As a child I never had religion in the home my parents were never interested in anything to do with religion. Between the ages of 10-11 I attended Sunday school at a local Anglican Church. I found the church very boring and by the time I was twelve I decided the Church was dead. In my early teens my parents and I moved to Birmingham (England). During that time I remember feeling that there must be more to life, the neighborhood where I lived was particularly rough and many of my peers were getting involved in drugs, crime, promiscuity, etc.
Whilst at secondary school I undertook a project on child development, on Religious faiths and how different religions bring up their children. I lived a few minutes walk away from the Headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I walked into that office; little did I know how that visit would change my life. Anyway to cut a very long story short I left my name and address there. Two young missionaries knocked on my door one afternoon. I was invited to a series of meetings at my neighbour’s house. Before long I was attending church, the red carpet treatment was laid on, although I would like to point out that the people were genuine. I received my testimony that Joseph Smith the founder was a prophet and that God had restored Christianity through him. I loved the then prophet and believed that the LDS Church was the only true religion on the earth. I withdrew from all my gentile (non- Mormon) friends, things with my family became difficult and I believed that when they challenged me over the belief system of the church that the devil was using them to pull me out of the church.
I was baptised into the Church on my 16th birthday (1988). The people were kind and friendly but I was unaware that I lost the ability to think for myself. I never questioned any of the doctrines of the Church. For the first two years I was extremely happy. When I reached eighteen things started to change. I felt uncomfortable with the way that women were treated, men ‘Lording’ their authority over women. Women were expected to be wives and Mothers, which is an important role but women who went out to work were frowned upon. I can remember the then prophet Ezra Taft Benson giving a speech about women who had careers were neglecting their children. I also started to question in my mind the doctrines of baptism of the dead, Mormons believe that everyone has a second chance of receiving salvation. Mormons spend a fortune on tracing their dead relatives in order to be baptised on their behalf and that they can respond to the message and become a Mormon in the afterlife. When I had these doubts I kept them to myself. The void I felt in my life, as a young child still had not been filled; I tried to work harder at being religious. I had not even realised that being totally legalistic was not what God required of us.
The end of the road for my membership finally came about through a work colleague who was educated in Mormonism, he was also a born again Christian. He went about telling me about the flaws In Mormonism. He told me that to be a Mormon I had to be a racist as Mormonism believes that black people are inferior to white, and until 1978 they were not allowed to hold the Priesthood. I asked my stake president (The Mormon Church is divided up into Stakes in a region this would be the equivalent of an Anglican Diocese and then the stake would be divided up into wards equivalent of a parish. The stake President is the equivalent of an Anglican bishop and the bishop is the equivalent of the local vicar). If this was true I expected him to deny it, he said that it was true, the Church had taught this doctrine, and I was completely shocked. I finally decided to leave after watching a television documentary, about Mormonism. The programme highlighted that Mormonism was not of God, that the Book of Mormon was a fraud; The Temple ceremonies are occultic and that Joseph Smith was a liar an adulterer and basically was a false prophet. The programme also highlighted the Mountain meadow massacre and the polygamy that had gone on. I always believed up until that point that polygamy was only practiced as a social security arrangement.
After watching the programme I phoned my Bishop and told him to remove my name from membership. My request was denied I had to threaten the Church with legal action, to have my name removed. They visited me for some time to try to persuade me to return. They eventually stopped visiting when I moved house, (I did not move for that purpose). Although I had left the Church and had no intention of returning, I believed that all other churches were in total error. I tried to attend several churches and also studied other cult religions (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hare Krishna, Islam, Spiritualism and Unitarians), but these held no interest to me. Something would prevent me from going any further. For four years I had no affiliation with any religion. I often refer to this as my wilderness stage. I was aware that I still had a great void in my life that needed to be filled, I was unaware of how to fill it. I tried everything (an unsuccessful marriage and lots of failed relationships, night clubs I drunk heavily), nothing worked. This was probably the worst time of my life, Mormonism would not leave me I would wake up and go to sleep every night thinking about Mormonism. It was like I did not fit into the world outside of the Mormon Church but I did not belong inside it either, as I could not be a hypocrite because I knew that it was false. Many people especially those who have never been part of a cult do not realise that the cult is your life you do not have a life outside of it. You lose everything when you leave, your friend’s, social life, life is very empty. You need love, fellowship and support.
In March of 1996, I was walking round the estate where I lived; I heard music coming from a church went in and sat down without even thinking about it. At first I felt a little uncomfortable about being in the church, after a short while a video was put on it was entitled “Why did Jesus die?” The video was an Alpha course video presented by Nicky Gumble. The video was very moving, Nicky Gumble basically presented the gospel; finally it all hit me that Jesus had died for me and my sins. For many years I believed Christianity to be complicated I tried to understand the Trinity and how we could be saved by grace not works. That evening was a particularly emotional time for me I really felt God’s love and presence. I committed my life to the Lord that night and I can honestly say that my life has never been the same.
God has done so much for me. Before I was saved I always felt dirty to say that I hated myself is an understatement, to feel clean and worthy in God’s sight is wonderful. I was also full of phobia’s fear of train lines, fear of death. Jesus has completely set me free. The God of Mormonism was never satisfied with what I did, I could never do enough but that is not what life is meant to be like, we can never earn God’s love Jesus has paid for our sins in full. I now feel that God is calling me to reach out to those who have been deceived. Mormons are not deceivers they have been deceived themselves, they are decent good kind people and I still love them very much; but Mormonism is a second hand religion; there is no relationship with God. Jesus said in John 10:10 I have come that that they may have life and have to the full. Cults unfortunately try to get to God in another way and that is not living life to the full but being trapped in a cage of legalism. Please don’t be fooled Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 there is no other way to be right with God.
If you have been involved in the Mormon Church in any way I urge you to investigate what I am saying. If you have any questions please contact me at the following address. I will respect your confidentiality and will not be pushy, as I know how difficult such a move would be for you. Your eternal destiny is a stake, don’t waste your life following a false prophet as you only get one shot. Make the right choice follow the real Jesus today!