The journey to the Christian faith is often a long, painful process for a person who once belonged to the LDS Church. We recently met a young man who shared his story with us.
While living in Virginia, West’s family converted to Mormonism when he was in high school. Their family was even featured in a training video for Mormon missionaries. By the time he went to college in the late nineties, he considered going on a LDS mission. However, he put off his decision since his faith in the LDS Church was waning. His Mormon bishop eventually called him into his office and told him that he was personally issuing a call to him to go on a mission for the purpose of strengthening his faith. West had spent four months in the local mission field with two sets of missionaries and had shown great promise. He declined the bishop’s call and then plunged head first into sin after leaving the Church. Eventually, his entire family left Mormonism and have never attended another church.
He was really frustrated with his Christian friends who, when he told them he had left the LDS church, said, “Oh, I’m glad that you have left that cult.” He vividly remembers telling them, “Well, why didn’t you say anything to me when I was still a Mormon!” He was very hurt and frustrated thinking that if his Christian friends really cared – especially if they thought Mormons are going to hell – why didn’t they say something to him while he was still a Mormon? Because of that, he became an agnostic and would have nothing to do with any church for a long time.
Several years later, Todd’s girlfriend (who later became his wife) dragged him to church. He clearly remembers sitting in the pew and hating it. He eventually was baptized, but confesses that he struggled early in his faith because his primary motivation was that he needed to go to church in order to marry his girlfriend. After marriage, their worship attendance was sporadic at best. Four years later, their daughter was born and that changed everything. It started when their three-year-old daughter began attending the preschool at their church.
“The Lord used the preschool to put the fear of a loving God on me. I finally realized why God loves us like he does. I can’t help but love my children and want what’s best for them. What more can I offer my kids but the knowledge of God and his grace and love for us? The knowledge that he sent his only son to pay the price of our sins so that we will never die. If I do nothing else in this world I can honestly say I started my kids off with the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m a sinner and I fail daily in the eyes of my God but through His endless grace I am saved through faith in Christ. I never really listened to my grandparents who tried to tell me about Jesus, but I know that was God’s plan for me. I now look forward to learning the steps on how to share God’s grace with those in the LDS faith and hopefully let God’s Word and the Holy Spirit work on their hardened hearts.”
By God’s grace, West is now a Christian and connected with a Christian church family. In fact, West is currently meeting with LDS missionaries and he shared how meaningful it is for him to share God’s Word with them (www.pleaseopenthedoor.com). He knows they are sincere in trying to be religious, but are simply misguided. He loves these two young guys and their desire to know God. He does not want to make the same mistake and not share the true Jesus with them.
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love. So we will grow up in every way to become the body of Christ.
“My true Jesus, be such a part of me that I cannot help but share You with others! So often I am selfish and unloving when I do not make the effort to build those bridges in order to share You with others. Thank you for opening my eyes to my sin and for forgiving me. Bless West and all who are actively and deliberately sharing You with those who do not know You. Keep giving me opportunities in my own life with those You have placed there – and continue to lead and guide me to new and different people You want me to be a witness to. Make me brave and open to Your guidance. I trust You. In Your awesome name I pray. AMEN!!”