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   B I B L E


BRIAN J. MACKERT                                 

Out of Polygamist Mormonism

Brian J. Mackert

Brian's Father with most of Brian's Siblings!

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to parents who are Polygamist Mormons. My father had four wives and 31 children. I was the 27th of the 31 children. My mother was my father’s third wife. She had seven children, of which I was the youngest. They belong to a group of Polygamists that live in a town on the border of Utah and Arizona called Colorado City, Arizona called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the FLDS Church which is currently lead by Warren Jeffs. Mormonism from my mother’s side of the family dates back to the days of Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the Mormon faith. The first convert to Mormonism in my family was William Moore Allred. He was baptized moments before his father, Isaac Allred was. Isaac Allred was a member of the churches first high council when the revelation on plural marriage, or polygamy was introduced to the council for approval by Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith Jr's brother. Isaac's brother James was at some of the meetings held in Nauvoo when polygamy was first taught. He also is believed to have taken part in the burial of Joseph Smith Jr. after he was shot in Carthage Jail. William Moore Allred had Byron Harvey Allred Sr. who was born in Winter Quarters before crossing the plains to Utah. Byron Harvey Jr. had Owen Allred and Rhea Allred who is my grandmother. The Polygamist group that lives in Bluffdale, Utah down by the Utah State Pen., is lead by Owen Allred. Grandmother’s other brother was Dr. Rulon Allred who was shot and killed in his doctors office by members of the Lebaron clan. My family’s history is very deeply rooted in the history of the Mormon faith.

As I grew up in this Polygamist family, I was taught about the history of our family in the Mormon faith and the History of the LDS Church. My parents wanted me to understand why we were different from the LDS Church, why we had pulled away from the LDS Church. The separation came when the LDS Church did way with Plural Marriage or Polygamy. The President of the LDS Church at the time was Wilford Woodruff, who issued the “Manifesto” which ended the LDS Church’s practice of plural marriage, “officially.” However, the LDS Church continued to practice it in secret. My Great-grandfather, Byron Harvey Allred Jr. went to Mexico and was married to his second wife by LDS Apostle Anthony W. Ivins in 1903, thirteen years after the signing of the Manifesto. This makes the Manifesto a bold faced lie when it states that, “We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice?” Ivins wasn’t an Apostle at the time he performed the marriage. But he according to my Great-grandfather was acting under the direction of the LDS Church. One thing is certain, Ivins was not reprimanded or excommunicated for conducting these marriages in Mexico. If fact he later became an Apostle of the LDS Church.


My family held to the revelation given in D&C 132. According to LDS Doctrine it was the only path to godhood. In fact my Great Grandfather was excommunicated in 1934 after publishing his book called, “A leaf in Review.” It is a book that criticized the LDS Church and detailed why the Fundamentalists believe the LDS Church is out or order and now needs to be set in order by returning to the original doctrines taught by Joseph Smith Jr. My Grandmother and Grandfather were excommunicated from the LDS Church because they would not comply with the current LDS Churches position on polygamy.

As time went by after my Grandparents were excommunicated from the LDS Church they saw many changes in the LDS Church’s policies and doctrines of the church. As the LDS Church changed my parents taught me about those changes and why they didn’t hold to the teachings of the LDS Church. This has given me a very good education into the history of the LDS Church, which is very different from the milky white version their missionaries try to sell you on. Because my family lived according to the teachings handed down by the early LDS Church leaders who came before Wilford Woodruff, I was educated on what the early LDS Church’s teachings were on doctrinal issues. Doctrines such as “Blood Atonement, Plural Marriage, and Blacks excluded from holding the Priesthood, which are original doctrines that are now suppressed.

The marriages in our polygamist group were all pre-arranged by the “Priesthood Council” (the clan leaders). The President of the FLDS Church had control over who married whom. If you were of marrying age, (which varies, there have been some as young as 14) you would go and see the President and he would supposedly pray and God would reveal to him who you were supposed to marry. The kids I grew up with had a nickname for these types of revelations that isn’t fit to mention. But it had to do with the revelation coming from hormones and not God. Daughters were most often married off to complete strangers. Often these girls were married to men twice if not three times their age, that already had many other wives. If a daughter was married to a man who didn’t have any other wives yet, she was very lucky. In fact it was considered a blessing to be a man’s first wife. It gave you supremacy over future wives because you were senior to them.

All of Mom's kids before Mary was married off.


As I grew up in this strange family and strange culture, I found that there was great rivalry between the wives and their children. My mother and her children were at the bottom of the pecking order. Probably because she was more passive than the other wives and felt that it was her calling to be the peacemaker. My father was a CPA and made good money at his job, but it was not enough to support his large family. He had about 10 acres of land in Sandy, Utah where the new Jordan High School now stands just off State Street. We had cows, horses, pigs, chickens and a large vegetable garden that helped. Another thing he did to make ends meet was having three of his wives work and the other one stayed at home and with the help of the teenagers took care of the children. Also, if you were a boy over the age of 16 you had to get a job and give your paycheck to father. If you were a boy under the age of 16 you took care of the farm animals and the gardening. However many of the kids worked for a company owned by one of the Priesthood Council members named Rulon Jeffs who is the current leader now. They worked under age and under paid. It was obviously a violation of child labor laws. But they didn’t care. No one would dare go to the officials and turn in one of our own Apostles. And many of us kids were so uneducated about the outside world that we were ignorant of the fact that such laws existed.

My father was a control freak. He would not allow us to call him Dad. We had to call him by the more respectful term, “Father.” Also if you needed anything you had to have his approval or you couldn’t have it. This applied to everything including clothes. I still remember my mom taking clothes that were hand-me-down’s from my older brother Ken, and putting them in father’s study with my name written on a piece of paper. They stayed there until father decided that I was worthy to have them. My sister Rowena told me that Father even denied her feminine hygiene products because she wasn’t worthy and made her use a rag. I remember at age 12 wishing for a guitar and hoping that one day Father would change his mind about my having one. My Brothers Steve and Ken both had a guitar. But Father for an unknown reason wouldn’t allow me to have one. In an act of rebellion Mom found an old six string classical guitar at a second hand store and it was only ten bucks. She bought it for me with money she had been putting away for the day she would leave father. She warned me to never play it where others could hear and to hide it especially from Father. I remember one day after school I was playing my guitar when Father came home for some reason and burst into my room and asked where the guitar came from? He took my guitar from me and put it in his study for three months. It stayed there until at a family home evening I played a song on Steve’s guitar and Father was so pleased with my playing that he gave me the guitar back. I only relate this so you can understand the degree of control Father exercised over his family. In his opinion he was teaching us where our blessing came from. And the correct answer wasn’t God.

Mom & Dad with kids minus Mary who was married off.

Father raised me to be very defensive when it came to a woman. He taught me that if I were walking down the street and saw a woman being attacked, that it was my duty as a man to be willing to defend her even if it meant laying down my life for her. Father’s view was that a woman was put here on earth to bring life into this world and that they were the weaker sex and as a man it was my duty to protect all woman. Even if I knew she was a hooker, it didn’t change my duty. At least that’s what he taught us. But given his conduct, I doubt it was something that he really believed. I think it was more of a moral code he wanted to instill in his sons, but not apply to him.

Father was an abusive man. I never saw or heard of him hitting one of his wives. But I have heard of the abuses suffered by my older siblings. He ruled his house with fear. I remember how deathly afraid I was whenever he came home from work. I would become almost paralyzed by fear when Father came home from work. I remember seeing the same fear in the eyes of my siblings. Many times I ran to hide in the boys end of the basement or I went out to the barn to avoid being around him. I was blessed to be one of the youngest. And by the time I came on the scene, Father had long since stopped caring about disciplining his children and reserved it for the most drastic of cases. He seemed to take refuge in watching television. I remember that as soon as he came home from work he would turn on the television. He wouldn’t eat with the family. He ate in front of the television. But he told us that the reason was that we were so ill mannered that it made him sick to eat with us. Later I came to understand that it was just that he didn’t want to have to deal with us, the television was his escape from reality. If you wanted to talk to Father you had to do it during a commercial while standing between him and the television. The only other way to get his attention was to do something wrong and have it brought to his attention by one of the mothers who felt it was sever enough that he should take care of disciplining. Yes, I was spanked with a belt, but never to the point that I felt abused by him. I honestly feel that he dealt an appropriate amount of punishment. So the only explanation I have for my fear of him was because of the fear the older kids had of him.

The mother who stayed home and took care of the children was abusive to the children. I remember siblings being beaten to the point that another child would grab her by the arm and ask if she meant to kill the child? This usually stopped the beating. She showed much favoritism toward her own children who never got punished with the level of violence we who weren’t her children experienced. I remember being beaten for telling the truth. She wanted me to lie and say that I had done something one of her children had done. After sticking to my guns she beat me with a wire coat hanger. I refused to cry out. And she kept saying that she was going to beat me until I broke down and cried. She lost that battle but I carried all the scars. I wasn’t able to sit down for three days because of the welts. Abuse like this was easy to hide. You see Father started his own private school to keep from having to send his children to public schools. This kept him from having to answer awkward questions from school officials. It started out as just him home schooling his own kids. But as others learned about this they asked if he would teach their kids to if they paid him a tuition fee.

In the seven years of the schools existence we went from 8 kids to over 250 kids coming to my fathers school. The principle of the school was the same wife who was dishing out the abuse at home. And even though we lived in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley, we felt very much isolated from anyone who might have been able to help us. Father taught us that we shouldn’t speak to anyone who wasn’t a member of our polygamist group. That if we set foot off of his property without the Spirit God we would be over come by demons that were waiting for the chance to destroy us. And that we could not have the Spirit of God with us if we were acting in rebellion to our father who was our priesthood head. We were also taught that the outside world was out there waiting to lead us into lives of sinfulness that would lead to our destruction. And that there was no love on the outside. Yet after being taught all of this, I recall having stolen a blanket and loaded it with food from the cellar. I was going to run away. I didn’t know where I would go or what I would do. I was only seven at the time. My younger sister Maria caught me and in the trees just off Father’s land she cried and begged me not to go. I came back thinking that if she loved me that much, then I would stay for her sake.

My mother plotted her escape for many years and waited until all but my sister and I were the only ones left of her kids that weren’t married off to make her break. I was thirteen when she asked me to leave with her. Without any need for thought my immediate answer was, “Yes mom, I’ll go with you. Anything is better then the hell I’m living in.” I never asked her why she was leaving. I was just glad to be going. My older sister was 15 and she had gone to live with my older brother whose wife had just given birth to twins. We moved in with my Grandmother who had a very large house that had been divided up into apartments. Father acted like he didn’t care that we had left and to my knowledge never attempted to reconcile the marriage. It seemed as if he gave us up without a fight. Which was a good thing. But the kid in me wanted him to care enough about me to fight for me. I was hurt that he didn’t. I later found out why.

I remember my mom telling me that the reason for her leaving Father was because he had been molesting his daughters. My whole belief system was shattered. Father had hidden behind religion to prevent others from finding out what he had been doing to his daughters. I don’t know why I wasn’t surprised at this news. Somehow it was something I already knew even though I hadn’t seen any evidence that proved what I knew. Through the years after my mom left I saw sister after sister going through therapy. I saw the mental scar’s that were caused from the sexual abuse they suffered. I wanted to be there for them, but I had no idea how to help them or comfort them.

I figured I just had to be there for them whenever they needed a shoulder. This lead to hearing the horrors of what Father had done. It was at times more then I could bear to sit there and hold them, hear them cry and listen to their stories of how he had abused them. My hate for him was growing stronger with each tear that fell from my sister’s eyes.

I worked with my brothers learning how to build houses. And I began drinking and taking drugs in an attempt to numb out enough to be able to have a good time and not dwell on my problems. At the age of nineteen I joined the Navy to get away from my family. I just wanted to get as far away from them and my childhood as I could. I was stationed at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego, Ca., for four years. During my years in the Navy I was drinking very heavily and taking drugs. I went from 190 to 175lbs which for my height and build was very thin. My life was going down hill very fast. I had buddies come up to me and tell me to lay off the drugs or they would catch me. But somehow I always passed the drug tests. About six months before I got out of the Navy, I came to a turning point in my life. My hatred for Father was reaching my limited ability to cope with. I began to fantasize what it would be like to make him pay. I began to entertain the thought of killing him. According to his teachings, my duty was clear. I thought and thought about what would be the best way to make the loudest statement when I did it. Father had moved to the polygamist town of Colorado City, Arizona to hide from the arrows being thrown at him. He was the Super of the building that they held their church services in and where their kids went to school during the week. After long thought I had put together my plan. I would get on my motorcycle and drive to Colorado City. I would time my arrival for late at night. I would take hunter safety orange spray paint and write all over the school and church building, “(My father’s name) is a child molester, I should know, I’m one of his children.” Then I was going to go over to his house and do the same to the house and his car. After that I would go into his house and shot him in his sleep. At the time I wasn’t sure what I would do beyond that. But looking back now I’m sure I would have killed myself also. I set about making my plan come together. I bought a 9mm and all the paint I would need. I was coming home from work one day and had to pull off the highway because I couldn’t see through my own tears. I knew I was heading down a road that would forever change my life if I survived it. I began to think about the long term affects of my actions if I went through with my plan. What finally kept me from killing my father and throwing my life away was the simply fact that it wouldn’t change anything for my sisters. They still would have the scares of being molested. And if anything it would only deepen their pain at the thought of losing a brother who threw away his life to make our father pay for what he had done. But it would never take away their pain.

This was a problem I couldn’t fix. So I got back on my bike and went to the hospital and asked to see a shrink to help me deal with my emotions in a healthier way.  After I got out of the Navy I went home again. I went from job to job getting hired and laid off from construction jobs. It was hard to keep people employed at that time because interest rates were sky high. No one was buying houses back then. I couldn’t use any of the skills I got from the Navy unless I got a job with the DOD contractors who built their aircraft. You see, I worked on ejection seats on the F-14 Fighters. And there aren’t any ejection seats on civilian aircraft. I went through 9 jobs in eleven months working construction. I was now 23 years old. During this time period, I thought I would give being a good boy another try. So I went and was re-baptized into the polygamist group. The next step was to go and see a member of the Priesthood Counsel to find out what needed to be done to get married. I was told by a member of the Priesthood Counsel as we discussed my future and the prospect of marriage that if I wanted to get married that I would have to find a girl on the outside and convert her. And that there was a shortage of girls in the group who were around my age. I knew what this meant because I had seen this before. All the girls my age were being married off to old men who had five or six wives. He was telling me without having to tell me that I was blackballed as being a risk and they would not give me a wife from within the fold and risk that she would go with me if I decided to leave again.

At this point I became convinced that religion was only a mind game used by other men to control people. I began to deny that God existed. I would shake my fist at God and shout out at the sky, saying, “God you don’t exist. No God could allow my sisters and I to suffer through what we had suffered and not do anything to stop it from happening. God, if you do exist, I curse you!”

I joined the Marine Corps and was once again getting away from my family and all that they represented. My sister, who had become a Born Again Christian, and I were talking together the night before I went off to Boot Camp. I was sitting in the front set of her car crying like a baby, angry at life and at God. She listened as I poured out my broken heart. Then she said, “Brian, I know this doesn’t make any sense to you right now. But one day you will come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And when you do, He will heal all the hurt your feeling. He will remove it from you as far as the east is from the west. He will be to you the father you never had.” She told me that the reason she knew Jesus could heal my broken heart was because He had healed hers. She was free to forgive my father for the sexual abuse she suffered. Well she was right. I wasn’t able to understand then.

In Boot Camp I was doing some soul searching. I realized that I was blaming God for the evil things men had done. And that if He was able to stop these things He would be taking away your freedom of choice. And that I had been judging God. Something I had no place doing. I began looking into the scriptures during Boot Camp. I began to feel a need for God in my life. I joined the LDS Church while I was in Boot Camp. Mainly because it was familiar to what I was used to and I knew there would be a pretty good chance that I’d find a stake close to where I would be stationed, wherever that was going to be.

My first year after Boot Camp was spent in Okinawa Japan. I attended the stake there off and on again. I became aware that I could never say with full confidence that the LDS Church was the true church. There were too many doubts that I had because of the history of the LDS Church that I knew far to well. I realized I was fooling myself into trying to believe in something I knew was wrong. I knew there was a God out there somewhere who loved me and all I had to do was find Him. I stopped going to the LDS services because they were as empty as the ones I knew from childhood. All I knew was that the Spirit of God wasn’t there. The spirit I felt there wasn’t a spirit of love, but one of judgment or condemnation.

My next duty station was at MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina. While I was stationed there I meet Dana who later became my wife. We enjoyed our life together there at Cherry Point. When the news came that we were going to have an addition to our new family, the topic of religion came up. Dana and I both agreed that we had to be united in what we would teach our kids about God. But she was raised in a Christian home and I, well you know. She asked me what Mormons believe because she didn’t know much about them. I got about as far as explaining the Mormon path to godhood when she said that she had heard enough. And needed time to let it all sink in. The next day she announced that she would never become a Mormon. To tell the truth I was relieved. I was afraid she would want to become a Mormon and I would be faced with going back to something I didn’t believe in. I knew I didn’t believe in Mormonism, but I also didn’t know what to believe in. I only knew I believed there was a God, and that Jesus was his Son. Dana and I let religion slip to a back burner with the birth of our son Sterling and a long deployment coming up, we wanted to spend time together as a family before I had to go.

While I was on deployment in the Texas desert I found that two of my fellow Sergeants were Christians. They were reading a book by Hal Lindsey called, “The Late Great Planet Earth.” I had always been interested in end time prophecies and had to admit that there was a lot that I didn’t know on the subject. When they were done reading it I asked to borrow it. As I read it I would discuss with them the different things I had learned from the book. In the book Hal did a great job of showing God’s love for us. That God had provided a way for us to escape His wrath. If we believed in Jesus’ atonement on the cross, we wouldn’t suffer these things. That while I was yet a sinner Jesus died to reconcile me to God. While I was shaking my fist at God and cursing Him, He still loved me. I was so overcome by the love of God that I openly wept. But I still had a lot to work through before I would accept the free gift God was offering me. After I returned I told Dana about the book I’d read and the way God had touched my heart.

We ended up with orders back to Okinawa Japan. Dana and Sterling were able to join me and as soon as we got settled into our home we both felt the need to find a church we both could agree upon. I told her that the only thing I knew to believe was that there was a God and that His Son was Jesus Christ who died for my sins on the cross. As long as they are teaching from the Bible and that Jesus was the Son of God, then I didn’t have a problem. We searched and searched and couldn’t find a church that both of us liked. Then one day Dana suggested a church that was about a half an hour away from us. I fretted about the travel time saying it would mean spending an hour on the road each Sunday. But somehow she convinced me to try it out. After the first service Dana was sure this was where God wanted us. I wasn’t getting anything, but I did like the church and felt at home there. The second Sunday Dana asked if we could join. I told her I wasn’t sure yet. The third Sunday, Dana got up and said that she was going to join with or without me because she knew God had lead us to this church. I guess God knew I was delaying and wanted to get me moving. I wasn’t about to be left sitting in the pew by myself. So we joined Koza Baptist Church that day.

As we started getting more involved in the church activities we started going to more than just the Sunday morning services. We started going to the classes they had in the evenings. I was learning more and more about a side of God I had never seen before. All my life I had seen God as a God of judgment and wrath. But now I was seeing God’s love. One day I had just returned from a month and a half cruise with the MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) when Dana suggested that we attend a class about other religions. The winning argument was when she said that if I really wanted to understand the differences between Christians and Mormons, this class would be the perfect place because that was what they would be talking about. So I went to the class. It happened to be the last day of the class and so they were reviewing what they had learned about other religions. I got as much literature as I could from the class because I was offended when I saw that they had labeled Mormonism as a cult. I was going to look up all the references they gave and search the scriptures and prove them wrong about the things they were saying about Mormonism. It wasn’t because I still believed in Mormonism. It was because it was my whole identity. My whole family was Mormon with the exception of a few. I felt that it was my duty to defend them and our family history. The more I searched to prove them wrong the more I proved them right. I had come to a crossroad. I had to decide once and for all what I was. Was I a Mormon, or a Christian? I sat and thought about this and wondered how to come upon a decision. I finally decided that the only fair approach would be to study the two religions without any outside help. I looked up scripture references and studied doctrinal views and I found so many contradictions within Mormonism that it was clear to me that it was a faith built upon fly-by-night doctrines. If the current Prophet wanted to change something about the LDS Church’s Doctrines, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t change. And in Christianity I saw a God who never changes, who is the same today as He was yesterday. I saw a God who loved me and was personal and real. It was through studying the differences between these two faiths that I found the love of God for me. I decided that I was going to become a Christian. But I didn’t know how to become one. You see, for about a year and a half after I made the choice to be a Christian, I had been proclaiming the gospel. My wife and I had been teaching the five-year-old Sunday school class in our church. I had been giving classes on cults and teaching about other religions and their beliefs. I had done independent study about Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witness’, Hinduism, and Mormonism. And I was teaching about the differences between these and Christianity. I had the intellectual knowledge that would lead me to salvation, but I had never made the connection that there was a heart application. That what mattered to God wasn’t how many classes I taught, how many people had been warned about false doctrines, how many people I lead to Christ, how much I knew, but whom I knew. What mattered to God was my relationship with Him and at this point in my life it wasn’t a right relationship. But now that God had removed the scales from my eyes, He was now prepared to meet me on a road in what I like to call, “My Road to Damascus Experience.”

I began having problems with my sinful nature. And it was creating problems in my marriage. I began praying to God for the strength to overcome my sins and to help me save my marriage. But no matter how hard I tried, I would continue to do things that I knew were against God’s commands and against what God wanted of me as a husband and a father. I was helpless in overcoming the sins of my past. I was powerless to stop myself from sinning. One day I was praying on my way to work. It was about 35 to 40 minutes to get there and this was the time I had set aside to talk to God. As I began praying, I got angry with God and entered into an argument with Him. I asked God why He hadn’t given me the strength to overcome my sin? I was frustrated, and I wanted answers. I wanted to be free, to be a new creation instead of this ugly thing I saw in myself. And that was when God spoke to me through the Holy Spirit and asked me, “Brian, what’s wrong?” And I said, “My life is a mess and You said you would make a new creation out of me. But I see no evidence of this in my life.” And God asked me, “Brian, who paid for your sins?” I said, “You did Lord.” And He said, “Did I not say I would make a new creation out of those who come to me?” And I said, “Yes.” And He said, “So you’re wondering why I haven’t made a new creation out of you?” I said, “Yes, Lord.” And then He said, “You already know I paid for your sins, what’s missing Brian? What haven’t you done?” I responded, “I have never confessed that You are my Lord? I have never asked you to come into my heart? I have never surrendered my life to you.” Then He said, “And you wonder why I can’t change you and make you a new creature, why sin still rules your life? I can’t fix what you haven’t given me Brian!” I said, “You mean that just because I haven’t said that prayer, the sinners prayer, You can’t fix my life?” And once again God said, “I can’t fix what you haven’t given me Brian!”

It was 5 a.m. and it was raining that morning with one of the hard down pours Okinawa is known for. I could barely see the road. My tears didn’t make matters any better. So I dried my eyes as I pulled off the road and surrendered my fight against God. I gave my life to Him and asked Him to change me from the inside out. And for the first time in my life, I realized that religion couldn’t save me. Only a relationship with God could save me. And that relationship had to begin with the heart application of a total surrender of self to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

From this moment on, God and I have had a real relationship. And God began to re-create me, making a new creature out of me. All the good that has come out of my life is because of what God has done, not anything I have done. Obeying God and changing my life was suddenly easy for the first time in my life. All because I surrendered my will to Him. I do still have the freedom of choice. We all do, but instead of doing what I want, I would talk with God about the changes He wanted to make in me. He would direct me to make the changes He wanted to see. You see God is a gentleman, He never forces Himself on anyone. Instead, He will only change what we make Him Lord over.

I have been a Christian for five years now. And God has changed my life so radically that everyone I know says I’m not the same man they knew. God even gave me a heart that could love my father and forgive him. Today I look back at my life and I see the road I’ve traveled, and I’m amazed at the Mighty God I serve. On Thanksgiving Day 1999, I stood in the living room of my wife’s grandparent’s house. They were thanking God for what He has done. They asked me what I was thankful to God for. So I told them what God had done in my life. And that it was just ten short years ago that I was on my way to kill my father. After they had heard for the first time the horrors of my past and how God had touched my life to the point of being able to forgive my father and be able to love him, I looked up to see every eye in the room was wet with tears. For the first time I realized that the words my sister Mary spoke to me that night in her car before I went off to Boot Camp were words of prophecy. She had said, “Brian, I know this doesn’t make any sense to you right now. But one day you will come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And when you do, He will heal all the hurt your feeling. He will remove it from you as far as the east is from the west. He will be to you the father you never had.” I realized I had just told the story of all my pain, yet I felt none of it. It was as if I was telling the story of someone else’s life. God had healed all the hurt, and removed it as far as east is from the west. He was the father I never had.  What an awesome God!

Just before Thanksgiving 2002, I received a call notifying me that my dad was about to die. That if anyone wanted to come and see him that they should do it soon. I was unemployed at the time and through the assistance of my Church Sunday School Class, friends, and others, they made sure I could afford to go home and see dad before he died. I made it to Utah and went straight to the rest home that my dad was in. I walked in to see a gray figure on the bed gasping for breath as he lay there sleeping. His eyes were dancing underneath his eyelids. He was pulling ugly faces and flinching. He would pull his arms up toward his chest as if he were trying to break the grip of someone who had just grabbed his arm. I sat and stared at him and thought to myself, "this is not a man who has peace."

The nurse came in and tried to wake him to take his meds and eat dinner, but he wouldn't wake up. We didn't know it yet, but he had already slipped into a coma. So I went to the car and brought in my guitar and bible. One of the greatest complements my dad every paid me was when he heard me playing my brother Steve’s guitar as part of a family home evening. He said to me, “Son, its obvious that you’ll be needing this.” It meant a lot to me to be able to sit there and play for him now. I played songs of praise that contained the gospel message, read like passages of scripture and prayed over him. Every time I said the name of Christ, he would flinch.

Two days after my arrival home, dad died. But what God showed me after his passing blew me away. I went to the mortuary to meet with my siblings before the funeral. My sister Lucy said something that shocked me and placed a horrifying image in my mind. Someone had made the comment that dad was in a better place. My sister Lucy said that she was glad that he wasn't being tormented anymore. I said that I was aware that he saw people who weren't there and even tried to fight with them. That he had even called the police because the demons were going to get him. Lucy said it was worse than that. She said that for the past year dad was afraid to get into his bed because he saw bugs and people crawling on his bed and that they were there to torment him. Immediately the image of my father on his death bed came into my head but this time God superimposed over it the image of what my father was being tormented by. I saw my father thrashing about on his death bed covered in worms and bugs as spirits were grasping at his arms and legs. The vision was enough to make me take a step back. I thought, "My God...You will not be mocked will You?"

As I drove down the road on the way to my brothers house where I was staying, I couldn't get the image out of my head. And then suddenly it came to me...it all made sense…in life dad defiled his bed with his sins...and they were secret sins that he hid from the family…now his bed was defiled spiritually…it was his secret torment. No one could see the demons he faced or share his pain. I couldn't escape the thought of this and what it must have been like for him that last year before his death. When I arrived at my brothers, I headed straight for my bible. I knew that the Hebraic word we translate as “worm” actually means a "crawling animal", much like a bug. So I did a word study on the word worm. I came upon this verse and realized that God had been giving my dad a vision of the eternity that he would face without Him for over a year before his death in an attempt to reach him. This was the verse that brought me to that realization.

Isaiah 14:9-11 9. "Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones. 10. "They will all respond and say to you, 'Even you have been made weak as we, You have become like us.' 11. 'Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you, and worms are your covering.'

I realized that all the prays offered for my father's salvation had not gone unanswered. God pulled out all the stops and did everything possible to save my father, with the exception of making the choice for him. I was amazed at both the righteousness of God and His mercy. That God had not forsaken my petitions for my father‘s salvation. What great love God had for my father. He not only died for him, but He did all He could to bring him to a knowledge of who He really is.

Whether or not my father called out to God in a moment of torment is not evident. I pray that he did. But I also know that God is Righteous and Holy. He will not be mocked. Sin has to be addressed. And each of us has a choice to make. What will we do with Jesus? My father has made his choice. What choice that was is between him and God now. And there is nothing I can do to change it. I just pray that it was a choice different from the one he voiced so many times before.

My brother Howard who is born again talked with me about the talk he and dad had together and the last words he heard dad say in regards to me. Howard asked dad if he had heard from me lately. Dad said, "I hear from him occasionally and every time I do, Brian is still trying to save me."

I have no regrets about my relationship with dad. The only regret I have is over choices that dad made in the past. I pray that his last choice was better then those he made in the past. Each of us has choices that we make in life. Each of us faces the choice of what to do with our sin. My father has made his choice. You have a choice to make too. What will you do with your sin, and the righteousness of God? What will you do with Jesus? Will you accept the atonement that He freely offers to those who repent and accept Him as their Savoir? Or will you reject this free gift and search for another way to deal with your sins? Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

Brian J. Mackert

Brian J. Mackert today with his wife Dana and son Sterling Edward Mackert living in Dallas, Texas.

P.S. If you realize that you are in need of a Savior who can take away your sins. If you long for a real relationship with God and want one. If you have been a member of a Christian Church but have never surrendered your life to Christ. May I suggest that you don’t waste another day? Don’t wait until it’s too late! It is appointed that man should live and die and then comes judgment. Once this life is over, it’s too late to have a change of heart. Get it right the first time. The Bible says that those who call upon the name of the Lord shall not be disappointed. Call upon God and accept the free gift that God has given you to atone for your sins and reconcile you to Him. God loves you and wants you to be with Him forever. But God cannot abide with sin. And sin has to be atoned for. God has provided that atonement through His Son, Jesus Christ. God has taken ever step to reconcile you to Him, except for the last one. And that is a step that you must make; He can’t make it for you. You have to accept the free gift of Salvation that God has prepared for you. The Atonement has already been made for your sins, but it cannot be applied to them until you accept it. And that happens when you accept that Jesus was the Son of God who died in your place as a perfect sacrifice, a perfect atonement for your sins. That God raised Him from the grave on the third day conquering death, hell, and the grave. And that He is coming again to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My friend, no amount of knowledge can save you. No amount of study can save you. No amount of good deeds will save you. Your church attendance can’t save you. Only a real relationship with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ can save you from your sins.

If you want to forgiveness for your sins. If you want to know that if you were to die tonight you would have eternal life and be found holy and acceptable to God, may I suggest that you pray this prayer? You can say it in your own words if you like. This is only an example for those who might want one.

“Lord God, I am a sinner. I have sinned against You. I have done nothing to merit the love that You have for me. That while I was yet a sinner, You sent Your Son who died in my place for my sins. Father, I accept the free gift of salvation that you offer me through the atonement of Your Son Jesus Christ. I accept Him as my Lord and Savior. Lord Jesus, come and fill my heart and live within me. Make a new creation out of me. Change me from the inside out. Mold me and make me into a vessel that You can use. I surrender my life to You. You died for me, now I live for You. Thank You for baring my shame. Thank You for Your blood, which covers my sin. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.” In the love of Christ,

-Brian J. Mackert

Brian is now a licensed minister working in Prison Ministry preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing the forgiveness that only comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ with prisoners and especially sex offenders.

Brian is available upon request to give presenations concerning the beliefs, practices of Mormons and to give witnessing tips for those wanting to reach the Mormon People with the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Contact info: E-mail Plygkid...click here!


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