Fanis Gialypsos

I was raised in the Orthodox church and this is my testimony. From when I was a child, I was seeing some things in the Orthodox church were not right according the word of God. So I started from the age of 12-13 years old to search about God, if God exists, what his Word says etc.

I started to read the Holy Bible,Christian Orthodox books, mythology (Greek mythology and foreign mythology such as Indian mythology, Egyptian mythology etc), history and other books about other religions.

At this point, I want to say something important which played a major role for how I entered Mormon cult. In Greek mythology if you search a lot, you will read that Hercules and god Dionysus travelled in exotic places. Some people say that these places were China and USA. Some scholars, claim that Egyptians were travelling to South America and they had trade with the people who were living in South America.

In 2008, in the age of 21, I met the Mormons. I was a volunteer in the volunteering team of the municipality of Patra where I stay in Greece. That time, Mormons were coming to help as volunteers in this volunteering team. And through this volunteering team I met them. So they approached me in an event in which me and the Mormon missionaries were both volunteers.

We spoke a bit that time and we decided to go for a coffee in order to speak. After 1-2 days we went out for a coffee (by the way they weren’t drinking coffee so they order something else to drink) and we started to discuss. They told me that Lehi left Israel and went to America.

In that point I was amazed and I told what I read in Greek mythology and what some scholars said about trading between Egypt and South America. And they said that this is amazing.

So they asked me if I believe that Lehi left Israel and went to America. So I told them why not. Also before we left in order I go to my house and they go to their house, they gave me the book of Mormon and they asked me to pray to God and ask him if their church is true and this book is true. Also, I invited them come to my home the next day for lunch.

So I went back home and before I sleep I prayed to God in order to ask Him if He exists because till that time I was searching if God exists and show me His truth. So that night God gave me a sign that He exists.

At noon, when they came to my house to eat, I told them what happened the previous night. They told me that I had a testimony, an answer from God that their church is true and the Book of Mormon is true. So from that time the lessons started. Also they gave me their booklets The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we started the lessons from these booklets.

Almost everyday I was going to the apartment they had at the church for the lessons. After two and a half weeks their president came to Patra and I met with their president. So he decided that I am ready to be baptized.

On 15 of August 2008 I was baptized at the sea. After 2 weeks from my baptismal I was leaving Patra in order to go to another town for studies in university and before I leave for this city I was ordained as a priest.

In the other town, Kavala, where I went for studies, I met the Mormon church there too and I joined to their church there too. There I was ordained as a priest again because they had some problems with the papers from my first ordination and also I was helping them at the church.

I was speaking at their church and also I helping in the sacrament. That time I was only reading the Book of Mormon and they encouraged me to read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.

Also, sometimes ,when I was going to Thessaloniki which is near at Kavala, or in Athens, I was going to Mormon churches there. In Thessaloniki, after some time, I was ordained as an elder. In 2011-2012 their churches in my home town Patra and in Kavala were closed because they didn’t have lots of members. For one year I was going to Thessaloniki or they were coming to Kavala for meeting in my house.

In 2013, I left Kavala and I went back to my home town Patra and from there I was going for some time in Athens at the church there. In August 2013 I had the Patriarchal Blessing and in September 2013 I was called to serve at Greek military. So I took with me a pocket sized book of Mormon there.

In May 2014 I finished military. That time I started wondering lots of things and I started to read the Holy Bible and not the Book of Mormon. Some time later in 2014 when I was riding my bicycle, I was crossing outside a church here in my city. This church is called Free Evangelical Church of Patra. I went there to see what church was and I started to have communion and friendship with people there.

So there, I was starting to hear the gospel in way that was not preached in the Mormon cult. And they started to tell me about Mormons and that they were a cult, my Mormon testimony was wrong, and they teach wrong things far away from the Holy Bible. So I started to read the Holy Bible more intensively and I found alone that they had right and the Mormon beliefs were contradicted Bible. This happened in 2015.

In March 2015, before I start reading the Bible intensively and find out alone the contradictions of Bible and the Book of Mormon, I went to this church and asked them if they can let me stay at their church, hear the gospel and become member at their church and they agreed.

At summer 2015 I went to a youth camp of this church near Athens in Sounio and there I was reborn and I left Mormon cult unofficially. Also when I came back to Patra I was baptized to this church.

In April 2016 I met the branch president of Acropolis branch where I belong and I told them that I go to other church, that this church teaches truth and that I leaving Mormon cult. Then he started to tell me that if I leave Mormon cult I will not go to God and things like that.

So I spoke about these things to a member of this cult and this person told me that the branch president is wrong and only God can judge us. So, in April 2016 I left Mormon cult officially.

A lesson that I learned from this experience is that God through all this made me to know the Evangelical church in Patra and learn there His truth and be reborn and baptized. Also another lesson I learned is that never trust people who teach different gospel from the Holy Bible, because Holy bible is the Word of God. No other book. Only Holy Bible.

This is my Testimony

The message I want to share with people is not enter to this cult because they will lead you away from God and they will lead you straight to Devil.

The message I want to share with people that want to leave Mormon cult and they are afraid, is this: leave this cult immediately without hesitation.

I share this testimony on how I entered the Mormon cult and how I left the Mormon cult, in the name of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reachout Notes:

Greek population 10.72 million.

LDS population 802, or 0.007%

3 branches

0 wards

Official information:

In the early 1900s, Rigas Pofantis, a printer from Athens, sent a request to leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for information. The president of the Church’s mission in Turkey taught Pofantis, who was baptized in October 1905.

The Church experienced little growth in Greece until the 1950s, when Greek-American Church members in Salt Lake City, Utah, organized the Hellenic Latter-day Saint Society to retain their heritage and maintain ties with their homelands. Latter-day Saints participated in a number of diplomatic exchanges over the following decades, including a visit to Greece by Church President Ezra Taft Benson. Church leaders organized a small congregation in Athens in 1965 and reorganized it in 1967. They established the Greece Athens Mission in July 1990 and completed construction of the first meetinghouse in Greece in May 1999.

Cumorah.Com Data

Church News Data

Friendship Centre Athens

1st meetinghouse in Greece (Athens)