Born in Salt Lake City, Utah 1954;
Born again in Roseville, California 1993
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah into a 5th generation LDS family on my father's side. My mother was a convert to the Church as a teen. In the 1940's my grandparents moved to the LDS Church-owned Cumorah Farm, near the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York. While in his teens, my father, his parents and siblings lived on and helped work that farm for five years.
Later in the 1950's, my grandparents, who were LDS missionaries, moved to and ran the Joseph Smith Farm, which is also located in Palmyra, New York. My father's two younger brothers helped work that farm. My mother and father moved us away from Utah when I was around three years old, and they separated themselves completely from the LDS Church. They were known as "Jack Mormons."
My siblings were somewhat active in the LDS Church when we lived in Utah and continued to be active on and off after we moved again. My brother was sealed in the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple to his first wife and their son. My sister taught Sunday school and had her children baptized in the Mormon Church.
I had been blessed in the Mormon Church as a baby when we lived in Utah, but was actually raised mainly outside of the Church. However, I considered myself a Mormon, and if asked what religion I was, I referred to myself as a Mormon my entire life. Even being raised outside the Church, away from Utah by Jack Mormon parents, I was still influenced somewhat by Mormon culture, doctrine and theology, because that's mainly what everyone I lived with knew.
Growing up as a child, I received two mixed messages or perceptions from my mother. One, it's oppressive being a woman, especially in Mormonism where men had it much better. Two, getting married and having children is a woman's purpose here on this earth. These two messages, along with a father who was absent a lot--both physically and emotionally--and a few other bad things that took place in my young life, developed gender confusion in me as a child. I hated being a girl, yet all I ever wanted was to get married and have children! Confused? Yes, very!
So I married right out of high school. After many failed attempts to get pregnant, my marriage also failed. My barren womb, my failure at being a good wife, along with my gender identity confusion, left me feeling useless as a woman. At age 23, I made a conscience decision to act out on my life-long struggles and temptations and went headlong into the homosexual lifestyle for 15 years.
In 1992, my sister gave her life to the Jesus Christ of the Bible. It changed her life. Her and a Bible study full of women began to pray for me! In 1993, when I was 38 years old, I too gave my life to Jesus Christ.
First He called me out of homosexuality, and later He started to show me that the Mormon religion was not all that it claimed to be. As of 1993, I had stopped calling myself a Mormon if asked. Instead, I began to refer to myself as a born again, Bible believing Christian, a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, it took me years to renew my thinking by the washing of God's Word, the Bible. I had been deceived by so many things and ignorant to even more.
Through deep study of the LDS religion, I've learned where much of my thinking was off. I was also able to see why I made some of the choices I had made in life, along with learning the truth about the religion itself.
Most of my immediate family have since given their lives to the Lord, and like myself, no longer refer to themselves as “Mormons.” However, I still have many relatives and friends who remain in the LDS religion, along with many friends that remain in homosexuality, and I love them all so much!
What the Lord has delivered me out of, He has now called me back into… but now it's to share Him and His truth! I have been ministering now to both homosexuals and Mormons for the past 4 years. God loves everyone! And He wishes that none should perish, but that all would be set free and come to the saving knowledge of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
February 4, 2013