Becoming A Christian

This is our story of leaving the LDS (mormon) church and becoming Christians.

Nathan was born and raised as a member of the LDS (mormon) church.

Kelli, in high school, met a classmate who introduced her to the LDS (mormon) church. She was soon baptized.

These experiences gave both of us a feeling that God was real and that He loved us.

Over the next 20+ years we continued down this path, trying to follow the path the LDS church (God) had laid out for us.

Here are a few of the special experiences in our lives where we saw God helping and directing our lives:

  • We each found that special person, who we wanted to be with, and we married them.
  • We were blessed with our first child.
  • Nathan had a very unique experience (dream) that gave him the insight he needed to finish his M.Sc. thesis.
  • A spiritual impression told Nathan he would be an LDS bishop—it seemed absolutely crazy at the time.
  • We continued to be blessed with more children.
  • A series of extremely unlikely events, that we feel were directed by God, led to Nathan getting an amazing job, a huge step up from his previous one.
  • Kelli had an interesting experience that gave her the distinct impression that we were supposed to have an 8th child. So we did.
  • Nathan was asked to serve as the bishop for the local LDS congregation we were members of. A fulfillment of a spiritual impression from years earlier.

Being asked to serve as the bishop of our local LDS congregation, was a major milestone in our lives. It felt like a sign that the LDS church trusted and approved of us (which meant that God approved of us). We loved the years we served there, Nathan was the bishop, but it required a lot of effort and support from Kelli as well. We loved how useful we felt, the hours we spent serving and leading the congregation, trying to help the congregation grow, trying to help the members of the congregation, it was a highly rewarding time in our lives, even though it was very demanding as well.

Serving as a bishop also marked the end of something. Neither of us were perfect teenagers, we had married very young, Nathan hadn't served a 2 year mission (which is expected of LDS men)... the point is that being called as a bishop, filled a void in our hearts, God approved of us. We no longer felt like we had to prove ourselves. We were acceptable to the Lord.

This feeling of acceptance gave us even more energy and zeal to serve with the LDS church. But this feeling of acceptance also gave us more room to see the bigger picture, we were no longer solely focused on proving ourselves.

A couple of years after Nathan completed his term as a bishop, Kelli started to feel like something was missing in her life. She started to focus on improving herself. She started to work on weight loss, exercise, and other personal improvement objectives. The problem was, she wasn't making much progress, and her frustration and increasing focus on these things were starting to show signs of fracture in our marriage. As a result we decided on a new path. We were going to work together on her goals. This was the start of what we call "The Couple Project".

Over the next couple of years we studied physical health, mental health, marriage, minimalism, and a host of other self improvement topics. We both achieved our health goals (Kelli lost 60 lbs, achieved her goal of returning to her wedding weight). We simplified our home, giving us more time to focus on other things. Nathan's increased attention to our marriage helped him notice things about Kelli that led to us learning that she had ADHD and very high cholesterol, this knowledge led to us being able to properly treat these issues. We started a YouTube channel, created a website, wrote articles together, and started a marriage focused Twitter account.

With our heightened focus on our marriage and improving ourselves we started to realize that a lot of "weird" things that the LDS church did, and that we had just ignored over the years, were actually serious problems. For example the LDS church's focus on feelings, as a sign of truth, was flawed.

Something was wrong with mormonism, or at least with how we had been taught to practice it, and we needed to figure it out. As a result we started looking deeper into the church. As we dug through the church's materials and teachings, we started finding more and more subtle, but very significant, deceptive and hypocritical behavior by the LDS church and its leaders. These problems severly eroded our confidence in the LDS church as an institution as well as in it's leaders. As John 8:44 says: "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

Once we realized that the LDS institution couldn't be trusted to be honest, we started to broaden our study of the LDS church, to non-LDS sources. As soon as we started looking outside of the LDS church's resources, it was obvious that the non-LDS sources were far more sincere in trying to find the truth, instead of just trying to prove their point. At this point it was obvious that much of what we knew about the churches history was completely made up.

We were ready to give up on the church, but we weren't ready to give up on God. We had always been taught that the LDS scriptures and the words of the LDS prophets would lead us to happiness, and that the Bible was a less reliable word of God. We decided for the first time in our lives to try flipping that around. We decided to follow the words from 1 Thessalonians 5:20–22 "Do not despise prophecies [the Bible], but test everything; hold fast what is good."

We started to study the bible with new eyes and watched a lot of YouTube videos which taught about the bible and Christianity. We learned from Catholic priests, we learned from protestant ministers. We learned that the bible was the measure for truth about God (not any teacher, pastor, or denomination.) We learned that feelings are considered untrustworthy (which is very different from mormonism.) We learned we had misunderstood the bible and Christianity.

We had learned too much to continue to believe in the LDS church, their prophets, or their scriptures. We had come to the conclusion that the Bible was a much more reliable guide for learning about and finding Jesus Christ. We found a good Christian church in the area, and we continued our journey to seek after God.

NOTE: We are not saying anything about the members of the LDS church. Most of them are wonderful, kind people. We loved our time in the LDS church and gained so many wonderful friends. We don't hold anything against them, we know it is hard to find the truth, and it is even harder to leave. All of our problems are with the institution of the LDS church and how it works to cover its sins. We have no idea which of the members or leaders are being led astray, and which of them are doing the leading or if they are all just as misguided as we were. At the same time we are very glad that we were able to recognize the problems, that we were able to do it as a couple, and that our lives have been improved as a result.

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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

Buy our book!
"A United Marriage: 5 Biblical Principles to Ponder"