My Journey Out of Mormonism

A friend recently explained to someone that my conversion to Christ was similar to that of the Apostle Paul.  The weight of a comparison to Paul is a little embarrassing but I feel as though I, too, had scales that fell from my eyes.  While I am not new to the doctrines and philosophies related to Christianity, I have just recently surrendered to Christ and allowed Him to enter my life.  This year has been described as the worst year for Americans, in the last 50 years, but it has been incredible for me.  This year a miraculous change has occurred with my life, a change that has not only been revolutionary, but has resulted in what the Apostle Paul described in his second letter to the Corinthians as, “..a new creation” in and through Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).  Just as Paul explained that the “old has gone, the new has come,” so has it in my life.  With this transformation, I have committed to turn my life over to God.

As many of you know, I was raised Mormon.  I was raised in a very devout home.  My dad was an Elders Quorum President, Bishop, High Counselor, and a member of a Stake Presidency.  We were raised with high expectations regarding our knowledge of the Book of Mormon, Mormon doctrines, and church history.  I started having doubts about Mormonism in my junior and senior year of high school but it started to boil over while I was at Ricks College/BYU, in Rexburg. During that time I was able to speak with many professors and church leaders, but never got adequate answers to my questions regarding the faith.

I came home from BYU, and received my mission call, but I felt incredibly dishonest having anything to do with a mission while I was undecided about my own faith. My dad was adamant that I needed to ignore my doubts, go on a mission, and I would be fully converted to Mormonism. I decided not go on a mission. I moved out of my parents house the night I decided not to go.  I took a step back from Mormonism for about 15 months, after this event, and attended Catholic and Christian services in an attempt to find truth elsewhere.  These services were interesting and I learn a great deal, but they did not result in any religious and spiritual changes in my life.

My wife and I got engaged a few months after I moved out.  Fourteen months later we were married.  The next month she converted to Mormonism.  I did not object as I clung to hope that with marriage and my own family I could come to some better agreement with Mormon doctrine and culture.  We were active in the church for the better part of the next 4 years.

In 2003 we went to the temple, where we were “endowed” and “sealed.” In the months prior to attending the temple many members explained that it would be a powerful spiritual experience that would strengthen my testimony and answer many of my questions regarding doctrine, but it instead left me with more questions and a shattered testimony.  As we drove home from the Oakland temple, I was not filled with reassurance or any confirmation of the Spirit that what I had just participated in was anything heavenly or God-like.  Instead, I was left wondering how costumes, signs, and tokens were anything other than fraternity-like rituals. Something inside me bristled at the notion that any of these temple rituals were needed to come closer to either Jesus Christ or our salvation.  Additionally, it was even more perplexing to learn that my wife needed me to attain her exaltation and glory.  This limit being placed upon the Blood of Christ seemed repugnant even before I had gained a witness of the true Jesus Christ.  I am not and cannot be anyone’s intercessory or savior.

In the aftermath of the temple experience I was largely ignored and was without anyone willing to provide any more concrete answers due to the “sacred” nature of these rituals.  I was left in confusion and chaos about my faith and membership in the LDS Church.  The only advice from my dad and my church leaders regarding the temple was to read my Book of Mormon and keep attending the temple; I was left without any other choice than to investigate these rituals, doctrine, and church history on my own.  What I found was utterly shocking and undeniable.  After a great deal of research I came to the conclusion that the LDS faith was nothing more than a distortion and a perversion of mainstream Christianity.  It is false, the history they teach is wrong, and there was no salvation in it

Once I left the church in 2006, I quickly realized that since I was born into it, I was left with little else to believe in.  While I had knowledge of Christian and Protestant doctrine I was still challenged by topics of God’s nature, Christ’s divinity, and salvation.  I became a self described “atheist” and “agnostic.” I avoided anything remotely religious during the two years after leaving Mormonism. I swore I would never step foot in a church.  I describe this as my journey in a desolate wilderness.  There was no joy or true happiness, only an attempt to fill the God shaped void in my heart and mind with worldly objects.

In late 2007, God had other plans, as my wife’s parents invited me to their First Presbyterian Church. I reluctantly agreed to attend. Their Pastor spoke of the historical accuracy and truthfulness of Jesus Christ, His sacrifice, and His resurrection. It was like being hit with a spiritual 2×4. I suddenly could not deny the existence of Jesus Christ nor could I deny that he was the Son of God. Despite this witness, in a moment of weakness, I decided to ignore this life changing information.

Over the next two years, as I look back, God was definitely knocking and pleading with me to turn my life over to Him. I guess he became impatient and decided to give me a louder wake up call. I lost my job in May 2009, and when it happened I thought it was devastating. Ironically, looking back over the last 8 months, it has been the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. In late July, I began talking with 2 Christian friends from high school and a cousin. After talking with these people, I finally realized that I needed to give God an opportunity to flourish in my life, I was tired of running from Him.

My wife and I attended Bayside Church, in Granite Bay, within 15 minutes of taking our seats the Spirit grabbed a hold of me.  I can distinctly remember sitting there singing the chorus of Amazing Grace, and in my spiritual exhaustion I offered my life and myself to Him.  I was finished running away from God, and surrendered to the call to come to Him; I was finished trying to mask my need for God with worldly objects.  In that moment with tears streaming down my face, I knew with all of my soul and mind, through the Holy Spirit, that Christ is Lord!   In a split second I clearly knew, and now know, of the One and Everlasting, all-powerful, all-knowing God as explained to us in Isaiah 45, 1 John 3, and Revelations 1.  I gained a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ who is God come in flesh (John 1:14) to dwell with us; that it is only through Him that we come to the Father (John 14:6).  I gained a witness that through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross we have been given the ability to receive reconciliation. This ability to seek reconciliation is a free gift that must be embraced.  That morning I chose to embrace the gift!  I suddenly realized that there is nothing I could do to earn the favor of God, rather I put my trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross.

With this transformation has come the call to become a Pastor.  In His infinite wisdom, The Lord has seen fit to bestow upon me certain gifts and talents; I would be remiss if I did not dedicate those to both building the Kingdom of God, and protecting the “Body of Christ” from those that detract from the good news , which we know to be the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-8).  It has been incredible what the Holy Spirit has done in my life and in my knowledge of the “Good News!”  I am in awe of the information and wisdom that has been imparted to me, after the “scales” have fallen from my eyes!

I am determined to live my life in the service of the One who called us, our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am rejoicing in the opportunities and callings to serve the Kingdom and God’s people.

No Responses to “My Journey Out of Mormonism”

  • Annonymous

    Unbelievable. I was knew a boy who was as devoted to his faith then as he is to destroying it now. All I can say is..whatever you choose is your decision. But anyone who slanders another religion for the sake of “saving” people from it does not have God in their heart. God brings peace, love, joy and hope. God does not bring hate. Christ loved the Samaritan, though he was not a Jew. I cannot believe you would turn your back on the people who created your history, irregardless of whether or not you believe. There is no room for hatred in Christianity. And, all I see here is hate. Believe what you want and I guess protect yourself from me. I love you Ben, you have always been my friend. Where did this hate come from?

  • Ben


    Thank you for your response to my conversion story. It is truly unbelievable that, I, a person raised in such a way to as to not be exposed to anything other than Mormonism can see it for what it is, a lie. The boy you knew was insecure and naïve to the details and history of his faith, but clung to the hope that what he was taught as a child was true. I am bit surprised that you chose to write to me regarding this posting as it probably the least critical toward the LDS Church. My conversion story is about me leaving a faith that could not provide me with a relationship with the Jesus Christ as chronicled in the New Testament, nor did it provide me comfort that I was drawing closer to God. I appreciate your acknowledgement of my devotion to the LDS faith prior to my leaving, as some, including your brother-in-law have sought to discredit me by alleging and questioning my attendance and activity in the LDS Church.

    Sadly in high school and at Ricks, I feared sharing any doubts with you or anyone else we grew up with, for fear of rejection, being ostracized, and the potential of bringing disgrace to my family. I did not share my disgust with the practice of polygamy, my confusion regarding Adam-God, my growing discontent with our religion’s treatment of Black and Native American peoples, nor did I express my concerns regarding the hypocritical actions made by Gordon Hinckley. Without being sure of my confusion and discomfort, I felt the risk of expressing them was too great.

    In your message you wrote, “anyone who slanders another religion for the sake of “saving” people from it does not have God in their heart. God brings peace, love, joy and hope. God does not bring hate.” I do not bring hate, but truth. I do not bring slander, but fact. I love Mormons, but I disapprove of the organization and leadership that they follow. While God does indeed bring “peace, love, joy, and hope,” He also brings stern rebuke for those seeking to pervert His truth. For example:

    Luke 11:40 (KJV): Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

    If we reference the Greek word used in this verse to identify the religious leaders attempting to teach falsehood, “aphron.”
    This word is defined as a person being without reason, stupid, foolish, without intelligence.

    Christ does it again with the lawyers as a few short verses later:

    Luke 11:45-48 (KJV): Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.

    Christ did not sit idly by as the Lawyers, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Sanhedrin taught false doctrine, but rather he defied them and boldly identified their error and hypocrisies. Certainly, we are commanded to love one another, but we are likewise commanded to defend the truth and earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3, Galatians 1:7-9, 1 Cor 16:22, & Psalm 129:4-8). Since Mormon doctrine is distorting and perverting the truth stated within the Bible, concerning the nature and power God, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and most importantly the Christ-provided reconciliation and salvation. Having knowledge of these perversions and distortions, I am called to defend the truth. Despite your assertion to the contrary, I do not possess hate or malice in my feelings toward the membership of the LDS Church, but rather a responsibility to identify the falsehoods, deceptions, and recriminations of LDS Church leaders against the truth.

    Finally in your message you wrote, “I cannot believe you would turn your back on the people who created your history, irregardless of whether or not you believe.” How does history, or my history, have any bearing on the importance of truth and salvation? Your own canonized scripture warns against the traditions of men, does it not? I am not sure whether you are upset that I am some how defaming my ancestors, or if you are discussing my parents, but regardless of who you are referring to, any history that does not draw us closer to the one who died for us, is counterproductive. I feel sorry for those that created my history as they toiled in ignorance for something that holds no promise.

  • Kelly

    “But anyone who slanders another religion for the sake of “saving” people from it does not have God in their heart.”

    Above is a classic cornered Mormon accusation…so textbook. With an elementary understanding of the beginnings of Mormonism, one can easily refute this common defense tactic.

    Let’s recap the 1st vision (or the 2-9th one, whichever version you prefer)…

    God and Jesus told Joey that ALL Christian churches were wrong, that ALL of their creeds were an abomination and that he should join NONE of them. Hmmm…sounds like slander of another religion, therefore (by the Mormons criteria), God himself didn’t have God in his heart (is that even possible?)! Herein lies the problem that most Mormons possess…the inability to think things through to their logical conclusion.

    Conclusion…If Mormons hold to the story of the 1st visionS, they should view slanderous talk of other religions as evidence for divine inspiration.

    Great comments, Ben. Anyone who knows you would laugh at the idea that God is not in your heart and that you are led by anything other than His sincere love for the Mormon people!

  • Nicholas Crown

    I received my testimony of Jesus Christ while being a member of the church. I worship the same Jesus Christ that appeared to Moses, the same Jesus Christ that lived in Israel and built his church, the same Jesus Christ that after he was crucified and ressurrected appeared to the people of ancient america because he had”other sheep that were not of this fold” and loved them too, and it is the same Jesus Christ that appeared to Joseph Smith. So if you were paying attention in church you would have noticed that Jesus Christ is the center of our religion. God told Joseph that the other churches were wrong, that “their creeds were an abomination in his sight, that those professors were all corrupt, that they draw near to me with their lips but their hearts are far from me, they teach teach for doctrines, the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” If you studied the church you would know that Jesus Christ was at the center of it. It is slander because these comments you make are not truthful and they offend others.

  • Kelly


    slander: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation

    Not one statement from any of Ben’s posts (or mine) are misrepresentations so your slander accusation is moot.

    I’m going to make this real simple for you, Nick…

    You say that you follow the Christ of the Old Testament. Is the Christ that you follow LORD [Jehovah] and God [Elohim]? Yes or no?

    If you answered ‘no’, then you follow a false Christ spoken of and warned about throughout the New Testament (Matt., Mark, Luke, 2 Cor., 1 Tim, 1 John, etc.,).

    So we just have a different understanding of who God and Christ are…what’s the big deal, you ask? Christ Himself has already revealed what will happen to those people in the last day…

    “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matt. 7:22-23).

    I urge you to do what I did when accused by Christians that the Mormon Christ was different from the Biblical Christ…I researched. I was determined to disprove this once & for all! What I discovered would forever change my life path and, more importantly, my eternal destination. Prove it wrong.

  • Ben

    Nick, it has been a few days, thanks for posting again. You wrote that you received a testimony of Jesus Christ “while” you were a member of the church. You joined the church without having a testimony of Jesus Christ; so then why did you join the LDS Church? How did you know it be His church without a testimony of Him?

    In your response you quoted John 10:16:

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (KJV)

    Your interpretation and view of this scripture is extremely narrow, and only serves to highlight the problem with members of the LDS Church, and their fundamental lack of understanding regarding the Bible. In this verse, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees, a group that He had rebuked and corrected often during the course of His short earthly ministry. This verse that you highlight, and your opinion of it, is a gross misinterpretation; as Christ was teaching about His promise being available to Jews, as well as Gentiles. A few verses earlier the Pharisees are confused at the message of the blind man, consequently Christ begins to clarify by teaching about the sheep. He explains that he is the “good shepherd.” One of the predominant opinions in the early church was that one needed to Jewish prior to coming unto Christ, but we see that is not true. Christ proclaims his blessings and promise of salvation are open to all! By limiting this passage to your narrow need to provide support for the Book of Mormon you ignore John 4:7, Matthew 12:9. These two accounts within the Bible show that Christ uses the term “sheep” to refer to both Jews and Gentile alike.

    Further down in you response you wrote, “So if you were paying attention in church you would have noticed that Jesus Christ is the center of our religion.” I am going to ignore the arrogance of your statement, and respond to the error within it. The very reason for my resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was due to my paying attention and questioning what the leadership was teaching. Not only was Christ not the center of worship, but the lessons and worship of Him and His ministry, life, crucifixion, and resurrection only cycled through every 4 years, with the exception of Easter and Christmas. The primary reason for me walking away from the faith was the limit that the LDS Church and it’s doctrine placed on the efficacy and power of the Blood of Christ. According to your beliefs, is Christ’s blood enough to provide exaltation to your wife without you?

    Nick, if you recently joined the church, within the last ten year, your perspective on the LDS Church and the role of Christ within it, are decidedly narrow. The church you are now a member of has change the way it worships Christ, after a concerted and ongoing effort to “Christianize” it. Gone from regular LDS discussions, General Conference talks, and lessons are the open condemnations of Protestant Christianity, replaced by the worship of a Christ whose blood can only be applied after certain rituals are completed. Gone from temple skits are the scenes of Satan paying a Protestant minister to work for him. The LDS Church wants desperately to be considered a part of the Christian community, and cannot do so without some measure of regular acknowledgement of Jesus Christ. This was not the case as I grew up in Mormonism.

    Nick, finally, you claim that I am “slandering” the LDS Church in my writings. Claiming slande, would suppose that I have spoken or written something that isn’t true. Unfortunately, we have covered this subject before, and you continue to come back to it. I have not posted or written anything that was not either spoken from a General Authorities mouth or authored from their pens. The viewpoints I espouse come not from my imagination or speculation, but come from teachings of LDS theologians, professors, general authorities, and/or prophets. Unfortunately, while we are on the topic of accuracy, I have to point out that in your post you are attempting to distort your own religious history. You wrote, “God told Joseph that the other churches were wrong…” according to the canonized version of this vision, Christ spoke to Joseph, not God. Of course, that is contingent upon whether you believe the canonize version or the versions penned by Orson Pratt in1840, Orson Hyde in 1841, or Joseph’s own written account in 1832, all of which fail to mention that it was God or Christ that appeared to him, only personages or angels of light. Certainly I don’t have to remind you what the Bible says about angels of light…

  • Jarrett Anderson

    Right on Bro! I LOVE the way God works!!!! Good luck on your new journey in life.

  • Barbara

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank God for allowing your soothing presence in my life. When I hear you speak or read your notes, the Bible comes alive for me like never before. I believe it a miracle that you entered my life at the time I was finally ready to hear it. Keep casting out those seeds. Some are surely to fall on furtile ground.

  • Nicholas Crown

    Yes, Kelly, Christ was the Jehovah of the Old Testament and God is called elohim. Just for clarification Ben, I was actually born into the church, baptized when I was eight, served a mission, and was married in the temple. I gained my testimony while being a member of the LDS church. Tell me what a Gentile is. Isn’t a Gentile anyone that is not in the house of israel. Gentiles lived all over the world, not just in the asian continent. Jesus loves all of his children and wants all of his children to be happy. Joseph Smith saw two personages standing above him in the air, and one of them said, pointing to the other “This is my beloved Son, hear him.”

  • Courtney Price Stubblefield

    I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fullness of the gospel on the earth today. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet led by God to translate the Book of Mormon and restore simple Gospel truths. I know that President Thomas S Monson is the Prophet of the Lord today. He speaks truth and repentance and love to all. He is a man of integrity and service to his fellow men, something I have witnessed as I have had the privilege to walk and talk with him. I know the Bible is the Word of God. It speaks to God’s people in the Old World and to us today so that we might learn of Him. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God too, a record of His people in the America’s and it also helps us to know and come unto Christ. I know that revelation did not die with Christ and his Apostles. It continues today thru our prophet and the powerful witness of the Holy Ghost to each of us. I know that God has flesh and bone just as we do. Our Heavenly Father, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct people with one purpose. That purpose is the salvation and exaltation of man. I know that we are in similitude of God and that our purpose here is to gain a body, learn joy from sorrow, happiness from sadness and such, to have a family, so that we can return to live with Him forever. I know that we are each Children of God and as such we have the light of Christ which allows us to know right from wrong and feel His presence in our lives. But, I also know that we have the privilege of experiencing the Holy Ghost,a gift which protects, comforts and brings peace. I know that thru the mercy of Christ we are all saved and that we will be resurrected and live forever. However, God’s greatest gift to His children is His Glory which is exaltation. And, exaltation comes thru our obedience to His commanments, repentance and receiving the ordinances necessary for us to live forever with our families. Those blessings are found only thru baptism and attending the Temple. I am grateful for the gospel in my life. Having been not raised in a Mormon home, I received my testimony from reading the scriptures and receiving a witness for myself of God’s love and power. I am grateful for the Priesthood and have been witness to its blessings in my life: allowing me to conceive a child after years of infertitlity, and feeling comfort and peace at the death of my neice, healing my very sick baby and many other circumstances near and dear to my heart. I cannot deny that I know Christ, and I am working harder each day to become more like He is: kind, loving, patient, understanding… I know he is my Saviour and Redeemer. That He is the Son of God and that he loves all, irregardless of our sin or circumstance in life. I am thankful for prayer and I know that our prayers are answered, and that with prayer we can draw closer to God. I beleive that all people have the right to worship God how they so desire, and I am grateful I live in a country where that is possible. Christ lives, He loves all of us and for this I am truly humbled. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

  • Ben

    Nick, I apologize, I must have had you confused with someone else that was a convert. That is my mistake.

    Nick, you have failed to answer any of our questions. Without some ability or willingness to address the proposed questions at hand, I am not sure why you are wasting your time here.

    To address you questions regarding the Biblical term, Gentile. Paul regarded himself the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), but I failed to ever see him ministering to the Americas or the Lamanites.

  • Ben

    Courtney, I guess we ran out of things to reason about…thus the testimony must be bore. This is the typical sequence of events when discussing doctrine, religion, and faith with a member of the LDS faith, their final step is to bear their testimony. This testimony is typically invoked when the person feels the discussion is either over, the non-LDS person is become threatening, or the LDS person has run out of reasonable apologetics to defend their faith.