I Bear You My Testimony
I bear you my testimony that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth today.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I shared this testimony with hundreds of people. You see, I was born into an LDS home. My father's side of the family had been members of the Church for four generations.
After receiving a testimony, I was baptized at the age of eight and received the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Growing up, I was actively involved in my Ward's Boy Scout programs. As an adult I tithed and attended Priesthood, tithe and testimony, and Sacrament meetings. I also performed my duty in our Family Home Evening and Home Teaching. Later I obtained my temple recommend and entered the Salt Lake City Temple to perform baptism for the dead, which was the high point of my life.
As my commitment increased, a good friend of mine, who was not a member of the Church, became concerned about me. He had been researching and shared some facts on the Church I didn't know about. These facts didn't disturb me, however, because I had prayed about the Church and had a testimony of the truthfulness of our gospel.
But in time I did begin to question my personal salvation: "Why should my Heavenly Father take me to the highest degree of heaven?" The Third Article of Faith says, "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." And although I was in good standing with the Church, I was not sure I was keeping all the laws. There were 913 laws just in the Old Testament. I didn't even know all of them.
I also read in 2 Nephi 2523, "... it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." If I was honest with myself, neither I nor any of my LDS friends were really doing all we could do.
I thought I had been trusting Christ as my personal Savior. Really I was trusting my testimony and my good works for salvation. I finally knelt down and admitted to my Heavenly Father that even on my best days I was not perfect. I, like everyone, was a sinner (Romans 3:23). It was hard, but I told God I was no longer going to trust in my own good works or any church for eternal life. From that time on, I was going to trust His Son Jesus Christ alone to save me from my sins, just like the Bible said (Acts 4:12).
Then I was ready to seriously investigate some of the facts my friend had tried to show me years earlier. There was one truth that stood out above all others. The god I worshiped as a Latter-day Saint was totally different from the God of the Bible.
Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, in his book Mormon Doctrine (p. 270), admits that many people worshiping God by the right names are really worshiping false gods. He states: "The mere worship of a god who has the proper scriptural names does not assure one that he is worshiping the true and living God." I had worshiped "God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost" (First Article of Faith). The names were right but the god was wrong.
The god that I worshiped as a Latter-day Saint had a body of flesh and bone (D&C 130:22), was a glorified, exalted man (Gospel Through the Ages, Milton Hunter, p. 104), and was one of many gods (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 576-577). The God of the Bible does not have a body of flesh and bone. "God is a Spirit..." (John 4:24); "A spirit hath not flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39).
The God of the Bible is not a man who was exalted to godhood. "God is not a man..." (Numbers 23:19); "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God unto an image like to corruptible man..." (Romans 1:22-23).
The God of the Bible is the only true God. "I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me" (Isaiah 43:10); "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6).
Ironically, the Book of Mormon agrees with the Bible and disagrees with Mormonism, even though I no longer believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God. The Book of Mormon says God does not have a body of flesh and bones (Alma 18:26-28), He isn't an exalted man (Moroni 8:18), and He is the only true God (Alma 11:28-29). How could I believe Mormon doctrine when its own books taught to the contrary?
It was not until years later I realized many false religions also pray and gain testimonies of their religion. But I bear you my testimony that, according to the Bible, the only true Gospel is that Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose again for my personal salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).1 thought I could earn Celestial exaltation, but instead I needed to trust Christ alone as my Savior. The Bible says, "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).
I urge you to come to the God of the Bible, the only true God (Deuteronomy 435). He loves you and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins (John 3:16). Admit to God that you are a sinner (Isaiah 53:6) and today trust Christ alone as your Savior (Romans 10:9-10).
"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12).
James K. Walker