Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
I am an ex-Mormon. I want you to know that I now enjoy a deep, personal, amazing relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I want to share my story with you in the hopes that it can help other Mormons who are struggling. Let me start by telling you that, beyond any doubt, the Truth has indeed set me free in a way that I never before thought possible. Here is a short synopsis of my journey.
I was born and raised a strict Mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was raised by a devout Mormon mother, and I progressed from being a Sunbeam through baptism at age 8 to being on the seminary council in high school. I also taught gospel doctrine and relief society classes. My entire world revolved around the LDS Church, and I was taught from infancy that other supposedly Christian churches were wrong and didn’t have “the truth.” I faithfully stood up every Fast Sunday to declare that I knew the Mormon Church was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I adhered to all of the rituals that a good Mormon girl was expected to do.
Yet, throughout this entire time, I often had a nagging feeling deep in my soul that something was wrong. This Joseph Smith seemed to be idealized into the preeminent prophet of God in the latter days, yet I had so many unanswered questions about his character, his prophecies, and his entire nature. Whenever I felt these doubts arising in my mind, I immediately chastised myself as being sinful and letting Satan put horrible thoughts in my head. So I tried to “sweep it under the rug” and just devote myself even more to “the only true church”.
However, I couldn’t help but feel suffocated in Salt Lake City. I felt like I was always being watched and judged and evaluated, and my soul was secretly screaming to be free. I was able to move away from Salt Lake in my mid 20’s and re-locate to another state, where I felt that at least I could breathe a little better. I tried to continue being a “good Mormon,” but the questions and stress and pressure continued to build. The struggle to be perfect and to “earn” my way into heaven through works became more than I could bear.
I finally just threw up my hands and couldn’t do it any more — there was something wrong with this religion, although I couldn’t put my finger on what it was! I finally resigned myself to the fact that it just must be me, but I could no longer keep “going through the motions.” When I was about 30, I stopped attending church and began my long wandering through decades in a spiritual wasteland. I figured that I just wasn’t good enough to handle the pressure and, if I was going to end up in hell, then that would have to be my fate, because I just couldn’t continue being a faithful Mormon, even though I couldn’t quite get a grasp on what was wrong.
For the next 20 years, I wandered aimlessly through life. I always believed in Jesus Christ, but I figured that Jesus wasn’t much interested in me, now that I had “left His church.” I went through a divorce and spent many years as a single mother, working two jobs and desperately tried to find self-worth and meaning in all the wrong places. All I knew was that I was not “a church person,” that I didn’t believe in “organized religion” anymore, and that God was a distant being who disapproved of me greatly.
However, every year at Christmas and Easter, I felt a tug to try and relate to this distant God. I would attend a non-Mormon church here or there, but their services seemed so foreign and bizarre compared to the Mormon sacrament meetings that I was used to. I often felt guilty, because I was taught that these other churches were in apostasy and taught doctrines from the Bible which weren’t true, according to the LDS Church. It was a period of strange spiritual struggling which I mostly tried to ignore because I couldn’t reconcile my mixed emotions.
When my daughter was 16 years old or so, she became more interested in Christianity and wanted to begin going to church on a more regular basis. I had always felt guilty for not taking my children to church, so I agreed to go with her as a way to soothe my own conscience. We chose a non-denominational Christian church in the area which seemed to be healthy and loving and non-judgmental.
It was here that I first felt our Lord beckoning to me. I listened to the pastor say odd things like, “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.” He also said things like, “It doesn’t matter if you were raised Catholic or Jewish or Muslim or Protestant or Mormon — it’s about having a personal, one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.” This was radical teaching to me, but so exciting! Could that possibly be true? That God-sized hole in my heart started yearning to find out if God really did want me, of all people, as His friend. But all of the teachings of my Mormon upbringing kept me confused and guilt-ridden and disheartened.
It was at this time when, through the love of the Good Lord, I found the website “Mormonism and Biblical Truth,” (now functioning as Mormonism and Eternal Truth). It intrigued me because it was so different from others I had seen. There was no hate or anger; to the contrary, it seemed to be full of love and true concern for struggling Mormons like myself. However, it was very hard for me to wrap my head around what I was reading! I began reading one article a day, but it was honestly overwhelming for me. This couldn’t possibly be true — could it?
Over the course of several weeks and months, I very slowly began to open my mind to the possibility that everything I had been taught as a child was untrue. How could that be? Was it possible that all of these principles and doctrines of the Mormon church, which had comprised my entire identity since early childhood, were based on fabrications and untruths? A sentence on the website home page kept haunting me: “Because their system of indoctrination is both thorough and effective, it is extremely difficult to overcome.” I was stunned and agitated and confused, but I deeply desired to know the truth, even if it was painful, so I pressed on.
I also began a daily study of the Bible — not the King James version (which I had been taught was the “closest” version but still was corrupted), but the New International version. It was truly bizarre to read the Bible in a translation which was accessible and understandable, but it also was so exciting! Was it possible that the Bible truly is the Word of God, that it is reliable and true? Was it possible that the Mormon church had indoctrinated me with false teachings, that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and that the Book of Mormon was not scripture? These thoughts had never occurred to me before! My mind was exploding during this time period in a way that only Mormons who have extricated themselves from the LDS Church can understand.
I asked this Christian church that I had started to attend if there were any other ex-Mormons who could help me with my hundreds of questions, and I was introduced to another woman who had taken this some journey out of Mormonism that I was just beginning. It was amazing to me that she understood exactly the struggle that I was going through, and she helped me work through my mixed emotions. It was like a light in a darkened room which slowly burns brighter and brighter until I could see clearly for the first time in my life. It was like having cotton removed from my ears which had been there since I was born, and I now was able to hear and comprehend clearly. For the first time in my life, I began to experience real hope, real joy, and real freedom in beginning to understand the Truth.
Overcoming the Mormon system of indoctrination was indeed a real struggle for me. Coming to the realization that the LDS Church is not true, that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is fiction was a stunning and very difficult realization for my mind to accept. However, I can tell you now without any hesitation that it has been the most incredible, amazing, transforming experience of my life, and it has brought me more joy than I ever imagined.
My testimony to you is that I now enjoy a real, intensely personal, and unimaginably powerful relationship with Jesus Christ that I never even knew was possible before. I now understand who Jesus truly is, what He did for me, and what my life is all about. I now understand how awesome the Word of God is, as given to us freely in the Holy Bible, and what a precious gift that is. I now understand the amazing love of God, that He gave his only Son to die on the cross for me because He loves me that much, and that I cannot earn, and indeed do not need to earn, His love. He loves me unconditionally because of who He is, not because of who I am, and I am saved to live with Him eternally because of what He did for me, not because of anything that I could ever do. I never understood the depth of His love until I understood the Truth, and the Truth has indeed set me free!
It is my heartfelt prayer for all Mormons who may be reading my testimony that you will just open your heart and your mind to the possibility that everything you know just might not be true. I tell you that I truly love the Mormon people. My mother, my sisters, my nieces and nephews, and many of my best friends are LDS, and they are good, loving, sincere, hard-working people. My heart yearns for you and them to know the truth about Mormonism.
Please explore these pages with an open mind. Research what you read here on your own. I know that we were taught to rely on our “feelings” and that “burning in our bosom” to discover the truth. However, as all of us with a little life experience can attest, relying solely on our “feelings,” without also using common sense and our intelligence, leads to some very unwise choices and false conclusions! We are made in His image, with a brain that the Lord wants us to use to its fullest. As Jesus said many times, do not be afraid! Ask, question, research, pray, ponder, and seek. Read the Holy Bible in a different translation so that you can be open to God‘s Word to you today, and compare what the Bible says with what you have been taught. Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you the Truth, because Truth always can withstand careful examination. Once you know the Truth, including the truth about who God is and who we are, the Truth truly will set you free.
If I can be of assistance to any other LDS people who have questions or who are struggling to break free from the deception of Mormonism, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
My deepest love and prayer for blessings on you all, in the dear name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
This site is dedicated to helping Mormons understand the Bible.
Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.