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    Understanding the True
    Origins of Mormonism

    The Incredible Story of a Race of Celestial Beings
    that once Came to the Earth...

    by Clare Gregory

    Chapter 3
    My Experience

    Over the past 20 years I’ve had dreams, visions, revelations, and spiritual experiences that have caused my mind to change about Mormonism. There was a period of time during my darkest trials that ministering spirits came to me about every two months, and they would put their hands on my head and bless me. The Holy Spirit would completely flood my being with calmness and peace so that I could contend with the evil forces that were out to destroy me. It felt like warm water was flowing from the top of my head to the tips of my fingertips and toes as the holy element passed from their fingertips into my soul. This has happened many times in my life. I stopped counting after a while. During my time in Mormonism I naturally assumed that the Church was true and that I would never leave. I had no idea that these spirits and the thoughts in me would lead me out of Mormonism. But now I’m out I’m still pretty much following the same Holy Spirit that I was under in the LDS Church, except that the internal conflict of my pride is much alleviated, and my feelings are much more stable and calm. My head is much closer to my heart. Finally, I am one. The New Covenant Church of God and Olive Branch are under the same Light of the angels that have blessed me, and I believe they are both from the Lord.

    The conflict from the beginning between God and Satan is a fight between grace and agency. Satan worships his agency and ability to choose, refusing to believe in the grace of God. And God loves all his children by His matchless grace, and He saves anyone who will trust Him and believe His Word. My understanding of the war in heaven has completely flip-flopped from Mormonism. I’ve chosen to believe in Paul’s teachings:

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is a gift from God. Not of works lest any many should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9.)

    The Bible

    When approach Joseph Smith’s false views, I’m coming from the perspective of personal experience with false light and pride. I’m not reading volumes of resource materials to understand the man. I’m using the Bible and the Holy Spirit, and claim I have experienced the source of many of his false revelations that nearly destroyed me. If you fail to duplicate my experiences, you will not completely understand my viewpoint. I have learned from frightening experiences of being trapped by false powers to trust THE BIBLE as the standard for my belief. Yes, revelation can and will come to us through faith. But if I receive an impression or revelation that contradicts the Bible, or that discredits it, or that leads me away from it, then I will not believe in that revelation nor act upon it. I will lay it aside and wait for time prove its truthfulness or not. But I will resist being moved. It is best to stand upon the Bible first, and all other revelations second. This is different than Mormonism’s view of revelation that treats the Modern Prophets as having greater weight than the dead ones. Joseph Smith introduced the idea when he reasoned that Noah had a specific revelation for his day, and Joseph Smith had what God wanted for us here and now. And that sounds valid, but Noah never contradicted the prophets that lived before him, such as Adam. And that’s the difference with Mormonism.

    No revelation should contradict the prior prophets but should be in complete harmony with prior revelation, thus bringing the Word to a wholeness of thought, integrated and non-contradictory. I have found that this viewpoint has brought a thousand times more stability into my life than trusting in “the priesthood” that can change with the viewpoint of each leader. And if we believe Joseph Smith, he taught the living oracles of the priesthood took precedence over the written Word of God. Obviously, it is assumed that the two will be in harmony. But I’ve learned from experience the assumption is not true, but that Joseph Smith and other prophets taught principles that were not in harmony with the Bible.

    Indeed, this is a fundamental issue with God and Mormonism, and the issue is the Bible. There is only one of two positions a person can take regarding the Bible and Mormonism:


      1) The Bible is 99.5% reliable. God is smart enough to give his children a Bible that contains what is needed for salvation. He’s smarter than Satan and the unethical priests who had control of the Bible manuscripts for centuries. He’s powerful enough to ensure the Bible can be depended upon and that God can speak to us through His Holy Spirit by reading it.


      2) The Bible has significant errors that have led men to apostasy from the truth. God was not smart enough nor more powerful than the devil to get the Bible right the first time, and therefore, Joseph Smith was needed to correct the errors and bring mankind to the Light that had been lost through “corrupt translators” and centuries of total apostasy. If Joseph Smith’s teaching contradicts the Bible as written, then (1) Joseph’s teaching is a deeper mystery that only those who are ready can truly accept. (2) Many plain and precious things have been taken from the Bible, causing all the religious problems of the day.

    Therefore, we are left with one of two choices: Either we accept the Bible’s testimony or we accept the testimony of ONE MAN—Joseph Smith. Mormonism provides evidence through a testimony process that promises “knowledge” of a “one true church”, which is very attractive. However, if you present the “testimony” and “witness” argument to me, saying, “I know the church is true because I prayed and felt the Holy Spirit! So I trust God, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith above the Bible’s translation errors and omissions,” then I’ll say: “Fine. I accept that viewpoint. What specific TRUTH did God teach you through the Holy Spirit? That revelation doesn’t mean the LDS Church is the only true Church. False angels mixed the truth with many errors. God is bound by law to support the truth, wherever it is found. God’s will for you to be in the LDS Church doesn’t make it the only true Church. Therefore, the testimony of truths learned in the Book of Mormon or elsewhere in Mormonism proves nothing about the LDS Church being true.”

    But if you say God told you specifically: “The LDS Church is the only true Church or that the LDS priesthood is from God,” then I’ll say: “You have been deceived by your feelings because I have forty experiences with angels and ministering spirits. Many dreams and revelations that have taught me that the LDS religion is only half-true. My testimony conflicts with yours. One of us is being deceived by our feelings, and I don’t believe it’s me.”

    Next, I will teach you how a person can be easily deceived by false assumptions if they are not careful when “praying” for a testimony. I have posted the false “prayer and testimony” process of the LDS Church. Have you prayed with all your heart as a Mormon that false angels and false spirits don’t deceive you? Have you followed the Lord’s prayer pattern: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”? Or have you followed ONLY the LDS pattern: “Tell me the truth, Lord. Is the Book of Mormon True? Is the Church True? God, do you tell the truth?” Have you learned to “claim the blood of Jesus” in your prayers to protect you against false spirits and deception? I have done this for years, and I believe I’ve been protected against deception. Indeed, I’ve had to confront and overcome false forces buried in the LDS theology, and God has been faithful in answering my prayers. I am free. Praise Jesus. He is true to His Word and to the prayer pattern He taught.

    I have sacrificed my all for the truth, and I have no biases in terms of family or friends that will taint my mind regarding the LDS Church. Have you stripped yourself of all biases in your mind so that you can examine the words that are written on a page without concluding they are false just because they go against “the LDS church is true” viewpoint? Or, do you make snap judgments: “That is false because the Church is true and this idea contradicts its teachings. It’s a lie from hell.” Such thinking is all built on an ASSUMPTION that the Church is true, may I point out, and it is an automatic reaction of the mind being already programmed with the thought: “I KNOW the LDS Church is true.” If the mind is programmed to believe that “it knows” something it true, and believes it, it will filter ALL INFORMATION through that belief. Why? Because you have made a firm decision to believe that way, and therefore, the mind is bound by contract to support your own decision. It’s the way the mind operates.

    So if you tell me about testimony, I have my own experience that contradicts yours. But I have much, much more. I have facts and evidence on my side, and you don’t. You have no other evidence but your own feelings and the feelings of others. Show me the evidence that is to change my mind off the strength of my own testimony and having more than 40 different experiences with ministering spirits. And you question that these were false or delusional? Well, then I’ll ask you the same about Joseph Smith. Maybe he was delusional. Who’s got the truth? Me or him?

    And my answer? I stand on the Bible, not my supernatural experience. I stand on belief, not knowledge. Mormons do not. They stand on the supernatural experience, converting feelings into “I know”, and that is not belief. It programs the mind with a subtle pride that they are right and anything contradicting the Church is false. It MUST be false, the mind reasons. The Church is true. It’s a forced conclusion.

    You see, it is the devil who believes in agency and knowledge, for these give us power. But God teaches love and faith. He wants us to trust in something we can not see. And this is the crux of the conflict since the day the devil rose up in rebellion against God.

    So, now I’m content not to “know”, but to only believe. I’m content not to pound on myself to obtain the sacred secrets of God, but am happy and pleased if God’s grace chooses to blow the wind of mysteries on my mind to feed my soul. I simply ask for my daily spiritual bread, and I let God prepare the meal he chooses to serve me, according to my faith.

    Although my belief in God is sufficient for my salvation, and such can NOT be proven to be true, we can prove by knowledge, facts, and evidence something is NOT TRUE. When the world was believed to be flat, it could not be proven to be true. The Bible said the earth had “four corners”, and so, the people believed the Bible taught the earth was a flat plane. God certainly doesn’t lie, it was reasoned. But no one could prove this to be true from the Bible. However, through tangible evidence we learned the earth is NOT flat. It is round.

    The same is true of Mormonism. The truth can not be proven to be true, but only by faith and the Holy Spirit can we understand God. But some claims of Mormonism can be proven to be false. And it is through this process of examination that I finally was led to the truth that Mormonism is a half-true religion. And it is through these two processes we grow: 1) confirming truth and 2) exposing error by contradiction and logic. The most difficult challenge is in sorting through false concepts we believe are true, but which evidences forces us to change. This can be heart wrenching and troubling, but is necessary for us to grow in grace.

    Many factors led to my exit from Mormonism. But it wasn’t the testimony of truth. Rather, it was the evidence of contradiction that forced me to change my viewpoints. Today, the two major facts that I rest my LDS belief upon is my understanding of the First Vision and the evidence I discovered that suggests false angels can materialize. I’m always open-minded, and if further facts were presented to change my views about Mormonism, I would. For my foundation is on “belief” and “assumptions” I’ve made, not “knowledge”. For I believe this open attitude toward the Word of God is the kind that is needed to be tutored by the Holy Spirit. An open mind is required. In the end, what I believe about the truth and what is the truth are two different things. I only sincerely hope I’m close to understanding and seeing the truth as it is. Nevertheless, I understand that the spiritual growth process requires changing our viewpoint more than once. Children constantly need new clothes as the physical body grow bigger. We too grow spiritually, and we rearrange our mental and spiritual clothes in the process. There comes a time when we realize that what we believed doesn’t fit us anymore, and we must change our minds to fit the new facts we have discovered. We must be humble as children and accept the change as the Lord tutors us, or we may become strangled by concepts that no longer apply to our level of understanding. We grow out of old models and must change to the new. Jesus taught that we don’t put a patch on a ripped garment, or it just makes it worse. We replace the garment instead.

    The First Vision

    There are many facts that can prove the LDS Church is half-true, but I stand on just two. The first fact is that the 1838 First Vision story of Joseph Smith contradicts the D&C and Book of Mormon. Consider the following scriptures to Joseph Smith’s 1838 first vision account. (See Appendix for full account.):

    “And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (1Ne 14:10)

    “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosover delcareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. And now, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” (D&C 10:67-69.)

    “Contend against NO CHURCH, save it be the Church of the devil.” (D&C 18:20.)

    In the 1838 First Vision, God told Joseph Smith that all other churches were wrong. If true, we must find a way to fit the three above scriptures together to make a coherent explanation that matches the First Vision Story, right? For example, 1 Nephi 14:10 teaches there are “save TWO churches only”. If true, then the LDS Church must be the church of the Lamb of God, and ALL OTHER CHURCES are of the church of the devil. This MUST be the correct interpretation of 1 Nephi 14:10. If this is true, then we must look for the distinguishing factor that separates the LDS Church from all others churches. Why is the LDS Church true and all others false? It can not be the doctrine of Godhead, for there are other Churches that believe as the Mormons do. It’s not the believing in twelve apostles, for other churches believe in apostles. It’s not the belief in the Book of Mormon, because there are over 100 different denominations within the LDS religion that believe in the book. So what is the one principle that makes the LDS true or false? I believe it is the LDS priesthood. That is the ONLY principle in the LDS kingdom that is truly different than all the other Churches. (However, this LDS authority is debated among many splinter groups of Mormonism.)

    If the Church of Jesus Christ is defined by the LDS priesthood, then D&C 10:67-69 is in conflict: “Whoso repenteth and cometh unto me” applies to more people than just the Latter-day Saints, right? All True Christians love the Lord, feel the Holy Spirit, and see miracles operate through prayer and faith. Are all these Christian prayers being answered by the devil? If these good Christians are in the kingdom of the devil, how do we answer this question truthfully without our brains spewing out smoke? How can we truly believe that there are only two churches on earth defined in this manner? And yet, if we are LDS, there is no other logical option. Either we are saved by the LDS priesthood authority, or we are not. It is that simple. So, if we are LDS, then we must conclude that “come unto me” includes the priesthood, otherwise the 1838 First Vision story of Joseph Smith is false. For God said all other churches were “wrong”. And finally, if this is true, and God’s true church is for those who repent and “come to Christ” through the LDS priesthood, then the last scripture, D&C 18:20, makes no sense at all. Unless we make an unnatural sounding interpretation, as follows: “Contend against no other Latter-day Saint congregation or ‘church’, but only against all other religions on earth, for they are the church of the devil.”

    This understanding puts 10 million members in the “true church” and condemns all others as belonging to the “church of the devil”. Until everyone else repents and turns to Jesus Christ and his priesthood, they will be forever limited in their relationship with God. Is this really true? Is God so narrow-minded? Is the LDS priesthood authority this important to God? A Latter-day Saint must respond unequivocally, “Yes! It is that important! But God is not narrow-minded. Man is. Man has rejected God and his priesthood since the beginning of time. It’s not God’s fault! So the blame is on man!” If the 1838 First Vision Story and the three scriptures above are truly from God, then a Latter-day Saint must accept the saving powers of the priesthood. There is no middle ground. And at the time, I could think of no other possible interpretation of these three scriptures if we assume the 1838 First Vision is true.

    For me, when I saw this truth, I had to question my assumptions. Something was not right. My brain kept frying when I saw good sincere Christians pray to God and get answers. How can all of these good people who believe in Jesus Christ truly be part of the kingdom of the devil? Is this really true?

    And so I wondered…

    A Revelation

    And then one day the Holy Spirit told me that 1 Nephi 10:14 is true. I saw in a flash of light that there are save only two churches. Then I saw D&C 10:67-69 fit perfectly. The true church of God is Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus Christ chooses to distribute Himself to believers by the Holy Spirit of God. No matter where we fellowship, all eternal truth belongs to God and no one else. When we receive Jesus Christ and repent, we become part of God’s spiritual Church whether we are Mormons, Baptist, Catholics, Pentecostals, or whatever. The Kingdom of God is in us. It’s not anywhere else but in our hearts. Finally, I saw in a flash that D&C 18:20 was also true. We should never contend with any church that professes to be promoting Jesus Christ or God. Rather, we should only contend with those who openly reject the truth and fight against God, those who pervert the truth, which is the church of the devil. This includes those proud Christians or Mormons who twist the Word of God with the carnal mind. We must contend with those who deceive the True Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit taught me that the Church of Christ is not in the LDS priesthood, not in a building, not in Joseph Smith, and not in Brigham—but True Church is in GOD ALONE. Only God has the absolute truth and not any man.

    If we spent an entire lifetime reading the Bible and serving God, it would only be a few “cells of truth” compared to the billion trillion cells of truth distributed through the Universe by the hand of the Almighty God. God isn’t the one that invented a “true church” concept, but someone else did. It can not be correct, for churches on earth are made of human beings with very limited knowledge, and we all make mistakes in assumptions, judgement, and action—even True Prophets. Therefore, to look for and believe in an “only true church” does not serve God, but serves man himself. For rather than exercising the mind to look at all diverse viewpoints, requiring a difficult personal choice of conscience as to what is true, man prefers to be told the truth by someone else he can trust, and believe that person. Man prefers to believe man rather than God. Why? Because man is of the same species as man, and they can more easily comprehend each other. And what man trusts is his man-based religion to tell him the truth about God, whom he does not understand. And if man trusts in his religion for salvation, rather than God, then the rational part of him will ask the natural question: “Which religion do I believe in? Who do I trust for the right answers? Which Church is true?”

    But what man fails to consider is how God views man as compared to His absolute truth. Man fails to comprehend that no religion on earth can ever have enough truth and power to save even one soul. At best, God distributes a handful of his truths to lead his children to Him, so that they will trust Him, and not man. And if a person understands and see his own nothingness compared to God, then God can save him with His power, truth, and grace.

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9.)

    With this truth firmly in my mind, I looked at the 1838 First Vision story and concluded that it can not be true as Joseph penned it. There is not a “one true religion” as Joseph Smith presumed. All religions can lead us to God. The Body of Christ, or His True Church, is just what it claims to be—the literal SPIRITUAL BODY of Jesus Christ. Joseph’s vision contradicted plainly those truths the Holy Spirit taught me from the Latter-day revelations. But now I had a very difficult question to answer. God illuminated my mind that the First Vision is false, and yet, the same God taught me from the scriptures that came from the pen of Joseph Smith? How can this be? What a contradiction! And thus, my head boiled over again.

    How frustrated I was in the dark! So I simply chose to ignore the truth. And I accept the First Version by twisting the message. I reasoned that Joseph Smith heard the Lord say, “all the creeds were an abomination and that the professors of religion, or the theologians, were corrupt, not the ministers. Or perhaps the Lord was only referring to the churches and ministers in his town, not the whole world. That eased my conscience, and I could live with the twisted scripture, reconciling the contradiction the best I could. However, it put me in a strange place, for I was out of step with the mainstream view of all other Latter-day Saints, and it brought great loneliness.

    But I truly could not accept the definition of the Church of Jesus Christ in terms of the priesthood. Then a brilliant idea hit me. I reasoned that Christians could be “conceived” by the power of Christ and the Word of God and live in the “womb” of God alive, but without the priesthood! Then, as Christians grew in the womb of God, at some point it would be time for them to be fully “born”, and they would receive the LDS priesthood ordinances and receive the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. The Christians simply misunderstood the born again experience with being conceived. It was too simple. On the other hand, the Mormons misunderstood the role of Christians, assuming they were not a part of the Church of Jesus Christ because of the priesthood notion.

    Thus, from this I watched God lead me through a process of changing my mind very gradually, moving me away from the LDS priesthood one step at a time, until finally, I left it completely. So I defined the Church of Jesus Christ as all those who were “conceived” by the Word of God, both Christian and Mormon, and at the same time, I kept the “salvation requirement” of the LDS priesthood intact. The Lord had revealed to me the best of both worlds, both Christian and Mormon, and I rejoiced that I finally could relax about my view of the “True Church” which included all Christians who believed in Jesus and the LDS Church.

    I began smiling again.

    Two Personages

    Except it truly was an excuse. I wasn’t being honest, nor could I face the facts of what Joseph Smith really said about the 1838 First Vision. Joseph Smith claimed he saw two personages, the Father and the Son, and he defined them in terms of two separate Gods, but having one purpose. This definition blatantly attacked the Trinity doctrine of Christianity. As a Mormon I accepted the doctrine of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ being separate beings much more easily than I did the Trinity. I had been trained in the LDS Church to see the Trinity as a mass of convoluted reasoning created by man by the Nicene creed, and the simplistic definition of the Godhead by Mormonism was easier to comprehend. I could point to the Bible and quote verses that contradict the Trinity view, such as the baptism of Jesus in which all three persons---Jesus Christ, the Father’s voice, and the Holy Spirit---were clearly separated by time and space. Or there was the stoning of Stephen I could reference: He saw Jesus “standing on the right hand of God”. Finally, there was Jesus’ prayer to the Father asking that the twelve apostles become “one” as He and His Father were one.

    But as usual, as I thought more deeply about the gospel over many years, the LDS view I had learned was not the correct way to view God. In the D&C, I found this scripture: “Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” (D&C 93:29.) Mormon theology believes that God and man are both eternal and created from the same “intelligence”. But the official Church position defining “intelligence” states it has not been revealed yet, so any explanation by man is purely speculation. I saw in a flash the hypocrisy of my LDS religion, and at the same time, I saw the simple intention of the Trinity. I could see what the Christians in the early centuries of the Church were trying to define. The Trinity was an attempt to define this “intelligence” that the Mormons dare not even touch. And this intelligence or the “eternal substance” of God is TRULY GOD, not the resurrected body of God. This intelligence, or God, dwells inside a resurrected bodily form. Thus I saw the Mormons pounding on the form of God, while the Christians were defining the substance, and neither was seeing each point of view, nor caring to understanding the difference, and in the end both Mormons and Christians throw up their hands and say, “God is a mystery. He hasn’t revealed himself. We must accept our limited understanding of God on faith alone.”

    Maturity of Joseph Smith

    When I saw the Trinity for what it truly is, I was left to question the spiritual maturity and understanding of Joseph Smith. He taught that the Father and Son did not dwell in a person’s heart, but that this was an old sectarian notion and was false. I perceived Joseph looking at a Heavenly Vision on the outward form of God, and that he concluded that a “resurrected body” cannot dwell in a person’s heart, which is true. I see a young man who saw Jesus at 14, and without Bible training in theology, could not comprehend the deeper substance issues the Trinity tried to define. The Mormon view is quite simplistic view and the conclusion of a truly shallow person who missed the substance of God over the form. For the substance of God, that which the Trinity attempts to define, is the eternal and unchanging True God. So again, the Christians in my mind won the debate hands down on the definition of God. As I examined the Bible, I concluded the substance of God is referenced and discussed much more than form. For example, God is light, truth, love, Spirit, the way, the life, and so on. Finally, with this understanding the whole notion of God being once a man, and man becoming God I viewed as a distortion in Joseph Smith’s mind, a human error, his carnal mind assuming God was like a man—for God looked like just like a man on the outside form! I could reason, then, that only the form or BODY of God changes over time, not His substance which is eternal and is ONE GOD.

    I reasoned that the “First Intelligence” to surface from the pool of spirit matter was “God”, and that He created all the processes and laws for all others “intelligences” to follow HIM. This Supreme and Almighty Intelligence of the Father would be passed on like an eternal “waterfall” from one God to the next, through Jesus Christ. Joseph taught there were gods many and lords many. Therefore, a Jesus Christ was appointed for each Universe and distributed the “Fathers Voice” or this “Supreme Intelligence” to all who believed in Him. The Father and Son perform different roles. Jesus has a role of mercy; the Father has a role of justice. Thus all operated under the perfect order of the priesthood. For this was the governing power. Those who were First Born Spirits were by the priesthood called upon to act as a Savior and distribute this Heavenly Intelligence to all creation. Satan, who was not the First Born, rebelled against this priesthood order and fell from Heaven. Since it is presumed that Jesus, Satan, and ourselves are brothers and sisters, it wasn’t our ability in question, but the priesthood position of Christ that gave him the Authority to distribute the Supreme Intelligence to others. No one was permitted to receive this greater Light unless it came through the distribution point of the First Born, or the Lord and Christ of each Universe. The Father, who was once a man, learned mercy and perfection from a Savior like our own Jesus Christ of His world, who received the Supreme Intelligence passed on from the FIRST GOD, through the First Born Son. This pattern, then, repeated itself over and over into eternity. The First Born being a “control point” or “distribution point” of the power of God, worlds without end.

    Thus in my convoluted attempt to understand God in LDS theology, I came upon a model that fit well into LDS Standard Works and allowed me to accept the Trinity doctrine in Christianity as an acceptable definition of the substance of God, although corrupted by mortal minds. I rejected the viewpoint of Mormonism’s view of two carnal Gods, that it was a foolish discussion, unimportant and ignores defining God as living inside our bodily temple. There is only ONE GOD, not THREE, and this is the FIRST GOD of Intelligence that designed and created all things in the beginning, and this Intelligence flows like water down a stream to all who will believe. However, I also saw that the Christians had focused so much on a substance of God, that they had ignored the form. Therefore, they were in error claiming that God the Father did not have a resurrected, for indeed, Joseph Smith saw God’s outer form. But Joseph Smith erred and did not connect with the Christian’s Trinity, for he himself did not understand what he saw.

    Thus, I reconciled my mind by concluding the mistake was not in the Bible, it was not in the Trinity, but it was all in Joseph Smith’s mortal mind trying to understand and explain only what God can truly understand, and that he plunged the LDS Church into darkness and error. But the more I learned and concluded, the further I drove a wedge of differences between myself and both Mormons and Christians, becoming a lonely pioneer in my search for truth and in understanding the God I love.

    Filled with the Spirit

    Many more factors were involved in my changing view of God, for other doctrines melted before the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, such as the doctrine of salvation by grace and the entire born again process. In January, 1998, I had an experience with a ministering spirit. When I felt his finger tips touch my head, the Holy Spirit fell upon me and filled my spirit with energy, power, and calmness. I spent almost six weeks writing a book that solidified my views on Mormonism under the influence of this Spirit. This spirit allowed me to take both true and false concepts that existed in my spirit, and put them out in a format that I could see on paper.

    At the time, I believed that the principles were 100% true. But later, I discovered it was just for my benefit. For as I looked at what I wrote, I saw in the LDS priesthood concept glaring errors of the truth. I saw in an instant that a religion that required an external authority combined with the truth to save us would require a person at times to choose between external priesthood authority and eternal truth. Which was more important? At the time I wrote the book, I reasoned, because of the Order of the Godhead and Firstborn being the Savior by virtue of the Everlasting Priesthood, I reasoned the external LDS priesthood was more important than the “concepts” of truth. I reasoned, therefore, if the prophet who held the priesthood keys ever asked me to lie or go against what I believed was true in my heart, I would obey the priesthood first, and the truth second. Five months after writing this convoluted concept, I saw that it was not true. There can not be two principles that operate this way in the Kingdom of God. Such would encourage lying, deceit, and trickery if the LDS priesthood ever fell into the hands of wicked men. I at once saw Joseph Smith and his struggling with the false priesthood, reasoning that the priesthood power was more important than the truth itself, and thus lying about his plural marriages to protect the innocent from turning from the priesthood and being damned for not understanding the “higher truth”. I saw Joseph constantly frustrated in the conflict over balancing “truth and priesthood”. Thus we read statements from Joseph Smith, holding back truth, revealing only what the people could bear, for fear they would leave the priesthood power. But such writings come from a person who views himself as saving people through the priesthood he held, and NOT by the power and grace of God alone. Therefore, I reasoned the LDS priesthood must come second to the truth, and again, Joseph Smith made a bad error in judgement.

    Many other things came to me as I wrote my book. I felt very comfortable with the Christian view that Jesus Christ had truly saved me. But as a Mormon, I felt alone in my beliefs, since I had no one to fellowship with in the LDS faith that would even come close to my beliefs. But what I didn’t understand is that God was truly working the best He could with what I was given, slowly moving my mind away from Mormonism and its false priesthood one step at a time. The doctrine of the Godhead I had believed in and have explained, for example, was close to the truth, but mixed with a lie. The distribution point of the Voice of the Father is the First Born, Jesus Christ, and is correct. But the idea that Satan and man are the spirit brothers of Jesus Christ is false. Man and God did NOT originate from the same substance nor creation process. This was Satan’s false presumption in the beginning, not understanding the Spirit and Mind of God, calling God a liar, and being forced out of Heaven for His rebellion against God. Like Joseph Smith, Satan saw God and reasoned he was just like him, and from the same origin. When God told him this was false, He did not believe Him. It is similar to a Christian telling a Mormon that God is not like a man and never was, and the Mormons refusing to comprehend the inner substance of God is light and truth, rather than just seeing his form.

    For one who is born again, the substance of “One God” filling all things is clear, which substance was sent to earth in the “FORM” of Jesus Christ. But to a Mormon, such a concept does not make sense. God and Jesus are exalted men. And thus, the Godhead debate between God and Satan continues between Christians and Mormons.

    If God and Jesus stood before us, Satan would say pointing at the Father’s body: “See, God looks like a man. We came from the same place.”

    And God would say, “No, Satan, what you see is not me. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am light and truth and love. I am not my form that you look upon. I came from a different origin that you did. I created you, and I am eternal. I fill the immensity of space and am everywhere and see everything!”

    And the devil says, “Not true. I don’t believe it. You are lying because you are just like me and want to control everyone with your lie! You don’t really know the future. You manipulate everyone with your mind to accomplish what you see, just the same way we all think. Your Spirit is no different than mine. I have just as much right to be God as you do. In fact, I have a better plan…I will save everyone. Yours does not. .bla, bla, bla…”

    I believe these are the issues fought over in the war of Heaven, rather than the LDS view. One of the problems with the LDS view is that the fight over “agency” has no pattern on earth. God claims the devil sought to “destroy” the agency of man. (Moses 4:1-5.) How was this to be done? How do you take away someone’s free agency and destroy it? The only way to do this, I reasoned as a Mormon, is Satan asking God to change the nature of the human spirit. Law would have to be altered, or agency could not be destroyed. Thus, since God did not do this, but cast the devil out, what is the devil fighting over now? What is his paradigm in Mormonism? He’s just a “cry baby” and “miserable” acting out of revenge? He’s holding grudges, trying to hurt God’s feelings? This is what Mormonism leads one to believe. But such is limited, and doesn’t explain the “two spirits” we see constantly battling on earth today. Mormon’s argue that Satan tries to “force” us to Heaven, taking away our free agency. But this is inaccurate, for the idea of “force” on earth by “beating one into submission” could not have been Satan’s proposal, for such would require the devil to would NEVER have been a marketable idea in heaven. Nobody would be that stupid. How do we know this? Because no one would buy the idea on earth, either. Therefore, there is more evidence on earth that the LDS view of the “war in heaven” is a lie given to the Mormons from Lucifer. Lucifer’s plan was defending agency as the source of salvation, and therefore, Satan is “playing God” in the LDS plan. Satan switched roles with God. And Satan argued for “agency” to save us and not the grace of God. Therefore, if you want to understand the “spirit” behind this debate, it is still going on between Christians and Mormons. Mormons do not believe the two following simple scriptures:

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoso BELIEVETH in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16.) “For by GRACE ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is A GIFT OF GOD. Not of WORKS lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

    True Christians understand the love and grace of God and of receiving the free gift of eternal life for trusting in the promises of God, of depending only on the blood of Jesus for justification and salvation. “God loved us first, so we love him back. The Mormons are caught the devil’s plan, believing we should be EXALTED by our agency through obedience to law through faith We are saved by our OWN “UNDERSTANDING” in our mind, independent of the Holy Spirit. God, on the other hand, has a mind of His own, and saves us by His grace and Spirit. If Christians and Mormons agreed, then there would be no debate about works, faith, and grace.

    Thus, Satan was cast out because He could not understand the definition of who God REALLY is, because He was created from a separate process from God and Jesus Christ, but he didn’t believe it. Christians have the idea almost right regarding the substance of God, but the Trinity came from the mind of man. It is perhaps as close to defining God’s substance as what human beings can understand, but it is imperfect. On the other hand, the Mormons are in complete error regarding the Godhead and purpose of life, following after Satan’s deluded ideas that trapped him in the very beginning. He assumed that he is equal to God in substance, and thus, capable and worthy to be the Savior of mankind. He proposed a plan of “eternal progression” through reincarnation and agency in which not one soul would be lost. Satan believes as the Mormons do--that belief, choice, and truth produce the knowledge over time that we need to become as God is. Mormonism is a slight twist on Satan’s original proposal, thus eliminating the idea of reincarnation, but leaving “eternal progression” toward Godhood intact. Such theology, however, DENIES AND CONTRADICTS the saving love and grace of God. Which is God’s true plan of salvation. Trusting in GOD ALONE and HIS WORD for our salvation saves us. Thus, the battle continues today between Christians and Mormons regarding the principle of salvation by grace or agency (works).

    I did not completely disconnect from the Godhead theology of Mormonism until I left. So, God in his mercy moved me as close to the truth as I could get, using the Holy Spirit, considering what I was given to work with. It’s amazing how my mind stretched to fill the void of truth that I was in. It was like taking silly putting and stretching it over a pattern of God that fit sixteen patterns, but was missing the table that the pattern was to rest upon. The Holy Spirit did the best that it could with the information I was working with, but once I left Mormonism and discovered Satan’s deluded lie of self-importance and presumptuous conclusions about his origin being the same as God’s, the Godhead all fell into place. I simply accept the Bible for what it teaches, and leave the mystery of the Godhead for God Himself. I accept God as one God, being the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I don’t need to understand it all, thank goodness. I just need to trust Him. I can rest. This is critical to understand what a relief this is for me. Joseph Smith taught that to understand God, we needed to understand ourselves. He taught literally that our progression in knowing God literally, was dependent on knowing ourselves. Actual knowledge of the Character and Attributes of God were necessary for our exaltation. This put incredible pressure on my mind to understand the mystery of the Godhead, for such, to know God Himself, was a prerequisite for salvation. And I believe it. Thus, I’ve demonstrated here, how I struggled with the concept to understand God, based on the King Follet discourse and other teachings of Joseph Smith.

    Now I find all of this knowledge but dross compared to Excellency of knowledge found in Jesus Christ, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And I now understand as a Christian that the purpose of God appearing in the human form of Jesus Christ is all we need to comprehend for our salvation. It is better to just accept the Godhead on faith, and believe in Jesus Christ, that He is God, than to rack our brains with questions that can never be understood as human beings. I thank God for moving out of Mormonism and freeing me from the chains of false doctrine, the false priesthood, and the false temple ceremony, which is inspired by Satan to deceive the Latter-day Saints into a counterfeit gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Discerning False Angels

    I had been prepared for several years for the final move that would take me out of the LDS faith. The final fundamental paradigm shift occurred in me when I discovered from sources outside Mormonism that counterfeit angels can materialize in tangible, bodily form to deceive us. Since D&C 129:4 contradicts this notion, I was either to accept the testimony of Joseph Smith or the testimony of other witnesses that contradict LDS theology. For example:

    “Whilst lying on my bed one evening I saw what looked like white, shining particles of dust suddenly collect in front of me to form a dark-haired man dressed in shining white robes hovering above the floor next to my bed. He was beautiful to look at but I felt a presence of great evil. I tried to rebuke him in the Name of Christ and commanded him to depart but he simply laughed and mocked me. I tried to reach out for my Bible which lay on my bedside table next to me but he held it down with his hand with such power that I could not move it. I tried, in my fear, to pray out loud, but my tongue was bound, enabling me only to gurgle some strained sounds. Finally, not knowing what else to do, I began to praise the Lord God of Israel with all my heart. Immediately, the angel moved to the other side of my bed, and higher off the ground, and although god seemed far away at the time, the power of the demon was broken and the dark angel disappeared.” (A Dark Angel by Kari Annette Enger, The New Covenant Witness, No 56, Sept 1998, pg 9.)

    I had the privilege of meeting Kari Enger in person, and I heard her story with my own ears. Since meeting with Kari, I’ve heard five more personal stories from first-hand sources of individuals who have had different experiences with demons who have materialized into our world.

    Let me give another example. A tangible false angle identifying himself as John the Baptist appeared to Otto Fetting, an apostle in the Church of Christ founded by David Whitmer. Like Joseph Smith, because the messenger was a tangible being, Fetting presumed the angel was from God. W.A. Draves, also an apostle in the Church of Christ, explains the purpose of John the Baptist visiting Otto Fetting:

    I believe that we have something which no other part of the restoration has or can have unless they are baptized into THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. This baptism must be performed by a member of the proper priesthood since the 12th Message was given by John the Baptist on July 18th, 1929. This Authority and Priesthood was re-confirmed at this time when the angel laid his hands upon the head of Otto Fetting. He had laid them upon the head of Joseph Smith an Oliver Cowdery, May 15th, 1829, thus restoring the authority of the Holy Priesthood which had been absent from among men for 1260 years. When the AUTHORITY was restored through Joseph Smith it was to be for all time…How then did the angel lay his hands on Otto Fetting AS he laid them on Joseph Smith? It was not to confer AUTHORITY for he had had that in two movements or factions of the Restoration.…What then had the Church lost or lacked between the laying on of hands of the angel in 1829 and 1929? Not Authority, for that angel declared that both the Reorganization and the Temple Lot had that. But “the greater power of the Priesthood has been withheld because of the transgression of them who have been entrusted therewith” (Message 12:8)…There was but one thing for the Lord to do—reject them all and establish His Church anew. Priesthood Authority did not need to be restored: but priesthood power and light was lacking. Therefore the angel said: “I lay my hands on you, that the greater power and greater light might come to you, and to set you apart to do the work instructed to your care and in your day.” (Just What We Have To Offer by W.A. Draves, in An Address to All Believers In Christ, pg. 101-103, Board of Publication Church of Christ, 608 Lacy Road, Independence Missouri.)

    W.A. Draves also gives his own experience with a visit from one of the three Nephites. The three Nephitees, according to the Book of Mormon, never died. But their bodies where changed to prolong their lives, and they are presumed by Mormons to be still alive on the earth today doing the work of the Lord:

    While at the home of Evangelist Robert Gordon Newby, near Bemidji, Minnesota, on the morning of November 4, 1940, at about 8 a.m., I went to the well not far from the house for water. Just as I stepped through the thicket of spruce trees and approached the well, I saw sitting on the well curbing, the Nephite, whom I have met a number of times. Many times he has given me directions, instructions, and spiritual help in the church work…He smiled pleasantly and spoke, saying, “I come to bring you comfort; I have been sent here by the Lord, to this place and at this time. The Lord knows your heart and your strength, and I bring you encouragement that you and others may know the Lord’s hand is in this work.” At this junction he reached toward me and I stepped near and we shook hands. I felt him to be a real person. (Ibid. pg.111.)

    For Christians, please note that the Church of Christ is an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fetting and Draves are considered apostates by the LDS Church. However, Fetting and Draves both saw an angel that claims to have been John the Baptist, the same messenger that the LDS claim gave Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the priesthood authority. These men assumed the angels were from God according the they discernment keys found in D&C 129:4-9:

    When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. If he be a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him. These are the three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God. ” (D&C 129:4-9.)

    The three experiences cited above contradict D&C 129. Enger, Otting, and Draves had encounters with false angels and each felt a tangible being. In addition, I personally could write of five more accounts from individuals I personally have met and heard similar stories of angels materialized before them. God brought all of these witnesses to my attention when I was prepared to exit the LDS faith.

    This knowledge has the key to open the door to the priesthood prison of Mormonism. The Holy Spirit had already opened my mind that priesthood concept was false because of the book I had written six months earlier. And now it became crystal clear. False angels had deliberately fooled Joseph Smith, leading him away from his original calling from God.

    And this key opened the floodlight of truth on the first vision, which now was clear Joseph had fabricated to add priesthood truths regarding the “only true church” concept, which was false. The foundation was crumbling, but now it created one last dilemma in my mind. What about the First Vision?

    To believe Joseph Smith lied about the First Vision from the beginning is too simplistic. How could he lie and then have false angels come and try to deceive him? No. The false angels needed to have a reason to deceive, and that was to derail Joseph Smith from God. Plus, God witnesses to many that He actually did appear to Joseph Smith, which would make God a liar to these people. Then, I remembered hearing about the original First Vision Story penned in 1832. It was supposed to be different than the 1838 version. When I read the story the Holy Spirit testified that this was the correct account of what actually happened. Joseph concluded HIMSELF that all churches had strayed from the Bible, not that God told Him this. God the Father did not appear in the vision, only Jesus Christ. And finally, the purpose of going to the grove of trees was to receive a remission of his sins, not to find out which Church to join.

    1832 First Vision Account

    (Words enclosed by [ ] indicate insertion with ^ mark in the original manuscript; spelling has been corrected, but I have not made grammatical corrections.)

    …At about the age of twelve years my mind became seriously impressed with regard to the all important concerns for the welfare of my immortal soul which led me to searching the scriptures believing as I was taught, that they contained the word of God thus applying myself to them and my intimate acquaintance with those of different denominations led me to marvel exceedingly for I discovered that [they did not] Of adorning their profession by a holy walk and Godly conversation agreeable to what I found contained in that sacred depository this was a grief to my soul thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in my heart concerning the situation of the world of mankind the contentions and divisions the wickedness and abominations and the darkness which pervaded the minds of mankind my mind become exceedingly distressed for I became convicted of my sins and by searching the scriptures I found that [mankind] did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatized from the true and living faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own sins and for the sins of the world for I learned in the scriptures that God was the same yesterday to day and forever that he was no respecter to persons for he was God for I looked upon the sun the glorious luminary of the earth and also the moon rolling in their majesty through the heavens and also the stars shining in their courses and the earth also upon which I stood and the beast of the field and the fowls of heaven and the fish of the waters and also man walking forth upon the face of the earth in majesty and in the strength of beauty whose power and intelligence in governing the things which are so exceeding great and marvelous even in the likeness of him who created [them] and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath the wise man said [it is a] fool [that] saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotent and omnipresent power a being who maketh Laws and decrees and bindeth all things in their bounds who fills eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things and [that] being seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in [the] attitude of calling upon the Lord [in the 16th* year of my age] a pillar of light above the brightness of the Sun at noon day came down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the Spirit of God and the [Lord] opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying

    Joseph [my son] thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy [way and] walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucified for the world that all those who believe on my name may have eternal life [behold] the world lieth in sin at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned aside from the gospel and keep not [my] commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them according to this ungodliness and to bring to pass that which [hath] been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and apostles behold and lo I come quickly as it written of me in the cloud [clothed] in the glory of my Father

    and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could rejoice with great joy and the Lord was with me but could find none that would believe the heavenly vision. . . . Nevertheless I fell into transgression and sinned in many things which brought wound upon my soul and there were many things which transpired that cannot be written and my Father’s family have suffered many persecutions and afflictions.

    *could be 15th year

    Joseph Smith changed his 1832 story by using his own assumptions of the apostasy and fabricating these notions into the final 1838 account as if they came from the mouth of God. It was his opinion, and it was false. If he would have held to the original truth about the account, Christianity may accept his story today. There is not one word of this 1832 original account that contradicts the Bible or mainstream Christianity. It is also clear how Joseph expanded and interpolated this vision into a more “credible story” that supported the false LDS priesthood. For example, in the 1832 account Jesus quotes “part of Isaiah”, but in the 1838 version, Joseph quotes then entire passage of Isaiah including: “…having the form of godliness but deny the power thereof.” Thus, Elder Holland came to our stake priesthood leadership meeting and defined the “power of God” as referring to the LDS priesthood. Also, God says that “there is none that doeth good.” This could have been easily interpreted in Joseph’s dark mind as meaning all the church’s were “wrong”. Studying this 1828 version, it is quite easy to see how Joseph Smith, struggling with severe financial turmoil and rampant apostasy, would be tempted to embellish the First Vision story to protect the priesthood. He conscience was justified in lying to prevent apostasy from principles He believed were from God. It is easy to finally see also why he added the visit of the Father to the vision. He has seen the vision of the Father and the Son in D&C 76 on the degrees of glory and he felt justified including the Father in the story to once and for all. It would bring the saving Godhead definition to full view. He believed in that understanding God as a tangible being was critical to gaining salvation. He believed that the eventual blessing for a member of the Church would be to receive the visit of the Father and Son, just as Joseph Smith had received it, and thus, they would “know God”, and be saved by this knowledge. “A man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge,” he wrote. But such was of an immature mind, on who mistook the form of God over substance, thus the devil blinding the prophet and leading him to error.

    In Conclusion

    My thoughts about Mormonism evolved over a long period of time. I do not take my religious views lightly, and I have prayed fervently to understand the truth and have studied the issue as sincerely as possible. Leaving Mormonism has been very difficult. Personally, I would have preferred a different answer from God. My parents and family are all Mormons. My roots in the Church go all the way back to 1831, when my great, great, great grandfather, Joseph Hollbrook, became a friend of Joseph Smith. My heritage is rich in Mormon folklore. I have several polygamists in my ancestry. My leaving Mormonism has created an emotional burden on my family and LDS friends. It has not been a pleasant decision to leave all of my past for what I believe is the truth. But how am I do deny the evidence that was placed before me by the Lord? How can I trust my own feelings and “testimony” above the facts that contradict my personal feelings about Mormonism? I’ve left you a copy of the path my mind took. It evolved over many years. Are not my conclusions reasonable considering my circumstance? Am I being unfair with Mormonism and its people? I don’t believe so. The Lord would not have allowed the information about the false angels materialize to come to my attention a year ago. I was not prepared to hear it. But once I was given the new information, I had to act upon it.

    On the other hand, this information may come across an LDS heart that is not prepared for change, and such may react in many different ways. I do apologize if this disturbs those who are not ready to hear this perspective. But I trust God’s hand in the matter. I must do what I believe is best to follow my own conscience to share what I believe is true with the Mormon people. I apologize if my testimony causes any bad feelings to arise in you. It is not my intention to harm anyone with my words, but to relate a new perspective on Mormonism that may not have been considered.

    This page was first created on 23 January 1999
    Last Updated on 16 April 1999
    Created and Maintained by The New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh
    Not all the views expressed in this book are necessarily those of NCAY