I was raised in the LDS church, born under the covenant, the sixth of eight children (5 girls and 3 boys). All but two of my sisters went on missions. I was sealed in the temple and had four kids of my own. All was fine in the Mormon bubble until March of 2012.
I was shy growing up in Holiday, UT. I was fairly quiet and kept to myself. I always had 2-3 friends from school and church. As a teenager, I was rambunctious, always finding trouble, involved with the police and court and fines. I wasn’t planning on going on a mission by the time I was 19, but had a change of heart and turned in paperwork after the age of 20. (My friend pointed out in my Patriarchal Blessing how there seemed to be no doubt or question about me serving a mission.)
I was in the MTC three weeks to serve in the West Indies Mission. I was in the field about a month for my 21st birthday, pretty much getting started, when I should have been finished. I read the Book of Mormon many times in the field and I noticed the parts about the marvelous work and a wonder and the sealed portion. I read how it was from the brother of Jared and was a record from the beginning of the world to the end, and no greater thing was shown to anyone else. My Mission President talked to me once in an interview about how if Joseph told Brigham Young the truth, he (Brigham) would leave the church. We both wondered what that could have been, especially when Brigham would be the next prophet/ president of the church. My mission was a great experience. I witnessed many miracles. It was very faith promoting.
My wife and I had the same goals with marriage and “raising children unto the Lord.” We both came from LDS families, served in the mission field, and held various callings in the church. My longest calling was with the young men. I started with them as they came in as Deacons and I stayed with those same boys, graduating as their teacher as they graduated in their priesthood authority from Scouts, to High Adventure, to mission callings. That was a strong faith-building experience as well.
Then came a time when I started hearing things I had never really heard about the church before—strange things about the church that I did not believe. But after investigating, my faith was shaken. I went on for a few years shelving these issues, knowing there were answers and didn’t let these things take me off course from the gospel. But I was not afraid to look at the issues of the Church.
I came across a video from Bill McKeever talking about how someone was claiming they were the re-incarnated Hyrum Smith and that he was dedicating a grave in the SLC cemetery. I don’t know why that video seemed any different than any other anti-church video I had seen, but I searched Christopher Nemelka on YouTube and a three-part library symposium came up (the one where he is wearing the bottle cap glasses and fake teeth). I watched that and I remember him holding up the SNS book with the temple on it. So that’s the book I looked up online.
After reading that book, everything changed. I couldn’t sleep. So many things I once believed in came to an end. Those who were close to me noticed a change. The burden of the Church had lifted. I read the 666 book next, so excited! I knew once my family would read the books, they would know what I knew!!!
But it didn’t work out that way at all. My wife read books all the time. Reading was not a big problem for her. I begged her to read the 666 book, but she would not. I read the Joseph Smith book. (I lent it to my oldest brother, as he is a great student of Joseph Smith. He gave it back, showing no interest.) Next was Human Reality and finally The Sealed Portion. (By this time, I knew TSP was a story with a lot of real truth in the storyline.)
As I drifted further from the church, my wife became more resolved to abide its precepts. I continued to go to church. I even agreed to have a calling in the library, but I put my wife through HELL!! When I ordered a coffee at breakfast, it broke her heart. When she found out I was using marijuana, she kicked me out of the house!!
I baptized my first oldest daughter, but they would not let me confirm her, because I was admittedly not living up to the standards of the church. That was my last action of the priesthood that I exercised.
As I continued to try to pull my family from the church, our marriage suffered and we were separated and divorced eight years after I came across this work. The communication I have with my kids is not the same as before. If they find this work, it won’t be from me. I stopped trying to get people to look at a Marvelous Work and a Wonder® many, many years ago. If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn’t mention it to anybody.
For now, I live a simple life. All my needs are met and many wants as well. I look out and see a broken world. Obviously, it’s fallen, completely unbalanced from rich and poor and the joy and misery that comes from it.
I vote for The Humanity Party, signed the Book of Life, and now I’m sharing my story. Is anything changing or going to change? Hopefully.
So that’s it—appearing to live on the edge of homelessness, feasting on the words of Chris, and waiting for the end of this life so I can end the next … Party on dudes … and be excellent to each other!!
Contact me if you want. I don’t pay for phone service. I use free wi-fi.