So you’re thinking about leaving Mormonism, the only thing you’ve known in your life and now what? That thought goes through every single person’s mind when they come to this crossroad in life.
Jesus or Mormonism?
It’s scary, I know. The doubts for me began stacking up with constant regularity. All I knew at the age of 30 was that I loved Jesus. I was looking for a way to know more about the man I’d read about in the Bible and every time I opened my Book of Mormon I became even more confused and concerned.
I wanted to read stories of Him walking alongside the people in a village or the times He would gently touch someone to cure them of an infirmity. I wanted to read about the socio-political climate of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and found nothing in my Book of Mormon about it. I wanted those things and I wanted for them to fit in with my cultural heritage of Utah Mormonism.
The more I read in the Bible and compared it to the teachings of the LDS Church the more I realized those two things were incompatible. I began writing down my doubts on one side of a paper and reserved the other side for what the Bible had to say about it. Godhood, other worlds, the color issue, eternal pregnancy, temple marriage and marriage in heaven were the items on my primitive list.
As I was studying these things in the privacy of my home I met a Christian woman named Nancy and that encounter changed my life. She invited me to her church and I accepted, thinking whatever they believed in was going to be heretical. No other church or system was going to have the things I knew and held dear.
As it turned out I ended up leaving Mormonism that day; it was Palm Sunday of ’93.
The next day was filled with panic from what I had done. How would I ever tell my family? Would I have to go to the bishop’s office? What would my family and friends back in Utah think? The questions and bad scenarios in my head were relentless. At the time I didn’t know enough about the Bible to sit down and begin reading it so I could be comforted. I had never been taught that is what it’s for.
The first thing I did in my new life was to sign up for a Bible study my church was offering. It seemed innocuous enough and something I didn’t think would bring much attention to me. Someone there handed me a pamphlet of activities the church offered and the idea of actually studying the Bible in-depth was very appealing. And the rest as they say is history.
If you’re wondering what there is after Mormonism you’re going to be happy when I tell you that this big wide world God created has some pretty amazing things to offer!
Accept Jesus into your heart. There is a simple way to do this! Sit down in the private moment of your day and tell Him what’s on your mind. Talk out loud so you can hear yourself. Accept and admit that you’re a sinner in need of forgiveness and then ask Him to come live inside of you. Tell Him you are in need of a loving Redeemer. Above all else, know that He is there waiting for you. Luke 11:9.
Read through the Romans Road. You can access it here. http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/romans-road
This is a simple list of verses from the Bible to read through and pray as you accept Jesus into your heart.
Tell someone of your decision today! Rejoice with other Christians in your decision to not only believe in Jesus, but your decision to follow Him!
Find a church. There are many good Christian churches out there to attend. If you don’t know where to begin you can ask friends or co-workers or feel free to call us too!
At Life After Ministries we do not advocate one denomination over another. We are an evangelical, para-church ministry. We are not a church and we do not belong to one denomination. We are a group of Christians who each belongs to a different Protestant church. We are all members in the church of Jesus Christ. Some of us live in the Seattle area, others in Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, Oklahoma, Ohio, Arizona, Idaho, California, Utah, etc. Some of us are Baptists; some belong to Calvary Chapel, while others are Lutheran, etc.
We believe in the promise Jesus gave to the apostle Peter in Matthew 16:18 when He said; “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
If you’d like help finding a church we can do that! We can call the churches in your city and begin the search for you if that makes the transition easier for you.
Attending a certain church and becoming a member is not the same as it is in the Mormon Church. You’re a Christian first and foremost. Where you attend church doesn’t make you who you are. You are not the doctrines of that particular denomination any more than you are a duck. Becoming a Christian means you are part of the body of Christ!
Ministries in the local body of Christ are filled by people who’ve been called on by the Lord in a personal way to fill a need in that church. Activities in a Christian church are endless! If you know you like working with kids then you can volunteer with the Children’s programs or if you enjoy helping others with your carpentry or computer skills, I know the church and the Lord will find the place for you.
There are Bible studies, sometimes there are fishing and hunting clubs, running/exercise groups, art and cooking classes, tea parties, or helping shut-ins and the homeless. There are also worship teams so if you’re musically inclined you can join the choir or the worship team if that’s the way the Lord has blessed you.
The Christian church does not have “callings” like the LDS Church does. There are all types of programs offered in the Christian church, but whether or not you volunteer or participate is a personal thing between you and the Lord.
The holiday season seemed to be the most interesting for us in that first year of leaving Mormonism. I found the Christians celebrated Christmas with an enthusiasm I’d never expected. For the first time I celebrated the birth of Jesus without including the birth of Joseph Smith. Not only do the Christians read the New Testament about the birth of Christ, they actually go back to the Old Testament and learn how the birth of the Messiah was foretold by Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. The biggest shock for me personally was the way Christians celebrate Easter.
I didn’t know they actually begin the observances of this sacred holiday the week before Easter on Palm Sunday. Then every day thereafter is another day of reflection on what Jesus had done the week leading up to His death. Talk about culture shock!
As for tithing, well this is a personal affair between you and God. The pastor won’t call you in for a yearly tithing settlement. Church members won’t know how much money you made last year unless you’ve openly shared the information with someone and even if you do, there is no one who will call to ask why you didn’t give a full ten percent of your income.
Not long after Kirk and I got saved we were struggling with this issue. Belonging to the Mormon Church made us leery of giving money away to a “man-made” organization. All that changed one day when a friend we had met at church gave us his opinion about tithing when we asked what he did about this issue.
He told us he had the same trepidations in the beginning and then one day the Lord laid it on his heart that the money he gave at the collection plate each week wasn’t about people. It was a personal sacrifice on your part to God.
Do you believe God gave you all that you have? Why not give Him back ten percent of what He gave to you? Those are the questions we had to ask ourselves. Were we putting our trust in man or Him? I can’t explain why, but when it was presented that way we had no problem giving it back to the Lord.
It was the beginning or our understanding that everything about Christianity is a personal relationship between you and Jesus and not between you and a church.
What I can tell you is that now we give more than ten percent. The Lord has blessed us through Kirk’s work and it seems the more we give away, the more we receive.
Jesus gave the members of His church two ordinances to follow; baptism and communion. With that in mind let’s begin with the ordinance of baptism.
Now many churches will want for you to be baptized when you join them in membership. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change that’s taken place within you.
You are making a public announcement that you’ve aligned yourself to Jesus Christ, the One True God of the Bible. As you are dunked into the water you’ve made a proclamation that your present sinful life is dead and buried with Him. You are admitting that you are dead in your sins. Being brought up out of the water signifies you have a new life that’s been resurrected from your previous way of life. Romans 6:3-7.
Now let’s look at communion. Some churches serve communion every week while others serve it once a month and I’ve heard of some serving it only once a year.
The significance of communion mustn’t be overlooked. I’ve never attended a biblically sound Christian church that serves water and Wonderbread©. And I do mean never. The LDS Church is the only place I have seen this practiced.
The elements used in communion are emblems of two things. The wine (or juice in most Protestant churches) is emblematic of the blood Jesus shed for you personally while He hung on that cross to pay for your sins.
The unleavened piece of bread represents His sinless life. Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:51) and we are told by Him to partake of His life. When He broke the unleavened bread to give to His disciples He was showing them that His body would be broken so they (we) might have life. Just as the Passover is a symbol of the Old Covenant so is communion to the New Covenant. 1 Cor. 11:23-27.
When we partake of the elements we are proclaiming the Lord’s death until He returns. It’s an acknowledgement that He died and was resurrected and you believe His promise to return. You are also proclaiming He is your only hope for salvation and He is your God and Savior.
With all that being said let me also point out that unbelievers and children should not be participating in communion. The scriptures are clear when the apostle Paul stated anyone partaking of the elements unworthily is bringing damnation upon his head. Also see Hebrews 10:29-31.
Will your life change when you leave Mormonism? Absolutely! Will there still be the everyday struggles of kids bickering and the dog barking incessantly while the phone is ringing as you’re making dinner? Yep. Those little things don’t go away when you become a Christian.
You won’t be living in a plastic world of “everybody’s happy”. Real life still happens, people die, people are born, cars break down and jobs are gained and lost.
BUT – the Holy Spirit is living inside of you; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19. Wherever you go, whatever you do, God is there with you.
What does change is the way those things are handled by you. Your focus will be on Him and the relationship you have with Him (Romans 12:2)! He is your helper (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is the One that will come and make His abode within you (John 14:23). He is the One that gives you hope during the crazy day that never seems to end (Romans 8:6) – He is the Lord of hosts, meaning He is Jehovah Sabaoth – the Lord over everything (Isaiah 6:1-8).
Gone are the thoughts of having to make sure you have your food storage up to date and worrying over the upcoming interview by the bishop for your worthiness. If you believe in Jesus and His spilled blood for you on the cross, God sees you as worthy.
The only “meetings” you have in your future are the precious and private prayers with God the Father and His Son Jesus who died for you. You are a new creature in Him – (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Welcome my friend, to the life of Christianity! It is lovely to know you are free and it is peaceful beyond description. Never in a million years would I have thought it could be this good.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor. 1:18