I Was a Mormon: Ron Harris
Ron Harris with daughter Emma Grace
Hello, my name is Ron Harris and this is my testimony. I was born in Person County, N.C. to Ronnie Sr. and Ada Stone. My dad was born into the Mormon Church as well as his two brothers. My Grandparents were Neville and James Harris, James was a Mormon but my grandmother never converted (this would later be a blessing in disguise). James died in a drunk driving accident when my dad was just 4 years old. The original LDS branch met in homes in Roxboro in the late 20's with James’ parents--Leamon and Rosa. The branch moved to Main St., then to the American Legion building, then to Durham, N.C. for a couple of years, then back to Roxboro, right beside what is my grandmother’s present house. The branch finally purchased property on Hwy 49 in Roxboro. Leamon Harris, Benny Solomon, Grady Gentry were some of the first elders, and Tommy Davis was the first branch president.
My dad was excommunicated in his teens. He married my mother who was not Mormon and never converted. They had two children--my sister Tammy and me. We were not born into the Mormon Church. My first memories were of my grandmother’s church, Grace United Methodist. I remember Sunday school, singing "Deep and Wide," "The B-I-B-L-E," "Zacheus was a Wee Little Man," etc.
My mom and dad divorced when I was 4 years old, and the courts split my sister and I up. She was given to Dad, and I to Mom. Mom and I moved to Hillsborough, N.C. We attended a small Baptist Church, of which I can vividly remember the blood red carpet. I can remember my mom accepting Christ as her savior at this church. Also remember singing, "Washed in the Blood of the Lamb."
My mom then married James Brown, who was Catholic, and so my journey to the Catholic Church on "Mom weekends" and to Mt. Road Baptist Church on "Dad weekends." By this time my sister who was looking for her social connection began going to the Mormon branch with my cousins. She was baptized and began to apply pressure on me. This was 1978. I agreed to meet with the missionaries. Although going from church to church in my early life, I never knew the scriptures. I was easy prey for these two little old ladies. They made the [Book of Mormon] golden plates sound awesome. I never got that burning in the ol’ bosom as they say. I think I did it more to please my sister at the time. I was baptized. We then proceeded to get my dad back in the LDS Church, as well as my cousin Todd.
I can remember getting up at 6 AM on school mornings from the 9th-11th grades going to seminary in the back of Cato's Dept. store. I remember the stake dances and variety shows, and all the quick verse references marked in my Book of Mormon. For the next 24 years I was a Mormon. What changed? I did not go on a mission, but instead went into the Marine Corps Reserves. I also during this time received a baseball scholarship to Lenoir Community College. Although I became inactive at this time, the doctrine was still in me. I transferred to East Carolina University after Lenoir.
"A seed was planted" while on a Marine operation in the Mohave Dessert. I began a talk with a preacher's son (another Marine) about how the work on the cross only got us past the grave and we still had more work to do. He gave me a very stern look and with more conviction and spirit than I had seen before, told me it was by the blood of the cross and by grace we were saved, not having any more to do. Although I didn't receive it at the time, his words stuck with me. "God Bless Him."
After I graduated from East Carolina, I went to work for the city of Greenville as a Supervisor of Athletics at the Greenville Aquatics & Fitness Center. It was here that I met my future wife, and my religious life would radically change. Renee worked part time while in nursing school at the front desk of the facility. She had LDS qualities: didn't smoke, drink, etc. I always thought if I married her, I could convert her. We were married in August of 1999. Our first daughter, Alyssa, was born in 2002, and it was around this time that Renee began going to Bible study with some of the girls at work. She was now a registered nurse at Pitt Memorial. She began to ask family questions, like what church would we go to, and how the children would be raised. She had also been attending a non-denominational church with her friends. My reply was, we would take them to both, or I would go to the 9 AM ward service and then meet them at the Protestant Church at 11 AM.
Needless to say, after Alyssa was born this schedule did not work out. Alyssa was born at 26 weeks at 1 pound four ounces--a preemie and a lot of lessons to come. She spent the first 91 days of her life without ever seeing the outside world. She had a few set backs, but never any major problems such as brain bleeds, etc. After she came home, our schedules changed for almost a year as she could not attend a day care. During this time, Renee continued to attend Bible study.
Usually on Wednesday nights, Renee would get home from Bible study and I would quiz her on that night’s topic. This usually led to an argument with no one winning and us going to bed frustrated and mad. One night after a heated debate, I told her from then on, anything I told her I would show her where in the Bible it came from. This led to something new in my life--actually reading the Bible, not just a verse here and there. I also began to search the net for answers and even went to anti-sites, because if I could defend the Church to my wife, I could defend it to the anti-sites as well.
One night after about 6 months of study, I was reading in Ephesians 2, and came upon 8 and 9: "For by GRACE are ye SAVED through FAITH and that not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD. NOT of WORKS least any MAN should Boast." There it was--the memory of that Marine 15 years before. By Grace and Faith! I kept reading it over and over and remembering his stern words. It was at this time that I felt the SPIRIT OF GOD come over me and I knew I was a changed person. I now knew Christ laid it on the line--His blood on His cross was for me. A totally Free Gift that all these years I had failed to accept! I felt totally free in Christ and it felt like a ton was lifted from me. Renee got home an hour or so later and the first thing she said was, "What is wrong with you?" My first words were, "I AM NOW A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN!" To put it lightly, she was at a loss for words.
Over the next few nights, which turned to weeks, months, and years now, I developed a deep hunger for the word of God. I began to see how the LDS Church took scriptures out of context, changed the original Greek and Hebrew meanings, and developed new practices not based on sound biblical scripture, but more on a false prophet with designs based off of many religions thrown together and a temple ritual based off of the falsehood of Freemasonry. I know the first five Mormon prophets were Freemasons.
During this time I also found some wonderful informational sites that help unlock the twisted doctrine of the LDS. Utah Lighthouse Ministries was awesome--sound research of the Tanners. God bless them for stepping up to the plate in the heart of Utah. ExMormon.org, Melissa Thiring, and Rob Sivulka, a true Christian soldier who returns to Salt Lake year after year to witness the gospel with BOLDNESS.
I was baptized into Christ a few weeks after the Spirit of God came in me. I praise God for letting the Holy Spirit choose me and lead me. Many will ask after reading this, "Why do you persecute Mormons or hate Mormons?" The answer is I don't!! I love Mormons-- my Dad, my Sister, my cousins are all Mormon--BUT, there is One I love more: God, the Blessed Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which is ONE GOD. I will continue to spread the word of God with a steel sword and with the conviction of Jude 3—"earnestly." God bless America, our fighting men and women, and to all. May Jesus choose you as He did Paul on the road to Damascus. We now have two beautiful daughters--Alyssa (now 6 years old) and Emma Grace (2 1/2 years).
P.S. Thank God for Grandma (Granny Day) staying strong to her Christian faith. Many times she came under pressure from my sister, me, and the missionaries to convert, but she never did.
With love and truth,