Sam M. Mikel's TestimonyI was raised in a Mormon community in Utah. My parents did not attend church but generally insisted that I go. One of my church requirements was that I bear my testimony that I knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Mormon church was true. I remember agonizing over that since I didn't "know" that it was true although I had been taught the exact words to say since I was small. Besides, everyone else seemed to "know."
I had numerous ups and downs during my teen and early adult years and always felt guilty. I was married and divorced by the time I was 21, and married again at 25. My daughter was born when I was 28, and I was divorced again at 30. I felt that my life was a disaster because I wasn't a good Mormon. I had just started selling real estate and the prospect of raising a child alone and having car and mortgage payments on a commission income was frightening.
I enrolled my daughter in the day care center at First Church of God because they were open long hours. I started taking Toni to the Mormon church about that time. I figured I better get things turned around in my life and she needed to go to church. When Toni was four, she asked me to attend Easter service because the pre-school was involved. That was the first time I remember being in a Christian church or hearing a pastor. After the service I found myself at the altar with people praying with me. It felt as if I were carried, because I can't imagine walking down there on my own. After that I attended the Mormon church part of the time and First Church of God part of the time. I felt guilty about not attending the Mormon church because I had been taught that it was the only true church. When Scott and I got married in 1984, we discussed (or argued) a lot about religion but didn't attend any church.
At the invitation of a customer I started going to Bible Study Fellowship about 1986. It was the first time that I had really studied the Bible. I didn't know that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and that my sins would be forgiven if I would only follow Him. I could see that others there had something I did not but I still wasn't sure what it was. They also seemed to have a peace not apparent in the Mormons I had known. Scott and I finally started attending church about 1987. When I found the book, Mama, Mormonism, and Me by Granny Geer in the church library, I was quite offended and planned to tell the pastor so. I checked it out instead and cried all the way through. My world collapsed overnight. I might have been attending a "different" church, but I never wanted to find out what I did find out. All the comments people had made to me about Mormonism, and the things I had learned in the Bible study came together in that book.
I have since studied extensively on Mormonism and other non-Christian religious groups. I continued to study and cautiously accepted Christ. I had a lot of teachings to undo... but the peace finally came. I now realize that many people said things to me about Mormonism but I didn't understand anything they were saying. Now I just hope others will find the truth and love and peace and joy in Jesus that I have found.
God is working on me daily and even though I slip and fall, He picks me up every time. Life is so beautiful now.