I grew up in a very strong Christian family. In growing up, I was instructed not to befriend certain religions because "they don't believe like we do." Of course, no one could tell me what their beliefs were. One of these religions was Mormonism. All anyone could tell me about that religion is that they practice polygamy. When I was nine years old, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. However, like a lot of young people, I got away from the church when I left home. It was so easy to sleep in on Sunday morning after a week of hard work. Besides, I didn't have anyone to encourage me after I left home. I didn't return to the church until I was expecting my child. I knew that I had to renew my faith for my sake as well as my child's.
As my son grew up, he was active in our church also and joined when he was about twelve. As he matured, his faith seemed to mature. I could see it, and the youth advisors in our church said that he was very well-grounded. About six years ago when my son was fifteen, he had some questions about Christian doctrine. He never let me know about his questions. Instead, he went to a friend of his at school and asked what she believed about the Trinity and baptism. This young woman is a Mormon. All he had to do was ask her those questions. She found his vulnerable spot. (He is the only child of a single parent, and he wanted a traditional family). She drew him into her family, formed a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, and started his conversion. After his baptism, she ended the relationship.
I noticed a change in my son but chalked it up to "his age." I also knew that he had a "new friend" but didn't know that she was a Mormon until it was too late. About a month after my son's eighteenth birthday, he was baptized in the LDS Church with the plans of going to Brigham Young University in the fall. Apparently, friends in the church persuaded him that he needed to mature more before going to school. However, a year later, he was mature enough to begin his two-year mission.
On November 10, 1997, my son began his mission in the Los Angeles area. I was given instructions that Los Angeles is "off limits" as long as he's out there. I also can't call him and can write only once a week. He supposedly is required to write me once a week--on Monday the only day they have off. He doesn't always meet that requirement. He can call home three times a year--at Christmas, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. His father and I have to pay for these calls.
Each missionary is required to pay $375.00 a month for the privilege of serving on a mission. A hundred and twenty dollars of that money goes to the missionary for personal expenses. The balance is considered a donation to their church. Needless to say, I refused to help my son.
Even though it was too late to make a difference to my son, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about Mormonism. I have ordered books and materials from anti-Mormon ministries. I have also ordered books and materials from the Mormon bookstore in Salt Lake City. Through all of this, God has revealed Himself to me and has called me to reach out to people who might have similar experiences and to offer the support that I didn't have until about two years ago. I know that I could not have made it this far without God and the support of two very special ex-Mormon friends. I hope that I can be of help to others as they have helped me.