I Was a Mormon: Linda DePeel

My mom and step-dad were married June 1, 1964. I was 9 years old. Mom and I were baptized that day. It was a real shock, going from the Assembly of God Church with my grandparents to the LDS Church. The church I had gone to was quite lively; people weren't afraid to shout out to the Lord or lift their hands in praise. The LDS Church was like a tomb. Kids had to sit, quietly, "reverently," or get their heads slapped, or taken to the foyer and thrashed; I bought it more than once. Being a bipolar Mormon with ADHD is not easy!

I wasn't allowed to ask questions, like, why baptize for dead people, or why is the Mormon version of hell different from the Bible? I tried to comprehend the Book of Mormon, but never "caught" it. I never had warm fuzzies/burning in the bosom, nor did I have a testimony of the "prophets." I just had contempt.

My step-dad would probably be labeled by profilers as a psychopath, or socio-path. He was cruel. He began molesting me when I was 14; I went to the "church authorities;" they blamed me for being a "tease!" His Melchizedek priesthood was taken away, not because of the abuse, but because he broke the "Word of Wisdom!" The abuse stopped when I nearly stabbed him.

I also saw how prejudiced and arrogant most of the members were; they said one thing and did another. They were rude and judgmental. They tried to control me, even after I left home, but it didn't work. I was supposedly excommunicated on Mother's Day, 1977; they called 30 years later to update their records. Lol! Guess someone forgot to do the paperwork--oops!

My experiences left me bitter and "mad as hell" at God. Where was He all those years? So I ran from Him for the next 6 years. Then God got my attention, and I rededicated my life to Him. My one regret is that my grandpa didn't live to see it, but my grandma did. Their prayers kept me from believing the lies of the LDS cult. I have since discovered that Jesus was with me the whole time.

Linda DePeel
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