Scott emailed me this testimony that he wrote back in 2001. It reveals the power and glory and love of our God:
I was born to unconverted parents and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although I was natively religious, I grew up with no real knowledge of God or of the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the age of twelve, I chose to join the Mormon church largely out of a desire to integrate with the culture of Utah as well as to get closer to God.
My commitment to Mormonism was short lived, though, and when I turned sixteen, the sin in my heart spilled out into my life in a more pronounced and unrestrained way than ever before.
It was within this year, however, that I also began to argue with my Mormon seminary teacher and to look elsewhere to satisfy myself with religion. My journey took me to several different churches and eventually brought to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In my ignorance, I had already began to seriously doubt that the doctrine of the Trinity was Biblical; and I was eventually forced to choose between the gods of Mormonism and the strict unitarianism of the Jehovah’s Witnesses—and I was totally ignorant of the gospel of the grace of God.
I chose to cast my lot with the Jehovah’s Witnesses after studying with them for several months; but before I joined them, the true Jehovah, through a book given to me by a concerned acquaintance, convinced me that the doctrine of the Trinity is Biblical and therefore true. This was very unsettling and painful to me, shattering the foundation of my newfound peace. God also showed me that the Jehovah’s Witnesses, like the Mormons, promoted false doctrine. I had grown accustomed to think about God only in terms of the Father, and Jesus was merely God’s created angel who represented the Father to mankind. Even though I was not yet a Christian, this newfound knowledge that Jehovah Himself had visited the earth in the person of Jesus Christ was amazing and precious to me.
Over the next several months, I visited some evangelical churches where I learned more and more about the gospel and my need to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. During this time, I called on the Lord several times, but in my heart I was unwilling to turn from all of my sins and submit to Jesus Christ as the Lord of my whole life.
Eventually, still within my sixteenth year, I truly began to call upon the Lord with a new heart. I wanted to serve Him regardless of the consequences. I asked God to forgive me for my sins. My knowledge of the gospel was simple, but my faith was sincere and genuine. My life changed from walking in the darkness to walking in the light of the Lord—and I’ve continued to walk in His light even to this day.
While it is edifying to hear about the events through which a person passes as he comes to faith in Christ, the most important evidence of the authenticity of a person’s faith is by learning what he believes and what he actually does about it. Therefore, in addition to affirming the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, I want to emphasize several convictions of mine that are especially appropriate to this occasion:
I believe in the one true and living God, Jehovah or Yahweh, who exists as three eternally distinct centers of consciousness: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
I believe that God the Father has rescued me from the bondage and consequences of my sin. In His abundant kindness and love towards me, He applied to me all of the riches purchased for me by the blood of His dear Son thousands of years ago.
I believe that God the Son took to Himself a human nature and became Jesus of Nazareth. He lived according to—and abundantly fulfilled—the holy Law of God that I have broken in so many ways; in doing this, Jesus earned all righteousness for my account. According to the will of His Father, He trod the path to Golgotha where He was crucified at the hands of wicked men. On that cross, He bore the sins of many, and thanks to God, He bore my sins as well. He fully satisfied the wrath of His Father that burned furiously towards me, paying the full penalty for my sin. He died for me on that dreadful day, but God raised Him from the dead and seated Him with Him at His own Right Hand.
I believe that Jesus purchased for me the promised Holy Spirit who has regenerated my heart, rendering its governing disposition holy. In doing this, God revealed Jesus Christ to my heart as the all-sufficient Savior and Lord as holy, humble, and all together beautiful. He gave me faith to believe into Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. He gave me a holy love—a sacred relish in my heart—for divine and holy things. I believe that God is worthy of my most heart-felt devotion simply on account of who and what He is. I love Him as well for all of the good He does for me. By this faith, I turn away from all of my known sins and pursue after holiness without which no one will see the Lord. This pursuit, however, is not without many struggles against sin and many falls to sin for which I am ashamed. But I press-on because there flows out of my innermost being a river of living water, even the Holy Spirit who begets, nourishes, and strengthens true godliness in my heart and life.
Indeed, I believe we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. In this salvation, I joyfully concur that God receives all of the glory, which is the very reason and end for which God does whatever He does.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, I testify before you today that I am a child of God, and I ask that you receive me into your assembly in order that I may serve the Lord together with you as the body of Jesus Christ.
And to all of you who have listened to my testimony of the saving grace of God, but have never tasted of the things that I have recounted to you: I sincerely call upon you to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, like many of us have done, unto the saving of your soul—and there will flow from your innermost heart a river of living water springing up to eternal life.
December 30, 2001
Scott, thanks for sharing this testimony.