I’m Ken. I grew up in California, in a Christian home, attending a Baptist church. I was a Jesus and Bible believer all growing up. I always wondered what the deal was with so many religions, and especially so many Christian churches, all with various beliefs. I was a “know it all” kid, or thought I did anyway. Reading and research have been a big part of my life since I was young. I was often reading, trying to learn everything about everything. History was always my favorite subject, especially ancient civilizations.
When I was 17, in 1998, my family and I joined the LDS church. At the time, I thought that I had finally found the truth. There was something so drawing and intriguing about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. While the missionaries were teaching us the discussions, I was often interrupting with questions. I had to know every detail, and had to have scripture references to each and every thing they were saying. I was probably one of the few people who read the entire Book of Mormon and most of the Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price before getting baptized.
Immediately after getting baptized, I felt strongly about going on a mission. Although, I thought that I was 17 years behind everyone else. So from the moment after getting baptized until I was 19, I read and read and read, and studied anything and everything I could get my hands on. Church history was something I felt I had to know every detail about. As well as becoming as familiar as I could with the scriptures.
I went on my mission to Toronto, Canada from 2000-2002. It was a huge eye-opener. The first thing that was surprising was that so many fellow missionaries knew close to nothing about church history, and most had not even read the entire Book of Mormon even once. The other shocking thing to me was so called personal revelation. Most would make decisions, or do certain things, based on revelation they felt they were getting. All I knew was that I wasn’t getting this revelation. I thought for a long time that something must be wrong with me. Combine this with the fact that I never taught a single person, let alone baptized anyone. Again, I thought something must be wrong with me, or somehow I was not worthy enough.
Once I returned from my mission, my intense reading and studying only became stronger. I was only home 2 weeks before I moved to Utah to attend BYU. I only lasted one semester. Not because I couldn’t handle the schoolwork. It was because it felt like complete culture shock. I had nothing in common with anyone. If I wasn’t in class I would be at the library until it closed, reading and photocopying as much as I could. My roommate and others in my dorm, however, were constantly playing video games, or trying to date. None were even remotely interested in anything related to church, the scriptures, or church history.
I took the next semester off, and lived in an apartment in Nephi, UT with a former mission companion. Six months later I moved to Ephraim, UT and attended Snow College. This was a much better experience than BYU. I was still heavy into church history. My interest was reading various church leaders’ diaries and journals.
While attending Snow College I dated a girl, and we got married in 2004 in the Manti, UT temple. I took it way too serious, and was firmly indoctrinated into the idea of eternal sealing, and a forever family. My wife didn’t share the same hunger and thirst for truth as me, though it was not immediately apparent. She was very content with what she knew and how she lived. I was not. I kept thinking that even though I was in the ‘one true church’, there was still something more, more things I didn’t know or have the answers to, and the ‘mysteries of God’ were not known to me. I needed to figure it all out, and know everything, and have a ‘fulness of knowledge’. Since she didn’t share this view, it eventually led to many disagreements, followed by not discussing these things altogether.
In 2005 I worked at the Church Office Building, moving furniture in and out of offices during remodeling. This was an extremely eye-opening experience as well. I got to see and interact with numerous general authorities and other directors and managers of various church departments. It was eye-opening because I got to see firsthand how they behaved one way during general conference or at church, and a completely different way during their day-to-day life.
In 2006, my wife became pregnant, but miscarried after about 10 weeks. This was devastating, to both of us. We then started to drift apart. I started doing more research, and compiling a documentary history of the Council of Fifty. This entailed numerous trips to the LDS church archives (this was before the new church history library was built), and numerous University libraries. I often became frustrated that so many materials I wanted access to were “restricted,” meaning not available to see. I couldn’t understand why on earth the church would restrict certain things. In most cases I found a work around. In the 1970’s and 80’s a lot of researchers and historians photocopied or transcribed a lot of material. So I’d hunt down these photo copies or transcripts and use those for my compilation. In 2008 I finished my annotated compilation, and then made the naïve mistake of selling the manuscript to a book publisher. They eventually published the book with a different person as the author. (Here’s a link to the published version of my book https://www.amazon.com/Council-Fifty-Documentary-History/dp/1560852240)
While I was doing my research and compilation, I would also spend time researching and studying other material which interested me. Again, it became an eye-opening experience. I’d often read firsthand accounts of events which didn’t quite jive with the version taught at church. Or, hearing a story told in church or read in church publications and then researching the sources, and come to find out that they were second-, third-, or fourth-hand accounts, or by people who were not even there. This bothered me as a student of history.
I eventually became disillusioned with the church, and simply stopped going. There were several things that when combined contributed to my leaving. Contact me personally if interested in those details.
While my marriage was falling apart, and while I was having a spiritual crisis, I handled it in the worse way; by abusing pills and smoking marijuana. This only caused more marital problems. My wife finally had enough, and in December 2008 she moved out and filed divorce papers. This ripped my heart apart. I knew we had issues and problems, every relationship does, but I felt like our only problem was in communication; hence repairable. What I couldn’t see at that time was that we just didn’t jive, or click, together. Basically I was in denial. I was also firmly indoctrinated into the idea of eternal sealing, and forever families. So I did the one thing that a man is never supposed to do when a woman leaves you; chase after her, and relentlessly try to win her back.
As I was getting divorced in 2009, my best friend at the time and former mission companion had found and shared with me 3 books: The Sealed Portion (https://www.realilluminati.org/the-sealed-portion), 666, The Mark of America—Seat of the Beast (https://realilluminati.org/books/666-the-mark-of-america-seat-of-the-beast/), and Sacred, not Secret (https://www.realilluminati.org/sacred-not-secret). I was very skeptical at first. I had read the other supposed sealed portions that are out there and thought that this was going to be another like them, complete gibberish that didn’t make a lick of sense. Then I actually read the books. From then, 2009, to now, I have become completely enthralled and entrenched with the Marvelous Work and a Wonder® (https://www.realilluminati.org/) and The Humanity Party® (https://www.humanityparty.com/), reading all of the books (https://www.realilluminati.org/books) and listening to all of the shows I know about or get access to. They have completely changed the way I think and act.
There are 2 positive and profound (to me) changes I made in my life since learning of the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®.
First I’d say is truly coming to grips with, and accepting and admitting that truly I know nothing. In fact, the only thing besides knowing that I exist that I can say for certain is that I know nothing. That may not sound positive, but for me it for sure is positive. Prior to learning about the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®, I was arrogant enough to say and think that I “knew” many things. This I have come to realize was self-delusion. I have learned ‘about’ many things. But do I ‘know’ them? Nope, not in the slightest.
The second positive and profound change has been, and I’m sure will continue to be, in how I treat other people. I was and can be an arrogant and pedantic ass. This leads to mistreatment or intolerance of others. I still have work to do in this department. But I am and have been learning, through the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®, how to treat others the way THEY want to be treated. Or, viewing each life experience as me being a participant in THEIR world. And not as me trying to control and manipulate others to be in MY world.
Anyways, those are positive and profound changes I have made and am still making.