John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and BELIEVES IN HIM WHO SENT ME HAS EVERLASTING LIFE, AND SHALL NOT COME INTO JUDGMENT, BUT HAS PASSED from death into LIFE”.
John 3:16;18: “For
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that WHOEVER BELIEVES
IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE”
John 3:36 “He who believes in the son HAS EVERLASTING LIFE.”
FIFTY-THREE YEARS WITH THE WRONG JESUS
(or I was a Spirit -brother to Lucifer ... but now I am adopted)
By Max Stewart
In the foot-hills north of my home town, I, a forth generation Mormon lay prone on a sandstone rock amid cedars, sagebrush, ant-hills, bugs and gnats. This was a favorite place to practice archery "stump-shooting", roving and just being alone with nature. The longbow and quiver full of field arrows were laying nearby while I prayed to God, confessing my sins, stating that I believed that Jesus Christ died for my sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the scriptures. I then asked Jesus to come into my heart and be my personal Lord and Savior. Instantly I was no longer captive in the maze of Mormon Bondage. I was "born again" ... a "new creature" in Christ Jesus as stated in God's Word, the Bible (2 Corinthians 5:17). I became an Adopted Son of God (Romans 8:15).
Upon arriving home later that day, I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror to see what change had occurred, if any. Seeing no physical difference, I began to reflect over the events in my life that lead to my conversion, my change of heart.
My Great Grandparents were Kentucky Baptists. They converted to Mormonism, then took up arms to defend and guard Mormon Missionaries. A short time later they moved to Utah. My Grandparents were Mormon and I was born to Mormon parents. We lived in a very small rural community. The only church within thirteen miles was a LDS church and everyone attended there. I was a young forth generation Mormon and loved it.. Life was good.
However, as the years passed quickly by, the good carefree rural life of a young boy was constantly changing. Responsibility was raising it's "ugly head" Life was demanding more than he ever dreamed possible. One life experience was followed by another. High school graduation, then a year later, marriage to Patricia my high school sweetheart and a move to a larger town. Six years later our family was complete with the arrival of two delightful children, namely Merridy and Preston.
The following years were busy times, a full time job plus a part time business, frequent family activities, active membership in several civic clubs, Scoutmaster for six years and Order of the Arrow (scouting) advisor for three years ... time passed quickly. Added to this list were numerous hobbies and sports participation. Fly fishing, and archery hunting were my passions, while Shotokan Karate [to temper my body] and playing "serious" chess sharpened my mind. My thinking was that if I work hard, then I should be able to play hard. In spite of this whirlwind of being busy, I always felt empty and unsatisfied. Something was missing ....
I was considered to be a "Jack Mormon" because for twenty years I did not attend meetings on a regular basis, nor did I pay tithing. I did not feel good about nor did I understand LDS Church teachings and policies.
I was very dissatisfied with living in my old life style and decided to do something about it. If only I could have a "burning" testimony that the LDS Church was the only true church as they claimed, then my salvation would be assured, my mother would be happy, I would be better accepted in the community and could be active as a "Mormon". So I started praying for a testimony of the LDS faith not realizing the difference between the Mormon Jesus and the Christ of the Bible.
Alex Haley's TV mini-series entitled "ROOTS" was playing at this point of time in my life. Inspired by this story, I determined that it would be of great value if we studied the "roots" of Mormonism.
In May 1982, I answered an advertisement in the Salt Lake Tribune regarding a book titled "The Changing World of Mormonism" by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. The ad stated that this book would help strengthen one's testimony. The book arrived and we eagerly read it. To our surprise it told of things that happened in the church from the very beginning to the present time. Most of the topics were contrary to everything we had been previously taught in church. All of the topics mentioned had references to existing LDS Church documents and publications. At this point, we were determined to investigate the LDS Church starting at it "roots" (or at its conception) to prove to ourselves that the church was either true or false. The first thing we checked out was the Tanners book. We bought the books that the references in their book mentioned hoping to prove them wrong. The Tanners were correct on every count. The books that we researched are as follows:
History of the Church (7 volumes & index) by Joseph Smith
Contemporary History of the Church (6 volumes & index) by B.H.Roberts
Journal of Discourses (26 volumes & index)
The Seer by Orson Pratt
Doctrines of salvation (3 volumes) by Joseph Fielding Smith
Mormon Doctrine (1958 Edition) by Bruce R. McConkie
The Prophesies of Joseph Smith by Duane S. Crowther
A copy of the "Original" Book of Mormon 1830 Edition
The Book of Commandments - which contain the first published revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith published in 1833.
The "Original" Doctrine & Covenants published in 1835 - this contains "Lectures on Faith" and "Fourteen Articles of Faith"
Doctrine & Covenants & Pearl of Great Price - published 1908
Original 1851 edition of The Pearl of Great Price - photo copy
Elders Journal - photo reprint of LDS paper 1837-38
Messenger and Advocate (3 volume set photo reprint of early LDS paper 1834-37)
Joseph Smith's Diary 1835-36 edited by Michael Marquart
Nauvoo Diaries of Joseph Smith's Secretary William Clayton (photo copy) Approximately 90 pages of excerpts from the personal diaries of William Clayton
The Gospel through the Ages by Milton R Hunter
The Mormon Hierarchy - Origins & Power by D. Michael Quinn
The Mormon Corporate Empire by John Heinerman & Anson Shupe
Looking back I realize that God had guided me through an intensive ten month prayerful study on the "Roots of Mormonism" and Mormon history. The results of the study showed that Mormonism was greatly in error !
President Joseph Fielding Smith stated in the Doctrines of Salvation (Volume one p. 188) that: "Mormonism , as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground."
Joseph Smith made over 50 prophecies where he said "Thus saith the Lord" that did not come true. Since you only have to tell one lie to be a lier, the same holds true with prophecies, if just one is wrong, that makes you a false prophet.
Joseph Fielding Smith also stated on page 189 in volume One In The Doctrines of Salvation that there was "no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith".
The Christ followed by the Mormons is not the Christ followed by traditional Christianity (The Christ of The Bible). Bernard P. Brockbank gave that message in Church conference and his remarks were printed in "The Ensign" May 1977. President Gorden B. Hinkley spoke to 6,600 people of southern France (Paris) and Geneva, Switzerland. President Hinkley on June 4th 1998 speaking to LDS church members and others in Paris stated, "that those outside the church who say Latter-day Saints "do not believe in the traditional Christ were correct." He went on to say "The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year of 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages". (Church News June 20, 1998 p.7).
Mormons also believe that Christ is literally their Elder Brother (Mormon Doctrine p.214).
Mormons believe that Jesus is the Spirit Brother of Lucifer (Gospel through the Ages by Milton R Hunter p.15 and Doctrine & Covenants p.192).
If Jesus is our
Elder Brother, and if Jesus is the Spirit Brother of Lucifer ... would not
I believe there are millions of Mormons who have no salvation because they did accept Joseph Smith and that they did accept the Mormon Jesus (which is a different Jesus) for their Eternal Salvation.
At the conclusion of our study, we no longer desired to be affiliated with the LDS Faith and so my wife Patricia and I along with our two children and their spouses terminated our relationship and membership with the LDS Church. It was a sad time for all of us. I felt angry and cheated because of the deception that had taken up fifty three years of my lifetime. We love our Mormon friends and our families that are members of the LDS Church. It is the Mormon Doctrine that we hate, the doctrine that leads people away from Jesus Christ (of the Bible) and Eternal Salvation.
I was content at this point just to be "out" of Mormonism, even vowing that I would never be involved with organized religion again. However, several very good friends told me about God (of the Bible) and God's plan for our Eternal Salvation and Redemption. They read to us out of the Bible. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8 & 9. Then another verse was brought to my attention. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.
After studying the Bible for a time, we were convinced that the Holy Bible was indeed the True Word of God. My family and I each gave our hearts to Jesus asking Him to be our personal Lord and Savior. Each of us accepted Jesus separately, making public confession at a later time. I went up into the cedar hills north of town where I practice shooting my bow and where I feel very close to my Lord. This happened in the late summer of 1983, then on January 1, 1984 I followed Jesus in Scriptural Baptism to be a witness for all to see, my identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. What a great way to start a new year!
Second Corinthians 5 :17 states, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
My life certainly has changed since accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Things once considered very important no longer are. My life is now "Christ" centered and my daily activities embrace the work of God. What is the work of God one may wonder?
John 6:28 tells us "Then said Christ's disciples unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."
Jesus is speaking in Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me".
I know that believing on Jesus requires me to follow Him by obeying His teachings as listed in God's Word, the Bible. I look forward to that great day when I will stand before my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is my testimony of my relationship with Jesus and of becoming an adopted son of God.