Can a Mormon leave the cult and become a Christian?
I, along with Nathan Jones, had the pleasure of asking this question of James Walker, President of the ministry Watchman Fellowship based in Arlington, Texas. James is a former fourth generation Mormon who found the Lord Jesus Christ and since then has dedicated his life in trying to lead people out of the spiritual darkness of the cults. Experts on cults and false religions, his ministry has indexed nearly 1,200 religious organizations, cults, occultic groups, and controversial doctrinal practices to aid people in spiritual discernment.
Walker’s Conversion to Christianity
Dr. Reagan: Because of Mitt Romney’s presence in the presidential race, the question of Mormonism has been moved to the front burner again. People are interested in Mormonism who have never been interested in it before.
James, how can you speak authoritatively about the Mormon faith?
James Walker: Well, I was born and raised a Mormon, a Latter-day Saint, fourth generation. I was baptized when I was just eight years old and received the laying on of hands for what they call the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Then I later received the Mormon Aaronic priesthood, serving in the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest. I also did baptism work for the dead in the Salt Lake City Temple.
Dr. Reagan: Did you receive Temple baptism?
James Walker: I was baptized for the dead in the Salt Lake City Temple, by proxy.
I believed that Joseph Smith, the Mormon founder and prophet, was a true prophet of God. I once believed that the Book of Mormon was the very word of God. I believed it completely.
Fortunately, I had some Christian friends who loved me and built a bridge of relationship with me, and I was able to come to see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for what it really is — a cult.
Dr. Reagan: It’s amazing those Christian friends could approach you because weren’t you taught that Christians are the enemy?
James Walker: Yes. It was hard to trust at first, but my Christian friends had some good documentation and some good proofs, and they showed the love of Christ. Over a process I came to realize that the Book of Mormon was not the word of God and that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. I was able to receive the true gospel of grace.
Dr. Reagan: Praise the Lord!
James Walker: Since that time, before I became president of Watchman Fellowship, I received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and a master’s degree in Theology from the Criswell College. I teach at several Bible colleges now on comparative religions. I teach as an adjunct professor at Criswell College in Dallas and at Arlington Baptist College. I also co-teach a one week workshop each year at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Reagan: Did your family reject you?
James Walker: Eventually my entire family, except for my father, did become Evangelical Christian. My father and I went through a ten year period when we only talked twice during that whole ten year period. He did pass away as a Latter-day Saint.
Dr. Reagan: That must have been a terrible disappointment for you.
James Walker: It was.
Dr. Reagan: I understand it’s very difficult to leave a faith like Mormonism or the Jehovah’s Witnesses because it’s your culture.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, it’s not just about a religion. Everything about you — your identity, your culture, everything that you are — is based on the Book of Mormon, on the prophet Joseph Smith, and on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the next part of this interview with James Walker concerning Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, we’ll get into what Mormons truly teach concerning God, Man and salvation.