Publisher/Chief Editor

of Challenge Weekly, New Zealand


HONOLULU, HAWAII (January 25, 2000) — Cindy Bauer must have wept in the summer of 1998 when she heard the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) would build a temple on the Big Island, Hawaii. The 8,500-square-foot Kona temple became the 70th Mormon temple worldwide, when a delegation from Salt Lake City, Utah, conducted a dedication ceremony on January 23, 00.

Cindy Bauer lived in Utah until she was in the second grade. She moved to California but continued to spend her summers in Utah, an unwitting link between these two states were the bulk of the Mormon population of the United States resides.

Her mother was a “Daughter of the Utah Pioneers.” Her Latter-day Saint family ran the gamut from the name-only ‘jack Mormons,” to the active non-temple-marriage-members, to her uncle, who was a high priest.

Her uncle baptized her when she reached the age of eight, and the memories of being lowered into the baptistry by his strong arms, the swirling of the water around her little white dress, and the impact of the words of her confirmational blessing are still fresh in her memory. Surely this must be of God?

“I was raised not to question the Mormon faith, and I didn’t. Mormonism was my life and my heritage. My ancestors converted to it over a century ago. I was loyal to Joseph Smith’s teachings and worked diligently to prove myself worthy of becoming a god.

“As I pursued life in the Mormon church, my efforts did not go unnoticed. In fact, my accomplishments set me apart from the average Mormon. At the age of 17, I first started teaching in the church. I taught in every auxiliary including Seminary and genealogy, except the exclusively male priesthood.”

Cindy recalls that even in high school her identity as a Mormon was very high profile, as was that of many of the other school leaders and class officers. The two young men she dated during high school, as well as her best friend in college, all joined the Mormon church due to her influence.

At the age of twenty-one Cindy made a commitment to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. “When I asked God to reveal its truthfulness to me, I literally saw my chest on fire. Mormon tradition promised a burning sensation in one’s bosom, but this was more confirmation than ever imagined. Surely this must be of God!”

FIRST SEED OF DOUBT

However, the first seed of real doubt was planted months later when she escorted a group of young Mormon girls to the national Dance Festival in Salt Lake City, sponsored by the LDS Church. A man pressed a tract into her hand. It examined Joseph Smith’s teachings from a Christian perspective. It dealt with some of the “far-out” claims that the Garden of Eden was in Independence, Missouri, and that Israel’s ten lost tribes were dwelling on a landmass that had been taken from the North Pole. This might have been shocking to anyone but a “total, sold-out Mormon” like Cindy.

For years Cindy had believed and openly taught such things as the Mormon doctrines that God was having sexual intercourse with his celestial wives to produce spirit babies. She believed that he had had intercourse with the young girl Mary to produce the body of Jesus. She had taught that when one is baptized into the Mormon church one receives an actual transfusion of new blood, making him or her a member of the twelve tribes of Israel.

“So this tract did not shock me. Then I turned the tract over. There, on the back, was my first view of the simple plan of salvation, one that did not include those ‘essentials’ such as temple worship or priesthood or even a strictly organized church. It was a simple plan that emphasized Jesus Christ and His dying for the sins of each person.”

MORMONISM EXPOSED

That experience lay like a dormant seed in Cindy’s heart for four long years, years in which she forgot its message and turned full power toward the Mormon gospel that she believed would ultimately make her a goddess.

The first rays of God’s light fell on that seed in 1975 when she met a Christian whose life challenged her. The living, walk-the-talk relationship he had with God and the people around him began demanding her attention.

“It gnawed at my conscience. My friend knew God and I didn’t. It was then that I began to question Mormon doctrines, which claimed to possess the fullness of the Gospel. Over the course of a year and a half, my Christian friend discipled me by exposing the beliefs I had never really questioned.

“Driving home one evening I became acutely aware of God’s presence. As I stopped at the light at the corner of Cherry Avenue and Market, the Lord spoke to my inner self and said, Mormonism is false. Everything within me cried out, “It can’t be! It just can’t be!” but the message was unyielding, Mormonism is false!

The next morning Cindy devoted herself to prayer before going to church. At the end of that time, she was left with the firm conviction that she would have to swallow her pride and admit publicly that she knew Mormonism was wrong. She knew the necessity of publicly professing faith in Jesus Christ as Savior in order for Him to confess me before the Father.

NOTHING BUT JESUS

“During the service, while a lovely black singer sang her solo, God exposed my prejudice. What a stench I must have been in God’s nostrils to believe I was superior to those with darker skin, as Mormon doctrine expounded.

The Lord continued nudging Cindy’s heart that morning as later in the service the pastor announced that “there are five more people who God has spoken to, who need to respond. One of you knows if God has spoken to you in your car.” No one else had been there! How could he have known?  Coincidence? I think not…

“When I went forward, I’m sure my mascara was running, my slip was probably showing, I felt completely humiliated and humbled before the cross of Jesus Christ and those Christians who had been witnessing to me. But nothing mattered but Jesus. For the first time in my life I wanted to declare before everybody who Jesus Christ was, who he was for me, my Lord and my Savior, and that he died for my sins. I was a sinner, in need, needing His forgiving grace and power.”

After a battle that had lasted a year and a half, Cindy Bauer surrendered to the one and only true God of the Bible, breaking the silence in her life.

LOOKING BACK

Looking back at the time in the Mormon church, what angers Cindy most was all the deception locked in silence.

“It’s a silence perpetuated out of fear. The deception hindered me from asking questions. I realize now how deadly that silence is, and how subtle the lie. “Deception’s sting is that you are unaware you’re being deceived.

Don’t fall into that trap! Just because you believe a principle does not necessarily make it true. The Word of God can only establish truth.

“My testimony is the simple testimony of grace – God’s grace.”

Cindy Bauer and her husband Tom are now living in Honolulu where they are pioneering a Christian Training Center with Grace Bible Church. They have four daughters, Carla, Christy, Cari and Charis).


Received from Dan Wooding, ASSIST COMMUNICATIONS, PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126, USA; E-mail: assistcomm@cs.com.