When a Mormon Meets Jesus:
A Study in
Spiritual Paradigm Shift
Dean Maurice Helland
Oral Roberts University
As Mormon numbers increase, Bible-believing Christians find themselves having to deal with these important questions: Can a Mormon be saved while still a Mormon? How should a Christian witness to a Mormon? This paper deals with those matters by presenting the experiences of ex-Mormons who have found their way into fellowship with Bible-believing churches. It distinguishes between the LDS (Utah Mormons) and their derivatives, and the RLDS (Mormons) and their derivatives. This paper illustrates that when a Mormon of whatever brand meets Jesus, a process begins which tends to lead that person from Mormonism and into a Bible-believing church. The author’s own spiritual pilgrimage is used as a reference point and compared with those of 56 other Christians who left Mormonism to become Bible-believers.
When a Mormon Meets Jesus:
A Study in Spiritual Paradigm Shift
The title of this paper merits explanation. Obviously, Mormons consider themselves to be the chosen people of God and believers in Jesus Christ. The largest group of Mormons has as its name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” The second largest Mormon group calls itself the “Community of Christ.” And many smaller groups that belong to the “Restoration Movement” call themselves “Church of Christ,” “Restored Church of Christ” and variations of these or other names. The Book of Mormon itself has as a subtitle “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”
The Bible itself defines the problem. It warns against those who say they believe in Jesus Christ, but it is a different Christ than who the Bible presents. (Holy Bible, King James Version, 2 Corinthians 11:4) This is the problem that Bible-believing Christians have with Mormonism. It preaches to the world a different Jesus Christ than the one in the Bible. This is recognized by the present Mormon prophet and president, Gordon B. Hinkley. He has publicly declared, “The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.” (Church News, June 20, 1998)
While Mormons may try to minimize the distance between their God and that of traditional Christianity by saying simply “We don’t believe in the Trinity”, the differences lie much deeper than that. The Utah Mormon God, “Elohim”, is described as a glorified man who once lived on another planet, was redeemed, resurrected, glorified and exalted to join the many gods other gods above him, and now produces our pre-existent spirits with the help of an abundant number of divine wives on the planet Kolob.
The Utah Mormon Jesus was produced from an actual sexual relationship between Mary, his earthly mother and “Elohim,” his heavenly Father. (Pratt, 1853) Furthermore, the Mormon Jesus condemns all who reject the Book of Mormon as the Word of God. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 33:10-15) So when a Utah Mormon tries to pass as a genuine Christian, questions such as “Do you believe that Father God produces spiritual offspring through his wives on another planet?” or “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan?” are in order.
To be a good Mormon, one must believe that (1) an angel had Joseph Smith dig up some ancient golden records of an extinct people in New York in 1828, (2) God had him translate them without even seeing them by looking at a stone at the bottom of a hat, and that (3) the angel then took the plates up to heaven after revealing them only to members of his family and a few close friends. (Book of Mormon, Introduction)
Mormons accept these things despite a total lack of evidence, indeed with overwhelming evidence to the contrary of its contents in the fields of linguistics, anthropology, archeology and forensics. (Kramer, 2003) In fact, Mormons believe that traditional Christians must forsake their beliefs which are derived from the Bible alone and are solidly backed by evidence in these areas and replace them with faith in the revelations of Joseph Smith, Jr. and his successors.
One might question how sensible, educated people could replace fact with fantasy as a basis for their belief structure. In reality, however, this is something that happens over and over again, no matter what form the fantasy may be. Good Mormons actually have very little concern about the external evidence for their beliefs. They value their feelings about what is true far more than any tangible evidence of whether or not something is true. To them, it is very important to believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong.
The message of truly Bible-believing churches, on the other hand, despite doctrinal differences between them, is that their faith is based on the teachings presented in the Bible. (Holy Bible, King James Version, Isaiah 8:20) The lands, peoples, languages and cultures of the Bible still exist today and their histories are an open book.
While the Mormon faith lacks such objective confirmations, Mormons are very proud of their faith, and they have a lot of it. In fact, Utah Mormons believe that Christians who rely only on the Bible are blinded by Satan. (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 13:24-27) and must be willing to lay aside these external evidences of Biblical faith and submit to their way of thinking in order to be exalted as gods with harems ruling over entire planets in the after-life. (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132) The Mormon after-life resembles much more the sensual Muslim paradise of the Koran than the new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem of the Bible. (Bible, Revelation, chapters 21 and 22)
This paper takes the position that the faith of the Mormon people is misplaced, and would serve them better if it were redirected to integrity of the Bible and its teachings as presented in the New Testament. As a former Book of Mormon believer myself, I have taken the liberty of comparing my own spiritual paradigm shift with that of 56 other ex-Mormons who have placed their faith in the “traditional” God of the Bible. For the purposes of this paper, I include as Mormon all those whose faith is based on the Book of Mormon and the ministry of Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844). This includes scores of groups claiming to preach “the purity of the restored Gospel”. I apologize in advance to RLDS members and groups who have left them who may be offended at calling them “Mormons,” for I realize that their beliefs are much closer to the Bible than those of the LDS and polygamous groups who have departed from them, but whose theology is summarized above. In fact, I was born into the RLDS church of Independence, Missouri. But no Utah Mormon (LDS) ever believed the Book of Mormon more than I did. In fact, we ended up leaving the RLDS church because we thought it had drifted too much away from the teachings of the Book of Mormon.
I Meet Jesus Christ
At the age of 18, I took a young lady I had met in high school to a T. L. Osborn evangelistic meeting at the Phoenix College auditorium. The date was December 9, 1961. My family had moved to Arizona to preach the Book of Mormon to the American Indians. However, I knew that I was not totally committed to God, despite my family’s
conviction that we were preaching “fullness of the Gospel” as presented in the Book of Mormon. My hope was that this young lady might get “saved” and then accept the Book of Mormon as truth along with the Bible. (Bible, Ezekiel 37-15-17)
We had attended many different churches looking for candidates to proselytize, and I had always felt a tugging at my heart when altar calls were given. I knew I needed to go forward as they invited people to repent and come to Christ. However, I had never responded, for I did not want to embarrass my family by letting anyone know that one of us—who had the whole truth of God—needed to repent and get right with God!
That night, though, as Rev. Osborn ministered, I knew that I was going to respond to the altar call. I could hardly wait for him to give the invitation! I made up my mind to stop putting it off any longer and dedicate my life fully to Jesus Christ. I did so, and the peace I felt during the next few days and weeks was indescribable. A few days later, I actually searched for a Christian church where I could give my testimony about the change I felt in my heart. I felt like the world would be a better place now because I had finally come into full fellowship with the Lord!
My thoughts changed! My dreams changed! For a period of three weeks, I had no temptations or sinful thoughts. I was elated! Then one morning I woke up and felt weighed down by depression and an awareness of my sinfulness. I turned to the Lord for help and felt the Lord speak these words to my heart: “Would you like to feel that joy all the time? Then get to work and get the dirt out of your life! Then you can have the joy of my presence all the time!”
Changes In My Thinking
I did not know that this challenge would entail not only a complete reorientation of my thought life, but also my belief structure! But I did know that I had become part of a family—a big family that encircles the globe and stretches over the centuries: the family of God! I felt that I had just entered a big bubble, and in that bubble were all those who had given their lives over completely to God! We were all one in Christ! I had the feeling that I had just come home, that I had been away from home all my life until now. And that is just what had happened. I had been restored to fellowship with God through the shed blood of Christ. I had been born-again. And I was still a believer in the Book of Mormon.
I soon ran into members of Campus Crusade for Christ on the campus of Arizona State University where I was a freshman at the time. “Would I like to learn more about God?” they asked. “No,” I replied, “I knew more about God than you can ever teach me.” Fortunately for me, they started interceding for me in prayer, and I went to their meetings anyway, fascinated by the “Four Spiritual Laws” presentation they taught. I quickly learned it, started using it to tell others about Jesus, and began seeing other students get born-again before my very eyes. This caused a problem for me, because my family had come to Arizona to present Christ through the Book of Mormon, and now I was seeing people coming to know Christ by using just the Bible.
My Spiritual Paradigm Shift
After finishing my degree at Arizona State University four years later, I began working as a counselor at Teen Challenge in San Francisco, teaching the Bible to new converts from the streets. I hid my Book of Mormon beliefs from them, for I wanted this opportunity to hone the spiritual gifts in my life before openly preaching it. On my day off, I would go to the public library to study the Book of Mormon in privacy. I planned to write a book defending it before the Christian world so that those who were sincere in the Christian world would come to believe in it, too. But suddenly I realized that it did not actually complement the Bible as I had been taught that it did. (Bible, Ezekiel 37:16-17) At that very instant, I felt a presence of darkness lift from me and realized that I had been deceived my whole life. I suddenly realized that the Book of Mormon was a deception and the Bible was indeed the pure and dependable Word of God. But what should I do to get grounded in the Bible alone? I ended up going to a brand new university that had just opened up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by the name of Oral Roberts University. It had Spirit-filled professors from many different denominations, all with doctorate degrees in the different areas of theology. I went there to study under them and ended up joining Evangelistic Temple with my wife, Penny, in January of 1967. We have held our membership there ever since.
We Go to Chile as Pentecostal Missionaries
In 1975, my family and I went to Chile as a missionary with World Missionary Assistance Plan of Burbank, California. My purpose was to help establish a Pentecostal Bible Institute. Chile has one of the largest Pentecostal movements of any country in the world, but the pastors of its indigenous churches had no formal Bible training. I had learned in seminary that movements of the Holy Spirit throughout history would deteriorate into spiritism if they did not get grounded in the Bible. I did not want to see that great movement deteriorate into a mystical a cult for lack of Bible teaching. Now that I had a Master of Divinity degree, I could serve there to provide the protection from strange doctrines. It did not take long after getting there to see that Chile was being overrun by Mormon missionaries. I learned that the first Mormon temple in a Spanish-speaking country was going to be built right there in Santiago, the capital of Chile.
My Experiences With Ex-Mormons for Jesus
While crossing the United States on our furlough in 1980, I heard an ex-Mormon, Ed Decker of Saints Alive in Jesus speaking on the radio in Arizona, openly challenging Mormons to lay aside their special revelations and come to Jesus and faith in the Bible. I could hardly believe my ears! Before long, Ed Decker came to Chile at my invitation, and together we made a tour of the major cities of Chile on a nation-wide information campaign on Mormonism. To my delight, many Mormons came to know Jesus and immediately switched to Bible-believing churches! I was seeing others experience an instant paradigm shift from Mormonism to Bible-based Christianity that had taken me four years to experience.
I Meet Other Ex-Mormons
During my next furlough in 1984, I spoke at the Capstone Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah about what Ed Decker and I had done in Chile. There I met many other ex-Mormons who were also involved in Christian outreach ministries to Mormons. Our interest was the same: Helping Mormons “get saved” and complete their paradigm shift by abandoning Mormonism and getting active in Bible-believing churches.
My Doctoral Studies
During that furlough, I also started my doctoral studies at Oral Roberts University. After completing two years of studies in one year, I then did two more courses of directed studies back in Chile and finally was ready to launch the doctoral project. I proposed developing a seminar for deprogramming ex-Mormons in order to help them adapt more easily to life in a Bible-believing church. That is how I came to formulate the questionnaire that is the instrument for the rest of this paper. From the information I gathered through the questionnaire, I realized that ex-Mormons do not really need special de-programming. Just sitting under the ministry of a Bible-believing church will bring them all the healing and direction they need.
Having learned that from the questionnaire, I ended up modifying that proposal to develop instead a seminar teaching Christian workers how to show Mormons errors in the Book of Mormon and then redirecting their faith to the Bible and the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Of course, they would then invite them to their own church, and there the necessary de-programming would take place through the ministry of the local church. The remainder of this paper is based on that questionnaire which is in the appendix and was filled out by ex-Mormon Christians in 1988-1989.
Who Filled Out the Questionnaire?
Fifty-six people filled it out. Fifty-one were from the United States and five from Chile. Fifty-one had belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Five had belonged to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) with headquarters in Independence, Missouri. This latter organization changed its name in 2001 to the “Community of Christ” in order to avoid being confused with the Utah Mormon church. It was organized in 1860 with the son of Joseph Smith, Jr. as its first president. It followed the line of thinking of Emma Smith, Joseph Smith, Jr.’s wife and has always rejected the idea that he practiced polygamy, which the Utah church is so famous for having practiced in Utah up to 1890.
Of the 56 who filled out the questionnaire, 23 were men and 33 were women. The average person was 45-years-old, had two years of college and had been a Mormon for 25 years. Twenty-four of them had Bible-believing Christian friends who had had significant influence in their lives while Mormons. They read books and listened to evangelists in the radio and television. They were educated in their own and other religions. They had theological questions for their religious instructors and were well acquainted with the flaws in their leaders and in their churches.
Length of Time for Their Paradigm Shift
A few (5%) began attending Bible-believing churches before leaving the Mormon faith, but over a third (34%) switched over immediately after being born-again. Others took months (18%) or years (34%) to make the switch. Some of them were not born again until after leaving Mormonism. Two-thirds made their church home in Pentecostal or Charismatic-type churches and one third joined Baptist or Presbyterian-type churches. Many of these churches were nondenominational.
How They Found Their New Church Home
The primary way they came into contact with their new church home was through invitations from friends, neighbors or relatives (45%). The next largest means of contact was through outreaches of those local churches (21%). Some visited around, looking for a church (14%) while some just started going to the church nearest their residence (12%).
Comparing Christianity and Mormonism
Some admitted to some advantage of the Mormon Church over their new church home. Things mentioned were its better organization (18%) and more wealthy and influence in the community (9%). Others would not concede any edge at all to the Mormon Church (36%). All who had made the transition felt they had made the right decision. They had in common the sense of having escaped a deceptive system which substituted man-made religion for the real thing.
Decisive Factors in Leaving Mormonism:
a. Christian Friends
The testimony of dedicated Christian acquaintances was listed as one of the deciding factors in their decision to leave Mormonism in 43% of the cases. Only 7% actually joined one of the support groups of Ex-Mormons for Jesus after that.
The books most often mentioned as contributing to their decision were The Bible (16%), The Book of Mormon (13%), Mormonism, Shadow or Reality? (13%), The Godmakers (11%) and The Maze of Mormonism (9%). Other books mentioned by more than one person were the Pearl of Great Price (8%), Doctrine and Covenants (5%), Kingdom of the Cults (5%), No Man Knows My History (5%), Is Mormonism Christian? (5%), Beyond Mormonism (5%), History of the Church (4%), Journal of Discourses (4%) and Mormonism, Mama and Me (4%). Books mentioned only once in the survey were The Book of Commandments, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Josh McDowell), Comprehensive History of the Church (B. H. Roberts), The B. H. Roberts Manuscript, Joseph Smith and the Egyptian Papyri, Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? (Walter Martin), Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately? (James Spencer), God’s Word: Final, Infallible & Forever, Jesus the Christ (Talmadge), 27th Wife, Nightfall at Nauvoo, Chick tracts, Housewife to a Heretic (Sonya Johnson), Understanding the Cults, Ex-Mormons for Jesus pamphlets, False Prophecies of Joseph Smith, LDS Sunday School Manuel, Dead Sea Scrolls, Know Why You Believe, A Man’s Reach (Glenn Clark), The Man Who Talked With the Flowers (Glenn Clark), Old Saints Herald, Autumn Leaves, Beyond Mormonism (Spencer), Answers to Praise (Carothers), Church literature (LDS), Gospel Doctrine.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that the primary books influencing my departure to Mormonism were in order, (1) the Bible, (2) the Book of Mormon, and (3) No Man Knows My History, by Fawn Brodie.
c. Radio and/or TV evangelists. Which ones?
Those listed in order of frequency were Jimmy Swaggart (7%), Dr. Walter Martin (4%), and Pat Robertson (4%). Those listed only once were Charles Fuller, Ben Kinchlow, Dr. Dobson, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, Rex Humbart, Juan Romero, Chuck Swindall, Hal Lindsey and Malcolm Smith.
d. Things I learned in school.
Things listed more than once were the Mormon seminary classes (9%), Roman Catholic religious instruction (16%). Things mentioned once were the history of the Early Church and the Scientific Method of problem-solving.
e. Other Decisive Factors
The reasons flowed like a torrent. Sample answers were:
-Lack of answers to theological questions.
-“God opened my spiritual eyes in the temple and told me to stay and see it all, but I was not to take the oaths. My entire family left the Mormon church one week later.”
-Study of scripture and the nurture of an evangelical church.
-“After studying about the LDS church and finding all the contradictions, I didn’t want to be associated with it.”
-“Watching the example of a saved husband for two years”,
-“My conversion to the Real Jesus Christ,”
-“I had a thimbleful of Christian training before age ten. I always knew the nature of God and Jesus as taught in the Mormon Church was false.”
-“The Temple Ceremony was a rip-off. Only the lowest degrees of occultism were presented.”
-“I started reading the Bible.”
- I went to a Christian Bible study while a Mormon.”
-“The symbols on LDS temples were very disturbing, upsetting to me.”
-“Asking questions that had no answer from the Mormon leaders.”
-Newspaper ads run in the Independence Examiner by Olive and Gene Wilcox addressed to Book of Mormon believers.
-Daily Bible study and research of how LDS and RLDS and other cults and occults are operating around the world.
-“I was saved at Youth for Christ in my mid-teens, had a beautiful spiritual experience!”
-“Prayer by a local church. I got saved first, then left the LDS church.”
-“There were too many doctrines I didn’t agree with. For example, that the Negro could not hold the priesthood. I also didn’t think the prophecy on this came from God. I thought the current prophet made up the current prophecy correcting this because of pressure. I never thought this segregationist idea was of God.”
-“I prayed… ‘God, what is your truth—your will for my life?’ It took four years to hear the answer.”
-“Disillusionment with the doctrine on Negroes.”
How long after leaving Mormonism did you become active in a Bible-believing church?
These answers fell into different categories:
1. I started going to a Bible-believing church while still a Mormon. (5%)
2. Immediately. (34%)
3. Months later (18%)
4. From one to twenty years later (34%).
5. No answer (7%)
To what denomination do you presently belong?
Nondenominational (18%), Assemblies of God (18%), Baptist (18%), Foursquare (11%), Other (26%), Not a member (4%), Not active (2%)
If your church is non-denominational, how would you classify it?
Charismatic-Pentecostal type churches made up 66%. Baptist and non-charismatic type churches made up 36% of the church homes for these ex-Mormons. In my own case, after leaving Mormonism, Oral Roberts and T. L. Osborn were the only Christians I trusted, and that was because God was honoring their ministries with outstanding miracles of healing. I ended up joining the Pentecostal Holiness Church where they both held their local church membership at the time (1966).
CONCERNING YOUR PRESENT CHURCH AND YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT IT
How did you learn about this church initially?
Through a friend, neighbor or relative (45%). Through one of its outreaches (21%).
Through searching about for a church home (14%). It was close to my house (13%).
My comment: This confirms that personal invitations are the most effective means of getting people to church.
What factors made you join it?
Again, the individual answers speak for themselves best! They said:
-It most closely explains my feelings, hopes and values.
-It is a good, solid, on-fire church. Outstanding expository teaching from God’s Word. Strong pulpit
-Adult education, active social life, strong music program, most of all, it is Bible-believing and Christ-centered.
-It had a bold witness in the community and a good youth program.
-It is Christ-centered and involved in witnessing.
-They taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ from only one book—“The Bible”.
-I believe that all Bible-believing Christians should be involved and be members
in a local church.
-The theology of the denomination and the pastor.
-I was afraid of any church at first. After I was saved, it took a year before I decided to join.
-They have taught me so much about God; exhibit real Christian love.
-It had accurate, careful Bible teaching.
-Dynamic teaching and open, joyful worship and praise.
-The Lord spoke to my heart as I entered the church saying, “This is where I want you to go. You have come home.”
-I asked direction from God and He led me to go there.
-I liked how everything was and how they praised God.
Note: Of the 55 people who became active in their new churches, 13 did not actually become members for a variety of reasons.
Have you been re-baptized since leaving Mormonism?
Yes (75%). No, I have not thought about it (11%).
No, but I am considering it. (13%)
Comment: Only two people indicated satisfaction with their Mormon water baptism. I was re-baptized and feel that it is important.
Which words describe your departure from Mormonism?
Sudden (16%), gradual (48%), bitter (20%), Christ-centered (41%)
Some of the comments made were:
-I was somewhat angry at the Mormons for deceiving me.
-I became angry because of the continued deceit of the General authorities. I am no longer bitter.
-The Lordship of Christ became clear over a 10-year period while attending a strong missions-oriented Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
-After I accepted Jesus, I found out all the problems in the LDS Church, and I wanted to tell others the truth and have them accept Christ.
-It was frightening. All I’d ever known was Mormonism, and I was angry that I’d been deceived, but I was relieved, too.
-Searching for God in truth, I found the answers in the Bible!
-Although I was bitter for several years, the Holy Spirit has totally lifted this from my heart. Bitterness achieves nothing and reaches no one.
-It took a lot of Bible-based research and prayer. It took approximately 2 months. My sister and her family left after I did.
-I realized that the “Seven Steps of Grief” also apply to cult withdrawal.
Comment: My own deliverance from Mormonism came when I was 22 years old. At that time, I was a counselor and Bible teacher at Teen Challenge in San Francisco. After seven months of intensive, but covert comparison of the Book of Mormon and the Bible—with the object of gathering arguments to write a book convincing Bible-believers of their need for it, I suddenly realized that the Bible was indeed the inspired Word of God, but the Book of Mormon was only a man-made imitation of it.
At that moment, I got very angry at Joseph Smith, realizing that he used his genius to fool good people like my mother, my father, my family, my relatives and many other good people who did not shrink back from persecution and ridicule to defend what they believed was the Word of God. Meditating on the poverty of his childhood, how his family got evicted from their home while other people dressed up to go to church, the thought came to me that Joseph Smith set out to start his own religion so that all that money of those well-to-do people would come into his pocket and he would thus support his family.
As I meditated on that, suddenly I felt a presence of darkness depart from every part of my body. I was astounded! I realized then that there was more to the writing of the Book of Mormon than just a poor man’s genius. It was indeed inspired, but by the Great Deceiver, not by the Holy Spirit! And then I was afraid of the Book of Mormon. I then sensed the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit within me, telling me that now I was to show others the problems with the Book of Mormon that I had found so that they could get free from it as well.
Here I was at 22 years of age, working with drug addicts and alcoholics and homosexuals for their deliverance, and I received as great a deliverance from demonic power as they did! I realized that before I could re-study the Book of Mormon to help Mormons leave it, I would first have to get grounded in the Bible. Then the day would come when I could go back to it and find the keys to help my Mormon brothers. I also realized that all the different groups that believed in it were driven by the same deceiving spirit that had driven me! They were all cousins! And they all needed deliverance by Jesus Christ!
Later I came to the place where I could forgive Joseph Smith and all those people who had promoted his work. In fact, I realized that I owed them a debt—that of preaching to them the true Gospel of the real Jesus Christ of the Bible.
In what ways did Mormonism seem superior to your present church?
- It was better organized. (18%)
-Largest congregations, largest churches, the dominant force in the community and in the state (Idaho).
-Marriage and procreative pleasures and having my family in heaven; also, LDS prophets and priesthood.
-There is nothing good about an organization that preaches a false way to eternal life!
-It had more clout and money than my little witchcraft covens in the Midwest.
-They have more money, better buildings.
-We had “more” and the pride which accompanies that feeling.
-Leadership of men and worldly power.
-Better youth programs, certainly richer.
-More people were willing to work at projects, etc.
-Wealth. The ability to sell itself to the world.
-The missionary outreach is effective in Mormonism.
-Faithfulness in their tithes and practical teachings in workshop manuals.
In what ways does your church seem superior to Mormonism?
-Freedom, real love, most of all—God! No deceit!
-It believes in the True God and more of the Bible.
-Bible and Christ-centered emphasis.
-Mormonism is a lie that cannot stand investigation. All doctrines must be measured by the only truth—the Bible. It is the only measure that is totally reliable.
-Bible-based. Apologetics more fully developed and defined. It has a systematic theology to relate to versus Mormonism’s lack of the same.
-Emphasis on the Word of God—salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit.
-Christ is at the center
-Bible-believers and not Bible-scoffers; Christ, the head of the Church and not Joseph Smith and priesthood authority.
-Jesus is the TRUTH; He alone is the Way!
-I am saved because of the shed blood of Jesus. I see the power of God.
-We believe in the true God of the Bible.
-More love, non-judgmental, Christ-centered
-It teaches the real Bible and the real Jesus—Praise God!
-In every way! -It teaches the Bible and I sense the presence of the Lord there.
-Real love; no bondage; truth taught from the Bible.
-Fellowship of believers—trusting only in God’s Word, the Bible. The people here really think!
-Biblically based, true
-In the beautiful Biblical teaching of Who Jesus is and Why He came to earth!
-More Christ-centered, more Christian love and sacrifice
-It’s TRUE. Beyond that-more genuine affection, much better worship, incredibly better preaching!
-Christian dedication, Bible-believing, concern for salvation
-Real love is shown. The Bible is taught as truth.
-Consistency in doctrinal teaching, assurance of salvation, reliance on Scriptural authority.
-The Pentecostal is more open, more sincere, and no one is above another save Jesus Christ alone.
-Greater consecration, more surrender to God in every way.
-More consecration and love. And there is liberty to praise God.
-In everything spiritual: liberty to praise God, the spirit of prayer.
It was the combination of these answers along with the answers of the previous questions that caused me to give up the project. It made me realize that ex-Mormons were adapting quite normally to their new situations and there was no need to launch a special program for the “Rehabilitation of Ex-Mormons”.
Generally speaking, the longer they stayed in their new church, the more any problems they might have were resolved, even if it meant finding another church where they felt more comfortable. In all, 27% indicated that they had partially resolved their difficulties, 18% said they had completely resolved their difficulties and only 7% were still having difficulty in adapting. This comes to 52%, which along with those indicating complete satisfaction (also 52%).
The results of the survey made me change my mind about what to do my doctoral project on. I was working on what John L. Smith had told me, that only one of every forty ex-Mormons end up as born-again Christians. I learned from the survey that when ex-Mormons simply sit under the Word of God in a Bible-believing church, they do get “de-programmed”. I also believe that the body of Christ is now reaching out to Mormons and former Mormons in a way it did not do in the 1960’s. I believe that the many ministries which have risen up to discuss Mormonism in a way that the Mormons dare not do has resulted positively in a move toward Bible-believing churches which scarcely existed before that. While it took fourteen years after leaving Mormonism before I met another ex-Mormon Christian, I meet them all the time now. It is up to the Church of Jesus Christ to make sure that Mormons meet the real Jesus, and it is doing this now as never before!
Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Church News, weekly LDS newspaper. Salt Lake City: Deseret News.
Kramer, Joel (2003) DVD. DNA vs. The Book of Mormon. Brigham City, UT: Living Hope Ministries.
Pratt, Orson, The Seer, Photo reprint of newspapers published between 1853 through August 1854. Republished in 1990. Salt Lake City: Eborn Books.
The Holy Bible, King James Version.
Prayer of Salvation:
Lord Jesus, I thank you for your Holy Word, the Bible, which reveals the plan of salvation which is so simple. I repent for thinking that a church could save me when you only ask me to come to you in simple faith. Lord, I have heard your knock at the door of my heart. I open that door and ask you to come in. I believe that you lived a sinless life, took my sins upon you when you died on the cross, and are now at the right hand of the Father, praying for me.
I renounce Mormonism and everything associated it. I ask for release from all the spirits of deception I have allowed in my life by doubting your holy Word and following the teachings of men. Cleanse me with your shed blood. I believe. I receive you now as my Lord and Savior. I will seek out a church which teaches the Bible as the guide for my life. I will be re-baptized as a testimony of my new-found faith. I give you my life. Do with me what you will. I promise never leave you, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Jesus! Amen!
If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please contact Dr. Dean at the email address below and let him know about it. He will see that you receive the guidance necessary to keep you in the ways of the Lord. Of course, your name and email address will be kept confidential.
NOTE: All other correspondence with Dr. Dean is made with the understanding that it may be used in part or in whole on this website or elsewhere.