Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Story--short version

I thought maybe it was about time to share my story, so here in condensed version is my "testimony." 

My search for truth started in about 1993 when I had a spiritual experience that propelled me back into activity in the LDS church. I had been raised LDS, but had been inactive for a number of years. But, after this spiritual experience, mainly because I didn’t know anything else, I ended up back in the LDS church. For three and one half years I was about as active and as dedicated as anyone can be. I attended the temple, held Family Home Evening, prayed, and read the Book of Mormon with my children, served in the Primary, on the Ward Newsletter, taught Sunday School and was in Young Womens. At the same time I had a passion to find out all I could about Mormonism (I was a LDS apologist in the making), and about what God had to say. Because of that I read all the Standard Works several times over.

In the meantime, my marriage fell apart, and I met and married my present husband. He was raised LDS too, had been out of the church, but came back about the time I met him. I thought we were headed for the Celestial LDS life. However, God had other plans for my life, and about one month after we got married my husband got saved and shared with me he could no longer attend the LDS church.

This, needless to say, caused some difficulty in our new marriage, and we spent hours in discussion trying to come to some consensus on what truth was. He and I literally spent hours and hours in prayer trying to get truth the LDS way (by praying and getting a testimony). We searched the scriptures, rationalized, and more. Through it all though God was working. I can’t tell you the times God brought me back to peace: telling me that there was truth, and that in His time, He’d lead me there.

After about a year of this turmoil, while praying, God spoke very clearly to my heart, telling me to follow my husband when he finally made up his mind. As far as I could tell, this seemed to agree with LDS teachings, and with biblical teachings, so I agreed with God. Of course I really believed that God would bring us together–LDS style! A month or so later my husband made up his mind, but it wasn’t for the LDS church. What a shock!

I can’t tell you the anguish I went through as I prepared to go to my Bishop, hand in my temple recommend, and resign from my calling with the Young Women (1st Counselor). It was only my implicit trust in God that got me through it. Leaving the church was possible the most difficult thing I’ve ever done–and even then I hadn’t really left in my heart–I was just going through the motions.

The first Sunday after I left, my husband and I visited a little Southern Baptist Church in my hometown. I was scared to death! I wouldn’t even let my husband sign a visitors card, I was so sure those Baptist were going to attack me. I look back now though and can see God’s hand on the whole thing, from our accidentally visiting that church because they just happened to have the latest service and our daughter was up all night long, to my accidentally having Wednesdays off when they had a ladies Bible study, to a friend from college accidentally attending that church and even being in charge of the ladies group ... well, maybe you’re getting the picture. God had His hand on every detail of our transition.

After leaving the LDS church I continued to study, study, study, but this time I used only the Bible as my study tool. I had to determine for myself if what it taught contradicted LDS doctrine or not. In my mind that was the only criteria that counted. (I refused to even look at the historical evidences against the LDS church; the Book of Mormon stuff, the Book of Abraham controversies, or any of the rest that is sometimes used by those seeking to get LDS folks out of the church).

In my search for truth, the biggest issue for me was the issue of the trinity. I simply could not believe it! So, I set out to do a dissertation about this very issue. I started reading the Bible from the beginning, making note of every single reference that hinted at the nature of God. After I had done that as thoroughly as possible, I read Talmage’s "Articles of Faith" which explains in great detail the LDS perspective of who Jesus is and who God is, read what the Church had on the internet about God (the internet was in its infancy then, so not much was available online yet), and in various Sunday School books, and then I read some Christian books, including the various Creeds to try to at least understand what Christianity believes, and why. What happened next amazed even me! As I looked at my list of Bible passages, what I came to see is that the Bible teaches the traditional Christian doctrine of the trinity, and not the LDS view. It was a shocking moment, but against overwhelming evidence I had to bow to what the Bible taught.

In the meantime, at the Ladies Bible Study I had started to attend (at the invitation, and the welcome of this Christian friend from college), I saw other things as well. There were lots and lots of passages in the Bible that I had struggled with, trying hard to understand just what they were saying from a LDS perspective–passages that did not make sense when looked at from LDS doctrine, that this study explained in a simple, understandable manner, and most importantly in a way that made sense of the whole passage, or whole text.

Suddenly it was if blinders came off my eyes. I was able to see–really see! And, most importantly, when looked at from the perspective of traditional Christianity, the Bible made sense!

Since that time, I’ve had years to spend studying the scriptures more, and I have to say it just gets better and better. My walk with God is more passionate, more amazing, and more gracious than its ever been. And, the really amazing thing for me is to realize that my walk with Him every day is not dependant on how I feel–but on rather, who He is. And, He, above all else is worthy, and faithful. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Making the Journey is here!!!!

After all this time, Making the Journey from Mormonsim to Biblical Christianity is out and available for sale. You can buy it from me directly by sending an email to, or you can buy it from Amazon here:

Here's some early reviews: I finished your book this afternoon. What a treat. The chapter on who Jesus is was especially good. I highly recommend to all,

I just started the book, but was already brought to tears by the way you so lovingly described your relationship with the Lord...I am so touched by your mercy to the mormons and love for them.thanks so much

I'm just starting it too, and ditto . Your love shines through. Somehow I can't imagine you enduring all those singles dances like I did. We did have fun but they were awful!


Then and Now

A friend recently shared her testimony of the LDS church with me. Among other things, she mentioned a very trying time that she had gone through, and shared that without the help of the LDS church and modern day revelation she doesn’t know how she would have got through it. I was honored that she would care enough to openly share a very trying time in her life with me. I’m old enough now to know that trying times come to all of us—no matter how “good” we are, and no matter how blessed we are with things like a good marriage, coming from a good family, or even financial blessings. The simple fact is that life is going to challenge us in some way.

Before I knew Christ, life’s challenges were tough to deal with. One of my first big challenges in life happened when I was still living “in the world” and honestly, I didn’t handle it very well. I got angry and carried a chip on my shoulders for years afterwards. This anger affected everything I did, even, I'm sad to say, my marriage and family.

Another of life’s big challenges happened when I was LDS, and as my friend pointed out, it was easier to handle: I had supportive friends and family, and most of all I had some kind of relationship with God where He comforted me, held my hand, and helped me through. Anger, depression, and fear though were still a large part of my life as I grappled with my failures, and the failures of others. I really had no peace, or joy in my life, just a sense of obligation to do my best, and hope it was good enough.

Life hasn’t been all smooth sailing since then either. I’ve said more than once that coming out of the LDS church was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Steve’s being sick for the better part of a couple years was another of those hard times. The difference though between then, and now is God—the Holy Spirit within me.

Scriptures say that the fruits, or the outcome of the Spirit is peace, joy, love, self-control, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Fruit by its very nature cannot happen unless other things happen on the tree. For instance, a tree that’s been cut down will not produce fruit. Likewise, a tree that doesn’t get sun which enters the leaves and produces photosynthesis will not produce fruit. A tree deprived of water entering it through good strong roots also will not produce fruit.

When I think about my past trials these analogies seem to fit right in. In my first example of a challenge I had only the best in worldly things to fall back on: my family, my friends, my own self-confidence, and abilities. When I was still LDS I too had those things to fall back on, but also I had good sound teaching that included some of the very best advice that any man can give to another.

Now though, there is a difference. You see, earthly wisdom can only go so far—and can even be wrong. But, when I’m connected to the vine: the Holy Spirit in a daily walk with Him, there is a difference. I don’t react in the same way to these situations, no matter how hard they are. Things like peace, joy, love and such are not so easy to see. Deep down inside me, though, I know that these things are there, even in the midst of my hardest trials. 

Joy is one of those attributes that I experience daily. Joy comes, really, from having a right relationship with God, and knowing, really knowing, that I am accepted in Him, that I am His beloved, that I am who He wants me to be, and that He is making (re-making) me into who He wants me to be. It’s knowing that my salvation, really, is His work, and I just cooperate with Him in what He’s doing.

Before, however, I had to perform in order to earn the right to stand freely and opening  in God’s presence. So, when I failed, or when I fell down on the job, I experienced condemnation, fear, and depression.  It was also true, that if my husband, or children, or even friends failed to live up to God’s holy, and righteous standards I lost my right (hopefully not forever) to be in God’s presence. That was a tremendous burden to bear, and most people I know don’t bear it well.

Peace too comes from knowing God and knowing that I’m free to serve Him because He bore the penalty for my sins. It’s knowing that even when I do mess up (and I do all too often) He only asks me to come to Him, admit that I was wrong, and then move on as His dearly beloved daughter.

The Bible says that love originates from God—that we can’t even know love, or understand love, if we don’t know and understand God. It makes me wonder if that’s why so many relationships in my past life—even the best ones—were fraught with problems. I simply didn’t understand love, but instead understood a cheap imitation of love. 

I won’t go through the other fruits of the Spirit, but I do see God working out them in my life, and like the tree out my window, I’m just part of the process, soaking up the water, the sunlight, and most of all rooted and grounded in the Source of love, peace, joy, self-control, gentleness, kindness, forbearance, and self-control. What amazing grace, and amazing love!