Mercy and Grace: Jim’s Journey out of Mormonism to true faith in Christ

This is an email I received from Jim. We have corresponded back and forth several times. This is a condensed version of his story of first becoming a Mormon, then receiving faith in the true Christ found in God’s Word. Plus, sharing about the challenge of sharing God’s Word with his family.

“I grew up Baptist but never had the gospel explained to me properly. I went to church every week and to a Christian summer camp every year. I loved the Lord but did not really understand the gospel nor my sinful nature. Each year at camp kids would run around saying “I am saved” and I had no idea what they were talking about. Years later, when the Mormon missionaries came knocking on my door, I took the lessons and was deceived due to my lack of biblical study and understanding. It was completely my fault.

My family moved from Salt Lake City to a smaller town in Utah while I was in the 5th grade. Until we moved, my friends really didn’t care what religion I belonged to. Now, in a small community dominated by Mormons, nobody would play with me for a long while. The only ones that did were not the strong LDS types.

While in high school I had lots of close friends who were strong Mormons. I eventually took the discussions offered by the missionaries and joined the church. I got married to a Mormon girl and we have three kids. My wife and I were sealed for time and eternity in the American Fork, Utah temple.

Shortly after I was married, a man I was working for witnessed to me about the fallacies of the church. He told me some crazy stuff about Joseph Smith and I promptly quit the job. I still had no idea of what it really meant to be saved. All I knew was that sinners that were really bad went to hell but everyone else would go to heaven.

It was not until several years later, I came across a ministry that shared about the true teachings of the Bible. It was in God’s Word where I saw my depravity and knew I deserved to be ground to dust on judgment day and cast into the lake of fire forever. I then understood the awesomeness of our God to stoop down from his throne and die for me. He loved the world so much that he sent His Son to die in my place. I still can’t wrap my head around the depths of why He would do this for me, but I am so grateful for His mercy, and love.

About two months later I woke up praising God as to how great He was and how kind He was to let me live on such a beautiful world. I was halfway to work when I realized what had happened. It was like a light bulb went off. I then had a strong craving for His Word and suddenly it came alive to me. I never liked Christian music before but now I couldn’t get enough.

I was driving my family crazy for a while but have learned to tone it down and turn it from preaching to teaching. Wow a big change now; with the Lords help I have been able to make huge inroads to my family. It’s all in baby steps. I talked with my wife about starting a Bible study about forgiveness and she said yes. That is HUGE!

I have praised God so many times and beg him for patience and discernment to know when to stop or slow down to not shut them off to His word. I know I can’t move to fast or I will lose them. The Lord has let me learn that as I try to take over from His teaching, I mess it all up, so I need to pay attention and keep it simple. I have read so much and listened to so many things it starts to swim in my head. Now I am trying to get back to the Bible and only the Bible and use His word. It’s the only way. I am rock solid in my faith in Christ, the Bible being the inerrant Word and completely trustworthy. And I know where I am going when I leave this earth, only on the shed blood of Christ my King and LORD God by His grace and mercy for me.

I still belong to the Mormon Church and attend its services even though I no longer believe in its teachings and have become a Christian. The people at the Mormon Church do not know that I don’t believe in it anymore. Some are aware that I know the Scriptures (Bible) decent but I don’t believe they know my true feelings. I do try to fit in stories of how Jesus helps me realize that I am completely bankrupt without him and I must completely rely on Him for everything. If I share my true feelings I run the risk of losing my family — and I can’t risk that. So, in the meantime, I share God’s Word with my wife and children and pray that as a family, we will all come to the true faith of the real Jesus Christ.”

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Up until last October I was a Mormon

The following is an email we received at Truth in Love Ministry from Becky – who shared her story about coming out of Mormonism and into the Christian faith. Here is a condensed version of her story.

“Up until last October I was a Mormon.

I grew up in the Allred Group, a fundamentalist Mormon group in Utah, believing in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. At the age of 35, my husband and I left that group and joined mainstream Mormonism. Of course, it was an easy decision to make because neither me or my husband wanted to live in Polygamy but we were still brainwashed in the Mormon religion. We were very happy doing works to gain salvation because the works we were doing were way better than being in polygamy. Our children grew up pretty much as mainstream Mormons and our two eldest sons went on missions and cemented their testimonies on the false teachings of Mormonism.

I honestly never liked Joseph Smith because of the Polygamy thing but I felt that I needed to finally gain a testimony of him so I purchased a book available at a LDS bookstore. I couldn’t believe what I read about the details of his life and how Mormonism started. Reading that book destroyed my testimony and destroyed the faith I had in Mormonism. I doubted at one point that God even existed! I got to the point where I knew I had to trust
something. Upon seeing God’s creation in this world and in heavens, even the creative design of our bodies, I knew that if I could trust anything it would be my God over Joseph Smith. My husband and I have always wanted Gods truth not our own desires and I know that God drew us to the truth. Through an amazing set of circumstances and timing, we both started studying the Bible and eventually came to faith. It has been amazing to read the Bible as a Christian. It keeps me going.

My adult children and spouses are still Mormon and I along with their dad have broken their hearts because we have found the truth about Mormonism. They are angry and upset with us, plus sad for their two younger siblings that we have taken from the Mormon Church. There is nothing I can say to convince them that the Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and we look to him for our Eternal Salvation. One of the hardest things I’ve done is to give my kids up to God. I have always loved my kids more than anything. At one point, I even considered staying in Mormonism just for them. But as I was listening to the Bible and heard the scripture verses that talk about giving up everyone for Christ, I knew I could not throw away the gift I was given. My Eternal Salvation.

I also recently witnessed to my LDS sister yesterday and crushed her world. She went home and told her husband and now they are looking into the things I have told them about Mormonism and the true Christ. Obviously we are also broken hearted that our children and family members will not even look at facts. We must accept the true Jesus Christ and he is only found in the Bible. We believe that we are finally saved because we believe what the Bible tells us. We are free for the first time in our lives! It feels amazing, but we also carry a great burden since we have so much family in Mormonism.”

April TILM presentations in Minnesota

Truth in Love Ministry will be conducting presentations at the following churches in Minnesota:

Sunday, April 14th
Salem Lutheran Church
Stillwater, MN
9:15 a.m.
Presenter/Preacher: Mark Cares

Christ Lutheran Church
Cambridge, MN
7:00 p.m.
Presenter: Mark Cares

Sunday, April 21st
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
New Ulm, MN
9:30 a.m.
Presenter: Tom Walters
Preacher: Mark Cares

St. John’s Lutheran Church
Red Wing, MN
9:15 a.m.
Presenter: Dave Malnes

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Cannon Falls, MN
7:00 p.m.
Presenter: Dave Malnes

Tuesday, April 23rd
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Arlington, MN
7:00 p.m.
Presenter Dave Malnes

“You have everything you need to share Jesus!”

The following is a great example of the type of TILM e-mails that engages our e-mail evangelists. The following is a recent e-mail exchange that was coming from a hurting Mormon who came to our main website for help and encouragement. In his initial e-mail to TILM, he wrote:

“Thank you for your website. My wife and three kids are LDS, but we have been active on and off for years. About five years ago, my wife and I were sealed for time and eternity in the temple. I come from a Baptist background, but never understood the gospel and fell as easy prey for the Mormon missionaries. Two years ago, I started reading the Bible. Now, I know that by faith alone I am forgiven and can see the gift Christ freely gave and what it cost Him. I’m trying to learn all I can about the LDS Church and keep my firm stand in Christianity. I have been trying to witness to my wife and kids, but I always seem to fail miserably. They tell me that I make them feel as if I’m judging them. It saddens me and it’s almost unbearable to see all of my friends and neighbors that are so blinded by Mormonism, that I don’t know how to proceed. My neighborhood is 99% Mormon and they have no idea that I have found the real Jesus Christ. I am afraid that if I push too hard or reveal my knowledge in the wrong way, I could damage any hope of reaching them and be labeled an anti-Mormon. If that happens, then they will never listen. Please help me.”

One of our e-mail evangelists at TILM provided a response that utilizes the TILM approach of speaking the truth in love, plus provide solid advice and encouragement for all of us. Being a former Mormon, our e-mail evangelist brings a unique perspective.

“I can’t help but praise the Lord that you know what He did for you and what it cost Him. When I realized that I was saved because of Jesus it was like someone took a huge boulder off my shoulders. I would imagine you felt the same way.

I totally understand your feeling as if you don’t know enough to share the truth. I grew up LDS and once the Holy Spirit worked through this heart of mine and led me to the truth, I had the same feelings of helplessness. I wanted my family to believe to the point that I would cry at night in sorrow. I kept coming up with plans of what I would do. I even went so far to take college classes on Scriptures so I would understand it better. I thought that it was my fault for not saying it right, because my family doesn’t understand. After years of this, a wise church member asked me why I was trying to do the Holy Spirit’s job? I was put off by that at first, and it was still many attempts later before I realized that I was trying to do the Holy Spirit’s job. You have everything that you need to share Jesus. God is so amazing that you don’t have to be a biblical scholar to share the Scriptures. It’s amazing how he will give you what you need when you need it. And if you don’t know the answer to a question, you can always go back and research an answer. This even provides a great way for another witnessing opportunity when you come back with an answer.

Continue reading the Bible. The Holy Spirit works through the Scriptures. I’ll be having a conversation with a Mormon family member and the Holy Spirit will pop a Scripture verse into my head. Romans is a very good book that discusses how Jesus is our substitute and we can’t earn salvation by our works. As for sharing the gospel, what you need to do first is focus on the law, which is anything we have to do to earn salvation. This includes the Word of Wisdom, Temple marriage, Ten Commandments, etc… Until someone realizes that there is no way they can satisfy God’s commandment to “Be Perfect” they won’t see what Jesus really did for us and why He had to. It’s amazing how many conversations roll around to sharing the gospel when you are looking for it.

Kathleen’s Story of Faith

Here are the following verses that God used to help bring Kathleen out of Mormonism:
Galatians 2:20-21, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 1:14-17, Psalms 103:12, Matthew 27:51, Matthew 10:37-38, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 64:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:23, 3:28, 5:1-2, 11:6, Jeremiah 17:9.

KATHLEEN’s STORY OF FAITH
After being born and raised in the LDS Church, Kathleen became an inactive member after a painful divorce. Not wanting anything to do with religion or God, she still wanted to believe in the LDS teachings. She began dating a Christian man who lovingly challenged her to compare the many teachings of the LDS faith with what the Bible teaches.

The Lord led her on a long process of careful research and prayer. “God was very patient with me and showed me bits of truth from the Bible in small doses. God knew me so well and knew how traumatic it would have been to find out that my whole life I had believed a lie. It had never occurred to me that the Bible contradicts the Book of Mormon in many places.” When her Christian boyfriend showed her that nowhere in the Bible does it talk about the LDS teachings on the pre-existence, becoming a god, celestial marriage, etc…, she was terribly shocked. She truly believed these teachings were common knowledge to all Christians.

God eventually led Kathleen out of the LDS faith and into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ only a few years ago. The same Christian man who helped her leave Mormonism is now her husband. For her birthday, he gave her the book, “Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons” by Mark Cares.

She encourages Christians to be patient, loving, and persistent when witnessing to Mormons. A huge hurdle is discovering the contradiction between the Bible and 2 Nephi 25:23 where it says that God’s grace is only sufficient after all you can do. “Another thing that helped bring me out of Mormonism was learning how the Bible came about. This is not really something taught in the LDS church. I grew up in the Mormon Church believing the Bible to be good but very unreliable. Discovering just how God was able to preserve his precious words over thousands of years is a miracle and certainly a tribute to how powerful God is (Matt. 24:35).”

Kathleen’s entire family is still Mormon. They are not very happy with her decision to leave the LDS faith. She continues to pray for them and reach out in love as much as possible. Her prayer is that one day that the powerful Word of God will break the chains the LDS Church has on them. She writes, “The word of God and Jesus’ unconditional love is what started the process of bringing me out of the LDS church and into a saving relationship with Jesus. Oh praise Him! My prayer is that God can use me to spread his love and word to all my LDS friends and family.”