I Was a Mormon: Roger Faircloth
I was raised LDS for as long as I could remember. My mom was not really an active member, but my sisters and I would attend church pretty regularly until my oldest sister became a teenager.
During this time I would try to find a relationship with God by keeping as many of the ordinances of the Church as possible. Family Home Evening, nightly prayers, and anything else they would ask us to do. All the while my heart was aching for a relationship that would bring about the peace in my heart I desperately craved.
Once when I was seven, one of my friends talked me into stealing a piece of candy from the grocery store. I felt so guilty that I went back the next day to pay for it. That night as I was praying, I told God that I had blown it. I thought that was my first sin and knew I could not be with God in heaven when I died. I told the Lord that unless he had mercy on me, I would not get to live with Him in heaven. At once I felt a voice say to me, “That’s right; it’s by my grace that you are saved.”
Until that time, I had never heard of grace or mercy, but only rules and regulations. After laying there for about a half an hour, I told the Lord, “Well, then the LDS Church is wrong!” Again came the voice saying the same thing: “That’s right; it is by my grace that you are saved.”
From that time, I was always suspicious of the things the leaders would tell me. I didn’t consider leaving the Church until much later, because I still believed the Church to be the true Church.
When I was baptized into the Church, I remember standing in the water thinking, “This is going to be so great, because the Spirit of God is going to come inside of me!” Well when nothing happened, I figured I had made a mistake and it would happen the next day while being confirmed a member of the Church. I remember walking up to the front of the Stake Center and being so excited. After the prayer one of the men leaned down to me and said, “Now the Spirit of God is living inside of you!” I wanted to hit him. I figured if the Spirit of God was inside of me, I would know it.
When I was 12, I had the opportunity to hear a Bible preacher named Jerry Owens. I went forward at the end to be prayed for. Now I knew the Spirit of God came in me then. It was all too noticeable. I knew I had changed from the inside out! The next morning, I still felt him within me, so I figured it must be for real.
I still did not leave the Church until I was 18. It was a hard decision, because I was told for so long it was the true Church. I figured the truth would eventually work its way into the Church.
Well now my wife and I are planting a Christian church in Springville, Utah where we hope to reach out to those disenfranchised by the LDS Church and those outside, hurting from separation and addictions.
God is so very good!