Man praising God near 3 crosses

How I Became a Born-again Christian

Hello my name is Eric Alan Marx and I would like to share how I became a born-again Christian. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, as a young child we sometime said prayers at bedtime like

“if I die before I wake the lord my soul to keep, please watch over mommy, brother, daddy, doggy, etc. amen”.

The first I knew anything about Jesus or God was from Christmas records or the record Jesus Christ Superstar. Then when I lived in Kansas City, Missouri I went to a Seventh- Day Adventist School when I was six and seven for First Grade.

I learned about the Bible and some of the nice stories in the Old Testament, like Jonah and the whale and Jacob’s ladder. I couldn’t eat meat at school, but I don’t remember doing much else with the Seventh Day Adventists outside of school. My next year of second grade we lived in the same place, but I attended a different school, a public school.

The rest of my school years I never learned anything about God, Jesus, or about the Bible in school. But God wanted me to learn some more about Him, so when I was around nine years old in West Baraboo, Wisconsin when I was in Cub Scouts I got invited to a Christian home then, they invited me to go to church and I think my Mom, brother and I went a few times, then we moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin.

Then somehow I got involve in going to Sunday School at a Baptist Church in Reedsburg and I remembered Bible verses like the Ten Commandments and won a Ten Commandments bracelet and remember some verses in Psalms and got a Psalm plate. I liked going to Sunday School and singing children Bible songs, then we moved again to Kansas City, Missouri and I didn’t attend a new church.

In 1976 (I was around the age of thirteen) while my parents were having marital problems, a couple of elderly Mormon Missionaries were allowed to come to our home and tell us about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “Mormons”, and about Joseph Smith. Some of us toured the temple in Independence, Missouri near Kansas City. And they came back a few more times and told us about the Book of Mormon.

Then during my early teen years my Mom and Dad separated and my brother and I lived with our Mom in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She had a hard time handling two teen boys but she handled it OK; but because she worked and my brother and I were not well behaved as teens she was pressured from my Dads family into sending us to live with my Dads brother in Ogden, Utah in January of 1977.

The whole family were Mormon’s but my Aunt was raised a Mormon. My brother and I both became members of the LDS church while there, but I was super gung-ho from the start even more so than even my Aunt.

I attended church all the time and did their tithe was a member on their basketball team and went to their Boy Scout events. I did all the Mormon requirements and told everybody I could, that the LDS church was the only true church. And I went as high as I could in the LDS priesthood. I was a deacon, teacher, priest, bishop, elder.

Their priesthood was different than some other churches because they have an Aaronic Priesthood of boys under 18 and the Melchizedek Priesthood of men 18 and older who become Elders. I even did baptisms for the dead in the Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. And the religion was different than other churches because they had other “Holy Books” beside the Bible and the Bible wasn’t completely correct. When the Bible wasn’t in line with Mormonism it had to have new “Mormon translations” changing and adding to the Bible to make it correct.

I would still be a Mormon today if God didn’t have something better planned. By the time I was 17 we were living in Waunakee, Wisconsin; and my Mother an Father had finally gotten a divorce. And for whatever reasons I decided to go with my Father to live with his brother in Ogden, Utah. Well a gung-ho Mormon like me is usually expected to be a Missionary for a couple of years after I got out of High School; but my Uncle was a cook in the Navy Reserves, and the benefits he got looked good to me.

So I looked into the military and the Army looked good to me; so I took a test and scored very high. Then my father did something that made me not want to live with him anymore ( he tried to kill himself with a medication overdose). So I went to live with my Mom in Wisconsin.

My Mom had a boyfriend from Yuba, Wisconsin (she was raised in and around that part of Wisconsin). She eventually married him, and we moved to his dairy farm in Yuba. He like to tell stories about when he was in the Air Force, so partly because of him I decided to join the Air Force. My test scored were transferable from the Army to the Air Force and I still had high scores. I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to take a couple more tests and a physical.

Then later I saw my recruiter in Madison, Wisconsin; and even though I had high scores and could have almost any good Air Force job. I got talked into and accepted a job that didn’t require high test scores, Security. While still a Senior at Richland Center High School, I joined the Air Force for six years under the delayed entry program (after I finished Basic Training, I would skip two grades and be an Airman First Class and get paid more).

Very soon after I graduated, I entered the Air Force. I was a good Mormon while in Basic Training in Lackland AFB near San Antonio, Texas. I was the Protestant airman who marched other Protestant airmen to their churches and to the LDS church on base. I was even a good Mormon for close to a year where I was stationed in Missouri; but God was working in me.

I had a friend who was a born-again Christian, Mel Pound, who was always talking to me about Christianity and I saw him living a different kind of “Christian” life than I did. He kept telling me that being a Mormon was wrong and it was a cult. That many of the Mormon “Holy Books” didn’t agree with the Holy Bible and sometimes not even with the Mormon beliefs. And that the only true Christianity is only based on the Holy Bible. Well, I “knew” I was a good “Christian” LDS member, and I was eventually going to one of the heavens; so I told him to prove it.

Over a period time and using only the Bible he proved to me that Mormonism is a cult and not Christian. He then told me how he became a Christian, (his testimony), and how everyone is a sinner and why Jesus died on the cross and why he was resurrected, and how Jesus could become part of my life.

Mel Pound, also lived the Christian life, and he was a Christian who just happened to be a member with an independent Baptist kind of church. Well one afternoon in our dorm barracks on base at Whiteman AFB, near Knob Knoster, Missouri in November 1983 close to my birthdate I had another Birthday.

I prayed to God telling Him that I was sorry for being a sinner and would He please forgive my sins, and told God that I accept Jesus as my Savior, and that Jesus could wash all my sins away with his blood, and please accept me into Your family so that I will one day see You in Heaven. I prayed the prayer in the name of Jesus and said Amen. {Since it has been over 23 years those might have not been my exact words I prayed but they are similar}.

Then following Jesus’ example in the Bible I was baptised under water again, because my first baptism in the Mormon church and my baptism for the dead at the temple didn’t count because they were done for unbiblical reasons.

Then for about eight months I attended a Bible practicing church whenever I could, and learned about the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I also learned during that time that once you are really saved you can never lose your Salvation, but you can stumble, or not live the Christian life.

While I was in the Air Force, I got two diseases: Ulcerative Colitis, and Bronchial Asthma. And since they are uncurable diseases, and even on medication they were interfering with my Air Force work, and they didn’t want to spend more money retraining me to a different job; the Air Force medically discharged me and gave me a large severance payment.

It was July and August of 1984, and for many weeks I just lived off that money and almost never thought about God, while I did things I never got to do by myself as a kid. I went to almost every attraction and Amusement Park in and around Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Well, I was almost out of money, so I went to the Veteran’s Administration and decided to get on their Veteran’s Hospital outpatient programs. So after some time after I had more testing done, I started to getting a monthly amount of money for disability from the V.A. while I was staying with my Mom and first step-dad.

Then I wanted to live on my own and wanted to buy more things, so I went looking for work; and for about four months I started and quit four part-time jobs. Then because I hadn’t really lived a Christian life for a while, God allowed me to sink even lower.

I worked in an adult book store and novelty shop called Mall Books on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin for about ten months. And during that time I moved in with my Dad. Well my Dad drank a lot of beer every day; and every once in a while, we argued about things.

Then a few times while he was drunk, I didn’t drink, he tried to hit me but I held him off. Well finally I had enough, one day, out of the blue, I finished my job and left everything behind and took a flight to Los Angeles, California and became a homeless person.

Well God was still looking out for me, because I was never harmed, and He led me to places to get food and to get shelter when I wanted it. And He even brought me closer to him again. I got on a young men’s Christian program at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, California.

I had a bed, regular meals, and helped other homeless people. Had more Christian teaching, and had some computer lessons. Then for whatever reason I quit April 16, 1986 and started walking and hitch hiking back towards my Mom’s place in Wisconsin.

On the way home I stayed a while at the Salvation Army in Las Vegas, Nevada; then a Mission in Kansas City, Missouri; then a Men’s shelter in Madison, Wisconsin. Then I called my Mom who lived in Yuba, Wisconsin; and she came and picked me up. and I lived with her on and off for a little over a year, and almost didn’t ever think about God.

Then I lived with a friend of the family, Cheryl Kivlin, in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin from September 1987 to June of 1988 and babysat her kid, La Manda, and did housework for room and board. Then I got a little bit interested in God again while there and would go to a church once in a while because it was about two blocks away, and they had neat christian club that had Christian Rock and dancing that I went to a couple of times.

Well eventually I moved to Richland Center, Wisconsin to be closer to my Mom. I was in my late 30’s and on my own and felt I was missing something. So I went to First Baptist Church close to me, but for whatever reasons I didn’t like being there. Then somebody came to my apartment trying to sell me an Air Cleaner and I let him in and he saw I had Christian messages around and on my door on the inside.

He asked if I was a Christian and if I wanted to go to a Christian Church and I said yes to both his questions. The church was called Richland Center Fellowship. Well, I liked the pastor’s message and the modern Christian music and the Wednesday fellowship meeting; so I kept going regularly. But something was still missing for me at that church, so I quit going except I went once or twice to an Easter program with my Mom.

Well, I was getting older and not making a difference in my life and I was starting to want a wife. So I put an ad in the local newspapers that I was searching for a girlfriend to become my wife. Well one of the answers by letter I got was someone who said she was a Christian.

We would go walking together after she got done work. She even invited me to dinner and watching videos at her apartment a couple of times. In my letters to her and when we were together, I would always mention God or verses from the Bible.

Well one time she mentioned she had gone to a church a few times that I might like. She invited me to go with her one Sunday. She said I should meet her there. Well one thing that was neat was that it was being held in the Masonic building one building away from my apartment building.

Well I showed up that Sunday and she didn’t, and found out a little bit later that our friendship was over, and never really got a good reason from her. But I got over her and found out some place to jump start my Christian life again.

The church was called Bible Baptist Church and some members believed what I believed in the Bible. I asked Dave Sanders, the Pastor then, some questions about what the church believed, and I like the answers. Then in the church bulletin I saw that the Youth Pastor and music leader needed some help. So I volunteered to help Dale Pierce with what help he needed for music.

I helped him sort out folders of music and helped him organising things. And we became good friends and he showed me how a Christian life could be led and then after a while I became a member and helped with singing at church and even eventually got involved with the Youth program after Dale and his family moved to Indiana. I later became good friends with Ron Manning, he was a member of the music program who played guitar and sang and who eventually became an Elder.

From February of 1997 to November of 2001, I was a member of Grace Community Church (the name was changed September 5, 1999 because it was an independent church not affiliated with Baptist or any other religion); then some of the members decided they wanted to join Evangelical Free Church of America and I couldn’t convince enough of the membership that what was happening wasn’t biblical so I quit my membership. So since then I haven’t been a member of any church and I don’t attend any here in Richland Center, Wisconsin because I don’t believe in going to a church that isn’t 100% biblical.

So right now I’m walking my Christian walk with Jesus alone, but I am still searching for a woman to share my life with God together. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please ask or pick up a Bible and ask God to help Him come into your life. So there is my Christian testimony on April 12, 2007.


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