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Susan Ray Schmidt

was born in Southern Utah in 1953, the seventh child in a large, LDS family. Just after her sixth birthday, her temple-Mormon parents left the LDS church and Utah to join a new, fundamentalist Mormon organization located in a community called Colonia LeBaron, located in Chihuahua, Mexico.

At barely fifteen, Susan became the child-bride of Verlan LeBaron, one of her new prophet’s brothers. Her first child was born just before her sixteenth birthday, swiftly followed by the births of four more children. Grinding poverty, consuming jealousy of her many sister wives, and spiritual emptiness became her daily companions. Confusion and a growing questioning of what the gospel of Jesus Christ really was hounded her.

She began a search of the scriptures, praying God would enlighten and guide her into His truth. Finally convinced Mormonism was in error, she escaped from polygamy and took her five small children with her to Utah. A naïve and uneducated twenty-three year-old, Susan struggled to make a new life for herself and her five children. She determined to get an education and she attended high school while working as a waitress. She went on to college, all the while continuing her search for spiritual truth.

Susan remarried in 1979 and moved to Idaho with her new husband, Dennis. A few months later, she became a Christian in a small Nazarene church. This life-changing experience prompted her growing desire to share her Savior and her new faith in Jesus alone, with her Mormon family. Over the next several years, Susan authored a book entitled ‘Favorite Wife: Escape From Polygamy’. It tells of her harrowing experiences in this violent, fundamentalist Mormon sect, and of her ultimate search for salvation through Jesus Christ.

Since the book’s release in 2006, Susan has spoken at universities, women’s groups and retreats, and a growing variety of Christian churches. Hers is a message of hope to those desperate for a rescuing God. She challenges the body of Christ to equip itself to share the Jesus of the Bible with Mormon friends and loved ones. Susan works with Living Hope Ministires/SourceFlix in presenting and distributing their excellent resources: the DVD’s created to equip believers and searching Mormons regarding the differences in Christianity and Mormonism. Susan’s personal testimony is included in the video, Lifting the Veil of Polygamy, produced by Living Hope Ministries.