Thank you for your excellent homepage. As I have read through the articles in it, I can totally identify with the stories of the other ex-Mormons. It really helps to know that I'm not alone in this.
I was a Mormon all my life. I was the all-around Mormon girl. I attended all four years of seminary, I held many church positions. I was ready to serve a mission when I became the right age. You name it, and I did it.
After I graduated, I decided to go to the University of Idaho- which was quite far away from my hometown-Pocatello, Idaho(which is very highly Mormon populated). I attended church in Moscow at their University Institute- the first one ever established. I was pretty active in my ward, but they didn't put me in a group for Family Home Evening (a meeting that's held on Monday nights for family-oriented studies and activities). The girls who lived next door to me had a Christian Bible Study, and they invited me to come with them- so I went- hoping that I would be able to convert someone. Well, the exact opposite happened. I started to learn more and more about God, and I saw something in my Christian friends that I had never seen before. Then one night when I went out to dinner with my Bible study leader, we started talking about it, and later that night I invited Jesus Christ into my life.
Now, leaving the church didn't happen very dramatically. I started taking Christian foundation classes because I wanted to learn how to further my relationship with Jesus Christ. Eventually I decided that I wanted to get re-baptized, and did so- also getting baptized in the Holy Spirit. My mom wasn't too happy with my decision. She had no idea of what was going on while I was away at college because I was afraid to tell her. I had a Mormon friend who left the church, and her family disowned her and kicked her out of the house when she was 16. I told my mom that I wasn't sure if I was going to leave the Mormon church or not, and that I would probably be going back to the church when I came home for the summer.
I don't think that was God's idea. Through the Holy Spirit, I came to realize things that didn't quite fit together with the Book of Mormon, the Mormon prophets, and everything else. I started reading the Bible everyday, and the Spirit showed me things that made me realize that I would probably never go back.
When I went home for the summer, I found a church that had a pastor who was ex-Mormon. The more we talked, the more I realized what it was that I wanted to do. I sent a letter to the Bishop and Stake President in my home town, and also to the one in Moscow- requesting to be excommunicated. I didn't get a reply for a few months, but when I did, it was two letters saying that I needed to meet with the Bishop in my home town in order to have this process done. Eager to sever all ties, I agreed.
When I went into the Bishop's office, I told him the reasons that I wished to be taken off the records of the church. I told him of what I had learned in the past year. He told me that he didn't want to excommunicate me because if I decided to come back it would be a long, hard process- so he wanted to place me on inactive status instead. I told him that I never wanted to come back, and I wasn't going to change my mind. He said that he wanted to give me a book that was written by a General Authority, and he wanted me to read it and pray about it. I refused his offer and asked him if someone gave him a satanic bible and asked him to pray about it- if he would. He said that he wouldn't because he knew that it was wrong, and I told him that he had just proved my point. Also in the meeting, he asked me if I had any questions, so I asked him about the holes that I found in the doctrine of the Mormon church. He didn't really answer any of my questions, but just beat around the bush, and ended with his testimony that he knew the Mormon church was true without a shadow of a doubt. He told me that he wouldn't be able to grant my request to have my records removed until he had talked to the Stake President. It's been over a year now, and this process still hasn't been completed. I don't really care about it, because I know that even if I am put down as being excommunicated, my records will still be there. The thing that matters the most is that I am on God's records, and that is all that matters in His eyes-because when the earth is destroyed-those worldly documents will be destroyed with it.
I am now living a life on fire for God - and that is only by His grace. God is doing some really exciting things in my life now. I still feel the pain of my family's rejection of me. Of the really close Mormon friends that I have told about my decision - only two are still my friends. But God has blessed me with a new family and more friends than I have ever had, and He has also blessed me with His love.
To those of you who have left the Mormon church, and want to give up on God altogether- please don't. There is more to God than you think. I had some bitterness toward God for letting me go through all of that pain and suffering all those years, but He did it for a reason. I have been able to help out several others who are going through this pain, and it helps them out because they know that I know what they are going through. God has a purpose for you, so please don't give up on Him. He didn't give up on you.
Please feel free to e-mail me.
Kris Collins firstname.lastname@example.org
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