted Christ three months before she died, I was unprepared for the spiritual turmoil I faced when my church fell apart. This is when the Mormon missionaries showed up at my door and told me the story of my parent’s early involvement in Mormonism. I was intrigued by it, so I decided to try it out, even being baptized for the dead and receiving my endowments in the temple. What a creepy experience that was! I moved away to try to get away from the Mormons, but even there they found me! If it wasn’t for the Christian friends, I don’t know if I would have had the strength to leave Mormonism for good.
From a very young age, I felt as though I was a mistake and unwanted. My parents were always fighting with each other, whether it was over going to church or money or my dad’s drinking habit. When I was three years old, I remember going into my parent’s room where I saw my dad hit my mom in a fight. That night while he was working, she packed our things and took us to stay with a man whom I later learned was a leader in the Mormon church (a Bishop). We lived with him and his family for a little bit, until my mom gave in and listened to the bishop, and we went back to live with my dad.
Growing up, my dad was never home. He was always working, but there were always two men that came to our house and helped my mom clean and cook. Later I found out that they were Mormon missionaries. When my great-grandma on my mom’s side became sick, my mom, my sister and I went to out of state to live with her while my dad stayed home. While we were living there, I did not see any of those Mormon missionaries who were coming to our house. Then, my great-grandma passed away when I was seven. We stayed there until my dad came to join us.
One day while we were living there, my mom woke up in really bad pain. So she went to the doctor, and he said it was one thing so they put her on meds and then she was referred to another doctor for a second opinion. When that doctor told her that it was something else, they put her on a different medicine and so did five other doctors who she was referred to, until one doctor realized it was cancer. By that time, it was in the third stage. They put her on chemo so she lost her hair, and I shaved mine to be just like her. She wanted to be closer to her family, so she decided that we were moving back home.
She ended up surviving with the cancer for another two and a half years. But three months before my mom passed away, my neighbor invited me to Vacation Bible School. At the end of that week, I decided to give my life to Christ for the first time. I wanted to passionately follow Him with everything I had. So, at the end of that summer before my mom, at age 39, passed away, I invited her to come to church with me and there she gave her life to Christ just two weeks before she died.
I was only 12 years old when my mom passed away. My life has had a lot of changes since then. My dad started working more and he became an even heavier drinker. When my sister went off to college, I was left to fend for myself. I felt really alone when I started high school, so slowly my anger toward God began to build and I walked away from Him. Yet, I still went to church because I hated being in an apartment all by myself. I surrounded myself with others all the time. In high school I did cross country and track, badminton, tennis, golf, photography; I was on the yearbook staff as well as the newspaper staff. I went to all the sports events so I would not have to be by myself.
Then, in my sophomore year in high school, I found a Christian group called Young Life. I became really involved with them, went to camp that summer and I rededicated my life to Christ. I met a really nice guy named David, got to know each other and started dating. We dated and went to prom my junior year and his senior year. I really liked going to church with Young Life people.
I served in the children’s ministry and often gave my testimony of the power of God in my life. It was very freeing to know that so many people could relate to me. At one service, I helped lead six people to know Christ. I spoke at a Women’s conference that was held at my church and things seemed to be good for me. I got my first car and I made straight A’s.
It was not until my second semester that I started to fall away from God again. My pastor had announced that he was going to leave our church. So our church got a new pastor and then a few months later, the church decided that they didn’t like him. So, people started leaving the church and church attendance decreased to fewer than 20 people. For me, church became really fake, and I felt that I did not want to be a part of something that was not real. I had tried a few different churches but could not find one that I felt I could connect with. So, I too made the decision to leave church for good, but that never really happened because of what happened next in my life.
I had just turned 18 and had been out of church for about six months. I came home from school early one day because I had a bad headache and was not feeling good, so I went to bed. I was asleep for maybe 30 minutes or so when my sister came up to me and told me that I had a friend at the door. I was not expecting anyone, so it came to me as a shock.
When I went to talk to her, the first thing she told me was that she was a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. (When I was trying out different churches, I had come upon that church but did not stop because I felt it was very strange and I got this cold feeling that it was led by Satan.) Yet, this missionary, her name was Christena, told me that she wanted me to come to her Sunday school class with her on Sunday. When I told her that I was not interested, she proceeded to tell me that my parents where members of the LDS church. I argued with her, but with her really sweet spirit (which later I found out was really deceptive), she persuaded me to go with her to find out my parent’s story from the bishop. So, I decided I would take the chance and go. “What would I have to lose?” I thought.
I went and I was really intrigued by the idea that my parents were Mormons, so when I got home, I asked my dad if it were true and he told me that it was true, but that the only reason why he was a member was because my mom really wanted to be. He had never believed it. He just accepted it. My dad never gave me advice on anything, but the one thing he did tell me was not to get involved with the Mormons.
I wish now that I had listened to him, but I didn’t and so decided I would try the Mormon church out to see if I could find a place where I could fit in. I had been going for about a month when the missionaries had asked me to pray about becoming baptized, and I said “sure.” I had prayed about it, but I had felt nothing except a really cold feeling. I told the missionaries about it and they told me that the reason I feel like that was because I don’t have enough faith. So, I prayed again and again and finally, I just told myself I was at peace with being baptized, going against my family. I so desperately wanted to find a place where I belonged.
So, I was baptized and made a member of the Mormon church. I went to all my classes, got a “calling” also known as works or duties, but I still did not feel like I fit in. I wanted to keep doing more, so I paid more tithing and I did more volunteer work, thinking that it would make me feel more apart of the church, but it did not.
Finally I talked with Christena, and she told me that I needed to follow the commandments and make myself worthy to enter the temple, their sacred place on earth. So I did just that. I had an interview with the bishop to see if I was worthy enough to enter. He said I was, so I prepared the best I could to enter the temple.
Christena helped me get the names of my dead ancestors so I could become baptized and confirmed as a member of the church on their behalf. The Mormons’ belief is that a person has a chance after death to accept the gospel, but that if they were not baptized on earth before they die, they cannot progress into the levels of heaven.
When I did it, I thought it was weird that I was standing as a proxy for my dead ancestors, but after I did this, I felt even worse, that Satan had come into me and took over me. I felt really cold and just had the death look. I did not find it to be the “most peaceful place on earth” as the Mormons had claimed it would be.
I also had my endowments done in the temple that was an even creepier experience than the whole baptism for the dead thing. The reason why I had gotten my endowments done at this time was so that I could serve a mission for the Mormon church, because if I didn’t get them done now, it would happen when I got married. So, I went into the temple and the temple worker told me to go get undressed and put on a white cloth which was like a sheet with a whole in it for my neck. Then the worker sent me to this room with lots of other ladies who were getting theirs done. We were all standing in a line and were touched with oil that was rubbed all up and down every single part of our bodies. Then we were prayed over with protection that God would be close to us. We then received our Mormon undergarments (the secret or magical underwear). We were to wear them everyday from that day forward and it was supposed to protect us from all evil.
One of the reasons I did not serve my mission is that I decided I was going to move out of state, in hopes of getting rid of the Mormons once and for all. I arrived there in August of 2010, and I had only been out there but a week when I was on the phone with a counselor who told me about a college group at a Baptist church that she suggested I should try. It has been a huge blessing.
At first, I was really nervous because of how many people were there. I stood until a lady named Kristina came up and introduced herself to me and then introduced me to a lady named Katie. I talked with Katie and told her that I was wanting to do a one-on-one Bible study with someone.
So, we had been getting together one-on-one when in the middle of our study, the Mormons found out where I was staying. So, they came to my house and tried to persuade me to go back to the Mormon church. (I thought it was creepy that they came and found me). I told them that I was planning on leaving their church and I explained to them why I was leaving, but they tried to teach me the opposite. So I clung to people, especially Katie, to keep me strongly rooted in my biblical faith. One night, I brought Katie all the Mormon stuff and she helped me get rid of all of it, even the little things I had wanted to hold on to. She told me that it was just stuff. It was a little hard for me to let some of it go, but afterward, it felt very liberating to let it all go.
Katie encouraged and helped me write a letter to have my name removed from the LDS church’s records, so I did, but I got a letter back saying that I had to meet with their leaders. When I did, they gave me the turn-around and tried to get me to stay in the church. They kept sending different people to come to my house and use their Satanic tactics to get me to stay in their church. If it were not for Katie being very persistent in her faith and showing me the truth, I probably would have gone back with the Mormons. It had been my security blanket, but Katie helped me see that God is the only One who should be my security blanket.
During one Wednesday night at the church, I decided I was going to recommit my life to Christ for good. Katie helped me withstand the Mormons and they stopped messing with me for a while. During this time, God showed up in my life and He said, “I finally have you.” I got to see what God wanted for my life. I started serving, but the one thing I was afraid of letting go from the Mormons was tithing. So I had been attending my Baptist church, but was still tithing to the Mormon church.
Katie finally made me see that I do not owe them anything, so I finally stopped. It took me a few months before I could tithe again. But God put it on my heart that my new church was where I needed to be, so I have made the commitment to stay. God has brought me through so much healing from the Mormons. He allowed me to go through it, so I can help others who are struggling. I now see how truly deceptive the Mormons are and how they are in desperate need of God. My goal is to bring lost Mormons to Christ. God has the power to use me to bring lost souls to Him. He is using my church to help me gain the strength I need to stay strong. I am truly blessed.
I now ask God for the people who need my testimony so that I can help them. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). Know that God is watching over you and will keep you safe from evil.