I first met Rev. Dan Lewis when I did a Television interview
in Portland, Oregon. His wife, Marta, was the program director for TBN Portland
at that time. today the Lewis family is in Mongolia, as missionaries. Dan's
testimony so intrigued me when I first heard it, I wanted to be sure to
get it into as many hands as possible. The events in his testimony took
place in Logan, Utah.
Testimony of Dan Lewis, former Mormon Elder
I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Utah.
Growing up in the fifties and sixties, I knew I was different from others
my age in the rest of the world, but it was a difference I was proud of!
After all, I was a member of the only true church on the face of the earth!
At least, this is what I had been taught.
We had a living prophet! We had the "restored gospel"-just
the way is was when Jesus walked the earth! We were the only ones who knew
that all the other churches had perverted the true and perfect gospel to
the point there was no truth in them, and the Lord had to use a 14-year-old
boy to restore His church to the earth because of the apostasy of all the
others. We had Joseph Smith, the martyr.
We had Brigham Young and the persecuted pioneers. We had
secret, sacred temple ceremonies, with secret, sacred signs, sacred work
for the dead, sacred marriage for "time and all eternity." Why,
we even had (assuming you were found worthy of going to the sacred temple)
our own secret, sacred underwear with secret, sacred markings on them!
We had everything we needed to be the "only true church
on the face of the earth," including revelation that all the other
churches on earth were not only wrong, they were an abomination to God!
I at least knew enough that I didn't want anything to do with abominations!
Probably the most reassuring thing to me, however, was
that we had the Book of Mormon. Translated from gold plates by the Prophet,
Seer and Revelator Joseph Smith, into what he proclaimed to be the most
perfect book ever written! Even more perfect than the Holy Bible!
The eighth article of faith of the Mormon church says:
We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, AS FAR AS IT IS TRANSLATED
CORRECTLY. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God.
So there you have it: You can't very well trust anything
that is not translated correctly (the Bible), but you can surely trust the
most perfect book ever written (the Book of Mormon).
For 32 years, I lived under the assumption that the church
I was a member of was the one and only true church. I had been a "good
boy," trying to accumulate enough "works points" to get myself
into the Celestial Kingdom, and eventually become a god, just as the Father
and Jesus had done.* Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened in my life:
divorce! Divorce is devastating no matter what religion you profess, but
if you are a Mormon, divorce means you are an utter failure. All I had hoped
for, all the church had taught me was gone, because I had failed at the
most important thing, my marriage. (Failure is just not acceptable in Mormonism.
We even sang a song that asked us "have I done any good in the world
today?...have I cheered up the sad, and made someone feel glad? If not,
I have FAILED, indeed!")
Not only had I ruined my chance of getting into the Celestial
kingdom, but also any hope for my ex-wife, because a woman can only get
into the Celestial kingdom if her husband makes it. The weight of such failure
was too much for me. I could only see one way out, and that was to take
my life. It is amazing how warped your thinking can become, especially if
you don't know the reality of God's love, grace and mercy.
As I look back at how God had His hand on me, even in the
midst of an attempt to end my life, I am in such awe of His mercy and grace.
How He moved a little six-year-old boy to go looking for his daddy just
seconds before his daddy was going to blow his own head off with a shotgun!
I believe that right then, even though I didn't understand it, somehow God
had a plan for my life, and my heart started to soften and I began to seek
It's not easy seeking God as a Mormon because all the thinking
has been done for you. However, if there is one "positive" thing
that came from my divorce, it was that I was living alone, and had no TV.
I had time to read, time to think, and time to question.
There were a lot of questions I had about the Mormon church,
but there was never anyone I could ask. Fellow Mormons would tell me I didn't
have to worry, just accept it. I considered anyone who was not LDS. (Latter
Day Saint) to be an "anti-Mormon" and I could not trust their
opinion. For the first time in my life I had to find out for myself about
I had been taught that the answers were there, I just had
to dig in and find them. If God really had appeared to a 14-year-old boy
and restored the gospel to the earth through him, maybe He would at least
guide a 32 year-year-old man to the answers I needed. It was during this
time that I met a beautiful Christian lady who worked at a sporting goods
store I visited often. We started dating, and I started attending her church.
Secretly, I hoped to convert her and her friends to Mormonism.
In that small church, I picked up some "anti-Mormon"
tracts. I sincerely believed that the Mormon church was true, but these
tracts were not only asking some of the same question I was asking, but
raised more questions about the claims of the Mormon church. Any hope I
had of converting these people to REAL Christianity (Mormonism) depended
on finding answers to these questions, these charges brought against the
What started as a search of the scriptures to prove to
my Christian friends that Mormonism was their only hope, ended in my invitation
to Jesus to come into my heart.
When I opened my mind to studying the truth about Mormonism
I learned many starling things. I learned that the "most perfect book
ever written" has had thousands of changes since it was first written
in 1830. I learned that this same perfect book contains almost no
Mormon doctrine: It contains nothing about eternal progression, or men becoming
gods, nothing about baptism for the dead, three degrees of glory, the word
of wisdom, polygamy or many other essential doctrines of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In all my years of being taught in Sunday schools, priesthood
meetings, as well as four years of LDS seminary, I had never feared "looking
into" the teachings of the Mormon church. Brigham Young said: "Take
up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-Day Saints with it and
see if it will stand the test." So when I started to dig around to
find out the truth for the sake of my friends who were attending that sincere
but "misguided" Christian church, I fully expected to find answers
to the "lies" I had seen in the anti-Mormon tracts they had in
their church foyer. Instead, I was faced with the dilemma of realizing that
things were not as I had supposed.
Joseph Smith had a past that was not becoming to a Prophet,
Seer and Revelator of the only true church. His prophecies not only did
not come true, some were outlandish, such as his description of the people
who live on the moon! His reputation as a translator was damaged severely
when it was demonstrated that his so-called translation of certain Egyptian
papyri was no translation at all! The actual document that Joseph Smith
supposedly translated turned up in a New York museum in the 1960's, with
his handwritten notes still legible on it. When Egyptologists really
translated the document it turned out that what Joseph Smith thought was
The Book of Abraham, was actually an Egyptian funeral text. After
taking up Brigham Young's challenge, the Mormonism did not stand the test.
Thank God, that at such a critical time of my life, several believers were
praying for me, and reaching out to me and believing that I could break
free from Mormonism. These prayer warriors were led by that same lady from
the sporting goods store, Marta, who led me to the real Jesus , and later
married me! I cannot express the depth of my gratitude and appreciation
for those who wouldn't give up on me, and "prayed me in" to the
Kingdom of God. Sadly, many who discover the truth about Mormonism assume
that if the only true church isn't true, there must not be a true church
at all, and they go from Mormonism to nothing. What a tragedy!
To those who have friends or relatives in the Mormon church,
there is hope! If God can get me out, He can get anyone out! It has to start
with prayer, however, not confrontation and argument. The most damaging
evidence against the Mormon church is within their own writings.
The Mormon will not see it, however, until the Holy Spirit
is able to soften their heart, and open their eyes so that they can see.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would create in them a hunger for the truth.
*I'm not sure what happened with the Holy
Ghost, because Mormon doctrine says that, under the law of eternal progression,
you go through an earth life, live good, become a god and continue to change
and grow and gain intelligence - seeking "further light and knowledge"
(like God the Father and Jesus had done) and both the Father and the Son
have bodies of FLESH AND BONE, while the Holy Ghost does not. Hmmmm.