Heavenly Father led me out?
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 accidently visiting that church because they just happened to have the latest service and our daughter was up all night long, to my accidently having Wednesdays off, when they had a ladies Bible study, to a friend from college accidently 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 lady 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.