Deliverance from the Lying Holy Ghost of Mormonism
by Roxanne Johns

I was raised in Whittier, in a family of devout LDS "Mormon" converts. My parents, who were not raised by godly parents, both converted to Mormonism when I was about four years old. My mother's grandmother was a Mormon convert, as was her sister. When my parents were separated and desperate for help saving their family, apparently the Book of Mormon was a natural place for them to seek God. They've now been married 40 years and credit the LDS church with that success. Neither one had been familiar with the Bible when they read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. They were given spiritual witnesses of its truthfulness. My parents and one of my four brothers remain active Mormons today; my remaining three brothers are inactive Mormons and agnostic at this point.

Unfortunately, I have found that as a rule, inactive Mormons tend to become agnostic, as my three brothers have. This is a daily heartache for me.

I was a fairly active Mormon until I was about 26 years old. I loved my LDS family/church and thank God that I was raised surrounded by these hard-working, wholesome, committed, loving families. I hold such fond memories of all of the social events and fun activities with my Mormon family. Now that I'm back in Whittier after so many years, I can't drive by the LDS church on Pickering or Mulberry without warm, nostalgic feelings, often praying for specific families who I've lost touch with.

Until I became a mother, in 1994, I had quite a wild streak, and its scary to imagine what I would have been involved in, had I not had such boundaries/restrictions, views on morality, accountability and busy schedule of LDS activities to keep me out of trouble in the world.

Over the years, I had experienced a few times, the "witness of the holy ghost" (aka "bosom burning") that is sought and so common within Mormonism. This powerful spirit is not a figment of the Mormon's imagination, as some others believe. Its undeniably of a spiritual nature.

However, because of many disturbing and unanswered/poorly answered questions, I became inactive in 1995 when our first child was a year old. My husband is black and at that point, the "Curse of Cain" was one of the doctrines that was most unsettling, as I faced the idea of how I could possibly explain this doctrine to my son. Then it occurred to me that it wasn't of God. That realization was shocking because I still held on the my testimony of the truthfulness of the LDS gospel. It just came to me so clearly that God isn't a racist.

A lot of other unique doctrines that had deeply troubled me began to surface. It was easy to tuck questions and doubts away, until I became a parent and knew that I'd better be darn sure that what I call the absolute "truth", is true. I was terrified of causing my children to stumble. Something told me to not pass onto my son what my heart and "holy ghost" had told me was true. Needless to say, I was very conflicted. I began wrestling with various LDS teachings on polygamy, works-based worthiness, secret temple ordinances, and many contradictions between the LDS-only scriptures and the widely accepted interpretations of the Bible.

I became inactive and went through a 10 year period of deprogramming, during which the Lord slowly penetrated my heart with the pure, simple, beautiful message of Christianity. I could have sped this process along but I felt so busy with the demands of life that I simply held on to my deep belief that Jesus was the Messiah and I shared Biblical truths and stories with my children, praying with them occasionally, and relying on my feelings and conscience to determine right and wrong choices. I had heard so many times that there is only one true church, and I had no idea which one it could be, as I understood it to be an organized religion. So we didn't have a church. I believed I could be a lone Christian, and my husband was agnostic and not interested in seeking a religion for our family.

It took years for it to sink in that believing in Jesus is more than an intellectual assent that He is the Savior combined with trying to be a "good person" on one's own strength. Somewhere along the way, I thought that the Mormon faith was probably not the only true church upon the face of the earth. However, I had a deep fear of denying the "holy spirit" which testified to me during Book of Mormon study, Mormon fast and testimony meetings, etc.

I continued to defend the Mormon religion, and largely because the people are so fruitful and love each other and god so much that I assumed that despite the heresy, they would still inherit heaven. I retained certain LDS beliefs such as pre-existence, the nature of God, and various levels of heaven and hell, dependant on our works. Personally, being an eternally pregnant goddess in an eternal marriage, didn't appeal to me at all. So I didn't seek the Mormon idea of "celestial kingdom".

I continued to believe in basically a universal salvation to at least the lowest degree of heaven. So I didn't worry about my personal salvation. I had been so blessed with a beautiful family, loyal friends, good jobs and health, and had clearly been rescued by angels from near drowning and car accidents. Despite three tubal pregnancies, He had preserved my fallopian tubes, so that He could bless me with three perfect children. My patriarchal blessing (basically a Mormon palm reading) raved about how receptive, special and worthy I was. I just knew I was favored and loved by God. I talked to God fairly regularly and thanked Him for my blessings. Surely He was merciful and would forgive my sins. I thought Jesus was just terrific.

I never read my Bible. It put me to sleep when I'd try. Every time, without fail. I was a child of the Devil. He was my father, and I was self-deceived into believing otherwise. Sure, the Holy Spirit beckoned to me and spoke to me over and over, preserving and intervening in my life, but He had not sealed me His, because I wanted to live my life my way, and earn my own way to heaven. I had no idea that my sins remained as scarlet and that I wasn't good at all. All of my works were selfishly motivated and were comparable to filthy rags. Had I died during this time, He would have said to me "Depart from me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you". God answered my desperate prayers and protected me, always. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and agreed with God about general sin. But I had not made Jesus Christ the Lord of my life. Can Jesus be Savior to somebody without being their Lord?

I had become familiar with Raul Ruiz, Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Hank Hanegraaff and other Evangelical radio ministries, who God used, along with my Christian sister in law, to help me understand what it means to be born again. I had firmly believed that I had been born again when I was eight years old, was baptized and received the "holy ghost" by the laying on of hands by the priesthood authority. Once Hank Hanegraff said something that haunted me. He said "there is no such thing as a lone Christian". He repeated this a few times with confidence and authority and it annoyed me. I was a Christian. I didn't need a church to make me a Christian. I was a good person. His statement stayed with me and bothered me. Could he be correct that if I belonged to God, I would naturally desire to fellowship with believers and serve God through ministry within some invisible "Body of Christ?"? Hm. I had no such desire, only an occasional bit of guilt that I wasn't in a church.

It was so unMormon to imagine that I could cast my entire burden on Him and live not to work work work out my own salvation but to praise and worship Him and fulfill HIS unique purpose for me. KNOW that I am saved to the highest heaven? Christianity sounded too good and simple to be true. Surely I had to DO something to earn the salvation and the blood of Christ just made up for the rest. I didn't understand that once the Holy Spirit indwells us and replaces our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh, He will lead us to good works, for His own glory, and not for our own glory and exaltation to godhood.

My husband and I married in 1992 and by 2004, the marriage was a joke (and not a funny one). Long before that even. We had both emotionally abandoned each other. We were angry, disillusioned, overwhelmed, exhausted, trapped, and buried under debt, despite our tireless efforts to get ahead. Our home was filled with contention, strife and loneliness and outsiders thought that we had a lovely little family and we were good people. I didn't believe a word my husband said and he didn't seem to care. I was a self-righteous, nagging, complaining shrew of a wife, to top it off. Our third child (born in 2004) was unplanned and discovering I was pregnant sent me into a horrible depression. I knew I wanted out of the marriage and my older two children were school age and I could envision myself being more independent within a few years. I had planned to leave and that's what gave me comfort and hope -- something to reach for. This third baby I was carrying spoiled everything in my mind. My husband seemed to have given up on ever living up to my standards and was tired of how unsupportive I was. I made it endlessly clear that his sins were filthy and unthinkable, he was a godless heathen and that I was good and moral and selfless. He began going outside of the marriage.

By the end of 2004, I had a new baby, was working 30 hours a week in West LA and had to rush home to the Valley to pick up the other kids from after school care. The housework was all mine and I was a perfectionist about it. My husband was rarely home. I couldn't do it all. I was a wreck and at the end of my rope. I wanted to die inside. But who would watch over my kids if I died? And would I go to Hell for killing myself? Everything seemed hopeless. I cried out to the Lord that I was done. I was going to give up and let Him do whatever He wanted with me and with my family. I had no idea what would happen if anything. I was basically telling him what a mess I had made out of my life, that I was lost and a sinner and needed Jesus to fix it, however He saw fit. I told Him I was too tired to carry my fears, worries and burdens, and I handed my life over to Him. On some level this transaction seemed kind of silly, but I was desperate with nothing to lose.

I then found a constant strength, courage, peace and clarity beyond anything I could have found on my own. I naturally only focused on one day at a time. I knew that God would handle everything that I couldn't handle. I quit my job of 10 years, withdrew retirement money, and took my three children and moved back to Whittier, without my husband. I didn't know if God would lead us to reconciliation or not but I suddenly knew that I had to get out of the way and that He was going to work in my husband's heart.

I began interviewing for jobs around Whittier, and the children and I began going to church and reading the Bible. My husband began joining us at church and devoting more focused time on our family than ever before, despite the now 50 miles between us. Surprisingly, the words in the Bible leapt out at me and came to life, penetrating my soul. I suddenly wanted to know as much of His Word as possible. I suddenly loathed and confessed sin that I had previously viewed as minor and acceptable or justified. God humbled me, showed me that I had been self-righteous and judgmental of others, trying to control and manipulate them, setting impossible standards for them while all along, I had been a lost, hopeless sinner. I had been all my life, without God's favor, which I had believed in my heart was mine.

A couple months later, my husband hit an emotional bottom and God opened His heart and revealed Himself to him. Shortly after, he accepted Christ in a marital counseling session. We had a six month period of separation, and reconciled in August of 2005, agreeing that we had failed miserably on our own and that now God would be at the head of our home.

I had been born again. Every internal evidence pointed to the fact that I was a new creature in Jesus Christ. He has begun to mold me and is chiseling away at all of those rough corners. My desires, my values, my outlook have all drastically changed. God has placed inside of me a new, growing love for Him, for His people, for the lost, and for His Word. He is leading me to confess and work on old grudges towards my loved ones, as I am no longer comfortable with them. The Holy Spirit is so amazing and beautiful that when I think about His goodness, I just weep every day.

Why would He want me when He knows everything about me? I want everybody to know Him, and especially my parents, and my brothers with their families. He's better than they can imagine. He isn't counting my sins against me and condemning me for them. The Mormon plan of salvation, when really dissected, is impossible, but salvation through the Jesus of the Bible is secure. He won't lose His grip on me and nobody can pluck me out of His hand. He is no longer my genie in the bottle, who I mainly turn to for bailing me out or to thank when things go just as I wanted, putting Him away until a later need. He's the Rock of my salvation. He's my everything. As a deer panteth after water, so my soul longs after Him!

I did nothing to earn salvation, nor could I. He changed my heart and any goodness in me is not of me, but of Him. At the point I turned to Him to surrender, I can honestly say that He was irresistible to me. Making decisions according to my own will, ended in disaster. I didn't come to Him out of righteousness. I'm a sinner who loves darkness. He chose me. He first loved me. I would not have chosen God if my own way had brought me anything but despair. I am such a controlling, sinful person by nature that I had to be in a place where I could no longer place any trust at all in myself, my husband or any man. So I had to trust in God. He broke and humbled me and knew that if I didn't hit the emotional bottom, I would not hand Him the reigns.

It's still a daily struggle against sin and old comfortable habits, and our family has a lot to learn. We're basically babies in Christ and make a lot of mistakes. But now we are teachable and God is working in our family.

A few months after I was born again, I was still confusing Mormon doctrine with Biblical doctrine. I prayed for the witness of the Holy Ghost to confirm some very important decisions I was trying to make. I was seeking a sign, an undeniable burning in my bosom, from God. I did receive that burning in my chest, so warm and lovely, so desirable that I didn't want it to leave. It became stronger than ever, just growing in warmth and beauty. I thought "wow, God really does love me - the Spirit is just moving through me so strongly". I was in a trance and didn't move a muscle for hours. It was an incredible, indescribably pleasant feeling, throughout my body. I felt I could joyfully remain in that state for my entire life and longer, without physical movement. This spirit remained with me for four days and I won't go into detail here about all of my dealings with this very real, very strong, very persuasive and sensual, alluring spirit, which I thought was God. It clearly, though inaudibly, told me it was God and it sought my worship. It felt so incredible! And it was witty and fun to have as a buddy. That's how it presented itself to new best friend.

When I finally realized that this spirit was not who it claimed to be (one big indicator was that it blurred my Bible text and made it nearly impossible to read it), and I focused only on Jesus Christ, it left me in a dramatic, terrifying way. At that point it was made crystal clear to me that I had at least sometimes been praying not for the one true and living God, but for the "god of the Book of Mormon", who had deceived me my entire life. As the deceptive spirit fled from me, I was terrified and shaking. Loud (though again, inaudible), unmistakable impressions on my mind came very quickly. The most startling message being "of course that was not Me but the god of the Book of Mormon who you continue to ask for".

I instantly knew that God wanted me to stop praying for that spirit and confusing it with His own. I instantly understood that all of the answers to my confusion were found in the Bible. I instantly understood that signs are for the unbelievers and that I didn't need a physical, mystical feeling to know that God loves me. His Word says He loves me. I understood that truly, His grace is sufficient for me. He permitted and used this awful, invasive, demonic experience for His glory and purpose. Without this answer to my ignorant prayer, I would have never believed that Mormons receive confirmation directly from the Devil, that the Book of Mormon is true. If they were born again and grounded in the Word, they would recognize that Joseph Smith and Moroni presented to the world "another gospel", followed by numerous false prophesies and evidences that it isn't Christ's Church, and they certainly wouldn't test God by praying about its truthfulness.

God has placed on my heart a love stronger than ever before, for my Mormon friends and family, and a deep desire for their deliverance from bondage and their salvation through Jesus Christ, who is the everlasting GOD.

Mormons are in desperate need of freedom in Jesus Christ. They have been deceived and the ones who do know Jesus, know Him despite this false religion and its false prophets and scriptures - not because of it. The personal witness of the holy ghost which they endlessly testify about, is real, but it is from the god of the Book of Mormon who is a liar and his graven, golden image tops all of their temples.

I know that my Lord never abandoned me. I invited this deceptive, false "angel of light" whom He clearly warns about in His Word. When I was delivered from this spirit, it was as if blinders were lifted from my eyes and I could look back and see where the Holy Spirit had spoken to me and where this false holy ghost had spoken to me, throughout my life. I knew from a very young age that Jesus was who He claimed to be - the Messiah, the perfect Son of God who atoned for my sin. I didn't know this through some subjective, personal, mystical experience, such as a burning in my chest. I just knew it. That's the Holy Spirit. He gives me truth and wisdom and leads me to Jesus and to the Word of God. He is the one who caused me to question and doubt strange LDS claims over the years. I had believed that doubt to be a result of my lack of faith, which I should be ashamed of.

I now believe that Moroni was a familiar spirit or fallen angel who deceived the perhaps well-intended but false prophet, Joseph Smith, who was in the habit of contacting spirits using a seer stone.

Satan is now real to me, having so dramatically experienced his great power to deceive. He is infinitely crafty and can transform himself into something seemingly more beautiful than any earthly beauty. He and his demons are liars who are incapable of truth, who hate Christians and our witnessing, our coming to the light and sharing it with others. Please do not allow the familiar, Biblical terminology of Mormons to convince you that they know Jesus. I don't know how much heresy and legalism can prevent a person from coming to Christ. I believe only God knows that. What percentage of Mormons place their faith in Jesus alone, I have no idea. I'm sure that some Mormons are born again and don't focus on temple ordinances, rituals and Joseph Smith's prophecies. But they use Christian terminology with uniquely Mormon definition. Since we don't know how many are lost, lets pray for them and share the pure gospel of Jesus Christ with them if given the opportunity. I have been called to this tough ministry and am preparing for it, becoming more familiar with the Word of God, re-learning the LDS doctrine and growing as a Christian, one step at a time. I'm excited about where God might use me and am so honored that He has a purpose and a ministry for my life.

In Christ,

Roxanne Johns
Last Updated October 25, 2006


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