We were raised in the LDS Church. My parents have been active in the Church for a long time, and still are. My Dad is a Sunday School Prez. John's parents are still very active also and are Stake Missionaries. I used to be very active in the LDS Church. When I was a teenager, I felt the Church was true, but I did not like going. I didn't like YW's. I had no friends in my ward, and I was also very shy and hardly said anything to anyone. John was the same way. I didn't feel very comfortable in my ward. But I still went because I felt the Church was true. And I read the BOOK OF MORMON every day. And I thought I knew it pretty well. John had been inactive before, up until a few months before we met.
My Husband started having doubts about the Church over a year ago. He was teaching the 11 year old boys about the BOOK OF MORMON. John started doubting if what he was teaching them about the BOOK OF MORMON was true or not. He stopped going to Church. The Bishop called him in wondering why John wasn't showing up at Church. John told him he had doubts. The Bishop told John to go up in the mountains, take his BOOK OF MORMON, and pray about if the BOOK OF MORMON was true or not. But John didn't. He didn't know where to search for the truth. Meanwhile, my doubts had started two years ago, when my boys and I got sick for months. We had had several Priesthood blessings saying we would be healed soon. But soon never seemed to come. I felt that God had abandoned me and my boys. I was angry at God, and I even started to doubt if there was a God.... I fell into a deep depression. I just wanted to die, so I went on medication. After awhile most of the doubts went away. John had stopped going to Church, and I was hurt. I wanted him to go with me, and the boys, even though the boys and I hardly ever went. But John had no desire to go. But sometimes he would go with me to help with the boys, because I had some health problems.
About 6 months after that (about 7 months ago now), John and I went to the library. John borrowed an anti Mormon book. I was kind of embarrassed about it, because living in Utah there are a lot of Mormons. And I thought one of them would see us borrowing this book. Well, John started reading it. He told me a little of what it said. I didn't know whether to believe it, so we decided to check it out for ourselves, and were shocked to find a lot of it was in Mormon approved books!! We searched even more.... becoming more devastated and shocked as we searched. Mormonism had been our life! And now it had been shattered.
Well, my parents found out that we had been reading anti-Mormon literature, and were very upset. They blamed John for my doubts, because he brought home an anti-Mormon book, even though my doubts were different from his. I doubted the Church, John started doubting Christianity in general. We do know now that the LDS Church is not a true Church. John's parents don't even know about us yet. We haven't asked to have our names to be removed from the records. We don't think it really matters. Because now we belong to Jesus.
After we found out all this stuff about the Church, we were very angry , hurt, and bitter. We wanted to know where we were supposed to go. We were afraid to trust anyone. We had been deceived and were afraid we would be deceived again. We felt alone. We didn't want anyone to know about our doubts. We were very scared, and felt very guilty... afraid that people could see on our faces that we didn't believe in the Church anymore.
John knew a Pastor's son, so he talked me into going to this Pastor's Church. When we got there, I almost backed out. I was afraid everyone would know we were Mormon. But we went inside. And after about 10 minutes I felt more comfortable. The way they praised seemed right! We could feel the Spirit, and I cried. I felt that this is where God wanted us to be. But I still had a lot of doubts. So did John. We still weren't sure what God wanted us to do.
But then one Sunday, John saw in the bulletin an announcement for a Marriage Encounter Weekend, for couples who had a good marriage but wanted to make it better. So we went. Something happened while we were there. Something wonderful! We learned that we needed God to be one with us in our marriage and one with Him personally. We felt God's Love for us so strong that it consumed us to the point where all the anger, hurt and bitterness and guilt were washed away by Jesus' love for us!! We were filled with so much joy! And God filled us with knowledge of Him. He answered some questions, thru His Spirit, that I had had for years! It was awesome! We were born again!! We will never forget that day that happened, and it happened on Oct. 18, 1997.
There are several reasons why we are leaving the LDS Church. The inconsistencies with the Church doctrine were only part of it. What really got us to think of leaving was that we felt spiritually unfulfilled in the LDS Church. We didn't feel like we could be close to God there. We had tried, but had failed. We feel that we need to worship God the way Christian Churches worship God. It helps our Love for Him to grow! And helps us to draw close to Him! It fills us with so much joy! We need God in our lives, and we feel the only way we can be close to Him is thru worshipping Him thru music and prayer.
Our relationship with Jesus now is so wonderful! I never knew that we could be this happy! We feel God working in our life now! He is more real to us now... more then ever! We still feel guilt sometimes, but the doubts are pretty much gone. Our faith in God is a lot stronger! And we feel we are One with Him in our marriage and also in our personal relationship with Him. Our Love for Him has grown. We are now trying to help others like ourselves who are coming out of Mormonism. We feel that People like this, need the emotional and spiritual support. We want people to know there is happiness after leaving the Mormon Church. We feel we know now who God is, and that His Love for each and every one of us is unconditional, no matter what we do, He will still love us! . He is definitely an Awesome God!!
JENN & JOHN