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MY JOURNEY

OUT OF MORMONISM

BY DIANNE POMON

          Sometime in 1987-88, I became seriously disillusioned with Mormonism, the faith I’d adhered to for almost ten years.  Suddenly, the temple ordinances, which I at one time had felt privileged to attend, seemed strange and alien to me.  Numerous inconsistencies began to spring up in the teachings of Mormonism in Sunday School, Relief Society and in the Sacrament Meeting that greatly concerned me.  I began to question the validity of “latter day prophets,” as I noted several errors and contradictions in their teachings.  Certain conflicting verses, specifically in the Book of Mormon, started making me question its validity as the “most accurate book on the face of the earth.”

            God placed several believers in my path as I began to leave Mormonism.   Two Christian friends, a Christian nurse I worked with, and a Baptist pastor, Joe DiCandillo, all played significant roles in planting seeds and making me analyze the Mormon faith in light of the Bible only.   Carl Martin, of Faith Bible Fellowship Church in Spring City, PA, played a most significant role in helping me abandon the good works of Mormonism and to embrace fully that of God’s grace.  He pastored the first church I attended upon leaving Mormonism, and spent hours answering my questions and concerns.  A few years later he was responsible for assisting my husband in recognizing that truth came only from God’s Holy Word.

            Unfortunately, some well-meaning Christians who were unfamiliar with Mormonism drove me further back into the LDS Church.  One of the biggest mistakes Christians made was to mock and ridicule the LDS Church rather than point out who God really was. Those who choose to sensationalize Mormonism in the form of books and videos frequently do more harm than good.  Some of the issues they bring up are obscure and never taught to members of the church today.  The result is that Mormons, instead of seeing the truth, see what they perceive as lies being told about their prophets and church history.

 Those Christians that feel they can witness to Mormons using the “Roman Road” or other such techniques will fail miserably.    Mormons need to be dealt with at their level using their own scriptures, which include the KJV Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  Begin all discussions by presenting to them who God really is and confirm this data by using their own Book of Mormon!  Yes, God is presented in the Book of Mormon as a spirit, without flesh and bones! The foundation of Mormonism needs to be torn away first by showing discrepancies in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants, as well as in the re-writing of LDS history.  Then, and only then, will you begin to cast some doubt in the mind of a Mormon who very well may be uncomfortable with some of his/her LDS  teachings. 

            My personal experience is that most pastors are not prepared to deal with a Mormon’s questions, because the majority know very little about what the LDS Church really teaches.  I felt I was initially left alone to discover the truths of the Bible.  God led me to the proper resources.  I read and studied them, saw the discrepancies and then, after much repentance and mourning, led myself in my own “Sinner’s Prayer.”  While still in the “searching mode,” I realized that something was very wrong with the LDS Church.  My children were being brainwashed in what appeared to me to be a cult.  I quickly worked to fix that problem by enrolling them in a local Christian school, much to the chagrin of a few board members.  The welcome there was a little cool; however, my children did hear the truth. 

My youngest daughter, Katie, was attending kindergarten there.  Every week she was required to learn a short Bible verse based on a letter of the alphabet.  For example, the letter “A” verse card read, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); letter “B” read:  “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).   You get the picture – I helped her learn the verses, memorized them myself and confirmed that my leaving the Mormon Church was the right thing to do!  My five-year old daughter was instrumental in assisting me to further see the truth!

While at this school, I discovered that some of the staff attended Faith Bible Fellowship Church.   My two daughters and I eventually began attending there and Pastor Carl Martin actively discipled me.  Unfortunately, the school was not prepared for the presence of my family and did little or nothing to assist with our journey out of Mormonism.  In fact, at times they actually worked against me and drove my husband deeper into Mormonism as he observed their hypocrisy.  Not one woman at the school ever offered to be a friend, invited me to a Bible study, or showed any interest in discipleship.  In fact, I was actually shunned by some staff and particularly board members.  One would think they would have perceived this as an opportunity for evangelism, but never did anyone speak with me about my faith and struggle to leave Mormonism.  This was possibly due to ignorance.  Again, few pastors know anything about Mormonism, let alone the members of the congregation. 

            In 1987, I was working part-time as an R.N. in the emergency room of a trauma center about 45 minutes from my home.  The stress level of this job could be tremendous, but little did I know that my family life as well would be maximally stressed by the end of that year.

            A new R.N. had been hired by the hospital and came to work on my weekend shift.  We immediately connected and became friends.  She was a born-again Christian and made it real clear to the rest of the staff that she didn’t condone their foul language or off-color jokes.  Most of the staff did not care for her, so her relationship with them was strained.   We, however, assisted each other with patient care, ate meals together, and talked whenever we weren’t very busy.

            Our conversation frequently turned to religion, and one day she shared with me a book she’d recently purchased on the New Age Movement.  It was a small pink book, and possibly authored by Walter Martin, or at least endorsed by him.  Immediately it was like a light bulb went on in my brain as I saw certain parallels between Mormonism and this New Age belief system.  Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get my own copy of this book.

            Monday morning I was at a Christian bookstore shortly after it opened.   My LDS Church leaders considered Christian bookstores “forbidden territory”, but my interest had already been piqued, so I was not stopping now!  I was amazed to see an entire section of books dealing with the New Age Movement, as well as a section on the cults.  I was surprised to see books about Mormonism on the shelf.

            I took this small pink book home, along with one on Mormonism, and literally devoured it that day.  The section that got my attention the most was the chapter that explained our sin nature and the fall of mankind.  This book described how false religions twist the story of the fall to mean something different than what is really recorded in Genesis.  For the first time in my life, I read Genesis differently:  “And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).  I had been led to believe that I could someday achieve godhood… that man was basically good… and that what happened in the Garden of Eden was God’s will.  All of a sudden, I realized that Satan was deceiving Eve… the offering of godhood came from him, not God!  This was not a desirable goal, but an undesirable one!  This knowledge led me to search for more.  I found myself spiritually hungry for every morsel the Bible had to offer!

            God knows me well and knew I would need adequate time to further research and study His Word as I struggled to leave Mormonism.  In His wisdom, He temporarily transferred my husband to another job out of state.  Because of his frequent absence, I was able to spend more time studying.

 Rich was not in favor of my newfound curiosity and strongly believed the LDS Church was correct.  He held a position as financial clerk, but I had expressed no interest in a “calling” or appointment to a teaching or leadership position.  I was already feeling guilty enough for years of false instruction I’d given others in the LDS Church and had no desire to serve again.  My drive was simply towards finding spiritual truths of the Bible.

One day Pastor Joe DiCandillo knocked at my door.  His first question was, “If you were to die today, do you know for sure you’d go to heaven?”  “I hope so,” I replied.  “You’d better know so,” responded the Pastor. I was quite taken back by his response, and it emphasized to me the importance of knowing my eternal destiny.  He shared the gospel with me, but at the time I was very confused.   My mind swam with a mixture of both Mormon doctrine and Biblical truths.  I knew he had something I wanted, but at this point, I was still somewhat confused about how one gained salvation without good works.

 I shared with him my struggles with leaving the LDS Church and later borrowed a video from him that compared Christianity with Mormonism.  Parts of it were good, but some aspects were quite sensationalized. At the time, I felt this was “anti-Mormon” propaganda and questioned the validity of it. At the same time, I could identify many truths within it as well.  Many months later, I viewed it again and read a book with the same title.  This time it didn’t seem so sensational, as I had accumulated more knowledge and was really beginning to understand just how evil the Mormon Church really was.

            My children quickly discerned my negative attitude towards Mormonism.   They had been actively involved in the primary and youth groups, and my sons had progressed through the ranks of deacon, teacher, and priest.  I was only able to attend church services every other weekend because of my nursing schedule.  How blessed I felt to have a good excuse not to be there!   However, I grieved that the rest of my family was.  On the weekend I wasn’t working, I did attend Sunday School, Relief Society, and Sacrament, but with a critical spirit.  More and more frequently, I would stay in the bathroom until my husband had gone into the Elder’s Quorum meeting.  Then I’d slip out the door and drive to McDonald’s for a quick breakfast!  I’d always make it back by Sacrament, but after several weeks of this routine, I got caught by one of my sons.  The bargain was made that he wouldn’t tell Dad as long as he could go, too! 

            During the Sunday School classes, I occasionally sat in the hallway reading the Bible or a good Christian book.  Other times, I would be armed with good questions and/or comments to make in the class to disrupt it as much as possible.  Since Mormons rotate their Sunday School studies every four years (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Church History),  I always had the proper manual and knew what lesson would be taught.  Naturally, I did some prep work in advance and could usually totally fluster the teacher.

            At one point, a new teacher was “called.”  This proved to be a wonderful opportunity for me, because this person was strongly immersed in a mix of New Age and Mormon beliefs.  He didn’t even teach good Mormon doctrine, but was adding false Biblical teachings almost every Sunday.  He taught that the flood of Noah’s day only covered part of the earth and even touched on reincarnation!  Several others in the class even began to challenge his teachings as being “false doctrine.”

            At the same time, a new family had also just moved into our Ward (local church area).  They shared some of these “false doctrine” beliefs, all steeped in New Age-type doctrine.  Three other LDS woman and I were convinced the wife was involved in witchcraft.  She frequently referred to “Mother God” or “Mother Earth,” used crystals, and was trained in some kind of holistic therapy.  Very little was known about their past, and nothing that we did know could be confirmed, even though my friend tried repeatedly.  The Ward they said they came from had never heard of them, and an employer could not confirm his employment.  They suddenly left as quickly as they had come.  I have been thoroughly convinced that this was the work of the devil!  Just prior to their leaving, I received a newsletter from a reliable Christian ministry that works with LDS people that Satanists had been known to infiltrate LDS churches.  The Mormon Church, with its occult undertones, would provide an adequate haven for them.

            Simultaneously, a new Ward had formed in our stake (regional group of Wards).  A well-known man was called as Bishop.  One day I heard him speak and knew immediately that this man, too, was involved in more than just Mormonism.  I do not recall the specific details, but know that alarms went off in my brain.  God had given me discernment at this early stage of my venture out of Mormonism!

            I was told that this new Bishop had opened an L.D.S. bookstore in his private business.  One day I drove to the nearby town to see what books were available, as I’d heard from another woman that he had some “strange things” for sale.  Upon entering this store, I could sense the presence of evil.  There were a few LDS books, but most were New Age.  I had explored a Waldenbooks Store earlier and noticed many of the same titles in their “Self-Help” and “New Age” sections.   About three months later, I revisited the bishop’s store to observe that it was now well stocked with crystals, tarot cards, incense, books on yoga, Satanism, and additional New Age titles, but very few LDS books.   I remember specifically seeing a book entitled, “The Satanic Bible,” by Anton Lavey, which was prominently displayed along with many Native American Indian pictures, books, and other occult paraphernalia.  I picked up some free literature that indicated the bishop was channeling a spirit.  He was conducting classes on “Finding Your Spirit Guide” and other New Age beliefs. The church stake leadership was well aware of this man’s activities, because I had written them a lengthy letter.   My Bishop had spoken with them as well after I had alerted him.  This man was still the Bishop, and no one seemed to be waving red flags but me.   A few years later, I confirmed a rumor that he had left the LDS Church and opened a New Age bookstore just off the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, DE.  This area is a hotbed of occult and sodomite activity, and he no doubt had a financially lucrative business.

            A new Bishop had been called in my Ward, so I again reported this man’s business.  I was told to “keep quiet”  -- not only about the bookstore, but also in Sunday School and Relief Society.  My numerous questions and comments were not wanted.

            Later I was being interviewed for my temple recommend, which I really did not want, but decided to pursue anyway as it would give me an opportunity to confront the new Bishop.  I made it very clear that I did not support him or the leadership all the way to Salt Lake City, including the Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson. I expressed my belief that Joseph Smith was a fraud.  Much to my surprise, he signed my recommend anyway and encouraged me to read the Book of Mormon more often!  I then expressed to him that I didn’t believe it either!  We talked for quite some time, and he even agreed with me on some issues.   Several months later, I witnessed to him, mailed him information exposing Mormonism, and discovered that he did later leave the LDS Church for awhile.  Unfortunately, he attended another church where the gospel was not taught, so ultimately returned to Mormonism due to family pressures.  To this day, I know this man does not fully believe in the Mormon Church.  I tried years later to make contact again with him.  He indicated he believed I was correct, but he couldn’t leave the LDS Church because of his wife.  Is he really saved?  Probably not. I understand he now holds another prominent Mormon Church calling. 

            Rumors spread quickly through my Ward that I was questioning LDS beliefs.   Very shortly, I began to be shunned by virtually everyone.  The ironic thing is that if the women had treated me in a loving way, I probably would have found it much more difficult to leave.  Almost my entire circle of friends was in the Mormon Church, so I found myself virtually friendless.   Their shunning only made me more determined to leave. One of the women who saw the falseness of Mormonism left with me; however, the other two remain in the Mormon Church to this day.  Seeds have been sown, and I often pray they will make true professions of faith before leaving this world. 

            I experienced many strange things while leaving the Mormon Church, but in spite of them, I continued to study God’s Word, as well as several good Christian books, study guides, and devotionals.  Numerous times I asked God’s forgiveness and said the Sinner’s Prayer.  This was accomplished through the witness of various Christian authors, TV evangelist, Pat Robertson, and of course, God’s Word.  I needed the constant reassurance that God really had forgiven me and accepted me as I was.  For several months, I was tormented by Mormon doctrine that clouded my thinking and confused me.  I was haunted by the Mormon belief that said if I ever “knew the truth and walked away from it, I’d be in outer darkness for eternity.”   This is a fearsome thought.  Finally, God touched my heart and let me know that heaven was my eternal home.  I remember praying that He’d remove these Mormon doctrines from my brain, as they continued to confuse and haunt me.  Finally, they no longer tormented me.  He had erased them from my mind!

            In my studies, I looked at exactly who God is – His attributes, His mercy, and His grace.  The God of Mormonism is opposite the God of the Bible. Mormon doctrine teaches that God was once a man.   A frequently quoted statement by Lorenzo Snow, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become” is widely known by all Mormons.  Apostle Bruce R. McConkie writes in his famous book, Mormon Doctrine, 1979 edition, pg. 643 that God the Father is a “glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man.”  In other words, Mormons believe that God progressed from man to godhood and that all LDS people can achieve this goal as well.  Even the Book of Mormon states that God has always been God and “changeth not” (Mormon 9:9-11, 19; Moroni 8:18).  The Bible clearly states that God is not a man (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9) and is unchanging (Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 43:10-11; Hebrews 13:8).

            Mormonism teaches that God has a body of flesh and bones (D & C 130:22) and that He cannot be in more than one place at a time (The Articles of Faith by James Talmage, pg. 43).  On the other hand, LDS scripture states that God is a spirit (Alma 18:26-28; Alma 22:9-11).  The Bible teaches in John 4:24 that “God is a Spirit” and in Luke 24:39 “Hath not flesh and bones…”  Jeremiah 23:24 teaches that God fills the heaven and earth. 

            Mormons do not believe in the Trinity but teach separate and distinct gods.  Apostle Bruce R. McConkie states:  “Three separate personages – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – comprise the godhead.  As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists.  To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship”  (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 576-577).  Isaiah 44:8 clearly contradicts this false teaching: “…. Is there a God beside me?  yea, there is no God; I know not any.” 

            Mormon doctrine has violated the first commandment:  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).   Joseph Smith was a false prophet and deceived many that followed him.

            Mormonism also teaches that Jesus was the spiritual brother of Lucifer.   In the Mormon spiritual pre-existence, a “Heavenly Mother and Father” created offspring, including Jesus and Lucifer.  The Bible, however, teaches that Jesus created “all things” (Col. 1:16-17), so they can’t possibly be brothers.  Apostle Bruce R. McConkie also teaches that “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers” (Mormon Doctrine, 1979, pg.547).  To believe this, you have to: 1) deny the virgin birth and acknowledge that God the Father was an adulterer; 2) believe that Mary was an adulteress since she was engaged to Joseph; and 3) acknowledge that God the Father must have performed an incestuous act because Mary was supposedly his “spirit child.”  Once I was able to see these truths, I became sickened at what I had been taught and believed for a time.

The Book of Romans taught me about sin and redemption.  “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24) and “But God commandeth his love towards us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more than being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8-9) helped me to fully understand what the real Jesus of the Bible had done for me.  I was a sinner (as is all of mankind) in need of a Savior.  I was not this good person I’d been told I was!

            Another verse that challenged my Mormon ideals was Ephesians 2:8-9:   “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast.”  This directly conflicts with the third Article of Faith – “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”  All Mormons believe membership in the LDS Church, baptism, and temple marriage is essential for salvation.  The Bible clearly teaches that we must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”   (Acts 16:31).

            For ten years, I worked my way up the “ladder of success” in the LDS Church.  I’d faithfully done my monthly Visiting Teaching (visits to assigned homes monthly to insure families, even the inactive ones, are cared for and safe).  I diligently prepared a brief message for those on my list and even sometimes took a small gift or baked item.  I had attended my Relief Society meetings, always a willing teacher when called.  I was greatly involved in instructing other women in homemaking skills at monthly meetings.  Women were taught to preserve and store food, make bread, gardening, home repair, grind and utilize wheat for various dishes, sew clothing and household goods, quilt, raise children, make various crafts, and decorate or enhance our homes.  Book reports on various LDS authors were shared, along with devotions.  If someone was sick and needed meals brought to their home, I was always eager to serve.  I had accepted callings in not only Relief Society, but in Primary, the children’s church area.   I was responsible for teaching these little ones many LDS songs, scriptures, and basic Mormon doctrine.

            Our family was always eager to share a message during the Sunday Sacrament meeting.  We would labor for weeks to make sure a good message was given.  Our children were taught at an early age how to give a speech and share their testimony.

            We frequently went to the temple in Washington, D.C., as well as visited those in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City.  We toured Salt Lake City and Navoo, Illinois, where the Mormons had lived in the mid 1800’s, as well as other historical Mormon sites between CA and NY.

            Even after all this work, I was unsure of where I’d go after death.   I pridefully thought I’d make the Celestial Kingdom (the highest level of heaven), but only if I kept up this pace and even more could I be fully assured.  The scriptures above made it very clear that I was saved by my faith, not by all my works.  This newfound truth caused me much turmoil.

            Isaiah 64:6 really made me squirm:  “But we are all as unclean things and all our righteousness are as filthy rags…”  If that wasn’t enough… “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10) made me realize that all my good works would not get me into heaven, but into hell.  I could never keep all the law.  It was impossible, because I continually stumbled.  I will never forget when Pastor Carl Martin shared this verse with me.  It greatly confirmed to me that I simply could never be “good enough.”   Just one stumble, and I was condemned to hell.  I was well aware I’d stumbled more than once!

            The book of Galatians was also extremely meaningful to me as I journeyed my way out of Mormonism. “… if an angel from heaven preach any other gospel…let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-10) spoke all too clearly of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. Another gospel had been preached to me for years and an angel, Moroni, had brought it to Joseph Smith.  It became clear to me that Mormonism was a man-made religion – not the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it portrays itself to be.  It also occurred to me that Joseph Smith was very likely channeling spirits, an act forbidden by the Bible and today practiced by those in the New Age movement. 

            The Book of Hebrews destroyed any remnant of belief in the Mormon priesthood.  My high priest is Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Mormonism teaches we have a “living prophet to lead us in these latter days,” but Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that today we have a Bible, which is God’s last revelation to us.  Jesus is our only prophet, priest, and king. 

            Quite to my amazement, I discovered that the Mormon Aaronic priesthood is not based on biblical principles.  God set the minimum age of a priest at 25 (Numbers 8:23-25), not 12 as the Mormons do.   The LDS Church claims to be of the tribe of Ephraim, yet Old Testament priests had to be of the tribe of Levi (Numbers 3:1-10; 8:5-22 and Exodus 38:21).  Because believers in Jesus Christ are “priests” in the sense that they have direct access to God, Christ is the true High Priest (Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 8; and 9:11). 

            After reading Hebrews, I found freedom in knowing that I did not have to depend on my husband’s priesthood to gain entry into heaven.  LDS doctrine emphasizes the importance of entrance into the Celestial Kingdom on the shirttails of one’s husband!

            As I evaluated Mormon prophets, I discovered they did not pass the test of not contradicting previous revelations, giving conflicting revelations or giving false revelations.  I learned from the Old Testament that true prophets are 100% accurate 100% of the time (Deuteronomy 18:22).  Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others failed miserably. 

            For example, Joseph Smith prophesied that the New Jerusalem, including a temple would be built in Missouri during that generation (1832, D & C 84:1-5).   Smith was also to dedicate the temple and a cloud (the “glory of the Lord”) was to fill the house.  No such building was ever constructed during Smith’s time.

            Smith again prophesied in 1835 that those who went to Zion “would be ordained to the ministry” and “prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh – even 56 years” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 2, pg. 182, Feb. 14, 1835).

            No temple was ever built in the New Jerusalem in Missouri, and the Lord did not come in 1891 as Joseph Smith prophesied.

            Again in 1843, Joseph Smith prophesied:  “There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes…. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written – the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old”  (History of the Church, vol. 5, pg. 336).  The Lord has not yet returned and Joseph Smith and his early followers are all dead!

            Early in my studies, I discovered a false prophesy in 1 Nephi 19:10.   It predicts the crucifixion of Jesus and the three days of darkness that would follow His death.  According to Luke 23:44, there were three hours of darkness.

            2 Nephi 3:3 states that the seed of the Nephites “shall not utterly be destroyed,” yet the Book of Mormon story ends with the Nephite culture being destroyed.  They can't have it both ways!

            I was also shocked to find that several chapters in the Book of Mormon were exactly the same as that of the KJV of the Bible.  For example, 2 Nephi 7 and 8 is the same as Isaiah 50 and 51, respectively.  Even italicized words added for clarification in the KJV are “translated” in the Book of Mormon!  The copying continues for Chapters 12-24 of 2 Nephi.  All these chapters are copied from Isaiah 2-14.

            Another blatant error is found in 2 Nephi 10:3 where it states that “Christ” should be His name.  Jesus is His name – Christ is a title!  2 Nephi 24:1-14 tells why Lucifer was cast out of heaven – for wanting to be like God!  Perhaps the LDS people should heed this warning!  (See Isaiah 14).

            The temple ceremonies which were supposedly “sacred” are really secret, oath-taking ceremonies or ordinances in elaborate, ornately decorated buildings.  These ordinances are necessary for salvation in the Mormon heavens, so great pressure is placed on the membership to obtain a temple recommend granting entry into the temple.  To qualify for a recommend, one must pay 10% of your income to the church, uphold all current church leaders and profess your belief in the “latter day prophet,” as well as Joseph Smith.

            Some of the temple ordinances I’ve experienced greatly resembled Freemasonry.  One day I discovered a Freemasonry book at a garage sale.  I almost dropped it when I realized the wording was virtually identical to a temple covenant I had once taken.  Mormons will generally deny this, but I personally saw the proof.  Some LDS will defend this issue by stating that Freemasonry took verbatim covenants from the LDS Church.  This is unlikely since Joseph Smith was a Mason and learned the “script” from them and then applied it to the temple ceremony!

            In the spring of 1990, much of the temple ceremony was altered to remove some controversial  “penalties and oaths” (ie, throat cutting, disembowelment), a “Pay Lay Ale” prayer chant (questionable meaning), a ritual called the “Five Points of Fellowship” (quite similar to Freemasonry), and part of a film that portrays a Christian minister as a hired worker of Satan.  This was no doubt done in the midst of much criticism from other church denominations that had become aware of these temple ordinances.  With the removal of these offensive things, the Mormon Church would appear more “Christian.” 

            I attended the temple when the “old” ordinances were in effect and often felt things were quite strange.  We were actually warned not to discuss with each other what occurred in the temple.   Therefore, no constructive discussions between church members could ever be held.  Not only were these ordinances considered “sacred” by Mormons, but they appeared to me to also be “secret.” When I indicated to a friend that I simply did not understand much of it, they suggested I spend more time in the Book of Mormon.  Supposedly the Holy Spirit would then assist me in understanding these strange temple covenants.  The last time I went, I could hardly wait to get out.  I knew it was wrong and sensed an evil presence there.  Soon I abandoned wearing of the temple garment.  These are undergarments worn by Mormons as a kind of protection and are obtained when one goes through the temple for the first time.

            One thing I’ve never forgotten was my first and only visit to the Salt Lake City temple.  At the time, I thought it odd that the building had pentagrams on the outside and a huge eye near the ceiling in one of the rooms.  I recall looking up at this eye and feeling quite uneasy.  Years later, I discovered that this is an occult symbol – the “all-seeing eye.”  

            The purpose of the temple is to receive your “endowments.”   This includes your temple garments and a new name, along with some key words, signs, and tokens to allow one immediate entry into heaven.  Proxy baptisms for the dead (contradicted in Hebrews 9:27) and weddings are also performed to complete one’s genealogy, as well as those of strangers.  I later discovered that the Bible teaches in I Timothy 1:4 that genealogies are worthless.  Wedding ceremonies for young couples, as well as “sealings for all time and eternity” for those married outside the temple are frequently performed. 

            I found it interesting that the Book of Mormon states in Esther 8:19 that “the Lord worketh not in secret combinations,” yet temple ordinances seem to fall into this category.  In Alma 37:30 it states that “judgments of God did come upon these workers of darkness and secret combinations.”  Alma 30:23 mentions “foolish ordinances.”  What about temples?

            Earlier I mentioned several contradictions in the Book of Mormon itself.  A small sampling of such errors include:

            Alma 7:10 – Jesus born in Jerusalem

            Alma 24:10 – people were forgiven of murders which today is an “unforgivable sin.”  When did God change his mind?

            Alma 36:18 – someone is crying, “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me” seventy-three years before Jesus was born!

            Alma 46:16 – people were called Christians in 73 B.C., yet Acts 11:26 says this occurred at Antioch.  Both can’t be first!

            3 Nephi 28:1-8 – tells of three Nephites who never died.  What about the total apostasy that supposedly occurred?

            Moroni 10:26 – “for if they die in their sins and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.”  Why baptize for the dead then?

            If the Book of Mormon is the “most accurately translated book on earth” as the Mormon Church boasts, why all the contradictions in LDS scripture?   Why are several chapters exactly like some in the KJV of the Bible?  Why does the Book of Mormon mention some things that weren’t even invented yet (ie, steel)?  Why are there even more contradictions between various books of the “standard works” (KJV Bible, Book of Mormon, D & C, and Pearl of Great Price)?  For example:

            “One God” is taught in Alma 11:27-39, 44; 2 Nephi 31:21; Mormon 7:7; 3 Nephi 11:27, and Moses 1:3,6….. but D & C 121:32; 132:18-20, 37 all teach “plural gods!”

            Alma 18:26-28; 22:8-11 and Alma 31:15 teach that “God is a spirit;” but D & C 130:22 teaches that God has a body.

            Jacob 4:9 and Alma 18:28, 34-36 all teach there is no “pre-existence of man.”  D & C 93:23, 29-33 and Abraham 3:18, 21-23 teach man “pre-existed.”

            “Death seals man’s fate” is taught in Mosiah 2:36-39 and Alma 34:32-35, but D & C 76:106-112; 88:99 teaches there is a “second chance after death.”

            Moroni 8:22-23; 2 Nephi 9:25-26; and Mosiah 15:24-27 teaches the heathen are saved without baptism; however, D & C 128:5 promotes baptism for the dead.        

            The above are just a few of the contradictions I uncovered in the Mormon scriptures.  Many others exist to cast a shadow of doubt on LDS scriptures.

            My last day at the Mormon church came when a man spoke in Sacrament one morning and shared with us II Peter 1:10: …”give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail.”   His twist on this verse was that “good Mormons” could have their seat in heaven reserved if they continued to attend meetings, go to the temple, hold callings, pay tithes, study the scriptures, etc., etc.  When one was virtually perfect, God the Father would appear and wrap His arms around you, reassuring you that you would be admitted to heaven after death.  This was the “Second Endowment,” an ordinance only a few righteous Mormons would ever receive, but one that everyone should strive for.  This man indicated the literal “arms of God” had encircled him and that God had told him he would have a place in heaven.  Either this man had a very vivid imagination or he was channeling evil spirits.

            I could no longer stand to sit in the presence of continued mockery of God’s Holy Word.  Nor could I rely on my good works to gain me entry into heaven.  I had been told, and believed, a lie.  I felt deceived, shameful, and ignorant.  More than anything, I felt guilt at having raised my children in this false religion that was totally contrary to God’s Word.  Several months earlier, I had repented of my past and asked Jesus to come into my life.  As a believer, I had continued to go to church with my husband twice a month, and continually saw more and more false teachings.  It had actually become a game with me – search out the unbiblical teachings and confirm it with a scripture from the Bible!  Then I would share my thoughts and convictions in Sunday School or Relief Society classes.  Asking good questions I already had answers to would frequently start some very controversial discussions and allow me the opportunity to show everyone the errors of LDS doctrine.  My goal was to simply cast out some seeds of doubt.  It was up to God to bring about the harvest.  Very quickly, however, I found myself physically ill as I listened to these false teachings.  I absolutely had to get out!  I could no longer accept the “water and bread” of the Sacrament. 

 The next Sunday my daughters and I attended our first Bible-believing church service at Faith Bible Fellowship Church.  To this day, I continue to learn and grow by studying God’s Word.   I am now in God’s family, undeserving as I am, yet saved by the grace of God through Christ’s shed blood on the cross at Calvary.  Never again will I have to attempt to work my way to heaven.  It was a free gift all along!

My husband was eventually discipled by Pastor Martin, became a believer, and left the Mormon Church.  By his own admission, this was initially done to make for a happier home!  Many people prayed for months before he began to see the truth.

Unfortunately, our sin has consequences.  Our three sons have not yet made professions of faith.  One is married to a “false convert” to Christianity and has three children; another who has repeatedly heard the gospel, said the Sinner’s Prayer, but shows no fruit, is very likely a false convert; and the third son graduated from a Christian school, heard the gospel, but has rejected it.  He is divorced with two children and quite successful in his work.  Needless to say, these situations break my heart.

Our older daughter is married with four children.  They attend a fundamental Baptist Church.  While battling my way out of Mormonism, my daughter conceived out of wedlock.  Needless to say, this greatly added to the stress in our family.   However, I am pleased to say that when this child became eight, she made a profession of faith, and to this day actively seeks to learn more about God.  She has truly been a blessing in my life, as well as my daughter’s.

Our youngest daughter is 18 and a mature young woman.  I homeschooled her from first grade all the way through high school.  She has been blessed with a beautiful voice and currently attends Philadelphia Biblical University, majoring in Bible and vocal music performance.   She serves on our worship team at Calvary Bible Church and is involved in a music ministry at college.  Katie is diligent in her studies of the Word and seeks to live a righteous life.  God has also blessed her with much discernment of false teachings and Satan’s ploys to destroy lives.   She has gone on missions with Missionaries to the Preborn, who actively expose the evils of abortion through street evangelism.    Because of these experiences, she is wise beyond her years regarding the sinfulness of man and the current apostasy of the church.

WITNESSING TO MORMONS

            Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet of the LDS Church, stated:  “If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pg. 188).  Joseph Smith was a deceiver; therefore, it is prudent that we expose his false teachings by warning all people of this pseudo-Christian church.  It is a man-made religion, straight from the pits of Hell, and not from God, as Mormons would have you believe.  In order to expose Joseph Smith and his false religion, you must be prepared.  Consider the following tips:

        Do it in love!  Don’t attack the person, be rude or ridicule their beliefs.  Be polite and patient.  Tell them the truth.

        Be committed to putting in some time – you’ll probably never convert a Mormon with one visit!  And probably not even ten!

        Use ONLY a King James Version Bible.  They do not recognize any other translations.

        CAUTION:   Be aware of Mormon terminology – they use Christian words, but their dictionary is different from ours! 

        Use their techniques in evangelism:

a)      Take control of the conversation

b)      Put them on the defense by asking pertinent questions

c)       Start out with the “milk” or basic Christian teachings

        Ask questions you already know the answers to, such as:

a)      Do you believe God has a body?

b)      Do you believe He had a father and mother?

c)       Does your book teach that God and Christ are really two gods?

d)      Do you believe, “As man is, God once was, as God is, man can become?”

        Use their own Book of Mormon to show them:  2 Nephi 11:7; 26:12; 31:21; Mosiah 15:2-5; Alma 11:22-29; 3 Nephi 11:27, 36; Mormon 9:9-11, 19; Moroni 8:18.  Do not let him add his own interpretation!  Don’t get sidetracked!  Stay on one subject until you’ve reached a satisfactory conclusion!

        Begin to make a hole in his “firm foundation of Mormonism.”  I always picture a brick wall and my efforts to pull bricks out of the bottom layer!  Show them discrepancies and contradictions in the Book of Mormon, D & C, and Pearl of Great Price.   Plant seeds of doubt that will give him a restless night’s sleep.  Stay away from bizarre teachings, most of which the average Mormon has never heard of, such as blood atonement, Jesus was married and polygamous, and that God is the literal father of Jesus.   He will only perceive these things as “anti-Mormon” falsehoods.

        Focus on showing him that Mormons have a different God, a different Jesus, and another gospel.

        Share your testimony of what Jesus has meant in your life.

        When trapped by your comments, he will no doubt revert to sharing his testimony.  He will mention that he “knows Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that the current prophet is as well; that the Book of Mormon is the most correctly translated book on the earth today; that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on earth; that he upholds the current bishopric of this local church; and that Jesus Christ is the son of God and Savior of the world.   Be prepared to counter his “testimony.”  He will indicate he prayed according to James 1:5:  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”  He will then state that he felt a “burning in the bosom” (D & C 9:8) that confirmed to him the truthfulness his “gospel.”  You will then need to discuss the unreliability of emotions in determining truthfulness. 

        Depend on the Holy Spirit to guide you.  There are many different levels of understanding within the Mormon Church.  Overall, it is probably not best that you begin with a seasoned missionary. 

        Pray that God will bring about a harvest.  We are called to “plant” and to “water” for God’s glory, but it is Him that gives the increase (I Corinthians 3:7).

 

CONSEQUENCES OF ACCEPTING MORMONISM

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams:  for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”  (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

“Let no man deceive you with vain words:  for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”   (Ephesians 5:6)

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.   And again, the Lord shall judge his people.   It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”    

(Hebrews 10:29-31)

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  (II Thessalonians 2:9-12)

REWARDS OF REJECTING MORMONISM

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bare with him.”  (II Corinthians 11:3-4)

“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.”  (II John 8:10)

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