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Meet the Mentors - Dave

Professor of Mortuary Science (Cypress College)
Time in LDS: 
12 years

My name is Dave McCament and I am a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I once held both priesthoods of the church, served in the mission field, met and married a LDS convert for “time and all eternity” in the Los Angeles Temple, and was very content as a member.

I also once believed the LDS church was the only true church on earth on the basis of, first and foremost, the feelings of the Holy Ghost which came to me when I earnestly sought an answer in prayer to know the validity of the claims of Joseph Smith and the tenets of my faith. The answer I received which followed each time I petitioned God in prayer was in the affirmative. It was not a feeling I consciously invented, nor something another LDS person could necessarily induce by suggestion.

I came from a nominal Christian family, where very little importance was placed on knowing the Bible. As a result, my background and understanding about the Bible was extremely limited. It wouldn’t be until years later that I would understand that God has spiritually empowered His Word to be the source of truth instead of subjective feelings from the heart (Jn 17:17; Heb 4:12; Is 44:20; Jer 17:9; 23:26-28). Without biblical knowledge, I was culpable and a candidate for spiritual deception.

I first noticed the disparity between Mormon doctrine and what the Bible plainly teaches concerning the nature of God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and how to be reconciled with the Father through faith in Christ alone during a time when I taught a high school seminary class for the LDS church. I taught two years of seminary and even one semester of a college-level missionary prep class in the church’s institute program. The first seminary class I taught was on the Book of Mormon, followed next by a year-long study of the Old Testament. I found nothing really remarkable about the Book of Mormon as I taught my students. But, when I began reading and teaching from the Old Testament, I couldn’t help noticing the tremendous expansion of depth and vibrancy so lacking in the Book of Mormon. The Bible was different; it rang a responsive chord in me that cried out to my soul, “Authored by God.” I didn’t have to pray about it, I just connected to the Bible in a way that was deeper and richer than I experienced with the Book of Mormon. One of the first and most profound differences I read in the Bible which conflicted with an important LDS teaching known as Eternal Progression is found in chapter 43, verses 10 and 11 of Isaiah:

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and beside me there is no savior.

This is just one example of a scriptural difference in doctrine, but its effect upon me was lasting. I had been taught as a Latter-day Saint that God was once a man, that He came to be God the same way His father before Him had done. According to the LORD as recorded by the prophet Isaiah, He alone was God (for significance, He repeated this revelation in several subsequent chapters, such as in verses 6 & 8 of chapter 44 and verses 5,6, 18 & 21-23 of chp 45). Equally significant to me was God’s statement in Isaiah 43:10 that there was never a God formed before Him in the past nor would anyone become a God in the future. This concept of God existing eternally as God is consistent with other verses, such as Is 42:8, Malachi 2:6 and Psalm 90:2. The Isaiah verses, especially Is 43:10,11, were key verses God would use to reach me. It was significant to me that, as I continued reading the Old Testament while finishing out my teaching obligation, I found other scriptural differences between the Bible and LDS doctrine.

Nearly eleven years had passed since I became a member of the Church. I was now at a point where I could not in good faith continue teaching seminary. I asked to be released from my church assignment and devoted the next two and one-half years to researching the history and background of Joseph Smith, modern archeology and the Book of Mormon, and a comparison of church doctrine with the Bible. Without going into detail here, I will simply state my conclusions. It was clear to me that Joseph Smith’s background included involvement with the occult, that the Book of Mormon is not supported by archeology, and that the basic tenets of Mormon doctrine do not agree with Biblical theology concerning who God the Father and God the Son are, what Jesus accomplished on the cross in His death, burial and resurrection, what priesthood authority really is and why the LDS church could not possibly have either the Aaronic nor the Melchizedek priesthoods as LDS church leaders claim to.  But all of this information was just that, information. It was knowledge in my head but not convincing to my soul. I still held to the feeling in my heart that Mormonism was true, despite the facts that proved otherwise. It was the worst of all positions to be in, as far as I was concerned. I had joined the Church and remained a member in active standing because I believed in it. To now be divided in my mind and heart about my faith was unbearable, yet I did not know how to reconcile the differences between what I felt and what I now had knowledge of.

It was at this critical point in time that I made a conscious break from family and friends at church one particular to be alone. I took my motorcycle and rode up to nearby Palomar mountain, not too far from where the large 200” telescope is located. With just my Bible and a sense of huge anguish in my heart, I got down on my knees and cried out to God verbally. I remember feeling so completely helpless and alone, and completely broken in my spirit. It was the first time I can ever remember being so surrendered and fully yielded to God. In my prayer to Him I remember saying I didn’t care whether it was Brigham Young or Billy Graham who taught the truth, I would go where God directed me and believe what God wanted me to. I would belong to whatever church He wanted me involved with as long as what I did was true and right with Him. It was a simple request but filled with the weight of eternity. I did not want to go the rest of my life worshipping God in error. I wanted to follow Him wherever He led me and believe only that which was true and from Him. After making this verbal petition in the most contrite and honest admission of helplessness to find the answer on my own, I just remained there on my knees, holding my Bible and weeping quietly. What gradually filled my mind was something like a voice, yet it wasn’t anything audible. I heard God simply say to my heart, “Dave, I love you. I know how hard you've looked for an answer about your church and what to do. You thought you could figure it out on your own. Now you realize you cannot. I've been waiting all this time to help you but you had to come to Me first, like you are right now, helpless and surrendered, before I could. What you hold in your hands contains the truth about the Church and what you are to believe. You must place all of your trust in Me and in My Word alone."

I opened my eyes and stared at the Bible in my hands. I was beginning to sense what a paradox of truth my church testimony was. I had been trusting that this testimony in my heart was true, yet that very testimony I attributed to God also consisted of believing in a church which contradicted, criticized, and often even denied the truthfulness of the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. I had been trusting in my own feelings and understanding instead of trusting in God and His Word alone with all my heart. This fresh and personal revelation from God turned me to trust in the Bible for the first time in my life as the authoritative source I needed to find how to be made right with Him and what to know about Him, His Son and what His will for my life would be.

I soon discovered, however, that my answer from God was not well-received by everyone in my family. My wife was very upset that I came to faith in Christ alone as my Savior and no longer accepted the tenets of Mormonism as true. She filed for divorce a few months later and asked me to separate myself from her and our children. On top of this, certain church leaders accused me of things I had not done and even threatened my position at work. It would have been a very dark time in my life had it not have been for the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the assurance from God that He loved me. He was faithful to carry me through my losses and restore me.

Not long after I left the LDS church, I visited a local Christian church where the Bible was taught in plainness and where Jesus was and is honored still as LORD and Christ. I have been part of that fellowship ever since I left the LDS church; I have met many beloved friends over the years there, including a lovely woman who would become my beautiful Christian wife and loving supporter. It has been since the fall of 1983 that God delivered me and gave me new life in Christ. As the years pass, I draw nearer to God by faith through the constant study of His Word and by the loving, transforming and renewing work of the Holy Spirit in my life.

For those wishing to witness to LDS family, friends, co-workers or neighbors, it must be understood that it takes both prayer against the deceptive darkness and the powerful light of God’s Word to reach those lost in Mormonism. My brother and his wife, both believing and practicing Christians themselves, prayed earnestly that I might find the truth back when I was actually the most active in my LDS church membership. Their intervention and intercessory prayers in my behalf were powerful tools of deliverance, but it took time before they could see God at work changing me. As we witness to our LDS family and friends, we cannot lose sight of the sincere belief they have in their religion – which could lead us to discouragement when they express no interest in our simple gospel message - nor can we shrink back from our biblical duty to share Christ and love the LDS over the long haul.

I want to close with a Bible passage that has blessed me and assured me of my salvation ever since I read it with understanding for the first time. That moment of initial understanding came while I was on my knees in prayer on Palomar mountain. My Father in heaven took me to these very verses of scripture when I first opened my eyes and my Bible after receiving my answer from Him concerning what to believe. It was precisely the truth God knew I needed, one I would turn to for assurance and confirmation of my decision to leave Mormonism in favor of faith in His Word:

“And this is the [testimony], that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:11-13

To God be all the glory – praise to You, LORD Jesus! Amen!

July, 2010
Dave McCament
Psalm 66:16


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