As a young man growing up in the 50’s, I would have considered my life as normal. I played ball, chased girls, and attended a mainline church with my family. At age 16 I attended a Billy Graham Crusade, went forward and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. When I shared this with my family and pastor neither seemed to care. My pastor even told me that the Second Coming of Christ was a myth. Knowing that this was wrong, I turned away from the church and walked out into a worldly life. By the time I was 25 my family had also left this church and joined the Mormon Church. About this same time, I married a girl who had grown up in the same denomination as I. Because neither of us knew the word of God, we too decided to follow my family and join the LDS Church.
My wife and me moved away and became very active in the Mormon Church. She participated in the women’s Relief Society and Sunday school; I myself held many callings in leadership positions. As we were raising five children and were married 24 years, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Six and half months later she passed away and left me lonely, confused and scared. Eventually I packed up the children and moved back to Columbus, Ohio to be near to my family.
While I was attending a cookout with some friends, I ran into Shirley. She had been married to an old friend of mine who had died a couple years earlier, also from cancer. We struck up a friendship and found we enjoyed each other’s company. As we became closer, she explained to me that our relationship could go no further because she was Christian and I was a Mormon. This I did not understand. I thought I was a Christian — only I had more of the truth than she did. I defended my stand, but when I later had some questions about my church, she shared with me her beliefs and the differences between Christianity and Mormonism. I started reading some Christian books on Mormonism and then I realized she was right and that I had just wasted twenty-four years of my life in the wrong church. I then had a total recall of my born again experience when I was sixteen. Jesus had been with me along. I was lost and did not realize it.
I immediately wanted to make restitution for my failure. I wrote letters to my family, bishop and friends, detailing why I had left the church. I quickly found out that taking my loved ones with me was not an easy task. My son was on a mission trip to Poland and very unhappy with my decision, and still is. My mother and sisters wanted to kick me out of the family. My brother-in-law and youngest sister (who was also my employer) made the atmosphere at work so unbearable I had to quit.
Shirley and I started attending church together. I was so excited, I just felt so free, so alive. Weeks after my leaving the LDS Church, I decided to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in a communion service. I remember being very nervous about this. This was the first time in over 30 years that I was going to take communion. In the Mormon Church, you take the sacrament every week. It becomes routine and meaningless. I might add that the elements consist of bread and water as opposed to Christian Churches having bread and wine (or grape juice). Now that I look back, it seems to me that it is what prisoners receive in jail or on death row. It paints a graphic picture, doesn’t it?
When I took communion, it seemed like a low electric current surged though me from the tip of my head to my toes. I just started to cry and cry. I cried all-day and even into the night. I started to get it together the next day. I could not believe that a grown man could do that, but I did. It felt like a cleansing was coming from deep within. I knew that God touched me and washed me white as snow. I had a lot of baggage. Twenty-four years of complete deception and falsehood. It was staggering. I realized the harm I had caused in helping people to believe a lie. My entire family was in the church plus many of my closest friends.
A few weeks later God showed me a real miracle. I did not have a clue of what was about to happen. I decided to be baptized along with my two girls. When I came out of the water. I felt great. In about 5 minutes, I realized that I had no pain anywhere in my body. God had completely healed my knees of arthritis. I was taking medication everyday to stay on top of the dull pain. To this day, I have not had pain in my knees. They are like new. I could walk twenty miles today if I had to. Not bad for a guy who was headed for knee replacements. About 3 weeks later I was listening to a Christian radio station and Pastor Jack Hayford was talking about baptism. I was thinking about my baptism and how God healed my knees. I felt like Jesus said to me, "Remember Me." When that thought came so did the tears. What a mighty God we serve.
Since my rededication to Jesus, God has placed this burden in my heart to help Mormons see how deceived they are. Four of my children have accepted Jesus but my oldest son is still an active Mormon. My mother, my two sisters, my brother-in-law and all their children are still in the church. I pray every day that they will find the real Jesus. I also have a burden to educate the Christian Community about the falsehoods of Mormonism. Most Christians think that because most Latter-day Saint people are warm, friendly, family oriented, God fearing, and honest, that they have to be Christians. This is not true. They are deceived in thinking that they are the only ones who have the truth. Pray for them, they are just as lost as anyone who has not accepted the real Jesus. Their god is a man who became god and their Jesus is the spiritual brother to Lucifer. They believe in three separate gods. They also believe that they are "Mormon Christians" who can someday become a God if they perfect themselves.
Since I left the Mormon Church, my life is filled with joy, happiness, and peace. Shirley and I were married on December 15,1994. My heart praises God daily for what He did for me on the cross. Jesus truly does live in us. I am a completely different person inside, I have a newfound love for Jesus, the Bible, and my fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus. I also have the capacity to love people more deeply than I ever could when I was a Mormon. Life is exciting. I see my prayers answered. I have found that "The Truth Will Set You Free". Praise the Lord, He is worthy to be praised. In the name above all other names, Jesus, for he is LORD.
Dave Smith is the director of Lost Lamb Ministries