Two days after consuming the turkey and pumpkin pie, John and I committed to each other with the normal I dos. The year was 1964. Eighteen months later, we became Daddy and Mama to a little Gerber baby, we named Robin. Our son Timothy was born 2 1/2 years later, and we were ready to build our first house at Neilton, Washington: a small town north of Hoquiam, WA. We welcomed our 3rd and last child, Renee, in 1970, while living at Neilton. One day, I said to John, “I am interested in getting to know God, let’s start going to church. At that time, my background was such that I didn’t know the difference between an Episcopalian or a Pentecostal. But church shopping was not a big deal because there was only one church in the small town where we had settled. It was a certain sect of Mormonism that followed Joseph Smith. After a season, the elders asked us to have what they called “cottage meetings” in our home. So, after much indoctrination from them, we became part of the church. Four years later, our oldest daughter turned 8, and it was time for her to be baptized. Why? Because this is how it is done in that religion.
I could not face my daughter getting baptized. I believed what the church had taught us, but it left me feeling so unfulfilled. Watching our daughter following this teaching also, became a pivotal moment in my thinking. So, I ran away from it all, leaving my husband to deal with it. We had a pool in our back yard, and the church elders asked to use the pool. The church also came to witness the event.
So, there I was on the road, running away from it all, and I had an encounter with the Spirit of God. I did not bow my head and say a so-called sinner’s prayer. NO! I was just so angry. I screamed at God, “You can have my life, I don’t want it!” Right at that moment, on that road, running, running, running, I ran right into the hands of God. Something had happened on the inside of me. So, taking a deep breath, I decided to get a motel room for the night and return home the next day.
When I got home, I sat for three days, doing absolutely nothing. I was at peace! So, I buried myself in the church. What? Did you expect me to leave it? It is all I knew, and now I was at peace.
All this was taking place in the 1970’s. For about 10 years, the Christian churches had been experiencing the charismatic movement, and people were being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues. There were rumors circulating that one of my friends in the Mormon church, about 50 miles away from us, was speaking in tongues. It was creating quite a stir as she was saying it was the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but most Mormons thought it was of the devil. But she kept talking about how it brought her closer to the Lord and that interested me. So, I asked her about it. She showed it to me in the book of Acts, from the Bible (which most of us never read). We spent most of our study time in the Book of Mormon. I could see it happened in the bible to people, so it did not make sense that it was devilish.
Mostly out of curiosity, I decided to investigate it further. After a season, I was by myself and asked God for the experience of Acts 2. My friend had directed me to receive it by faith. So, I opened my mouth, moved my tongue and He took it over with the most beautiful languages. I had several! But, I had absolutely no feeling. I thought to myself, “What is so great about this”? Then, in what seemed but a moment of time, God enlightened my mind, and I suddenly knew there was something wrong with the church. It was like a light bulb coming on! I did not know what was wrong; just that something was not quite right.
Oh, you thought, now she will pack her bags and leave? NO! It does NOT work like that. We were taught if you left the church, you would be a son of perdition, and although all others would not go to hell, you would because you had the truth and turned your back on it. This is very intimidating.
Just two weeks later, I got a call from the pastor’s wife. She said she was signed up to go to a witnessing workshop weekend in Portland, Oregon. She told me she could not go and wondered if I would go in her place. Instantly, I knew I was to go. Well, how did I know that? Hmmmmm!
So, I went! There were about 1000 people attending the workshop, and on Friday evening we gathered in a large room for fellowship. The leader of the workshop asked people to stand and testify, so I was on my feet quicker than you could say Jack Rabbit. I simply said, “Wow, a whole weekend to share the love of the Lord Jesus with this community. I am so excited.” Then, I sat down. When the evening was over, the leader came over to me and asked if I would testify at the 11 o’clock hour on Sunday. I jumped at the opportunity, realizing though, he did not understand that I no longer believed exactly as they did.
I had already checked to see if the experience in Acts was in the Book of Mormon, and sure enough, it was. So, there was no doubt about what I was going to be sharing on Sunday morning!
The next day, we all got a partner for the time we would spend witnessing. The gal they assigned me, hit it off with me immediately. I shared with her what had happened to me and she was all ears. We spent the morning witnessing. Afterwards, we went to a lady’s luncheon, which was attended by about 50 women. The lady in charge asked me if I would testify. I do not recall what I said, but I do remember that tears flowed, and they were so happy they had been invited to attend that luncheon.
So, Sunday morning arrives. I am on the podium behind the pulpit, and I get out my Book of Mormon. (Of course, I had not let go of the Book of Mormon…yet) I read: And Abinidad said: “If you are willing to follow the Lord, with full purpose of heart, down into the waters of baptism, you will be visited by the Holy Ghost and speak with the tongues of Angels.
I then proceeded to tell them what had happened to me, and I could see – wow – could I see – The audience was being split right down the middle. Approval and disapproval was everywhere. When it was over, people came rushing up to me with hugs, and many, many expressions of thanks. One gal threw a note at me that read, “Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have broken through my pain and loneliness”. I thought, “really? What is happening through me anyhow?” I still had no feeling and did not know what to make of all of it.
It was time to go home. On my way to the car, the leader of the workshop asked to speak to me privately. I said, “sure”. I was just a kid you know! When we were alone, he said to me, “I want you to know, that when you walked onto the stage, you had the most beautiful spiritual aura I have ever seen, but when you started to speak, (now his voice is starting to get loud, and aggressive) you got darker and darker until I could not even see you. I quietly answered him. I said, “really?, okay, I will consider what you have said, before God, if you will consider, that maybe the devil did not want you to hear what I had to say.” He stormed off muttering to himself. (I know nothing of spiritual auras.)
Honestly, it was just like God had put me in a bubble. What that man said just bounced right off of me. I was just fine with it all until I went to my car, and there in the parking lot, was that same guy, talking to the gal who was my partner for the weekend. I wished that had not happened. I wonder, to this day, what happened in her life. I don’t even remember her name. I pray, even today, that the words I shared with her, produced an abundance of fruit in her life. Won’t it be fun to eventually find out!?
So, back home again, I began to experience that no matter where I went, I was having a very unusual effect on people. I continued to speak to people in the church from southern Canada to northern Oregon.
One night I had a dream about a High Priest named Jim. I had become very concerned about Jim’s salvation. I had never before dreamed about someone. In the dream, I was standing on a very familiar hillside. I was about halfway down the hill and turned around to see Jim coming down the hill. I waited for him. When he reached me, I said, “Jim, can I pray for you.” He said, “yes”. This is what I prayed: “Father, I ask you to consecrate Jim’s actions to the welfare of his own soul.”
Then I woke up! My pillow was soaked in tears. I did not know the word “consecrate” I used in the dream when I prayed. I looked up “consecrate” in the dictionary, and found it meant: to set apart as holy. No wonder I was crying. This meant that no matter what Jim did, what choices he made, God was going to reach him. I rejoiced when that understanding came to me. I was so relieved, and I never worried about him again. I knew that God would win Jim to Himself. I was so grateful!
I got my feelings back after that dream. I often wonder if God took away my feelings (for 9 months) until I could handle what I had been given with some maturity. If I had felt everything that was happening to me, it might not have been safe for me. Who knows? God is God and I am not!
Today, I understand the principle of God that was at work in the dream, to win Jim unto Himself. You can study that principle on this website, in the teachings under the title: “Purpose in Relationship”.
Still in the Mormon church, I was asked to teach the adult Sunday School class. I chose to teach the Book of Mormon. I searched out everything I could find in the Book of Mormon, that is also in the Bible, that the Mormon church does not really believe. So, that is why I wanted to teach from their own literature. When I finished that class, I finally had the confidence to leave the church. The pastor and his wife, and about 30 others left when I did. One cannot just get saved, even filled with the Spirit, and leave. Your mind gets so programmed to believe it is wrong to leave. It took me almost 4 years to get to a place where I felt safe to leave. In a way, I am glad it did. This time allowed me to have influence that affected people’s lives in a positive manner.
When my family and I left, I still believed in the Book of Mormon. I believed Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and AFTER he transcribed the Book of Mormon, he fell into transgression. I wanted to find a Christian church to attend, but it was so confusing because they all had different bibles. I could not understand how that was possible. I decided to attend a Christian women’s group called “Women’s Aglow”. When I went through the door, I heard, “One day you will be President of this organization.” I said to myself. “No way, their by-laws read that the bible is the only inspired word of God, and I could NEVER agree to them. There was a woman at the meeting who attended the Assembly of God church, and she asked me to go with her to church the coming Sunday. So, I went with her.
I continued to attend. I had not been attending very long before the pastor asked me to share my testimony on a Wednesday night service. Well, I did not think he knew that I still believed in the Book of Mormon. I don’t think he ever noticed, but I carried the Book of Mormon to church with me every Sunday, not the Bible. I had a melancholy love for that book, and I could not just let go of it.
So, of course, I tell the whole church about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I do not remember what else I said in my testimony to them, but nobody told me I was wrong about the Book of Mormon. So, I continued to carry my Book of Mormon to the Bible believing church and they carried their bibles.
About a year later, my friend Carol, who came out of Mormonism when I did, came to our house to watch the 700 club with me. While we were watching, Pat Roberson said, “today, I sense that God has a spiritual word of wisdom for someone. He followed those words with, “Right now, God is filling someone with wisdom.” – AND JUST LIKE THAT – I knew 100’s of things about the Mormon cult, and most especially, that the Book of Mormon was not inspired by God.
Why didn’t anyone tell me? I have often felt they did not love me enough to tell me the truth. I am sure glad God does!!! Faithful are the wounds of a friend. If someone is trapped by a lie, how much love does it take to help them? I will leave all that for God to judge. I am just telling you how I felt.
The next day, my friend Carol came to my house with all her literature on Mormonism. I got mine gathered up, and we started a fire and burned them all. Later, we discovered the same thing happened in Acts chapter 19.
Not only had something changed inside of me on that lonely road, the day I ran away, but after I had been baptized in the Spirit, the power to witness and teach, happened everywhere I went. A very short season after I laid down the Book of Mormon, my pastor asked me to teach an adult Sunday School class. I taught 8 years for him, and I never set out a quarter. It is because I love to teach … the rest is history.
By the way, I did become President of our local Women’s Aglow chapter; exactly what I heard in my Spirit when I walked through the door of that first meeting. If God says it, He does it!
Sometimes, when someone leaves a cult, it is traumatic, but for me, it was an exciting time to watch God move. Yes, I loved the people and there was a type of unity that seemed so great at the time to be a part of, but it was all based on a common project and not people. Something the body of Christ needs to grow to understand also.
I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE: BONNIE
I would like to suggest, if you have a friend who is a Mormon, or know a Mormon, that you would share this website with them. Ask them to read this testimony, and if they leave a reply, I promise you, I will speak the truth in love to them. If they check it out, they are probably ready to have a conversation. Thank you…Bonnie