I was a member of the Mormon Church until one day I appeared at a Bishop’s Court and requested that my name as a member be removed from the records of the Church.
Approximately eight years before this time, I was discussing the Bible with a friend who was a Christian. I told him that I believed the Bible, but I confessed I did not believe some of the verses of Scripture he read, because the doctrine was contrary to the teachings o the Mormon Church. My friend asked why I confessed faith in the Bible, yet did not believe these verses of Scripture we were discussing.
I quoted the eighth article of the "Articles of Faith" of the Mormon Church to prove that a person had to be very careful concerning the Bible and its teachings. "We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly…"
I thank God for the challenge that confronted me when my friend requested that I show him the part of the Bible that was mistranslated, as inferred by the quotation from the eighth Article of Faith. Although I could not supply this information, I accepted the challenge, because I surmised that it would be very easy to obtain.
After numerous inquiries and request to those who had authority, I began to doubt that such information existed. It was also revealing and astonishing that these men who held the Melchizedek priesthood and who were called of God to administer and preach the gospel (according to Mormon belief) knew so very little about the Bible.
I was provoked to study. I began to learn about the translations of the Bible. The information was obtained from reliable and authoritative sources, not from a religious denomination. A beautiful picture of the preservation of God’s Word began to unfold before me. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:25). I found that God’s Word, the Holy Bible was not mistranslated.
I began to study the Bible, and these verses that friends, who were Christians, had read or quoted to me, now became a challenge.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5, 6).
"Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His purpose, and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Timothy 1:9).
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isaiah 64:6).
According to these verses of Scripture, a man is not saved by his own righteousness and good works, as I had been taught in the Mormon Church, but he is saved through faith, by the grace of God and by the gift of God.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should no perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).
Prayerfully, humbly, and with diligence, I studied the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and many other writings and publications of the church, to become more firmly grounded in the faith and to be able to answer these strange teachings.
The more I studied and asked questions, the greater became the gulf between Mormon teachings and the Bible teachings. I also discovered that the Mormon books did not agree with one another. These things compelled me to investigate into the history of the church and its founders. This information (as with the Bible) was obtained from reliable, authoritative sources, not from a religious denomination.
I found such confusion, contradiction and misrepresentation, that I could no longer trust in Mormonism for my eternal salvation. I turned to God’s Word, and to it alone.
I thank God for the deliverance from the power of darkness into His marvelous Light; and for directing me to His precious Work, the Holy Bible.
Since the day I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, I have known what real peace and joy is. For I have the peace of God which passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7). How wonderful it is to know that I am a son of God!
"As many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12).
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall se him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
I am thankful to God that I am saved and know the power of God and what it has done in my life. His Word says:
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Dear friend, do you want to be saved and know the power of God?
All you have to do is to take God at His Word. Recognize yourself as a lost sinner. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and put your trust in the Only One Who can save, the Lord Jesus Christ.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9, 10).
Art Budvarson (1909-1991) and his wife Edna (1911-1996) were co-founders of the Utah Christian Tract Society, one of the first of many missionary efforts dedicated to evangelizing members of the LDS Church. Utah Christian Tract Society was founded in 1956 and continued until 1990, when UCTS merged with Mormonism Research Ministry.