It has been almost twenty years since God began His good work in the lives of Jonathan and Tina. There have been valleys and mountains, struggles and victories. Throughout that time the Edgar's have met other individuals with similar stories of leaving behind Mormonism yet finding Christ. These individuals have often shared their struggles of navigating their new Christian faith and culture. Jonathan and Tina hope through their own testimonies of Gods faithful love and the REALM Fellowship Support Group to help others transition into authentic Christ focused Christianity and look forward to seeing Gods redeeming work in Cache Valley grow as others discover His will for their lives through His work of salvation by grace.
Jonathan and Tina Edgar were born and raised in southern Idaho, near Twin Falls.
Jonathan was born into a faithful LDS family, the second of eight children. His childhood was spent, happily with his family as they lived faithful and service filled LDS lives, fulfilling callings, and growing together in their testimonies of Joseph Smith Jr and the church he claimed to have restored. They studied scriptures, performed temple ordnances, discovered family history, prayed daily and enjoyed their faith together as only a large Mormon family can. Jonathan was preparing to serve his LDS mission at 19, when a sudden extended illness disqualified him from serving a two year mission. While disappointed, he trusted that Heavenly Father had plans for his life.
Tina was raised by loving parents in a non-religious home. The few times her family did attend churches in her home town, were social experiments and ways for her parents to grow their social groups and business contacts. Tina declared herself to be an atheist at 14, after her parents’ divorce and her discovery that she had been adopted. This led to many years of seeking truth and answers to many of her questions, but never feeling like she had discovered the identity she was looking for.
Jonathan and Tina met in high school, and as seniors their friendship grew. It blossomed into love before graduation and continued as they prepared to go to a nearby college. While Jonathan was unable to serve an official LDS mission, he was delighted to introduce Tina to the local Mormon missionaries, and helped them teach her the pre-baptism discussions. He felt that Heavenly Father, knowing his desire to share the gospel, gave him this great opportunity, to witness the conversion and growing testimony of the woman who would someday soon become his wife.
Tina felt drawn to learn about the LDS church, especially concerning their doctrines of eternal families, and that she was a precious daughter loved by a Heavenly Father. She read the Book of Mormon, accepted the plan of Salvation, and was baptized by Jonathan shortly after beginning college.
To help her testimony grow, she spent her free time at college reading and studying the past teachings and history of her new church. The words of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were easily accessed at the well-stocked library of the nearby institute building. She read books of doctrines, journals, and written histories, provided and printed by the LDS church. Tina also started reading the Bible for the first time, mostly in the New Testament.
The next two years were full of work, play, school and church. Jonathan and Tina were married and six months later discovered they were going to be parents. This time became increasingly frustrating and difficult for Tina as she continued to study church history and doctrines and read the Bible. Having hoped to grow her testimony she found that many of the things she was studying contradicted both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. She eventually realized she did not believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and decided to leave the LDS church and returned to her atheist beliefs, rejecting the only god she had been taught about as a Mormon.
Jonathan struggled during this time to answer Tina's many questions. While many were new questions, some were questions he had growing up Mormon, but had always considered trivial, and easily dismissed. As he often did during times of challenge and struggle in his life he started reading the Psalms, seeking Gods loving assurance that everything would work out, and Tina would regain her LDS testimony and return to church.
Soon after their daughter’s birth, they joined the internet world. This opened up a new way to ask and communicate questions concerning religion. Tina found her way to Christian chatrooms, and spent many late nights arguing with Christian believers there. They slowly, with bold spirit-led compassion, took a bitter, angry and confused young mom and taught her about the Biblical Christ and His gospel. She was amazed at how the Bible opened up to her and her understanding grew, and a year after leaving the LDS church, surrender her life to the Savior and His work of salvation, He had authored in her heart.
Jonathan noticed a distinct change in his wife. She went from a very hateful angry woman, who from her depression wanted to only fight about religion, to a usually gentle and respectful, more loving mother and wife. Also during this time Jonathan, while trying to be the most faithful LDS father he could, by fulfilling callings and serving God the only way he knew how, came face to face with the God of Psalms. In Psalms he learned that he had a serious issue. Jonathan was a sinner, and no matter how many good works he did, church callings and community service helping others, it did not change the fact that he still sinned and struggled inwardly and outwardly, daily, as a sinner. It confused him, that the process he had been taught his whole life as a faithful Mormon on how to become righteous before God, left him feeling so empty and unchanged. If he was doing all God commanded, and more, where was the promises of worthiness and the blessings the LDS church taught Heavenly Father offered him?
Tina, along with some friends from work invited Jonathan to go with her to visit some local, non-LDS churches. Secretly hoping that this would be the thing that showed Tina she needed to return to the LDS church, Jonathan agreed to go.
At these churches they both continued to learn about whom the Bible said God was, and what His gospel truly meant. Most of the teachings were very different from the LDS church doctrines, but both Jonathan and Tina realized they were truth through the witness of the Holy Spirit as they studied the Bible. During one bold sermon from a visiting pastor Jonathan realized that only Christ and His complete and finished work through His death on the cross could forgive his sins, granting him the fullness of all God has promised, eternal life, and He felt led to surrender to God's calling for his life. He eventually also left the LDS church after much Bible study, when he realized it was not God's restored church and Joseph Smith was not qualified to be a true prophet of God.
Life for the Edgars changed. They now were on a great journey together, and were welcoming another child into the world. They were lucky to have a few new friends who were supportive and desired to disciple them through Bible Study helping them understand their new Christian identities. They were also surprised by God, as He led them to move to Cache Valley Utah to finish school.
For many ex-Mormons, the call of God to move to Utah, behind the "Zion curtain" is a scary idea. Jonathan and Tina reluctantly moved, and after a short time to get settled attempted to find a church home. They were blessed to find some caring and mature Christians, and became part of the body of believers in Cache Valley joining in worship with others at strong bible teaching churches in the valley. A few years after their move they publically declared their witness of following Christ through baptism and began using their spiritual gifts in His kingdom. Jonathan became a well-respected teacher of God’s word, and Tina involved herself in local community and church ministries.
You can locate Cache Valley Bible Fellowship just north of D.I. in Logan.
We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at 7:00pm to 8:30pm
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