Thursday, October 10, 2013

Former Utah State Rep. Carl Wimmer Changes From A Mormon To An Evangelical Christian

This has become a newsworthy week. Now we have a story about a former Utah State Representative who has left the LDS Church to become an Evangelical Christian -- and apparently departed on good terms.

Former Republican Representative Carl Wimmer, who once represented Herriman in the Utah State House, left the LDS Church early in 2013 and aspires to become an Evangelical Christian minister. His wife and three children followed him out of the LDS Church; the Wimmers also are rearing two severely handicapped foster kids. Wimmer says his transformation out of Mormonism began around five years ago, but he didn't pull the trigger until this year. Wimmer says he still loves Mormons and the LDS Church, but he believes God has led him to this new path. Wimmer is about a year away from graduating from an online program offered by Liberty University, and will end up with a double major in criminal justice and Biblical studies. When he qualifies for retirement from law enforcement, he intends to enter the full-time ministry as an Evangelical Christian. Wimmer currently works as a resource police officer at Gunnison High School. On An American Dream Revealed, Sherry Wimmer provided some more insight into their change of faith:

I mentioned that the media has been inquiring about his status. Salt Lake Tribune writer, Paul Rolly, finally reached Carl and asked about his religious beliefs of all things. Specifically, “Have you left the LDS Church?”

The answer is yes. Yes, we have left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism. We did so this year, but looking back, the process that got us here has been ongoing for many years. It wasn’t that we were lazy in our religion or faith, nor was it because we were offended or desired to be sinful. The reasons are much deeper and varied but won’t be shared at this time. Rest assured we have felt God’s guiding hands through the entire process.

Most of our family and some of our friends already knew about our transition, but many close and very dear friends did not know. We were not trying to keep it a secret; rather we were waiting for the right opportunity to tell others.

Some of you will be shocked, possibly hurt that we have made such a decision. Those of you who are active and faithful members in the church will sincerely question why, but you may hesitate to ask in fear of learning our response. A few will choose to believe we have been misled by Satan. The day I told my family about our decision, my brother posted a picture on Facebook of the “Kool-aid” man in jest. There’s no doubt that we will be watched closely by many and even judged by some. But there will also be those who are going through a personal crisis of faith who will reach out to us for help.

Wimmer represented Herriman in the Utah State House until 2012, when he launched a campaign for the Utah Fourth Congressional District House seat. He ran against Stephen Sandstrom and Mia Love, both LDS members, for the Republican nomination, but captivated by the novelty of Love's candidacy, Republicans chose Love by a healthy margin. Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson barely beat her in the general election. After the election, Wimmer and his family moved to Sanpete County. Wimmer had a reputation as the most conservative member of the Utah State House, frequently earning near-perfect grades from various lobbies. You can also visit his Twitter page.

It is unusual for someone to leave the LDS Church and become an Evangelical Christian. Most departees either join a more liberal denomination or become atheists. It is clear that Carl Wimmer has no axe to grind against the LDS Church, and who can say that the Lord doesn't have a specific reason for leading the Wimmer family in a different spiritual direction. If he becomes an Evangelical minister, he can use his position to dispel lingering anti-Mormon prejudice within the Evangelical community and convince them that we Mormons are indeed Christians. And if he really wants to be bold, he could become one of the few non-Mormon pastors to use the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible in his services. There are people who are not yet strong enough for the meat of the Gospel we offer; Wimmer can offer them the milk of the Gospel. Not everyone is ready to trade in coffee in exchange for Christ; they want to have both.

Reaction: The Salt Lake Tribune is absolutely overrun by trolls who don't like Wimmer regardless of what he does. But there was one pertinent comment of interest:

Drew Reese • 5 hours ago:
I met Carl last year [2012] when I was producing a major Christian worship concert in Draper, that was being threatened of eviction from the Draper City venue the day prior to the event, Carl was there not only to fight the city alongside my team, but he was there all day and night volunteering with the load in of all the equipment, and provided security backstage for Michael W. Smith during the worship event. I gained so much respect for this man. He is a man of God, and I stand behind him all the way!

The bible is full of examples of former lives completely being transformed by Jesus; Matthew the Tax Collector and Saul who became Paul come to mind. When a person is saved, and transformed by the Power of Christ, and called into ministry, Our past has no consequence! When you are Saved, literally you become made new!

I am so excited to see what comes next in Carl's call to ministry! YOU GO MY BROTHER!
- Pastor Drew [Warrior Worship Ministries]

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