David Lovse - Florida
Testimony of a Former Mormon
I spent many years living with an emptiness. I tried to fill that void with almost anything I could find, but nothing ever seemed to work. The harder I tried, the more unhappier I was. This lead to hurt feelings, wrong choices and bad decisions. Through it all, I remained faithful to the Mormon (or LDS) Church.
The most difficult aspect of being converted to the Mormon faith is seeing through the blinders that Mormonism has built into it's doctrine. Most members are taught that they should not pollute their mind with anything that may cause them to lose their faith and become an "apostate." (An apostate is the equivalent to losing your salvation forever, and is worse than being a non Mormon.)
The first seed of doubt planted in my life was the story of Mark Hofmann (as presented in a 20/20 episode). He was an antiquities dealer who was "unearthing" old LDS church documents. He had LDS leadership paying him extravagant amounts of money to acquire these documents for the purpose of hiding them from the public. There were murders involved, and it was a story that left me feeling uneasy about the Mormon Church. I felt especially confused when I learned that the documents were forgeries!
To my understanding, the President of the Mormon Church is supposed to be a prophet, and communicates with God the same as Moses did (not face to face, but by prophecy and inspiration). This factor spoke to me -- If the leader is a prophet, why was he not able to discern that these documents were forgeries? I no longer felt confident that the president was a modern-day prophet.
A few months later, I was approached by Mormon missionaries. I introduced myself as an inactive member. We spoke about the church; and, I asked them about the story of Mark Hofmann. They stated that the church wanted to hide the documents away so that LDS members would not be lead astray. This satisified me at the time (but not fully). Regardless, after 15 years of inactivity, I became very active. I baptized my wife, went to church every Sunday, spent time with the missionaries visiting contacts, or inactive members, and became a Cub Scout leader. I was doing everything right -- so I thought -- but my marriage was crumbling. I convinced myself that it was "the adversary" at work, and the Lord would come through in the end. That never happened, although it could have. Needless to say, I found it necessary to file for divorce.
When I turned to the Mormon Church for strength and support during my divorce, the church leadership completely turned their back on me. I was called into a meeting with the Elder's Quorum President, and the Bishop's Second Counselor. The Elder's Quorum President told me, quote: "...we don't know what your problems are, and we don't want to know what your problems are..." I was told that I would never get custody of my kids because I was a male, and a few other demographics. My friend, a non-member (who never even met with a missionary) was criticized for not attending church (she was exhausted from working 32 hour weekends). They however, could make excuses why LDS members with responsibilities in the church were unable to fulfill their commitments. I was not allowed to have home teachers. I was not allowed to ask other members to watch my children, and I was expected to do everything they wanted from me. I felt like a child --be seen, but not heard. I went inactive immediately, and haven't been back since.
I remarried, and both of us knew we needed the Lord in our lives, but we didn't know where to turn. We looked into a few churches, but none believed as we did. One church turned out to be a Mormon splinter group. Another had a 90 day challenge and contract. If you signed it, had it approved, paid your tithes, and then did not see the Lord working in your life after 90 days, you would have your tithe refunded. We gave up in despair, but at various times we asked the Lord where to turn.
A few months ago, we adopted a dog. She was very "dog-sick," so we decided to get her a companion through a rescue group. We got a call some time later from a couple that wanted to give their dog up. We agreed to meet and pick her up. On the way home from Gainsville, Florida, we saw a car on I-75 with a bumper sticker for whatmormonsdonttell.com. Being a Mormon, this caught my attention. Usually site names don't stick with me for long, but this one did.
A few days later at work, I remembered the site and looked it up. I did not have Adobe Acrobat to read any of their tracts, so I used the link section and jumped to NauvooChristian.org, the only site that would come up due to the heavy filtering we have at work. After seeing photos showing occult symbols on the Salt Lake City temple, and reading the accompanying documentation, I felt compelled to contact them.
I received an email from Rocky. He suggested that we speak by phone, and soon, we had a great conversation. He recommended a church (which we now attend) and gave me information for Utah Lighthouse Ministry. I owe him a real debt of gratitude and consider him to be among my best friends.
I began looking through Utah Lighthouse Ministry's website. The more I read, the more I became convinced that the Mormon Church was a false religion. ULM has documents to support their claims. It is hard to refute proof. I read "The Changing World of Mormonism" and it changed my life completely.
The Christian church Rocky recommended also had a website. My wife sent an email to the pastor. (Rocky had already called him about us!) Pastor Matt arranged for us to meet Pastor George. We were nervous about attending a new church where we knew no one.
On April 2, 2007, my wife, Michelle, and I met with Pastor George at the baseball fields. We spoke at length at George's son's game. He then followed us over to watch my son's game, and we spoke some more.
Finally, he got very serious and asked us if we believed that Jesus was the Son of God. We said yes.
He asked us if we believed we were sinners in need of a Savior. We again said yes.
He asked if we believed that Jesus died for our sins. We said we did.
He then asked if we would pray, at which time we both prayed to accept Jesus as our personal Savior.
My life has not been the same since that day. I feel the void in my life being filled. I am making changes in my life to be more like Jesus. I thirst for God's word, the Bible. I look forward to attending worship services and feel empty when I miss them because of work. I am finding happiness where there was none before. I am working through the pain of my divorce, and letting it go. I am becoming a better father, husband, friend, and co-worker. Most importantly, I am becoming what God wants me to be.
It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord can use anything to reach you. I contacted the person driving that car with the bumper sticker. He has become my friend, mentor, fishing buddy and brother in Christ. The story of how he arrived where I was on I-75 is no less amazing. He was heading home from Tallahassee after inspecting a house for his son. Only the Lord could have arranged that timing!
I now feel compelled to help those who are seeking the truth. I want to serve the Lord by equipping Christians with information to use when ministering to Mormons. I am also willing to speak to any Mormon that has questions or doubts. I may not know everything, but I have people behind me that can help where I fall short. When all else fails... I have the truth -- God's Word!"