I Was a Mormon: Anita Boyle
I was born into a large Mormon family, grew up in a predominantly Mormon small town, 4 years of Mormon seminary, Ricks College (now BYU Idaho), Mormon mission, then BYU. Typical Mormon upbringing. I went to the temple of course, beginning just before my mission. I remained absolutely certain that "the Church" was "true" until I was 40 years old.
Even though I had had several Christian friends in my life, mostly when I was working in places other than my hometown in my early 20's, I stubbornly refused to accept anything that they tried to teach me. In each of those situations I had tried to "convert" these friends and was frustrated that they wouldn't accept what I was trying to teach them.
When I was 40, a Christian co-worker, began a dialog with me about religion. I eagerly welcomed these conversations as I had by then moved back to my hometown and had missed these types of "opportunities to convert" others to Mormonism. This dialog continued for over a year. It was not about me questioning "the Church." For months I stubbornly held on to my beliefs and didn't waiver in my "testimony." But then things started to change. I learned the true meaning of words and concepts like "righteousness" and "grace," and learned the true nature of God, and that the idea of a universal apostasy was unbiblical. I started to accept some of these ideas while stubbornly clinging to my old beliefs. I studied the Bible and I prayed. Finally, one day, my friend and I were discussing the Book of Mormon, which I still believed was scripture. My friend suggested that we pray together and I asked God to open both of our hearts and both of our minds and to let both of us understand the Truth. (Up until then I had only prayed that my friend’s mind would be open, because I was so certain that I already knew the truth.) After this prayer, I just knew. That day I asked Jesus Christ to save me and He did!
It took me a while to actually leave the Mormon Church. I had a job in the ward that I kept doing for awhile until I just couldn't stand going anymore. I continued to wear my garments for about 6 months or so. At first, I left without saying anything and started the process of trying to find a good Christian church in my area. There aren't very many here and they are all very small groups. I attended each one and chose one that seemed a good fit, but I ended up switching to another one after a few months and have been with them ever since.
My former bishop called me in to talk about why I wasn't coming anymore, and I told him in that meeting that I had been born again and asked him to begin the paperwork to have my name removed from the records of the Mormon Church. He said that he would... but he didn't! Meanwhile, my daughter was also saved a short while later and with the help of some of my new Christian friends, I found a website with instructions on how to write a letter to the Mormon Church and the address to send it to. I wrote the letter and sent 3 copies: one to Salt Lake, one to my Stake President, and one to the Bishop. When I finally got a response from Salt Lake, it was a letter telling me that I needed to talk to my bishop about it and a pamphlet asking me to reconsider and come back. Anyway, it ended up taking over a year, and even though I had informed the Bishop of the date that I was going to be re-baptized a Christian and that I expected the paperwork to be done before that, it wasn't. But I went ahead with my baptism anyway, and a month or so later both my name and my daughter's name were finally removed from their records.