My Personal Testimony
I'd like to share my story with you if I might. Not
that I think it particularly dramatic or necessarily
inspiring, but simply to share with you the story of
my faith journey which, at long last, has led me home.
At times it has been interesting, at other times agonizing
but God has been in control the entire time.
I was raised as an Episcopalian in a family that while
recognizing the value of the faith in our personal lives
did not speak about it much. As a child I was drawn
to religion and the church, but as time progressed I
fell away. When my parents were divorced, my mother
(with whom I lived) quit attending church, and so did
I. This was early in my teens and gradually I decided
that religion was okay for some but it wasn't essential.
When I was older, I would get religion, I thought to
Without a relationship with God, I was left to my
own devices -- and brother did I put myself through
a lot of hell! I was not very outgoing and had few friends.
I became something of a chameleon. I would change my
opinions, likes and dislikes to match whomever was my
best friend at the time. I was afraid that if I believed
differently, they would no longer like me. During high
school I got involved with drugs and began a lifelong
battle with manic-depression. College made things worse.
The friends I had were actively hostile to religion
(although they would admit their main problem was with
organized religion). My problems worsened: heavy drug
use, too much partying, a string of carnal, broken relationships
and even a growing struggle with pornography.
I also wandered into occult and new age thought and
came to the conclusion that while a spiritual life was
beneficial I didn't have time for it right now and that
when I did what was important was to find that truth
or tradition that resonated with me. In other words,
if it felt right, then it was the truth for me.
After college, I began my long struggle with Christianity.
A good friend
found Jesus through the Boston Church of Christ (aka
the International Church of Christ) and began witnessing
to me in the only manner that would get through to me
-- his life was transformed and he had such joy! While
I wanted what he had I didn't want to give up so much.
Instead of repenting, I began to search for the form
of Christianity that suited me best. Another Christian
friend did some heavy witnessing to me as well, but
nothing took much. I even attended a service at the
local International Church of Christ but I was so put
off by it that I never returned.
My struggle with depression and sexual sin deepened
until my life was miserable. I was alone, utterly and
Then the Lord brought the woman into my life who would
become my wife and start me truly on the road to salvation.
When we met, Cynthia was at the end of a bitter and
unhealthy marriage. He was heavily into drugs, had trouble
holding down jobs, was both psychologically and physically
abusive, and agnostic. Cynthia was even not allowed
to go to church. To make things worse, he was also an
adulterer. Cynthia had warned him years before that
when their children were grown she would leave him if
he hadn't changed his ways.
He never did and they were divorced. I'll never forget
that time. It was ugly and he wanted to hurt Cynthia
as much as possible while he still could. The marriage
was so obviously broken that even her own children urged
her to leave their father. I wish I could say that we
waited until she was divorced but we did not. Cynthia
had long since severed any emotional ties to him and
we became first fast friends and then fell in love.
What amazed me then and still does is how firm is
her faith in God and
her personal relationship with Jesus. She never pushed
me but simply made it clear that she wanted me to become
a Christian someday. What finally got me was watching
"the Last Temptation of Christ." This film IS blasphemous
... I readily grant that now. At the time though what
got through to me was that Jesus was a REAL person.
"I wish I'd known Him," I can remember telling Cynthia.
She told me I could, and the next day we were in church
Cynthia was raised amongst Mennonites and is a very
committed, fundamental Christian. We found a local Mennonite
church that was our church home for the next year or
That church saved our marriage. My addiction to pornography
and the like nearly broke it. Depression and rage all
but consumed me. The pastors (a husband/wife team) gave
us what they called Agape Counseling -- essentially
you confess your sins to the Lord in prayer.
Great! Now I'm free, I thought -- maybe. But they
made it clear this would be an ongoing struggle with
sin. Not a cheerful thought.
Then they began urging Cynthia and I to pray for the
gift of tongues, to receive the baptism of the Holy
Spirit. I was put off and confused, and my wife was
outraged to hear so-called Mennonites teaching this.
At the time I was not mature enough as a Christian to
appreciate the truth of what they were urging us to
We left that church and haven't regularly attended
since then. I drifted from church to church, religion
to religion. Each time, I KNEW I'd found the truth,
only to drift away when I changed my mind about what
I believed. I went from Buddhism, to Hinduism, to Judaism
and back again. At one point I even became involved
in an online Wiccan group. I also had an online affair
with one of the members. What came of this is another
near break to our marriage. Cynthia stayed with me,
she said, because she knew Jesus wanted her to be there
We stayed together. It has been hard at times but
I promised God that I would follow His lead from that
point on no matter how painful. Sadly, what happened
instead is I drifted from denomination to denomination
in search of God's church. Nothing seemed right and
yet everything sounded right! How could this be? Everyone
cannot be right can they? I tried to read the Bible
but I seemed to find support for every position in there
... it was essentially nonsense to me.
A couple of years ago I was sure that Islam was the
truth. I even went so far as to say the shahada (makes
you a Muslim) but then never followed-through. Once
again I'd been betrayed by following my heart, my feelings
to find the truth. I prayed to God for forgiveness and
guidance and knew the answer was in Jesus ... a personal
relationship with Him.
The last few years have seen me visiting (and each
time joining, never to return) countless churches: Pentecostal,
Apostolic, Roman Catholic, Nazarene, Primitive Baptist,
Russian orthodox, and, lastly, fundamental, King-James
What stopped me? How did I go from an on again off
relationship with church after church and a tendency
to hop from faith to faith whenever something arises
to challenge that faith? After all, I'd gotten to the
point where I'd just plain given up everything but faith
in God and Jesus.
Not long ago I was diagnosed as suffering
from bipolar disorder (manic depression). As I began
to take medicine and get therapy to treat the illness,
I began to see that my hopping from idea to idea, project
to project, faith to faith has its roots in the manic
depression. I wanted to get healthier and had changed
my diet in order to loose weight, lower my cholesterol
and my blood pressure. When I was diagnosed and began
learning about bipolar disorder, I saw answers for so
many problems. Hobbies and interests I'd long since
lost interest in became important to me again.
Foremost among these was my faith. Completely unlooked
for has been the desire to investigate the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints. As you might have guessed,
I am not one to take other peoples criticism of various
religions as truth. So since I'd long been curious, and
since no denomination I'd examined thus far seemed to
have all the answers, I began reading about the Mormons
on the Internet.
What drew me immediately was the strong sense of family
and community. The Mormons I knew certainly seemed intelligent
and loving people, not at all the cult members others
would have me believe.
When I began to read the Book of Mormon I found myself
unable to dismiss it as a forgery, as foolishness. The
more I read the more I became certain that what I was
reading was the word of God.
It wasn't long before I contacted the missionaries
and began studying with them. Though I've only been
to one study thus far, I am feeling that God is calling
me to this faith.
So what's stopping me? My wife…. She is extremely
discerning and I trust her judgment on spiritual matters.
She has some misgivings and concerns about the LDS faith
and I've never been comfortable with the idea of going
it solo. God intends for us to worship together, not
separately. So, I prayed to God and asked for a sign
that this is the direction to continue heading in.
I never expected a clear sign, however, that is exactly
what I got. My wife recently read "Lost Boys" by Orson
Scott Card, a superb author who happens to be Mormon.
This book explained the faith to her in a way nothing
else had. When she'd finished the book, she asked if
we could go to the Mormon Church that next Sunday. She
feels God wants her to investigate this faith and see
for herself just what the services are like.
As it turns out, Cynthia and myself loved the Church
and eagerly look forward to the day when we can be baptized.
We’ve begun meeting with the missionaries twice
a week to get in the studies with them as quickly as
possible. Every day I grow stronger in my faith and
my testimony deepens ever richer. I can say now that
I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph
Smith is truly a prophet of God.
Thank you for visiting my site. Please sign my guest
book before you leave.
God bless you!