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Testimony of Carolyn Sexauer: My Testimony of the Gospel of the Grace of God

Since that wonderful day when I gave up tying to reconcile the teachings of Mormonism with the Word of God, as found in the Bible, and was “born again” of the Spirit, I have been happier than ever before in my life, and have known in full measure “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.” I live each day rejoicing. Every burden on my heart is gone. Every doubt and fear is gone.

For a long time I have had the desire to bear my testimony to others who are members of the religion into which I was born. Space will not permit my going into detail as to my own desperate struggles, my uncertainty and despair before arriving at the truth, but oh I want to make it as clear as these poor words of mine can possibly do, how glorious it is to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior; to be absolutely certain of my salvation apart from anything I have done, or can do; to be a possessor of the indwelling Spirit of Christ—to live under the matchless grace of God.

I taught theology in a Relief Society for over two years, during which time I studied harder and more diligently, and went on my knees more often than ever before, beseeching God to show me the truth. It was during the first few months of this time, that the vague doubts about the truth of my religion, that had lain dormant in my mind for some time, began to crystallize.

Let me make it perfectly clear, that at that time my greatest desire was to justify my faith in my church. Even the doubts that arose, I put from me, with the explanation to my conscience, that it was simply that I did not understand these particular principles, that it was because I was not worthy of discerning their true meanings.

My belief in Mormon doctrine died a hard death. I clung doggedly to them long after I knew positively that they were wrong.

When I was asked by the president of the Relief Society to teach theology. I felt completely unworthy of such a trust and tried in vain to show her that it would be presumptuous in the extreme for me to attempt to teach women so much farther along the road to “eternal progression” than I. My life was average and respectable as the world goes; but I had long ago despaired of ever being able to “work out” my salvation. I knew that if it depended on a life of good works and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, as laid down by the Articles of Faith, that I had fallen far short of these requirements.

As stated in A Compendium, by LDS Apostle F. D. Richards and Elder J. A. Little, “Redemption from personal sins can only be obtained through obedience to the requirements of the gospel, and a life of good works.” And as Elder E. F. Parry, in The Scrap Book, says, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is called the plan of salvation. It is a system of rules by complying with which, salvation may be obtained.”

What chance had I? But this good lady would listen to none of my protests. She told me that all the sisters agreed with her that I was the one to teach the class.

Believe me I was very humbled. I resolved that from that time on, the most important thing in my life would be to justify these women’s faith in me. I prayed constantly for guidance, I studied the church books diligently, and began for the first time reading and studying my Bible.

Then began the awful confusion. In looking up the few Bible references given in the lesson outline in the Relief Society Journal, I found myself reading more than just the verses referred to. I read chapters preceding these verses and chapters following. I found that the meaning was often, entirely different than the isolated verse would indicate. Also in my reading of this precious Word of God, I discovered many things that didn’t agree at all with Mormon teachings.

It was a shock to me. I always believed that the Latter-day Saint religion accepted the Bible as the true word of God, in spite of the eighth Article of Faith, “We believe the Bible to e the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.”

It had never occurred to me that the Bible could have been mistranslated. Although I had never been encouraged to read it, I had always taken it for granted that it was the book above all books in my church as well as in other Christian religions. However, anyone who reads it with an open heart and with a prayer to God for understanding, and who is honestly seeking truth, will soon discover that Mormonism is not the true Church of Christ.

The Bible is true. Time-honored and esteemed men—authorities in all branches of research have corroborated the truth, the unfailing exactness of the Bible, down through the ages.

And besides all this abundance of proof, every born-again believer knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is God’s pure and eternal word for the Spirit is the interpreter. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit . . . “ Romans 8:16. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63. Now read John 7:17 where Jesus says,” If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

When the supreme object and purpose of our life is to do God’s will, we will know positively that the Bible is the Word of God. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

The Lord promised that He would give the Spirit to all who believed, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth in you” (John 14:17).

Mormon leaders have undermined the faith of their people in the reliability of the Bible by casting aspersions upon its translation, and even in some cases, its divine inspiration. In his book Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, Apostle Orson Pratt said, “If it be admitted that the apostles and evangelists did write the books of the New Testament, that does not prove of itself that they were divinely inspired at the time they wrote.” And from this same book, “Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, in his right mind could for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?” (p.47)

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and believed on Him, yielding myself to His will, the Holy Spirit did come into my heart. It was the most glorious experience of my life. I had a definite transaction with God that day. I was “born again” and became “a new creature in Christ.” And believe me, it’s just as He promised it would be, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Oh, if I could only show you how wonderful it is to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally; to know now that you are saved, and to trust Him in all things. If my feeble efforts could but arouse the desire in your heart to seek out the truth for yourself, instead of blindly accepting the leadership of men, who are human beings just as you are, and are not infallible, they shall not be in vain.

All my life I have heard Joseph Smith exalted to the throne of deity. I do not presume to judge him, but after all, he is not God. Oh the testimonies I have heard borne to his divine attributes, his character, the truth of his prophecies, etc.

Christ has not the first place in the testimonies of Mormon people. That unique place belongs to Joseph Smith. He receives the praises that belong to our Savior. Think a moment. Is that not true?

But there are no taking chances with God. He has set down the conditions, in His Word to us, that we must meet in order to gain salvation for our souls. He has the right to insist on the requirements which His wisdom and justice has ordained. He holds out the gift of eternal life to you, upon this condition and this alone. You cannot get to heaven any other way. He who tries it is doomed to disappointment and is “a thief and a robber” (John 10:1).

Compare the uncertainty, doubt, and confusion in the hearts of the majority of people today with one whose heart is at peace in the midst of turmoil and war; one whose life is “hid with Christ in God,” and who is no longer burdened, discouraged and out of tune with God, but who has fellowship and communion with Him and rests in Him.

“For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him, against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). And “that day,” is the blessed hope of all true Christians. That glorious day of our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming for His own.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever b with the Lord” (1Thessalonians 4:16,17. See also 1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

I can say, with reverence and sincerity, “Even so come Lord Jesus.” Can you?

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