Back when I was in 9th grade, a freshman in high school, I was just a "normal" LDS teenager. I was enrolled in LDS seminary at the time. I kept the Word of Wisdom and refrained from sexually immoral acts. (I still do but not because of obedience to the LDS church.) A friend of mine, whom I had known for 7 years, happened to be in my class. He had a talent for doing things on the computer so he wanted to show me what things he could do in the school computer lab.
I began spending more and more time in the high school's computer lab. The lab aide happened to be a Christian man who knew a lot about Mormonism. (I didn't know that at the time, however.) When I was starting to learn how to use the lab's e-mail program, I would send questionnaires to various people, including the computer lab aide.
On one particular questionnaire, I asked questions like: "Do you believe in UFO's?" and "Where do aliens come from?" He wrote back saying that they [UFOs] are a deception of Satan and that there is only one God, not three or more. I was confused. I knew that there was only one God- Heavenly Father. I thought that God was my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ was just His son and the Holy Ghost was just something or someone that told you what was good to do.
I wrote back asking him what he meant by his statement. He told me to go home and read Isaiah 43-46 and John 10-15. I read those and believed them. (They are from God right?) I thought, "Since we support the Bible as one of the standard works, this must be true." I asked my seminary teachers about those chapters and they quickly corrected me with other scriptures and quotes from prophets mentioning that there were three separate Gods and that we could become gods! I was shocked! Could I trust the Bible or the prophets? I didn't think that they were supposed to contradict each other. I became more interested in what the Bible said. I began reading it more and more, coming to the Word with a spiritual hunger each time. It became addictive. I had never read most of the Bible before. The only stories I had ever heard from the Bible were "Noah's Ark" "Daniel in the Lion's Den" and the story of "The Birth of Christ." I kept having discussions with the Christian man at school. He would answer the questions that I had and challenge me to read other passages from the Bible. This went on for over a year.
Through him, I became aware of a couple of Christians in Salt Lake City, UT who knew quite a bit about Mormonism. I contacted their ministry, "Utah Lighthouse Ministry" (Jerald and Sandra Tanner) and they sent me some information to look through and ponder over. I went through every piece of that material and looked up every scripture to be sure it had not been misquoted or taken out of context. Nothing ever was.
On one occasion when I was talking to the computer lab aide, I was telling him about all of the contradictions I was finding in Mormon doctrine. He changed the subject slightly and asked me if I had received Jesus into my heart. I didn't quite understand what he meant. He explained to me that all I had to do is pray to ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. By accepting Him as my Savior, my sins would be forgiven. Not just some of my sins or certain ones, ALL of my sins would be forgiven.
That night, I opened my Bible again to read John chapters 10-15. I thought about that day's discussion. I thought about what I just read in the Book of John about the love that God has to offer me. I made the decision to become a Christian that night.
I knelt on my bed and confessed that I wasn't perfect and that I needed a Savior to rescue me from the pit of sins that I was slowly drowning in. I invited Jesus to live in my heart that night of January 25, 1996. I felt love flood my body as I knelt there, crying over how disgusting of an act hanging on the cross must have been.
I didn't know everything that was wrong with Mormonism. All I knew was that the God of Mormonism was contradictory. If I believed in a god that changed his mind all of the time, could I trust him with my eternal salvation? What if he changed his mind at the last minute? I didn't have to know everything that was wrong with the world to realize that I needed a Savior.
Inwardly I felt more complete. A void that I never thought I had, was now filled. Outwardly, other people began to notice a change in my life.
Still attending seminary, I was talking to my teacher one day, the following March, after school. He knew that I had been reading "anti-Mormon" literature. He turned to me and asked me what had been going on in my life. I answered with a puzzled look. His reply was, "I've seen a tremendous change in your life. Don't get me wrong. It's a change for the better. Have those antis been leaving you alone?" I could only turn around and laugh. I didn't know how to explain to him what Jesus had done with my heart.
There is such joy that awaits people that can be found in Christ Jesus. He is an awesome God. His gift of salvation is free. There is no price to pay, no amount of money, no certain amount of good works that you must do to qualify for
heaven. True freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ and the price he paid.
God has placed a burden in my heart to share Jesus Christ with others who are being deceived by false gods and prophets. (1 John 4:1) I never became angry with anyone or anything when I learned that I was deceived. (I can understand those who may be angry, though.) I look at Mormonism and think, "If only people would open their eyes to notice what is being spoon fed to them, would they still be willing to open their mouth to accept and digest it? What may look like sugar to them could actually be a spoon full of cleansing powder."
Questioning the church at such an early age has left me with various obstacles including losing some of my friends, living in fear of being disowned by family or being ridiculed for being a Christian in a predominantly Mormon town. I eagerly await the return of my Lord Jesus. Every eye will see Him on that day and not just the LDS who are in Missouri.
If Joseph Smith turned out to be a false prophet, would not the church be false also? Who are you putting your trust in, man or God? (Psalms 118:8)