LA VONNE – My journey into Mormonism and then Finally Freedom in Christ!
It is interesting how patterns repeat themselves and either pulls one into a false religion or maintains that false religion if they happen to be born into it. People are creatures of habit and will often mindlessly repeat patterns without searching out the choices they make. This is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ: he tells us through His Word the Bible to search and test all things. As you listen to my journey, look for the repeated patterns until truth set me free.
My journey began as a young girl being raised by a mother that loved me but didn’t know how to show it. She did not have God in her life and so did not know how to guide me to follow God’s will in my life. She was very controlling and often had rules that didn’t make any sense. Rules like you cannot wear jeans or eat certain foods. Her many marriages would cause me to feel excluded and unloved. Her ridiculously strict rules would eventually cause me to seek freedom outside of her control at an unprepared and early age.
I lived a life of sin seeking to be loved and accepted, longing for a family of my own. I was ignorant in many ways. Knowledge about religion was no exception. I was attending beauty school at 19 years of age, seeking to better my life when I first heard of Mormons. Some of the girls there were talking about Mormons and I asked what that was. Was it an alien? I didn’t even know it was a religion. One of the girls said she would send the missionaries to my home.
I began taking the missionary discussions. What I was taught then was NOT what I know now. I was taught about Jesus and told that He loved me. That was enough for this sinful girl needing love and acceptance. I was quickly baptized into the Mormon faith. What started out as my love for Jesus, and what I thought was His love for me, turned into a continuous struggle to try to be good enough through a series of rules to earn this love and acceptance that I first experienced. I was no longer free. I didn’t know it, but I was becoming more and more entangled into the bondage of Mormonism.
I married my husband at 22 years of age who was also a Mormon. We were not “good enough” to be married in the temple so we were married in the Mormon Chapel, something that was frowned upon and almost didn’t happen because Mormons prefer to marry people directly in the temple.
I would strive for another 12 years to get my husband to go to the temple. Neither he nor I wanted to wear the garments, but my guilt would plague me and cause me to go to the temple without him. This was very damaging on my marriage, as I was wearing the very ugly garment 24 hours a day as instructed. You can read more about that in my book, in the chapter called “What happened to my sexy wife?”
The fruits of living a life involving another gospel than the one Jesus intended were beginning to manifest themselves in my life. My family was falling apart and I did not know what to do. Our daughter tried to commit suicide, my husband was checking out emotionally and our two young sons hated church. We would unfortunately continue on like this for another few years, not knowing that there was a better way, and that God really did want to set us free.
One day, my daughter came home from water polo with a gash in her arm. I asked about it and she told me she fell. I let it go, not understanding the seriousness of it. Finally, one day I was in the Mormon Church with my family and I noticed another gash going across the first one. I called her out of church and told her I knew she was cutting herself and I wanted to know what was wrong. She was in fear of telling me and made me wait another day. She needed to gain the courage and support from her Christian friends to tell me she could not be a Mormon anymore. She said she did not believe in Mormonism and the stress was killing her. Thankfully, I had enough sense to hug her and tell her we would get through it.
Later, though, I needed to know what God wanted me to do; I went out on a trail by myself and fell to my knees crying, asking God what He wanted me to do. My family was falling apart and yet I did not want to betray Him. The Mormons had taught me that I belonged to the “true church” and that if I left, I would be sinning against God.
I was afraid, but God is so faithful. I felt a blanket of peace embrace me and I felt inspired to take my family to the local Christian Community Church. God’s timing was perfect and everything I began to learn in the Christian faith began to bring clarity and healing to my family and myself. Each lesson began to clear up all the fog and confusion taught to me by the Mormons.
There was a lesson on Abraham and how when he sought to do things his way and not God’s, he brought trouble to himself, Sarah and Hagar. It became very clear to me that polygamy was not God’s will, but man’s. I began to search everything out. I dove into many studies on Christian theology and other religions. I also developed enough courage to search the history of Mormons. With the Internet now available it is not as easy for the Mormon Church to hide its horrible foundation and history.
I felt extremely betrayed and foolish for believing such a lie. I had to go through the journey of forgiving the Mormon Church, which I have. Many members in the church truly do not know their history or all that the church believes as I myself did not know. So I have great compassion on them. I pray for them, and I have a great desire to see them set free in Christ as I have been set free in Christ.
My family is completely restored, and we are all doing better than we ever have! Praise God! Our daughter married a very godly man and she and her husband are expecting their first baby in May 2013! They are both in ministry for the Lord.
Our boys walk in the freedom of God’s love and our youngest serves at Saddleback Church. My husband and I are stronger and more in love as we are walking in God’s truth and grace. God is the triple cord in our marriage, not the Mormon Church and its rules. We trust God and allow Him to work in our relationships and we know that He works all things out for the good of those who love Him. There are not any rituals that one can do to secure a marriage and “make” it last forever. God has said that love seals all things, Colossians 3:14. We love God, seek Him in all we do and love others.
May God bring His truth and healing in every area of your life as you seek Him and His will for your life. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free! (John 8:32)
I have written a book about the importance of shepherding the church of God so that people will not be deceived like I was in Mormonism. My book is entitled, Loved Into the Light — Shining God’s Light on Mormonism, and it points to following the truth of God’s Word found in the Bible. Each chapter stands alone and will bring the reader clarity from all the confusion. As a result, peace will fill your life as you are guided back into a relationship with Jesus. You can learn more about my book and how to order it by visiting my website here: http://lovedintothelight.com/