Charlotte’s story: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free
“I can truly say that the Lord taught me because when I came to know the Lord I didn’t trust anyone.”
These were the words shared with me by Charlotte as she contemplated how she became a Christian. Her pathway to faith was not an easy one, especially for those who were once members of the Mormon Church.
For those who have come out of Mormonism, lack of trust is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome. When reaching the conclusion that the teachings of Mormonism are not true it becomes a dramatic shock to those who grew up in the Mormon Church. An unquestioning faith in the prophets and leaders of the Mormon church and its teachings are practically mandated and vigorously taught at a very early age. When Mormons are brought to the point that they must reject the teachings of Mormonism, it is heart-wrenching. The feeling of utter betrayal by the Mormon Church typically leads an ex-Mormon down the path of unbelief. Who can they trust to tell the truth?
Finding truth is the story of Charlotte’s journey from Mormonism to the Christian faith.
Charlotte was raised in the Mormons church and was a devoted follower. She was married in the Manti temple in Utah, but her husband left the church over an incident with an LDS bishop. Wanting to stay loyal to her husband, she also left the church and continued to fervently pray that if the Mormon Church was true, God would lead her back some day. Though she was torn and distressed in leaving her beloved church, she learned that the Lord used this event and other challenging circumstances in her life to lead her to the risen Christ of the Bible.
Her journey had already begun when she was a teenager. She said, “A Baptist preacher was preaching to me the truth of God’s Word, but I couldn’t understand a word of what he said. It was like listening to Greek. Ten years later I started attending a women’s Bible study… and I was very arrogant in my knowledge of the Bible. I couldn’t connect relationally and I felt like I was just a project to those ladies.” She then attended a church evangelism meeting. The Lord used that meeting to bring her to faith. She replies, “It has taken over fifteen years to sort out my thinking. The Lord has used a number of different circumstances to teach me first to trust the Bible to be true and then to understand what he really means in his Word and not what I was told it meant.”
Charlotte encourages Christians to be prayerful and patient when witnessing to Mormons. She says, “What many Christians don’t understand is that the enemy has taken the same word of God and put a distorted meaning to it in the LDS Church. The Word of God is essential as well as praying the ears will hear and the eyes will see. Just being a godly friend is most important. Let God work in their hearts and be in tune to Him so that he can use you to say and do just the right thing at just the right time. One of my favorite scriptures is, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ (John 8:32) That truth isn’t always pretty, but it is liberating in the Lord.”
We praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit has brought Charlotte to faith in the Jesus of the Bible. We are thankful that she can fully take him at his Word. Finally, we are encouraged again to see the power of God’s Word at work in people’s hearts – even those lost souls who have been terribly misguided in their perceptions of God. We are thankful that Charlotte found Truth in Love Ministry on the internet and expressed her appreciation on how this ministry is reaching out to Mormons with gentleness and love while relying on the truth of God’s Word.
Kathleen’s story: An ex-Mormon’s journey to the truth of God’s Word
After being born and raised in the LDS Church, Kathleen became an inactive member after a painful divorce with her Mormon husband. Even though she didn’t want anything to do with religion or God, she still wanted to believe in the LDS teachings. Then, the Lord led her to a Christian man and they began dating. He lovingly and patiently challenged her to compare the teachings of the LDS Church with what the Bible teaches. The comparison was startling. She came across teachings from the Bible that she never heard before.
The Lord led her on a long process of careful research and prayer. She told me, “God was very patient with me and showed me bits of truth from the Bible in small doses. It proved how loving God really is. He knew me so well and knew how traumatic it would have been to find out that my whole life I had believed false teachings. It had never occurred to me throughout my entire life that the Bible contradicts the Book of Mormon in many places.” When her Christian boyfriend showed her that nowhere in the Bible does it talk about the LDS teachings on the pre-existence, becoming a god, celestial marriage, etc…, she was terribly shocked. She had sincerely believed that these teachings were common knowledge to all Christians.
God eventually led Kathleen into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ only a few years ago. The same Christian man who helped her leave Mormonism is now her husband. She encourages Christians to be patient, loving, and persistent when witnessing to Mormons. A huge hurdle is discovering the contradiction between the Bible and 2 Nephi 25:23 (Book of Mormon) where it says that God’s grace is only sufficient after all you can do.
She told me, “Another thing that helped bring me out of Mormonism was learning how the Bible came about. This is not really something taught in the LDS church. I grew up in the Mormon Church believing the Bible to be good but very unreliable. Discovering just how God was able to preserve his precious Word over thousands of years is a miracle and certainly a tribute to how powerful God is (Matt. 24:35).”
Kathleen’s entire family is still Mormon. They are not very happy with her decision to leave the LDS faith. She continues to pray for them and reach out in love as much as possible. Her prayer is that one day that the powerful Word of God will break the chains the LDS Church has on them and set them free. She wrote, “The Word of God and Jesus’ unconditional love is what started the process of bringing me out of the LDS church and into a saving relationship with Jesus. My prayer is that God can use me to spread his love and word to all my LDS friends and family.”
The following are verses that helped Kathleen come to faith in the real Christ: Galatians 2:20-21, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 1:14-17, Psalms 103:12, Matthew 27:51, Matthew 10:37-38, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 64:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:23, 3:28, 5:1-2, 11:6, Jeremiah 17:9.
Becki’s story: Growing up in a polygamist community to faith in Christ
“Up until last October I was a Mormon.”
These are the words of Becky who shared with me her story of coming out of a polygamist group in southern Utah. It was both a remarkable and a difficult journey.
“I grew up in the Allred Group, a fundamentalist Mormon group in Utah, believing in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. At the age of 35, my husband and I left that group and joined mainstream Mormonism. Of course, it was an easy decision to make because neither me or my husband wanted to live in Polygamy but we were still brainwashed in the Mormon religion. We were very happy doing works to gain salvation because the works we were doing were way better than being in polygamy. Our children grew up pretty much as mainstream Mormons and our two eldest sons went on missions and cemented their testimonies on the false teachings of Mormonism.
I honestly never liked Joseph Smith because of the Polygamy thing but I felt that I needed to finally gain a testimony of him so I purchased a book available at a LDS bookstore. I couldn’t believe what I read about the details of his life and how Mormonism started. Reading that book destroyed my testimony and destroyed the faith I had in Mormonism. I doubted at one point that God even existed! I got to the point where I knew I had to trust
something. Upon seeing God’s creation in this world and in heavens, even the creative design of our bodies, I knew that if I could trust anything it would be my God over Joseph Smith. My husband and I have always wanted Gods truth not our own desires and I know that God drew us to the truth. Through an amazing set of circumstances and timing, we both started studying the Bible and eventually came to faith. It has been amazing to read the Bible as a Christian. It keeps me going.
My adult children and spouses are still Mormon and I along with their dad have broken their hearts because we have found the truth about Mormonism. They are angry and upset with us, plus sad for their two younger siblings that we have taken from the Mormon Church. There is nothing I can say to convince them that the Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and we look to him for our Eternal Salvation. One of the hardest things I’ve done is to give my kids up to God. I have always loved my kids more than anything. At one point, I even considered staying in Mormonism just for them. But as I was listening to the Bible and heard the scripture verses that talk about giving up everyone for Christ, I knew I could not throw away the gift I was given. My Eternal Salvation.
I also recently witnessed to my LDS sister and crushed her world. She went home and told her husband and now they are looking into the things I have told them about Mormonism and the true Christ. Obviously we are also broken-hearted that our children and family members will not even look at facts. We must accept the true Jesus Christ and he is only found in the Bible. We believe that we are finally saved because we believe what the Bible tells us. We are free for the first time in our lives! It feels amazing, but we also carry a great burden since we have so much family in Mormonism.”
Jim’s Story: The Power of Taking God at His Word
I love stories. I especially enjoy hearing stories of grace — when God plucks those who have spent a lifetime trying to be good and doing good works until they realize it can never be enough. Allow me to share with you a story about Jim. He contacted our ministry to encourage us that we are using an awesome approach to share God’s love through His Word to his people. He’s a former Mormon who lives among Mormons. But that’s not all. He lives in a community dominated by the religion and the culture of Mormonism. For a variety of reasons, it’s a great challenge to publicly declare his faith. Here is a condensed version of the emails that he has sent to me:
“I grew up Baptist but never had the gospel explained to me properly. I went to church every week and to a Christian summer camp every year. I loved the Lord but did not really understand the gospel nor my sinful nature. Each year at camp kids would run around saying “I am saved” and I had no idea what they were talking about. Years later, when the Mormon missionaries came knocking on my door, I took the lessons and was deceived due to my lack of Biblical study and understanding.
It was completely my fault.
My family moved from Salt Lake City to a smaller town in Utah while I was in the 5th grade. Until we moved, my friends really didn’t care what religion I belonged to. Now, in a small community dominated by Mormons, nobody would play with me for a long while. The only ones that did were not the strong LDS types.
While in high school I had lots of close friends who were strong Mormons. I eventually took the discussions offered by the missionaries and joined the church. I got married to a Mormon girl and we have three kids. My wife and I were sealed for time and eternity in the American Fork, Utah temple.
Shortly after I was married, a man I was working for witnessed to me about the fallacies of the church. He told me some crazy stuff about Joseph Smith and I promptly quit the job. I still had no idea of what it really meant to be saved. All I knew was that sinners that were really bad went to hell but everyone else would go to heaven.
It was not until several years later, I came across a ministry that shared about the true teachings of the Bible. It was in God’s Word where I saw my depravity and knew I deserved to be ground to dust on judgment day and cast into the lake of fire forever. I then understood the awesomeness of our God to stoop down from his throne and die for me. He loved the world so much that he sent His Son to die in my place. I still can’t wrap my head around the depths of why He would do this for me, but I am so grateful for His mercy, and love.
About two months later I woke up praising God as to how great He was and how kind He was to let me live on such a beautiful world. I was halfway to work when I realized what had happened. It was like a light bulb went off. I then had a strong craving for His Word and suddenly it came alive to me. I never liked Christian music before but now I couldn’t get enough.
I was driving my family crazy for a while but have learned to tone it down and turn it from preaching to teaching. Wow a big change now; with the Lords help I have been able to make huge inroads to my family. It’s all in baby steps. I talked with my wife about starting a Bible study about forgiveness and she said yes. That is HUGE!
I have praised God so many times and beg him for patience and discernment to know when to stop or slow down to not shut them off to His word. I know I can’t move to fast or I will lose them. The Lord has let me learn that as I try to take over from His teaching, I mess it all up, so I need to pay attention and keep it simple. I have read so much and listened to so many things it starts to swim in my head. Now I am trying to get back to the Bible and only the Bible and use His word. It’s the only way. I am rock solid in my faith in Christ, the Bible being the inerrant Word and completely trustworthy. And I know where I am going when I leave this earth, only on the shed blood of Christ my King and LORD God by His grace and mercy for me.
I still belong to the Mormon Church and attend its services even though I no longer believe in its teachings and have become a Christian. The people at the Mormon Church do not know that I don’t believe in it anymore. Some are aware that I know the Scriptures (Bible) decent but I don’t believe they know my true feelings. I do try to fit in stories of how Jesus helps me realize that I am completely bankrupt without him and I must completely rely on Him for everything. If I share my true feelings I run the risk of losing my family — and I can’t risk that. So, in the meantime, I share God’s Word with my wife and children and pray that as a family, we will all come to the true faith of the real Jesus Christ.”
There are more and more people like Jim. I believe they are on the cusp of true faith in Christ. Only the power of God’s Word can bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ. And TILM is going to be doing all it can to bring that all-important Word to them.
“I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.” (Romans 11:13b-14)