On a Friday in January 2006, at home in Alpine, Utah, I received a phone call from my third son, Micah, that changed my life.
My family and I loved living in "Zion," the result of a decision that my husband, Michael, and I had made as young adults to join the Mormon Church. For eight years, I had been a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU), the flagship school of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Michael was a high priest, a bishopric member and high counselor, temple worker, seminary teacher, and Sunday school president. Our first son, Josh, and second son, Matt, had served the church's obligatory two-year evangelizing missions. Our daughter Katie pleased church leaders as well with her faith in Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith.
I looked down on Christians who followed the Bible. They had part of the gospel, but I had the fullness of it. I kept the laws and ordinances of Mormonism. When I took the sacrament of leavened bread and water each week at our Sunday meeting house, I was letting the sin janitor sweep away all iniquity. I believed the Mormon Church secured my eternal life.
Life in Zion
My husband and I had joined the LDS Church at age 25 after Mormon missionaries knocked on our front door. We had both attended Protestant churches growing up, but we rarely if ever read the Bible. We assumed that joining was a Christian option (85 percent of LDS converts come from biblical Christianity). We were unprepared to counter the missionaries.
Immediately and always active in the church, we raised our four children in the faith in Indiana. Serving untold hours in church callings, reading Mormon scripture, tithing, attending meetings, keeping a health code, and doing genealogy ...