I Was a Mormon: Zach Collier
I was born a Mormon. My dad and my mom both took me to church ever since I could remember. I was very serious as a child about doing what was right all the time. CTR (Choose The Right) is what I tried my best to do everyday, and I considered myself a good person.
Around the age of 11 or 12, I started having doubts about the Mormon Church. It amazed me that I was one of the few lucky ones to be born in "the true Church." As I learned more about the Church, there appeared to be contradictions. Sometimes I was told, "We don't know why this is true" or sometimes I would get long explanations on why the doctrine was what it was. Most of the explanations really didn't make sense to me, but I still believed what I was told. It came to the point where I decided that instead of putting up with doubt any longer I would go to God and that would quiet the voice of doubt.
I came to God, and asked Him what was on the top of my heart. "Is this Church true?" Waiting after a while I heard a small little voice say, "No."
"What do you mean no? Everything I know about you, how to pray, who you are, is from this Church. How could this be false?" This was not the answer I was expecting.
I continued going to church with my family, and I had great doubts about whether or not I even heard God. Maybe I was crazy or just being stupid, but as I continued going to church, I felt like my eyes where open. The church was hollow. I looked around me in church to see that everyone around me appeared not to have life in them. It horrified me. The Mormon Church was the only thing I knew of; I couldn't imagine that any truth could be found elsewhere. In spite of this, I continued to research Mormon doctrine. Maybe I had messed something up, but I knew it was not true.
I didn't understand. How could so many people who are seeking after God and trying to be righteous be a part of a church that isn't true? I still don't fully understand that question.
I eventually confronted my mom with my doubts (I don't know exactly when this happened or how), and to my surprise she thought the same things as me, except that I didn't understand why she wanted the Church to talk more about Jesus.
My parents eventually got divorced, and this allowed us--after a few more months of going to church but not believing in it--to finally stop going to the Mormon Church. My dad, to this day, is still very Mormon.
My mom believed in Jesus and in God, but she was not too sure about any other truth. I did not really believe in Jesus, but I believed in God, and I desired very badly to know Him. Leaving the Mormon Church was the darkest and hardest time in my whole life, and above all else that happened, not knowing God tore me up the most.
My mom eventually--after about 3 years--couldn't stand being alone anymore and decided to look for other churches. At least they talked about God. She started going to a few, and brought me to a few, but neither of us really liked them, and didn't really understand them. I took pity on the Christian Church. I still held onto the thought that they did not have the truth and were misled. One thing that held us back from understanding better was that words in the Mormon Church mean totally different things than those in the Christian world. After a few times of going to Christian churches, I stopped going to them, because it tore me up to see these people going after what I thought to be false things.
I went to a new high school during my sophomore year, and there I met someone that I saw life in. I found out quickly that he knew some things about God, and I wasn't sure if he knew the truth or not, but I wasn't going to let that stop me without finding out what he believed. Question after question, I slowly heard the gospel from him, and God opened up my eyes to see that it was true. This time I didn't really hear a voice say, "Yes this is my truth," but once again God brought me to Him and I couldn't deny what He did--even though at first I had doubts about any form of religion. On January 18, 2005, I became saved. I put my trust in Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, as my Lord and Savior. I found out so many things after that, and after putting my faith in God (although that faith was a gift from God to begin with), I found out a few things about Christianity, and a lot of my misconceptions about Christians where torn down (like that the Church--not just a church denomination or building--is a global body of believers). God has also changed my life in many, many ways since I gave my life to Jesus.
I am not trying to lead anyone astray, but bring everyone to the truth. It is my sincere intention to help everyone, to do well, and to love my God with everything that I have. I know that there are Mormons that read this, and it is not my intention to attack you or hurt you. My heart goes out to you and I pray that God will bless you. As a Christian, I am sorry that sometimes other Christians make fun of Mormons. That is not the way Christ would act. I know that many will not believe what I have said here and will think that I have fallen astray.
My advice to everyone is to seek God and to be open to the response, even if it does not make sense. God loves you. Research it. Look into it. Don't just accept what people tell you, but truly seek after the truth and God. Find out more about what the gospel means.
Zach Collier's Testimony out of Mormonism into Christianity
Zach Collier's Testimony out of Mormonism into Christianity (Manti 2008)