I Was a Mormon: Dawn Wishon
I grew up a Baptist. My parents worked at a Baptist Conference Center. We were very active when I was younger. When we moved to Virginia from Colorado (where we are all originally from) my parents split up. That was pretty much the end of church for me for a while. I eventually started going again after one of my neighbors invited me to come with her. (This was in 5th grade.) I was actually saved in August of '94. By 9th grade, I had decided that I was never going to speak to God again. My parents officially got a divorce, I was forced to live with my mother, and things were not the way I thought God would have them.
I lived life the way I wanted. I quit going to church. I was not one you could look at (or listen to for that matter) and say "hey I wonder what church she goes too" or "she's a Christian."
The summer after my 11th grade year one of my friends told me she was baptized into the LDS church. I told her she was crazy, but the more I was around her the more I wanted to learn. About 6 months went by and I still had more questions. I had met with the missionaries several times before, but every time our discussions got more in depth. By January of 2001 I had completed all of my discussions and I was baptized on January 14, 2001, and I was confirmed and given the "Gift of the Holy Spirit" on January 21, 2001. Although false, I still consider it a neat experience in my life. I read the Book of Mormon about four times. I knew with all my heart that Joseph Smith was a TRUE prophet and that the BOM was TRUE. Gordon B. Hinckley was a TRUE PROPHET of our time. I just knew that the church was true and everything in it and about it. I did not budge my beliefs for anyone!!!
On June 13, 2001 (this was about year after I had begun learning about the LDS church from my friend), I was given my Patriarchal Blessing. I was moving back to Colorado as soon as I graduated later in June. After I arrived in Colorado, the missionary who baptized me contacted me and I was able to go to Salt Lake City and meet his family. We kept in touch during the final duration of his mission, after he left my area in VA. I talked to his parents and they had made a comment about marriage, and we had "the talk" about marriage. They even said "what if a 'Certain someone' wants to marry you?" I knew that this missionary had intentions and I could always tell in his letters. Leaving him in Salt Lake City, and discontinuing my relationship with him after leaving the church is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
Anyway, I moved to GA where my dad lives, and still lives, and I decided one morning to go to church where he went because I had promised him I would go with him one Sunday a month. My pastor was preaching on SIN and he was talking about Adam's sin and the fact that we are sinners because Adam sinned. As many know the LDS 2nd Article of faith says that "we are punished for our own sins and not for Adam's Transgressions." I realized at that point that I knew that truth the pastor preached the whole time, but I had suppressed it, and I was ready to live my life for Christ, and not a church. I dedicated my life for the cause of Christ that day, for whatever he would have me do. On December 27, 2001 I was at a youth conference with my youth group and God called me to Mormon Ministries. I want to see as many Mormons come to know Christ as I can. Ever since then Utah and Mormons all over the world have been my heart. I know that my being a Mormon was no mistake. God wanted me to have first hand experience for what he had later in my life. Little did I know it would be on the opposite side.
I wanted to be a missionary for the LDS church, and now I want to be a missionary TO the LDS church. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Student at Boyce Bible College,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary