Testimony of a Former Mormon
I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in 1970. At the time
I was divorced and a working mother with four children. A neighbor asked if she
could take my children to Sunday school. This pleased me and I responded, “Yes!”
Later I found that it was the Mormon Church and I had some misconceived notions
bout the church, even though I didn’t really know what their teachings were. I told
my friend at work what I had done and expressed my concerns. She then told me
she was a member of the LDS Church. I had many questions and she was able to
convince me that it would be a good place for me to raise my children as they had
so many good programs for them as well as for me. She also gave me a book,
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie. This book, she said, would answer all my
I too started attending the LDS Church. I took this very seriously but instead of
studying the book she gave me I looked at the people who were so kind and
helpful. I decided to join the church and me and the kids were baptized on
Christmas eve. I thought after one year I would evaluate my life and determine if it
was better and if so it would be of God, as all good things come from Him. (Later I
would find that is not the criteria for seeking truth).
Indeed, after a year, my life had improved and my children were in good
constructive activities that were certainly beneficial to them. And for that, I will
always be grateful. The focus on the family and the social aspects of the church
made Mormonism a warm and comfortable place.
Several years later, I married my second husband, a lifelong member of the
Mormon church. We moved to Colorado. During that time I attended the LDS
Religious Institute for four years. This was a class for women only. There, I
learned the more in-depth teachings of Mormonism. We studied all the scriptures,
Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine & Covenants. We also studied the
Old and New Testament on Spiritual Living.
As a convert I wanted to learn everything I had to do to attain the Celestial
Kingdom. I attended all my meetings, accepted all my callings and we were full
tithe payers. However, we were not temple Mormons, as my husband had been
married to his first wife in the temple. This created a major problem for me when
my only daughter became engaged and was planning to be married in the Salt Lake
Temple. I was told I could not attend her wedding. At that time women were not
given a recommend without being married to their husband in the temple.
Needless to say, I was devastated. I had several meetings with our Bishop and
Stake President to no avail. My husband’s brother was a Stake President in
California at that time and we went to see him. When we left to return to
Colorado he insisted I go back to my Stake President again and I did as he said.
There must have been a phone call that changed my Stake President’s mind as
they made an exception for me and my daughter because I went into the temple
on the same day. We first received our endowments and our “new name” then I
attended her wedding. I had a recommend for four years. I was doing my
genealogy and would submit the names of my family members to the temples.
During this time in Colorado we were trying to put two families together and that
was causing some major difficulties in our marriage also. At this time I was in the
Spiritual Living Class in Institute, as before I would discuss my lessons with my
husband as he had a lot of knowledge about Mormonism. But when we discussed
this class we would have disagreements concerning the New Testament teachings
and the LDS teachings, this was very perplexing to me. Later I would come to
understand why. The teachings of the New Testament and Mormon teachings do
Around that time my youngest son and I took a trip to California. We stopped in
Manti to do the temple work for my Mother. I had been told in Relief Society
classes that I could very possibly “hear” from the other side that she was pleased.
This did not happen and I was disappointed.
Upon arriving in California, a Christian friend asked me to go to church with him.
His Pastor, John MacArthur, was going to be speaking on the Book of Mormon.
Being familiar with him, I said yes. I never gave thought to what he would be
saying about it.
I remember walking into the church and hearing familiar music. I got cold chills and
tears in my eyes–it was very emotional. Later, I would contrast that with not
having the spiritual experience I was looking for in the Manti Temple. I questioned
that. What I heard that evening was totally offensive to me. I could not and would
not believe the negative things he had to say!
After returning to Colorado this friend sent me a little booklet by Ed Gruss entitled,
What Every Mormon Should Know. I read it and was surprised to hear that people
had actually left the LDS Church. However, at that time it did not have much of an
effect on me, but it certainly did later. These were all seeds that were being
Our marriage problems were getting worse and we sought help within the LDS
Counseling Services. This was to no avail. One day I asked my husband if I could
just look in the yellow pages for a marriage counselor–someone who would be
objective. My husband agreed. During our first few visits, we simply told the
counselor our problems. Then she said that our problems are not this–or that–but
that they are a sin problem (we did not know that she was a Christian counselor).
This did not sit well with my husband and he refused to continue. However, I did
continue seeing the counselor since it was a very difficult time for me. Without me
knowing it, I was really searching for TRUTH and this took me on the path of
leaving the LDS Church. However, I never had any intention of leaving the Church
or to find fault with it. I only wanted to improve our marriage.
Through this counseling, I was able to attend a Bible Study with a group of Christian
women. This I did because of my Christian background. As well, because we did
not have Bible Studies in the LDS Church. The study was on becoming better
Christian women and I saw no conflict with it and Mormonism.
After awhile, I recall being enthusiastic about my Tuesday morning Bible Study.
But, I found myself leaving the Ward Sacrament Meetings with a sense that
something was lacking. This was bewildering to me. One Sunday morning at the
Mormon church, a young man got up and gave a 15 minutes talk. It was on the
wedding at Canon where Jesus turned the water into wine. This, said the young
man, was Jesus’ own wedding and where He had married both Mary’s and Martha!
Thus proving that polygamy was something that Jesus participated in! I looked
around to see if anyone else was bothered by this–amazingly, they were not.
At that moment the following thought came to mind: “What does light have to do
with darkness? Come out from among them.” Later I came to realize that this
thought was a Bible verse--2 Corinthians 6:14 and 17. Someone had told me that
my Church taught this teaching about Jesus, but I dismissed it until I heard it at the
Ward Sacrament Meeting! The Holy Spirit was planting more seeds right in my LDS
Upon leaving the Mormon church that Sunday morning, my eye caught the name
on the building, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” At that moment
I came to realize that Jesus was not there. There are a lot of good things about
the Church but the teachings are not centered around Christ.
I had come from a Lutheran background and knew that Christianity never taught
such things. This took me to studying LDS books and comparing them to what the
Bible said. I found many inconsistencies and also that the Mormon Prophets would
contradict one another on doctrines. This was also very confusing. Finally, I went
back to the book, Mormon Doctrine, the book that was first given to me by my
friend when I was looking into Mormonism.
As I studied Mormon Doctrine, I was appalled at the teachings. I found that there is
no salvation without Joseph Smith (page 670); that salvation is not by grace alone
but rather it is coupled with obedience to the law and ordinances of the gospel
(page 671); and that they also taught the plurality of Gods (page 576); as well as
exaltation through Celestial marriage to actually becoming a God (page 256).
When I asked my husband about these doctrines he said “yes” he did believe them
and that I simply had lost my faith. I was angry, as well as, being terribly hurt.
Many tears were shed during this time of transition.
I know now that the ladies in the Bible Study were praying for me but they never
told me the LDS Church was wrong. I was encouraged to go to the Christian Book
Store and get a Living Bible. I, of course, did not want to do this but eventually I
did. As I was in the bookstore I saw books on Mormonism. I was confused by the
titles, Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?, as well as, The Mormon Mirage, and The
Maze of Mormonism. I looked up and I saw the sign above “CULTS.’ I was
shocked! I bought the Living Bible, went home and in the following weeks I just
devoured the New Testament. More seeds planted in my soul!
I eventually became convinced that Mormonism and Christianity were not the
same and I had to do something about it. I returned to the Christian Book Store
and purchased some of the books I had seen in the “CULT” aisle.
As I began to read these books and compare them with the LDS books we had in
our home, I found that the books I bought confirmed the teachings of the church.
This entire process from trying to save my marriage to finding that Mormonism
was not founded on Christianity took me nearly two years. It was the most
traumatic thing that ever happened to me. I felt God had abandoned me. I was
suffering from depression. I was confused. I did not know where to find help or
what Church I should go to. I would watch Christian T.V. and would become even
more disheartened. Leaving Mormonism is a transition and we actually go through
the grieving process because of the loss.
In April 1981, I sat down at my kitchen table to write my letter of resignation for
myself and my children. At one point I stopped and began to think of all the things
that Joseph Smith (the Mormon prophet) had accomplished. He brought forth the
Book of Mormon, his own militia, his own banking currency. He got his people to
follow him from Kirkland, Ohio to Navoo, Illinois. These were very hard times for
the Mormon people. Joseph Smith built temples that were very costly and the
people had to sacrifice much to build them. As I pondered this, I said, “God how
could he have done all this without supernatural help?” It was as if a light came on
and I knew that indeed he did have supernatural help but it was not of God! I was
stunned. I finished my letters and mailed them. Shortly thereafter my husband
sued me for divorce because I had become an apostate, as the Mormons say.
As I have pondered this experience I look back and see how the Holy Spirit was
working in my life starting when I received the Mormon Doctrine book from my
friend; when I listened to Pastor MacArthur speak about the Book of Mormon–to
all the other seeds that were planted along the way. Scripture says, some plant,
some water and God will give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7). We never know
where a person is at or what kernal of information will help someone come to
know the Lord.
After leaving the LDS Church, I returned to California and found that there was a
group of former Mormons that met as a support group. This was so very helpful
to me. Even though I was out of the Mormon church and on my path to restoring
my Christian connection, I attended a presentation that the Sackets were doing on
the LDS Temple Ceremony. In the temple Ceremony, Mormon women are given a
“new name” that are only given to their husbands. The Mormon women are
never to reveal it to anyone else.
Well, while listening to the presentation on the LDS Ceremony, I learned that
whoever attends the Mormon ceremony on the same day is given the SAME “new
name.” (There are only six names given to women and six to men as well).
Mormons do not know this. They think they are being given a special and unique
name that very few, if anyone else, are given.
This new information was hard for me to believe, even at this point of my leaving
Mormonism. So, I called my daughter and asked her what her “new name” was.
She said it was Amelia–the same name as mine! This in turn helped her to finalize
her transition out of the LDS Church as well.
I am so grateful for all those who helped me see the errors of Mormonism and to
my Savior Jesus Christ for touching my life and bringing me to His saving
I write this testimony in hopes that it may be of help to those who are seeking
after the truth of Jesus Christ. I would be happy to answer questions or help those
who are in the process of leaving the LDS Church in any way I can.
The Lord has allowed me to be in a ministry to the Mormon people and educating
the Christian Church about Mormonism for some 20 years as the director of
Concerned Christians & Former Mormons. I am available to do presentations in
Churches and Sunday School classes. There are many books to help Christians to
witness to their Mormon friends, one in particular is Donna Morley’s A Christian
Woman’s Guide to Understanding Mormonism. This is a book every Christian
Woman should read as it will enable her to talk with Mormons she may come in
contact without the intimidation.
My email address is email@example.com. I can be reached at 1-800-215-5018. I will
be glad to talk with anyone who has questions or needs help in understanding
Faith & Reason Forum would like to thank Clodette for sharing with us her story of spiritual
rejuvination through Jesus Christ.