“Look, God is all-powerful. Who is a teacher like him? Job 36:22
When my husband came down on orders for a yearlong tour in Korea, I about lost my mind. A big part of that was because the year was 2020…
Everything “normal” had flipped.
I didn’t want to live through this new and uncertain landscape of Covid-19 without my husband. I remember waking up at 2 a.m. tiptoeing to my office to plea with God. I asked him, no, I BEGGED him to change my husband’s orders.
Then, God spoke to me. He said that during this hardship tour, He had something to teach me.
That made the coming separation from my husband easier to bear. I had a mission to receive God’s lesson. Whatever it was, I didn’t want to miss it.
After my husband left, I was led to Jeremiah 42:19
Do not go to Egypt!
As time went on, even through different Bibles, I was continuously led to this passage. I knew God was trying to tell me something. I had an Egypt in my life, one that He didn’t want me to go to.
I began asking God what Egypt was.
He didn’t answer right away. It drove me crazy. When He did, I was floored.
Before I reveal how God showed me the Egypt in my life, I must share a bit of my testimony.
This isn’t easy for me to write, but God has put it on my heart to share what he’s revealed to me. So, here goes:
From the time I was six, to the age of ten, I attended the LDS church with my mom. My dad never went with us. He was a devote alcoholic. When I attended Primary (the children’s group in the LDS Church) I really enjoyed it. There, I learned a lot of skillsets in preparation for a future mission. However, for most of my attendance, I couldn’t ignore all that my father lacked. Across the pews were families with fathers’ who actually cared for their kids. I wanted what I saw: The true family unit, faithful, caring, and happy.
At that time, two missionaries were assigned to teach me about God. I knew that my Heavenly Father loved me, even if my earthly father didn’t.
When the time came for my Baptism, there wasn’t any allegiance to Joseph Smith. It was all about Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. I’ll never forget the preparations for my commitment to God. It was truly one of the happiest moments of my childhood.
Then, my mom left the church.
She had very good reasons. She didn’t share them with me until I was an adult. They’re her reasons and I’m not going to write them. I will say this, if what happened to her had happened to me, I would’ve ran away screaming. I don’t resent her anymore. However, when I was ten, leaving the church seemed unfair. Everything I looked forward to was taken from me.
With everything she went through, my mom never turned her back on God. We proceeded to try other churches.
Upon first arrival to these new congregations, I was greeted not with heart, but with a cold interrogation, “Are you Baptized?”
I was proud to tell them I knew Jesus and was already Baptized.
For a moment, these youth leaders (mostly women) would soften, but the real kicker always came, “Where?”
When I’d tell them, I might as well have written a scarlet ‘M’ for Mormon on my forehead. Actually, a ‘D’ would’ve been more appropriate, since they’d look at me like I was a demon. It didn’t matter what denomination it was, when my Baptism in the Mormon Church was found out, I was treated like there was something wrong with me.
Mind you, I was a CHILD!
I was Baptized in the name of Jesus. That was what it meant to me. No matter how much I said this, my little child’s heart was discredited. I was swarmed by the entire youth leadership and told me my baptism wasn’t real. That I didn’t really know Jesus and had to Baptized again.
This hurt me so much.
I immediately distrusted them.
When I told my mom, we’d leave one congregation to try another.
Rinse and repeat.
I was treated the same.
After several moves and my mom still trying to find the ‘right’ church, I stopped telling people where I was Baptized. I didn’t lie, but found ways around it.
When I was twelve, I attended a Baptist summer camp. It was supposed to be a fun experience…
One youth leader wouldn’t stop pressing me about ‘where’ I was Baptized.
Like all the others, it didn’t matter that I was Baptized. It didn’t matter that I was committed to Jesus Christ. All that mattered was which earthly team Baptized me. If it wasn’t theirs, then it was wrong.
She was relentless.
I was so tired of her hounding me about it, I finally told her.
That same fearful look covered her face. It was like I was no longer a twelve-year-old child in her eyes, but a demon. Again, scorn towards one of the happiest moments of my childhood was spewed on how wrong and deceitful it was. Again, this was at a summer camp. We shared a cabin in the mountains far away from home. There was nowhere to get away from her. I finally agreed to pray with her, just to get her to stop. With my eyes wide-open I watched her hold my hands and pray for a salvation I already owned. There wasn’t a single consideration for my heart, or what any of it meant to me. I was bullied into this by an adult. For those who think this was about my soul, there wasn’t consideration for that either. She proved that.
Immediately afterwards, I watched her announce to everyone about how SHE brought me to the Lord. They all heaped praises on HER, not God.
To put it into perspective how bad this hurt me, in writing this, I’ve had to pause. Now, decades later, I’ve realized how much I’ve needed to forgive this woman. After doing so, many words were softened…
Camp finally ended. As soon as I got home, I told my mom I would never step foot in another church again.
My mom respected that, but she knew the importance of church. She continued searching.
A little while later, she found a non-denominational church. They had a rock band for worship and you could even wear jeans.
I still didn’t want to go.
When my mom finally convinced me to attend, just once, I was shocked.
It was unlike any church experience I’d ever had.
No one harassed me, biting at the bit to receive brownie points for saving my soul. They were just glad I was there.
It was through this youth group that I learned about how important our hearts are to Jesus. In this new, adventurous style of church-going, I was free.
There was still drama, especially in the teenage youth-group, but no one questioned my salvation. It was refreshing. The summer camps I attended with this church were actually fun!
I’ll never forget those experiences. Fellowship through this church included Christian punk rock concerts, home-groups, and late night meetings at In-N-Out and Jack in the Box.
I no longer had a scarlet ‘M’ on my forehead.
Then, something happened that made me question God.
This non-denominational church had ‘sister’ churches spread all over. Living in Southern California, it was easy to take a drive and attended the youth group at one of these other churches, just for fun.
One of these ‘sister’ churches had a youth pastor that everyone thought was highly anointed.
He ended up doing something unspeakable. This crime is not my story to share. I’m not going to dishonor the victims by saying what it was. However, it was so bad the pastor of that church had to go on an apology tour across all the sister-churches.
I remember hearing the details of what this “anointed” leader did, and of how he fled to his home country, never to be brought to justice. It made me sick. What scared me the most was how all of the church leaders I trusted, were unable to discern it.
I began to question the authenticity of Christianity.
It was there that I made the biggest mistake of my life: I turned my back on God.
Those were the darkest years of my life.
When I turned 21, God called me back and I literally crawled to Him.
Attending a new church, my Pastor was also a Chaplain for the Sheriff’s department. I learned a lot from his congregation, especially about missionary work. The assistant pastors travelled the world to bring people to Christ. They taught classes on their experiences.
I loved it.
At this church, I initiated my Baptism. In that moment, I felt my entire perspective change. It was incredible to live out 1 Corinthians 13:11:
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
It’s not that I’m saying childhood Baptisms don’t matter. Mine mattered to me! It’s just a different experience with the maturity and understanding of an adult.
From that moment on, the light in my life increased. I was secure in the love of Jesus.
My pastor kept praying for God to give me my, “knight in shining armor.” I’d smile and tell him (like a good Californian girl) that I didn’t need that.
God knew better.
I remember volunteering at a community center when a woman came into the office on a mission. She was there to pray for a young lady’s future marriage. Now, I had never seen this woman before in my life, but she was faithful to God. When she saw me, she just knew God had prayers bursting for my marriage! I wasn’t even dating anyone at the time, but I could tell she was sincere. This wasn’t for bragging rights. So, I prayed with her.
Soon after, it wasn’t a knight in shining armor that came into my life, but a soldier in BDU’s.
As an army wife, moving around in the military life made it difficult to attend civilian churches. They seem to be cliquish. Thankfully, there’s the Protestant Women of the Chapel, (PWOC) which is basically for every non-Catholic denomination.
Now, I have NOTHING against Catholics! The last thing I’d ever want to do is to treat them the way other denominations treated me when I was found out to be Baptized Mormon. It’s just that on the military installations, there are Catholic services, and Protestant services. It was refreshing to see so many denominations come together to worship God. I was a new mom at the time. The Chaplain’s wife was very kind to me. I’ll never forget the wisdom she bestowed on me.
When we moved (again) there was an LDS service on the Army installation of our new home. We tried it, but it made my husband uncomfortable. Since I hadn’t gone through the rituals required, I again felt like a little girl looking in. It just wasn’t right.
We moved again, due to the health of our youngest daughter. She was born with congenital heart disease and needed medical care that our current installation did not provide.
This time, the Post Chapel we tried out was more set up for retirees. There wasn’t even a nursery. I’ll never forget that attendance. This sweet looking, elderly couple walked up to us and asked us typical military questions, which often includes, “where did you PCS (Permanent change of Station) from?”
When my husband told them we came here on a compassionate for our daughter’s heart condition, the woman looked at me and asked, “Who sinned for her to have that condition, you, or your husband?”
I couldn’t speak.
My husband couldn’t even answer her. He looked at me and we just walked away.
Not only does heart disease run in my family, but I knew God doesn’t work like that!
Still, I cried the entire drive home.
God is so gracious. As soon as I got home, I opened my Bible to the exact words I needed to comfort me:
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9:1-3
I nearly fell on my knees thanking God for this passage.
Needless to say, we never returned to that Chapel…
After my daughter received her second surgery, she was on a feeding tube and oxygen. Finding a new church became impossible, especially in a new city over a thousand miles away from anyone I knew.
Then, my husband went away on training for six months.
It was in this place that I was strengthened—not by some sports team denomination—but by a daily relationship with God. This is STILL how I make it through my days.
Nothing replaces that close relationship with God.
Still, we tried to congregate with other believers. We ended up attending a church where it was all about the tithes and offerings, not the hearts of the flock. I actually heard a pastor preach, ‘it doesn’t matter what sins you committed the night before, so long as you show up to church and pay your tithes and offerings.’
Since I actually READ my Bible, this infuriated me.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:16-17
If you’ve been hurt by pastors whose only care for your heart is based on how much you tithe, please, PLEASE read Matthew chapter 6, Ezekiel chapter 34, and Micah chapter 3. Read them entirely then forgive these false “leaders” and ask for God to heal your heart.
These types of “leaders” use Malachi 3:10 to justify exploiting the guilt of the congregation, all while ignoring Malachi chapter 4:5-6:
“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
However, Christ was very specific about which matters is more important, and THAT is our hearts.
“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Luke 11:42
Sin hurts the heart. That’s part of why God doesn’t want us to do it! Repentance is more valuable than any tithe you could bring. Besides that, money is made by man. Our hearts are made by God.
Soon after that experience, we were invited to another church where it was preached from the pulpit that Paul was the only “real” person in the Bible and not to take anything Moses wrote in Genesis too seriously. He proceeded to talk about football.
After seeing the unbalance of some of these churches, I got on my knees and asked God to lead us to his true church.
The next day, there was a knock on my door. When I opened it, two Mormon missionaries stood there.
As a child of record, I should’ve been contacted after every move, but this is the only move where they sought me out.
I honestly thought it was God, answering my prayer.
When I prayed about this again, of all the Bible verses for my eyes to fall to, it was Nehemiah 6:12:
And I understood and saw that God had not sent him,
I should’ve realized that God had not sent them to my door, and ended it right then and there.
My flesh took over and I denied what God was saying, right in front of my eyes. I wanted my kids to receive everything I missed out on as a child. I saw genuineness and acceptance. I didn’t want to believe it wasn’t from God.
So, we leaped in.
There are so many things the LDS Church gets right.
After hearing a pastor brag about riding his boat (that the tithe paid for) to get away from the people, the contrast of a Bishop that doesn’t make a dime off the Church and uses his spare time to get to know the hearts of the flock instead of fleecing it, was beyond refreshing.
We really enjoyed a lot of the short time we spent there. We made amazing friends. Giving up wine wasn’t something I need to ‘give up’ I’ve gone for years without a single sip. However, giving up coffee was a different story. I managed, long enough to even get a temple recommend. At the time, it was very healing for me to be able to finally see the inside of a temple. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was a child.
Yet, like all religions, modern-day Pharisees seem to come with the package. Mostly from judgmental women, there were issues with my being a child of record WITHOUT all the proper rituals under my belt. What really got me is the judgement my autistic child received. This goes against their doctrine. You see, Mormons believe Heavenly Father allows us to choose the lives we experience on earth. And those who choose lives with difficulties are stronger, more willing spirits that deserve to be respected. Obviously, not every “Saint” concurs.
That aside, there are things in the LDS doctrine that gives me the creeps!
One of which is heavenly mother…
My daughter was given a gift with words embroidered on it that I didn’t remember from my childhood. It really freaked me out. No matter how beautifully I’ve had this explained to me, I cannot accept this doctrine, EVER! In fact, I could write an entire 4,000 word blog on condemning this doctrine alone, but that’s not what God has put on my heart to say. I’ll leave it at this: Making the kids recite “I have heavenly parents” crushed my heart.
To read LDS doctrine on ‘heavenly mother’ and ‘heavenly parents,’ click the link below:
What’s worse is Mormons actually believe that if they’re good enough here on earth, they’ll be like God in the celestial kingdom.
The truth is our God is a jealous God, and he has no equal.
You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. Exodus 34:14
“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Isaiah 40:25
All of this caught me off guard. Yet, I couldn’t let it go completely. I genuinely love the Mormons in my life and with my childhood involvement, there was a fine-line between what the church is, and I WANTED it to be.
Even with my confliction, I threw out all but one Book of Mormon. To be frank, that book has been difficult for me to read. When I tried reading it, not only was “and it came to pass” too repetitive, it seemed like I was reading passages taken from the Biblical books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. I actually brought this up with a missionary once, he said it’s because the book of Mormon and the Bible are supposed to be read together. This didn’t make sense to me. The Bible is the MOST important book of all. Deep down, I could never replace it.
All throughout this journey, God was faithful. I never felt His presence leave, nor did He stop speaking to me. It makes me feel very loved. Even though we stopped attending the LDS Church, we kept in contact with it because I couldn’t let it go. This was a mistake. Yet, God is so merciful, He takes wrongs and makes them right…
At this point, my family needed a break from trying a new congregation. We learned a long time ago that we don’t need a church building to know God. Our family seeks Him every single day. It was a time of personal reflection.
Then, Covid-19 hit.
As I wrote in the beginning of this blog, my husband left for Korea for a year.
This is where I was waiting in expectancy for the lesson God had to teach me. All I knew was that it had something to do with Egypt. For months, I was praying and on the lookout for what it was.
Right before my husband came back, after not attending the LDS church for a long time, I was injured. A true friend, who never used my lack of attendance against me, asked if her husband and someone from the bishopric could pray for me.
I was so overwhelmed by the return of the familiar love I knew from the LDS Church as a child, that I began to reason with the idea of trying it out again. This is one way God turned something bad in my life into good. For even in my weakness, that very night, God told me to look up ancient Egypt and the Mormon Church.
I hesitated and nearly argued with God. “No, the ‘Egypt’ he wanted me to avoid just couldn’t be the Mormon Church!”
Still, I obeyed.
What I discovered shocked me.
First, I found an LDS article on the similarities of the LDS Church and ancient Egypt.
While it’s eye-opening read, it’s not the lesson God had for me.
I had to dig a little deeper in my online search. What I found greatly disturbed me.
In 1835, Joseph Smith purchased four mummies and an Egyptian Papyri from a traveling salesman.
Don’t just take my word for this. Read what Penn Museum has to say about it yourself:
Supposedly, Joseph Smith was able to translate these ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics into what is known as The Book of Abraham.
It really creeps me out to think anyone claiming to be a servant of God, could seek out the enemies of God’s people to somehow find scripture. This is evil on so many levels; one of which borderlines witchcraft.
It gets worse.
In this product of a mere mortal’s (Joseph Smith) imagination, he hurt an entire race of people by excluding African-Americans from priesthood. While the church has since rescinded this practice, at the time it came down, it was supposedly from God.
This was so wrong!
No matter what our skin-tone is, we were ALL created by God!
To think one race is better than the other is EVIL!
Unsurprisingly, the Papyri were rediscovered decades later, examined by Egyptologists and Joseph Smith’s translations were found to be blatantly FALSE.
I thank God for leading me to these truths. There’s no way I would’ve ever looked up ancient Egypt and the Mormon Church on my own.
That’s why the image for this blog is a Bible verse:
“Look, God is all-powerful. Who is a teacher like him? Job 36:22
There are many other eye-witness accounts regarding the mummies Joseph Smith purchased. I can’t attest to their accuracy, but in my search, these writings came up. Apparently, Joseph Smith showed off the mummies in his home. After he died, there are accounts that his mother charged people money to see these mummies; saying one was a Pharaoh, and another his daughter. Again, I can’t claim any of the writings in the link below are true, but they are as enlightening as they are nauseating to read:
With as shocking as this lesson has been for me, God assured me that it’s not the people in the LDS Church who are evil. Most Mormons probably don’t even know about this!
It’s the doctrine that’s the problem.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Now that I know the truth, I shall never return to the LDS Church.
Yes, I have been freed from the fantasy and outright lie that held me in confusion for most of my life.
We’ve formally requested our names be removed from record and there’s not a single Book of Mormon in our home.
To every Christian and Catholic reading this, if ever a Mormon walks through the doors of your congregation, please, don’t sear a scarlet ‘M’ on their foreheads. It won’t do their walk with God any good. Please, PLEASE think of the Second Commandment:
Show them love.
To leave the LDS Church is nearly impossible for most members. They’d have to leave their entire families. It takes great courage to walk away from everything you know. The last thing they need is judgement from Christians.
You see, this testimony is a double-edge sword. One side points to the evil within LDS doctrine. The other, points to the idolatry of putting the membership of a denomination, over the membership of the Kingdom of God.
I shared my testimony because I have been greatly hurt by these politics, and don’t want anyone else to experience that same pain.
That pain from my childhood is what influenced me to write what NOT to do in The War Torn Trilogy. Through fiction, I was able to describe the power of ALL denominational leaders tossing down their earthy crowns and reaching up for Jesus.
Imagine if that were to happen in real life. If we were able to replace the jerseys of team Lutheran, team Methodist, team Baptist, and so on, and replace them all with team Jesus.
Christianity would unite and spread like mad. The revival would be unstoppable. Christian leaders would have discernment needed to catch false leaders BEFORE they harm the flock.
The light of Christ would be bondless, because it wouldn’t be tainted by the creations of man.
At the end of the day, your Christian congregation is no better than your neighbor’s. All “church” in the Christian faith should be focused on one name, and that’s Jesus.
The truth is our parents, our spouses, our besties, and our church leaders aren’t going to stand there with us when we meet God face-to-face. The earthly team we congregated with won’t matter. What will matter is Jesus, and whether we knew him, or not.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Matthew 7:21-23
It’s my prayer for all my former brothers and sisters in the LDS Church to leave Egypt, and cling to Jesus. It’s also my prayer that every other congregation doesn’t use their denomination against ANY new attendees, whether Mormon, or not. I pray that every church member opens up their arms in prayer, and their hearts with acceptance; trusting that God will lead them in His time and on His way. Especially when it comes to children leaving an ‘old’ faith, realize their souls are precious and fragile. They need examples of love and Biblical guidance. Understand how acts of judgment of accusations can do the very opposite of what Christians are called to do; and that is to expand HIS Kingdom.
This is why love is so vital!
When seeing a new face across the pew, always remember:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
Salvation should NEVER be about church membership, it should only be about Jesus.