God Saved Me From My Sins and Mormonism
Hi, I will try to share my story of how I came to leave Mormonism. In 1950 I came to America from Holland with my mother, father and one brother. My father was born into a Mormon family, so I guess you could say I was a generational Mormon. My mom converted after meeting my dad, and having a spiritual experience (dream) when she was young herself. Joseph Smith's story didn't seem that far fetched. My dad was a Sunday School president in Holland.
Well, after the war, my parents wanted to come to Utah (Zion) and get married in the Salt Lake Temple. So they sold their butcher shop, sold their stuff, left all family behind, boarded the Nieuw Amsterdam (ship) and off we went. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake via the train from New York, we settled in the Salt Lake Valley, bought a new little house on an acre of ground and were the new Dutch people in our small town.
My mom and dad went to church most weeks and my dad was a true tithe payer. My dad and mother had their problems. My dad had a huge temper and got angry for what seemed to be no reason. I saw her cry a lot. I couldn't understand why, she never did anything wrong. But my dad ruled the house and did his work duty faithfully. My mother always talked about God. She read and studied all the Mormon books, but she didn't care for Brigham Young too much though after reading his articles.
Anyhow, Mormonism was taught. I loved God (my real Father in heaven), Jesus (His son who saved me from death, with the resurrection) and Joseph Smith (who was a true Prophet of God). Plus, we had the only true church on the whole planet! I really had a testimony. I thought if the Devil or someone ever tried to attack me, all I would say is "In the name of Jesus, depart!" And they would have too! My parent's marriage was so rough, but my mother had two more children because she thought she had to for the sake of the Mormon gospel. She got sealed by proxy to my dad's first wife, who had died. They went to the temple regularly. My brothers and I had a good time when they went, good shows on TV, and candy. So going to the temple was good in more ways than one for me.
The people in the community were nice to me, as I loved to run up and down the country roads on my horse. The kids treated me quite cold. I guess I was weird. I loved horses and not being tied down in the house like most all my neighbor girls. My friend and I swam in the canal also; which only the boys did, of course with our clothes on, which the boys didn't do! Anyway, I liked going to church most of the time, except for the teasing kids, and I loved God. I use to cry whenever "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" song was sung.
My parent's marriage turned more sour, and my dad seemed angrier and angrier. He didn't go along with all the Bishopric's ideas and said so! I always seemed to be an outsider in school and was very sensitive to teasing. I sloughed a lot to avoid it, and asked God to help me. Actually it seemed he did. Also, God helped me not to give in to sexual temptation when I asked for His help.
So naturally I never thought or even had any idea that my church could be wrong, much less almost completely wrong! It also made sense to me. I had an earthly father, so I must also have a real heavenly Father, and Jesus was called God's son (a literal son), so it fit in my mind, I thought all the other churches had it all stupidly wrong! They said God did not have a body, well, I thought that sounded too weird and mystical. What I was taught was all so natural.
Anyhow, when I was a little older than 17, I met a nice man through my girlfriend. He was a little slow and after getting caught sloughing school one too many times, we used the excuse that this guy and I were engaged to be married! We even bought a wedding ring set! Crazy was the word for it. My dad flew into a rage, and my mother bawled. Dad started to fist fight my fiancé, but he just ducked. I gave the ring back, I had too! But one night after a gigantic blowup with my dad, I asked the guy if he still wanted to get married. We ran off and got married.
This guy was so nice, even if he was slow in some ways. I really fell in love with him. We had a blast, we both loved to eat. He was Mormon also and said prayers before we ate, and we went to church. My life had become very peaceful. I stayed home. I got pregnant in three months with our first daughter. Life was good. We had made a promise to the Bishop to be good and live worthy. We got married in the Temple and had our little girl sealed to us.
Well, the Temple thing kinda shocked me — secret handshakes, anointing, new name only my husband would know, a play with a guy acting like the Devil. I couldn't believe it! When they said we were going behind the veil, I thought, the veil, you know, into the spirit world, because that is what the terminology inferred to me! The veil was a huge curtain with slits. It was unbelievable! I had to learn certain handclasps. Oh man, then the blood oaths of having your throat cut from ear to ear, and your guts spilled out if you told about the secrets of the Temple (they have changed them since). And then the “pay le ale” thing. It all took me for complete surprise! It never felt holy at all!
Anyhow, our marriage was good, and we had a son and another girl. My husband had a pretty good job, and I stayed home raising the kids. Time went on, and we had met some people who drank and partied. Neither one of us had ever really done anything like that! But we went with them to the bar and had orange juice while they drank. It was a blast. I had a good figure, so I disco danced and showed off and my husband did too. Pretty soon we started sharing a 6 pack of beer every night. My kids wondered what happened (poor kids).
Our going to church went down the tube, besides, I knew in my heart that I wasn't really worthy; I used bad language, laughed at dirty jokes, and looked at forbidden magazines with my husband. We threw in the towel on trying to be so good, and we went kind of wild, but for some reason I still thought no matter what, the Mormon Church was the only “True Church” on the earth and someday we would repent and go back to it. We were just having some fun. My husband thought so too.
Pretty soon it was discos, and the Hilton dance floor every weekend. We were still loving, nice parents to our kids. You could say that when we drank, we were nice drunks. But my heart started to wander. I loved getting the attention, and a nice looking tall man had grabbed me at a local bar and made me jump. Soon a friendship developed with him and he ended up moving into our house — with us downstairs. Five months later, I was head over heels in love with him, still loving my husband too, but I couldn't live like this. So I had a horrible decision to make. I divorced my poor husband.
The guilt and anguish ate at me. We all moved. My mother (who had since divorced my father), my brother, and my children and I moved to Arizona. Then after the divorce was final, Frank and I got married.
The older two children were teenagers and busy into their own things, getting close to high school graduation and preparing for college. If they were greatly hurt, they never said too much about it. My youngest daughter was only 9, so she missed her Dad a lot, I tried to make things smooth, but it never worked. When she turned 12 she wanted to go home to live with her Dad. Her Dad couldn't keep track of her, and she ended up getting pregnant at 13. I was stunned! She married the father before the baby was born; at 14 it’s legal in Utah, with consent. Well, I hoped against hope that it would work out. It didn’t. My daughter ran off with her friends.
Now, I knew one thing, I had to get my act together. I had offered to raise the baby and a drinking grandmother was out of the question for me. I had been drinking with my new husband almost every night, and when all hell broke loose at our house over the trials with our youngest daughter, I ended up peeing the bed and throwing up! I called AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and said I probably need help to quit drinking. I was afraid of turning out to be an alcoholic like the neighbor I knew when I was growing up. Well, guess what — AA was the beginning of my journey out of the Mormonism.
I went and heard people sharing about how God had helped them. I was shocked to learn that God helped these alcoholic drunks who drank worse than me. I went to meetings three times a day. I heard stories that were almost impossibly hopeless, but this God helped them and turned their lives around. He wasn't just a God for the Mormons who lived right, but He was a God for the drunks and perverts too! One lady always shared about her faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and she did it unashamedly. I couldn't believe it! God helped falling down drunk, real wild, sinning people. The desire for beer left almost immediately. I asked this lady to become my sponsor. Later on we prayed together and I admitted all my sins to God and to her. I even did that on the Mesa Temple grounds, because I still thought Mormonism was the only real true church! I thought I would have to eventually go before a Bishop's court and get excommunicated, and start over again. Apparently the Lord had other plans for me.
One day while I was cleaning an apartment (we managed apartments) I was so broken hearted, so sorry for all my sins, and for screwing up so badly, that I cried out to God, "I'm sorry Lord!" I thought I heard a voice by my ears say, "Your sins are forgiven daughter!" Then it was repeated two more times. I ran next door to where Frank was and told him. I had started to listen to Christian radio. I heard a local pastor everyday. He was such an honest sounding man. He admitted his faults and taught out of the Bible. I was so interested. I listened to other Bible preachers on the radio, and I just couldn't get enough.
One day I decided I would take Christy (my little baby granddaughter) and go visit the local pastor’s church. It was held in the lunchroom of a high school! I introduced ourselves and sat down. The praise and worship started. People began singing and worshiping. Some people lifted their hands. Man, was that new to me! But I started weeping; I wept at almost every service for three months. I came forward and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I did it more than once, because I didn't know it only took once. The pastor asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and receive forgiveness for their sins. Of course I did!
I then heard of another local pastor who was teaching every week about Mormonism at the Phoenix First Assembly Church. Well, my little grandbaby and I went. After learning and even sometimes defending my old faith, I came to find out that all that was presented was facts. Yes, this is what I was taught all my life. I had sinned, but hearing all this still shocked me. To find out everything I was taught as a Mormon about God, Jesus, Satan was a lie, that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and that my pre-existence was also a lie. I would probably have to let go of the oaths of secrecy I made in the Temple.
In time, the Lord lead me to Bible studies. I also started watched Christian TV. Then I met a Christian neighbor lady who sold Avon, and she helped me also. I was beginning to grow, and I was so thankful. I learned how we are all sinners, born into a human family with a sin nature. I learned that Jesus was God the Son. He came down and paid for my complete deliverance and salvation at the cross. I didn't need to be worthy in the Bishop's eyes, the church’s eyes. Only Jesus was worthy to pay for me in full. He loved me enough to call me when I was down and out, soaked in my sins and despair. He gave me a whole new life with a new nature. He put his Holy Spirit within me and made me a new creation. His name and Word (the Bible) lifted me up!
My new family of other believers, and yes, all believers in the Biblical Jesus who receive Him as Savior are brothers and sisters, no matter what particular denomination we attend. We are here to love and encourage one another till we see Him face to face. God saved me from my sins and Mormonism. Praise His name. My husband gives me complete freedom in my Christianity, and last week he said he would start attending church with me. My sweet, oldest daughter is a Christian. Oh, my own mother left Mormonism also just shortly after I did, and is now a zealous Christian! Praise the Lord! She even passes out Christian tracts on car windows in Salt Lake, and she's in her 80’s now. My son is an honest man and successful in his business, and is a good father and husband. I am trusting the Lord to answer my prayers for him and his family. I thought my youngest daughter was saved (she still has many problems), but she is now being wooed by the Mormons in Utah. I am trusting God in this also. My little granddaughter is also being love bombed by the Mormons, but I am also trusting God to lead her path. God was so merciful to me. I know He will also be merciful to them. I just have to Trust Him!
This is my story, with love and gratitude,