Preview of Amish Latter-day Saints: Journey of Discovery
DANVILLE, Ohio – “I grew up in the Amish community, lived there for 35 years before I became a member of the church,” Raymond Weaver said.
A few years ago, three Amish families chose to leave their faith and join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their conversion happened quickly but their transition has been a journey.
Raymond Weaver first learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after a friend gave him a Book of Mormon.
“I believed in the New Testament, I wasn’t sure what another testament of Jesus Christ would mean to me,” Raymond Weaver said.
But he read it in three weeks.
He then shared his knowledge with his wife and two other couples from his Amish community.
“We were members for eight months before the Amish community knew. And we were still going to the Amish church,” Weaver’s wife, Laura, said.
Leaving their faith was an extremely difficult decision for these three Amish families in Danville, Ohio.
“They’re very supportive of one another. But then when a family or a person leaves, having been a member of the church, that’s when it really changes,” Levi Troyer said.
Shunned by their community and their families when they changed faiths, they also had to adapt to an entirely new way of life.
“When we got our first phones we tried not to use it in front of them only because we’re trying to respect how they believe,” Mary Hochstetler said.
Only gradually did they adopt what the Amish refer to as “English traditions.”
They learned to drive, added electricity to their homes and business and slowly began using technology, including telephones and computers.
“I think that’s why we were prompted to do it gradually, you know, because we could continue to live our lives and not be so disruptive,” Laura Weaver said.
Having three families who understood the complexity of the transition eased the hardship.
Following their new faith led to a new realization.
“We were just me and Raymond Levi. All three of us families were just trying to do what was right,” Paul Hochstetler said.
“As I look back over the past seven years, all the miracles that happen, the life changing events, what the knowledge I have today, then, what about the gospel and what I had, then it’s like, night and day,” Raymond Weaver said.
“Everything that we have faced. It’s very well worth the sacrifice. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Levi Troyer said.
It’s a decision that has impacted every aspect of their lives.
This is a preview of “Amish Latter-day Saints: Journey of Discovery”. Watch the full documentary on KSL 5 TV and on the KSL TV app Sunday, April, 7 at 1:30 p.m.
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