Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
My name is Dan Slyter, I grew up in the small farming, ranching town of Weiser Idaho. I married Lorene Towell from Midvale Idaho in 1979. We have two children, Tara and Travis. I worked for several mining companies setting up mineral processing plants and training crews how to run them. Lorene grew up in the Church of Christ and I was LDS. We traveled a lot as my job kept us on the move. We lived in Idaho, Washington, Nevada, and California.
We went to St. George Utah several times on vacations. I sometimes went fishing at Lee’s Ferry while Lorene and her friend went shopping and to a little local church called Southland Bible Church. Lorene would tell me how much she got out of a sermon by a Pastor Miles. I knew that Pastor Miles was lost and didn’t have a clue what the truth was. But after moving to St. George, Lorene wanted to make a pact that we attend a neutral church and Southland would be that church. Pastor Tim and Joy paid us a visit one evening soon after. Tim asked me if I died that night where I would go and I told him to heaven because I was LDS and didn’t believe in Hell anyway. We continued going to Church at Southland Bible Church. I was uncomfortable but several people really made me feel at home at Southland. I also found out later that many prayer warriors like Bob DeHart had been faithfully praying for my family and me. Each week I would disagree with what Pastor Tim had to say in his sermon. I would go home after the service and take the Bible passage he preached out of and try to prove him wrong. When he preached I knew he was lying to the people about what the Bible said but as I would look at the verses at home it seemed that what Tim said the Bible said, was what the Bible said.
Tim never said a single word against Mormonism. If he had I would probably have left Southland and not returned. But each week he just went to another passage in sequence slowly covering the whole Bible. I was slowly starting to think that the Bible really was the word of God and the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants were false. I was coming to where the hammer meets the anvil and I was caught in the middle. Either Joseph Smith was right or the Bible was right, but they could not both be right, there were too many differences.
One evening I was reading my Bible when Lorene and the kids were in town and I was alone to think. I was reading the passage in Matthew where Jesus was talking about hell. His description was where the “worm never dies and the fire is never quenched.” I couldn’t get this verse out of my mind. I finally got on my knees and wanted to let God be God. I knew that I should ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and ask Him to cleanse me. But before I would do that I’d get back up in my chair and try to watch a movie. But that verse would come back. I would get back on my knees and start to ask Jesus to come in and then a thought would hit me, saying this Jesus and forgiveness stuff is nonsense. There is no hell and you are not a sinner, you are a good person. I’d get back up and watch the movie some more. This seemed to go on for several hours. I think God was keeping Lorene and the kids away while I wrestled with the Holy Spirit. Finally I gave my life over to Jesus. I decided to take a step of faith and trust Jesus as my personal Savior. It seemed that all my past sins were swept away and I felt a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. I felt clean and different inside. What Pastor Tim had preached about being a new creature in Christ was right.
The next Sunday Tim gave an invitation to accept Christ and I raised my hand although I was already saved. Lorene felt my hand go up and she was overjoyed. You see she and the kids had accepted Christ several months before and they and a lot of the church had been praying for me. To accept Christ I had to throw out most of my belief system and start over. I realized how hard it is to explain what happens when you accept Christ as your personal Savior. I almost felt like prisoner that was freed. Jesus wasn’t just a collection of stories; He was a personal friend and Savior that died so I could spend eternity with Him and avoid the place I formerly didn’t believe in. Like C. S. Lewis said, maybe hell is good if it scares people to Jesus.
Note by Editor:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11, KJV)
(Dan eventually went on to become a Pastor at the church where he’d come to salvation.)
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