GOD'S LOVE AND MERCY

My first contact with Mormon missionaries was in February 1971. I was born in Buffalo, N.Y. 1930, but grew up in Germany: 1933 - 1947. Baptized and confirmed at fourteen in the only church in town which was a Lutheran church of the real Martin Luther. At sixteen, I returned to the U.S. without my family. Seven years later they all came back to America and rebuilt their lives.

When I met the Mormons all I knew  about Mormonism was an article I had read about their puritan lifestyles. I was looking for a church which was practicing Christianity in their lives not only going through the motions.

After a third attempt by the same young men, impressed with their diligence, I let them in. I was forty at the time at the lowest point of my life. I had recommitted my life to Christ Jesus five months prior to this particular day and was virtually waiting to join a church. I felt safe and trusted in God that he would lead me to the right church. That is apparently not what happens in real life.

As a family, we were impressed with their presentation, especially "Family Home Evening", their willingness to accept sinners and promises that we could achieve a hundred percent worthiness. The missionaries emphasized the name of the church, that they were the only church worthy of the name of Jesus Christ.

I felt like I had finally come home, it felt so right after baptism. They said that we were as pure as angels after that. The church always needing hands, I found myself with four different jobs right away. I became part of church life quickly and loved being so accepted. That was something I had never experienced before.

Soon my selfesteem was restored. Our life started working. My husband and I found the kind of jobs we had long hoped for not through the church. We were reaping fruit of our own labor. Going through college for many years, I landed a job in state government. This good fortune coincided with participation in the Mormon church and I tied all this new found success to the church.

Why was I led into Mormonism? There were several factors responsible for this. I found out over twenty years later that my husband's mother had a desire for her son to become a member of the Mormon church. The family were supposedly Baptist. In fact we were married in their Baptist church. She had died long before we joined.

Another reason was the fact that my ancestary in Europe were in politics for hundreds of years and many belonged to Masonic Lodges which had an effect on my life. My husband's parents were also involved in Masonic organizations such as Eastern Star and the Elks Lodge.

In addition to that, long before entering the LDS church, I had studied every imaginable movement ending in the New Age movement. Touching base with occuItism, I had realized the dangers of those teachings and had abandoned them for the Gospel. The problem was, I had not studied the WORD OF GOD to wash me of these satanic beliefs and these occult (secret) teachings lined up with Mormonism and therefore reaffirmed the false doctrines.

Mormons teach that their beliefs are the only truth and they had me convinced that they had additional revelation which turned out to be simply occultism - gnosticism - ancient philosophy developed by ancient Masons, Knights, the Enlightened Ones who believe in Isis, Osiris and Horus.

Through people's suggestions, I was tossed here and there. In my journey through the various beliefs all seemed to have selfish ends and I could not make them coincide with my own Christian foundation which was supposed to be founded in selfless service until Mormonism.

Mormonism seemed to answer my demand for perfectionism. By then from reading through all the different religions, I had developed a different god. I had a problem with hell. I couldn't accept a God who wanted to put people into a burning fire. I believed people were all basically good which is what New Age teaches. Evolution had crept in which wasn't taught in Germany at all. Mormonism seemed to cover all the problem areas I had developed and matched the "New Age" ideas that had crept into my fundamental Christianity.

The Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ was a universe in itself segregated from the rest of the world. They were self contained. People were doing business with each other rather than going to regular outlets. They helped each other in time of need by taking over where a person had problems until they were resolved. They had their own employment counselor. It seemed like they thought of everything. They had wonderful programs for kids, teens, men and women. I got involved in genealogy which opened new exciting doors and there seemed to be no end to new opportunities for new adventures. Everything seemed absolutely wholesome.

Evil in my mind was supposed to be bloody, oppressive and gory. I was looking for that not realizing that Lucifer is an "angel of his own light". The membership was sophisticated. Lawyers, doctors, policemen, accountants, realtors, insurance agents, etc. were educated and intelligent. Men were extremely conservative and I appreciated men not making passes at me.

I was impressed and proud to be a member. What better way to become part of America than to join a strong church. Many foreigners gravitate to Mormonism because it becomes a substitute family for them.

Eternal marriage in the temple becomes the goal of most Mormons and to do it does seem to deepen the relationship between a husband and wife. The thought of being together for eternity has an effect on today. The requirements one must meet  to be endowed at the temple became an immediate  issue.  

My husband  had  been raised in poverty and for him to give up  ten percent of his gross income seemed impossible. It wasn't a problem for me. I wanted to please my Lord in any way I could and this seemed to be an opportunity.

With all the activities I had no time to study Mormonism. What I learned was what I picked up out of conversations among members. I was teaching the Junior Sunday School classes and coordinator over the whole Sunday School and one day, after years of teaching, I took it upon myself to teach the Lord's Prayer, which was not part of the lesson material from Salt Lake City. That was a "no, no". The kids must have told their parents because I was released from teaching without explanation never to be recalled as a teacher again.

I was given the secretary job in Sunday School which meant I could participate in  the adult Sunday school classes. As I listened and participated  in  the lessons I realized that my beliefs did not agree with theirs. Not really having much understanding of Mormonism I had a vague feeling of uneasiness and found myself sorting what I heard and rationalizing that they were going to get the truth one of these days.

The Scripture they pulled from the Bible was meticulously geared to coincide with Mormonism mostly from the Old Testament, so one got the impression, that their teachings were biblical. It was always out of context. I noticed other converts having the same problems, they would stop coming to the doctrine class after being demoralized when asking questions. This was the practice to make the convert stop the questions. Approximately 70% of Mormons don't attend Sunday School classes.

One  day  a bishop suggested I get a divorce because we  had  not progressed  to  the temple. I was quite surprised that  a  bishop would suggest such a thing.

My  children informed me that they were not going to prepare  for missions. I agreed that their decision would be alright since God believes in choice. I could not participate in forcing issues. It did not seem Christian to me.

When three year old children came to the podium to give their testimonies, that they believed the church is the only true church, something inside me always stirred, how would they know at that age? I also noticed a grieving in my heart every Sunday during the Sacrament (Holy Communion). They had sacrament of bread and water during which a prayer was given in the name of Jesus Christ every Sunday. I thought maybe I was identifying with Christ, but found after I left Mormonism, the grieving totally disappeared.

In 1980 I met a former Mormon. After sharing my misgivings and the lack of real teaching in the church with her, she simply suggested listening to a TV minister who happens to be one of the most potent television evangelist today and I found out long after Mormonism that his doctrine coincides with Mormonism. Strangely enough I began getting some gospel concepts in spite of it.

But the fog remained. In spite of this new influence on Sundays, I was endowed in Salt Lake City at the temple in 1983 and married my husband for time and eternity.

The  Temple  experience was a major turning  point. Members  are under oath not to share information about the temple. One has  no idea what to expect. I had misgivings because of the secrecy,  it is not Christ like. It was impossible to get any information about the temple ahead of time. They did give a preparation class to tell us what to buy since we would be wearing new garments permanently and how to care for them. Everything seemed very holy.

When the doors closed behind us and the ceremony began in the temple in Salt Lake City, I knew something had gone wrong. I wanted to scream out loud, it was so hideous. Because of my previous involvement with New Age, I knew I was suddenly in the middle of Freemasonry. I was familiar with Ancient Masonry. I had rejected all that before. I felt totally betrayed.  

My husband and I  also found  ourselves committed lock, stock and barrel (our home, our savings,  our  talents and our eternal future) to  the  Mormon church without being asked ahead of time. They called it the law of consecration. I was furious. I should have left but in the presence of people whom I had loved and respected for twelve  years, I could not refuse to participate.

I had relied on other people's testimonies. We as members were highly educated and people of integrity. How could I admit to myself anything different. I reasoned it has to be alright if they believed it. There was nothing evil being said or done, although I could not understand  some  of the words, symbolism and rituals. But deep down in my heart I knew  I was still stuck in Satan's teachings.

A couple of years later an inactive member gave me a revealing book: "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith", by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippets Avery, which was my first encounter with Joseph Smith and who he really was. Joseph was not a Christian but a practicing witch. The story was about his wife Emma who had eleven children by him and what she went through with all his adulterous relationships while married and her lack of basic necessities because of his philandering.

He was arrested several times, once for treason and was ambushed and killed in jail finally by a lynch mob. Some think it was about all the women he was stealing from husbands and other men and some think it was because he was adopting Masonic rituals into his church. Nobody knows for sure. He was not martyred for his Christianity which Mormons teach.

The  next  discovery was on a visit when I tried  to  witness to someone. I found that I could not go to Scripture to back up what I was trying to teach to someone. I realized after eighteen years of going steady  with the LDS church I had not learned anything. I began studying the Bible on my own. In fact I brought it to church on Sunday. Instead of listening to their family presentations, I studied in the pew. I wondered why they were looking daggers at me.

This action which was not condoned unbeknownst to me began a series of harassments. They began to demoralize me in front of the members in class by telling me that I wasn't spelling correctly and not doing my voluntary job right. Nobody but the top layer gets paid for their services and only approximately 25% of the church members do voluntary service. It wasn't that they were swamped with people to do the work. I worked in the Genealogical Library for ten years once a week where the same action was going on.

Then one day my life took a new direction. One of my sons came too close to Scientology, I asked God to allow me to do a ministry which addressed Scientology and exposed it. No one seemed to talk about the dangers of it.

Through my job I had encountered a bout with "est" Training which is an offspring of Scientology and luckily escaped the "whole" treatment. I recognized what they were trying to do as soon as the doors locked behind me. I came close to committing suicide, I was so frightened after half the session was over. They warned me if I left halfway through, it could be devastating for me. I trusted God and got in my car and left town to get away from them. The people in charge of the training tried to track me down but unsuccessfully.

They were right, I came close to loosing it, in hysterics all by myself in the car driving as fast as I could to get away. When I returned to my job, people who had talked me into going to the "est" Training, harassed me into coming back into it. I reported this problem to my boss. He fired the ladies. There were others who kept it up but there was no way they could influence me again. I transferred to another job away from the area.

Werner Erhard had participated in Scientology and learned how to process people into selling these weekend retreats to others for $300- $600 per person and very convincingly through peer pressure on the job. Scientology treats one person at a time while Werner Erhard applied the process to 300 people in one room over two weekends in conference rooms in places like the Ramada Inn. Werner got rich very quickly. At $75,000,000 he was wanted for income tax evasion and left the country.

The process was done by locking the doors with guards, humiliating people in front of everyone around them, depriving them of necessities like going to the bathroom and taking a drink, making them sit in their chair for hours without food and then parading them in front a group of people who had been robbed of their personalities and stared people down. People were screaming in sheer terror all over the room.

Then they told everyone to lay down on the floor and started ocean waves with information that was not recognizable. I stopped up my ears with my fingers and prayed. I felt like I had landed in a demon haven in hell. They let us go about 4 AM and told us to come back next weekend to finish up. By then I was hysterical. It was poring rain outside. I got into the car and headed out of town. It took a few days to calm down.

Life resumed and I had a hard time understanding why these sort of activities are allowed. Unsuspecting people get caught up in these types of situations and nobody talks about it. I had asked 8 people to talk about it and share what was going on but nobody would tell me. The reason for that, they didn't remember. At that time I wasn't burdened to go public because I needed my job. I had a well paying government job.

From the gospel lessons in my private life a desire to get totally involved in ministry emerged. I was close to retirement and somehow I was developing a double life. I believed I could do both, Mormonism and The Lord's ministry.

It  never  occurred to me to leave the Mormon church. My problem was that I had not studied Mormon doctrine in depth. I knew bits and pieces out of context which lined up with the Old Testament, even polygamy. It was  not until 1991 and several more major revelations that I finally could not deny the truth anymore.

The book "The Mormon Illusion", by Floyd C. McElveen, a Baptist Evangelist, was sitting all by itself in a Bible bookstore. I was purchasing a non Mormon Bible for my dad and noticed the little book. Floyd put the facts to me and confronted me with the truth about Mormonism and what the Bible had to say next to it. It finally cut through to my heart and the darkness of Mormonism lifted.

But it wasn't over yet. I had been studying Scriptures for four years by reading it unto tapes and then playing the tapes to myself in the car in my own words. I was an auditor and traveled every day from business to business. Mormons study the Bible in their classes by taking Scripture out of context, one never gets an understanding of the truth. In fact a Christian is slowly spiritually starved.

I was always listening to "Christian" television evangelist along with Mormonism. They had the same problem. They also preached out of context concentrating on areas that would tickle people's ears "blessings of one kind or another" and said little about the most important warning in the Bible: wolves in sheep's clothing.

My problem wasn't only Mormonism, I had read through just about every movement in the mainstream and kept searching. I knew that I hadn't arrived at the truth and kept moving on. Then in Mormonism I got caught up in their legalism and mistook it for the real thing. I knew that Jesus had done it all and when Mormons laid their legalism on me, I figured they were behind in their Christianity and would get the point at some point. I couldn't quite put my finger on the problem because I didn't understand their teachings.

I had committed to Christ Jesus at fourteen when I was confirmed in Germany. There was only one church in town and it was Lutheran. I came to this country and there were thousands of different denominations and many different Lutheran denominations. The question was always which is the one for me? Joseph geared into that by telling people that he had the same experience at a very young age. When Joseph prayed to God, God told him that it is none of the denominations, to start a new one. That was the connecting point.

Being a rather timid soul, I couldn't get the courage to go to a church door by myself. Mormons know that one. They come and pick you up on Sunday and personally take you across that threshold.

I am totally convinced from my own life with the Holy Spirit in my heart, that the light is indestructible. It kept burning right along and reminding me who I was and did not allow anyone else to occupy. I'm also convinced from my own life that one who has made a total commitment to God becomes the object of Satan's contempt.

The Bible was always there but it was the last thing that was opened over the years. God allows us to get deeper and deeper into false doctrine because we are in rebellion with the Bible if we ignore His Word which holds the truth. False doctrines move into the vacum and place us into a delusion, a life which is not based on reality. The biggest culprits are the `Power of Positive Thinking', astrology, New Age and Mormonism. They create an altered state of consciousness which is not based on reality.

With God anything is possible but it's not a given. It is doing what He tells us to do. I was so hooked on Mormonism that it felt like I was on a huge "safe" ocean liner and I was asked to get into life boat in the middle of the ocean in a storm when I realized that I had to cut the strings to the church. No other ship in sight.

The final scene was about to occur when my husband was demoralized by the bishop and decided to quit the church. That was six month before I got the courage to get into that little life boat. When I climbed into the life boat in full knowledge of what I was doing, God became as real to me as my hand. In my heart I knew He would see me through one more storm and that I would be safe once and for all time at last. Heart and mind are two different things. My mind was still full of doubt.

Satan doesn't let go easy. I wasn't convinced that I was making the right decision even though I had been confronted and had been studying for several years. There was no one I could go to with my problem. People were not too happy to have me in their church being a former Mormon and my enemy began bringing unsavory people into my life who were not truly committed to the Gospel and had worse problems than I did.

Everything that came after seemed to break away from under me as quickly as I had found it. The enemy keeps us unsettled, upset to get us to come back. The Bishop and two elders came to the house and told me to get a divorce once again, that my husband was unrighteous in my own living room where he lived every day. I told them to get out and never come back.

Another member friend stopped by a few months later when the dust had settled and told me that he was hoping I would die so I could go to their heaven, after I turned down his job offer. I wanted to witness to him and tell him what I knew about the real Jesus and he raised his arms and told me he didn't want to hear it. The church was his only little piece of happiness he had and I wasn't going to destroy that.

I searched for other former Mormons and after six months found a small group. One of the men was giving lessons on Mormonism, giving programs in churches and showing videos. I was totally grossed out when I learned what Mormonism was. And I got deeply involved in investigating everything I could find on the history of the church to become totally convinced forever that it is a false, demonic doctrine. Many people leave and find themselves going back begging for forgiveness. That wasn't going to happen to me. It didn't because I worked hard to get it out of my system.

I went into major repentance bearing my soul to God and people around me and also major self loathing for being such a fool. My hard earned "self esteem" was smashed into millions of pieces. It felt like a fast train which had hit a wall head on at full speed ahead and I was sitting in the middle of millions of pieces of myself and trying to figure out what was salvageable. There was nothing to salvage but the Holy Spirit.

To keep me still dependent on others, Charismatic preachers from Marilyn Hickey to Ken Copeland to Malcolm Smith seemed to be balm on my wounds. Malcolm was teaching at the time that God spades our garden every so often when there is no crop and has to start over and replant. I was sixty two by now, start over at that point? Yes, this battle was about eternal life not this life.

I realized it was never too late to start over. With a clean slate it was easy to build pure Scripture into my heart. I was buried in the Bible every day half a day at least, with the Concordance and Lexicons and the whole Christ Jesus arose. I was filled with joy unspeakable about my new future with Him forever. How great Thou art. There was a song in my heart every day to let me know I had my own safe place right in my own heart.

Kenneth Copeland was in and out of my trash can for several weeks. I had to let go of everything which became clear as I studied. They were all getting rich off poor dumb sheep.

When one leaves one's church which had been home for over twenty years, one not only looses many friends but immediate family members who don't understand why the change is necessary. The family members had unwittingly felt pride that someone in the family was going to church and now this.

I also had to confess to my children that I had brought them up in a demonic church. God was extremely gracious to us by bringing us all out.

Many former Mormons have to leave their families behind. But it did bring emotional rifts. It hurt our position as parents. We couldn't be trusted anymore by anyone, which was the most devastating realization. Satan had ripped us off not only as wholesome spiritual parents, but also off our Christian witness. That was what I had lived for.

My marriage was in immediate trouble because we were putting blame on each other instead of ourselves. We became overly zealous in finding fault in everything and everyone. We stopped trusting each other and people around us. Every time we went to church, we would pick up spirits and fight all the way home and finally end up moving on. Being in group situations became an impossibility.

Thank God my husband and I were both committed to God and relied on Him to get us through the stormy sea. It was difficult to comprehend and we had to truly believe that we had been totally forgiven for all the wrong we had done for most of our lives unwittingly. Our marriage was of long standing and had weathered nothing but storms and it weathered this one.

After forty years of togetherness, we are now retired working full time for the Lord sharing the Gospel whenever we get the opportunity to make up for lost time. It has been close to eight years and life feels wholesome again this time with the Holy Spirit in full control. We moved away from home to start the healing and it is working. We finally have that peace that is beyond understanding. We study a few chapters of Scripture every day and God promised the devil would flee, and he did. He cannot stand a steady diet of the Gospel, the only weapon against him.

My story is a testimony of God's unwillingness to forsake us once we are in His hands. He did not give up on us until He had us out of darkness fully into the light. Our testimony of the Gospel is powerful and we are looking forward to the wedding to Christ Jesus.

Jesus said "Beware of false prophets, which come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.. and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock." (Matthew 7:15, 25) It is for real. Thanks and God bless you for reading this witness. It is a life's work of a couple of unknown Christian soldiers. Our names are unimportant. The story is true.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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