Shawn’s Testimony

I want to put down on paper how I received my salvation. I grew up in a Mormon family and was very active in the Mormon Church. I attended every Sunday service and received the Aaronic priesthood and then the Melchizedek priesthood. I was a typical Mormon, and when I was old enough I went and served a two-year mission in Chile, South America. Outwardly I looked, talked and acted like a Mormon, but deep inside I always felt that there was something lacking in the Mormon Church. I was taught that the Mormon Church was the only true church of God, so why did I have this feeling? But before I finish my story, I would like to explain the Mormon perspective on a few subjects.

First, let’s look at the Bible. Mormons believe in the Bible “as long as it is translated correctly.” They check out the accuracy of the Bible by comparing it with the Book of Mormon: if the Book of Mormon does not agree with a particular Bible verse, then that Bible verse was translated incorrectly and can be disregarded. I too felt that this was the best method for checking out the truthfulness of the Bible, but is this really the right way? Do you really think God would waste His time over thousands of years having prophets and patriarchs write down everything that was God inspired just to let man change the translation later, and confuse all of mankind? Even if there were some copying errors, I know without a doubt that what is written in the Bible is correct. Archeologists have looked at the Dead Sea Scrolls and many other documents and compared them with the original writings, with the result that the Bible text is verified. How then can the Mormon Church say that the Bible was translated incorrectly if we now have documents or scrolls to tell us it is correct? So, I would now have to ask, wouldn’t it be better to compare the Book of Mormon with Bible verses and if the Book of Mormon doesn’t agree with what is written in the Bible, shouldn’t we disregard the Book of Mormon and not the Bible?

Second, I will look at the Trinity. The Mormons do not believe in the Trinity. They believe that God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all separate beings, and not one. I will try to clarify this matter a little better. The true Trinity is God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit — all one, yet distinct too. No one can explain how this is, but with prayer I know you can find out that this is true. There is no problem seeing that the three in the Godhead are all distinct. We can see this at Jesus’ baptism. Jesus was in the water with John the Baptist; God was talking from a cloud above; and the Spirit came down on Jesus like a dove. Here we see the three distinctions in the Godhead and all Mormons are taught about this to back that up, but I want to show you what everyone else can see. How are they all the same? Let me start with the verse in John 1:1 which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here we see that the Word was God Himself. I think that all can agree that is what that verse says. Now let’s look at John 1:14 which says “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father), full of grace and reality.” Here we can see that the Word became flesh and lived among us as the only begotten Son of the Father. I would have to say that this is pretty clear, showing us that God became flesh and lived among us as Jesus His Son. So, you can see that God and Jesus are one. Now let’s go on to another verse. 1 Corinthians 15:45 says, “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living soul’; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit.” The word quickening refers to the lively Spirit or living Spirit. In the Recovery Version Bible it translates as the life-giving Spirit. It all means the same thing; it is talking about the Spirit that is alive. So, you can see the first Adam is the Adam from the Garden of Eden, and the last Adam is Jesus who became the quickening Spirit or the Holy Spirit Himself. This shows us that Jesus became the Spirit, and we already know that God is Jesus. So, God is also the Spirit. All three are one. Also, John 4:24 says that God is a Spirit or the Spirit. I know that this is hard to see, but if you would just read and pray about these verses, I feel that you can come to see the trinity as it really is.

Third, I will look at the organization of the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church has one prophet and twelve apostles who are supposed to lead and guide the church. The prophet talks directly with God and the apostles spread His message throughout the earth. They get this organization from the time when Jesus Christ was here on the earth. Jesus called twelve apostles to be with Him, hence, you have one prophet and twelve apostles. I have a problem with this type of organization. After Jesus died and was living at the right hand of God there were only eleven apostles left, because Judas killed himself, so lots were drawn to replace Judas. Matthias became the twelfth apostle (but there was still no prophet as their head). Then you might say that there should be twelve apostles leading the church, but the Bible also includes Barnabas and Paul as apostles. Act 14:14 says, “But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard this, they tore their garments ….” So, should there then be fourteen apostles leading the church? I tell you, “No!” The number was never an issue. If it were, as the apostles died wouldn’t God have appointed more apostles to take their places? No, if you read Ephesians 4:11 it says, “And He Himself gave some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers.” Here we can read the word some in front of every class of people. It does not say, “One prophet and twelve apostles and so many evangelists and so many pastors and so many teachers.” No, there is never a number because God chooses how many He wants for His church. Maybe He wants three prophets and one hundred apostles; I don’t know, but I do know He will have what He wants for the building up of His church, and man should never feel that he knows what is needed better that God Himself.

I feel you should also know about the Adam/God theory. Brigham Young, when he was a prophet, wrote that Adam from the Garden of Eden was really God. For a man who claimed he talked directly with God to make such a statement makes us question the validity of his talking with God. How could a prophet (as he claimed to be) even utter these words? If you do not believe me there is a document telling about this in the archives in Salt Lake City. You can read it there.

Finally, I will write about the topic of salvation. Who can be saved? How do you receive salvation? When I went to Chile to serve my mission I believed that the only way anyone could receive salvation was through the Mormon Church. One would have to be baptized by someone having the Melchizedek priesthood and then someone with that same priesthood would lay his hands on that person’s head and give him or her the Holy Spirit. Mormons believe that they are the only people on the face of the earth that can have the Holy Spirit living in them all the time. Others could touch the Spirit, but it would leave them without a proper baptism and the laying on of the hands. This exact issue became a problem with me while I was in Chile. I would go to a house and knock on the door and talk with believers in Jesus Christ and be amazed at how they were full of the Spirit. I have to confess that at first I felt that it was only because we (the missionaries) were there and the spiritual life came from us, but later I found that not to be true. I only found a couple of people who fitted that description in Chile, so it was easy to shrug off any further thinking about it. When I got home though, I ran into a Christian girl who loved the Lord Jesus and we began to talk. I knew that she had the Spirit living in her, and it wasn’t because of me. Then when I met her whole family, I found that her whole family was the same as she. They all had the Holy Spirit living in them and this same Spirit would flow out of them to others when you met them. She asked me if I had called on the name of the Lord. I didn’t know what she meant at the time, but later I did understand. Acts 2:21 says, “And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This means that whoever (anyone) who calls on the Lord will be saved. I didn’t read that only the Mormons will be saved, or only the Jews or the Baptists. No, this honor is for everyone and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. What an amazing thought that God wants all people to be saved.

It is so easy and not complicated at all. I called on His name and at first I didn’t feel anything, but as I kept on calling on His name and believed that Christ died for all of my sins, I became free from the old natural man (the one without Christ in it). I was full of life that was so fresh to me. I was filled with the Spirit and I knew that Christ would never leave me and would always be there for me. My life has changed, and I now know I’m saved and no one can ever take that away from me. I would encourage whoever is reading this to try calling on the name of the Lord. There are many ways to call on His name. You can say, “Lord Jesus,” or “Oh Lord Jesus,” or “Jesus Christ My Savior and King,” just to give three examples. Once you call on the Lord, just keep on calling and believing in Christ’s resurrection. Salvation by calling on the Lord’s name is confirmed by Romans 10:9 which says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Ask Him to live in you. I promise you will never regret trying this. You will be saved, and your life will change. Don’t worry though, Christ will be with you and He will protect and help you with this new life.

I pray that you will read and pray about these words and that you find the Lord as I have. May the Lord Jesus save you.

From a saved lover of Christ – Shawn