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  • I’m so happy all of you are here. You have no idea what a light you all bring to such

  • a dark place, and how horribly, horribly sad we are when you all leave. So if you guys

  • wanna, like, move and find jobs, and, you know? I’ll run support services; I’ll,

  • like, you know, find you a place to live and try to help you find a job and stuffno?

  • no takers? I wouldn’t come here either, but that’s just me.

  • So, my husband, if you ever get a chance to talk to him, hell talk to a small group.

  • He doesn’t do big crowds. To him, this is a big crowd, soHe has an amazing story,

  • and he’s fun to talk to, so if you can get him and get a few of you together, hell

  • talk to you; he just can’t do this. He goes mute. Which is weird, ‘cause he’s never

  • mute. But, so, I’ll try and keep it upbeat and happy, ‘cause if I cry it’s ugly.

  • I cry like Lucille Ball. It’s not graceful and pretty, so

  • I was a fourth-generation Mormon, and I did it all wrong the first time I got married.

  • I didn’t marry a returned missionary, against my family’s wishes; attributed the long

  • road of, uh, not a good marriage to, largely to that; there were some other issues. But

  • that marriage finally ended after twenty years and four children, part because he just wasn’t

  • on board with the LDS path, and part because of some other stuff. So I left, I took my

  • children, and I started over. That’s where I met my present husband, Steve, who was a

  • returned missionary and we dated. My children adored him, and I thought, “okay, cool,

  • I’m gonna do it right this time.” So it was all in order, so we kind of had a whirlwind

  • romance, we get married, we build a house, together we have seven children. And about

  • a year into this, we were now settled, and I have it all lined up. I have the returned

  • missionary, I have the priesthood holder, um

  • Back a little bit, when I was married previously, I lost a daughter at birth. K? So, she is

  • some somewhere. In my Mormon world, she’s now floating in the great abyss. K? So, I

  • now have my priesthood holder, so we can go to the temple. Were now going to be sealed,

  • and I’m gonna have my forever family -- which, to a Mormon mom, that’s the ultimate thing.

  • Cause I get to have my kids, and I get to raise my daughter in heaven. The catch:

  • if I don’t, theyre going to give her to a worthy Mormon family to raise in heaven,

  • and I don’t get to. So there’s really not an option here. K? So my, my ducks are

  • all in a row; were gonna start temple classes.

  • About this time, my husband gets witnessed to at work, by the man that will eventually,

  • for all sakes and purposes, “ruins my life as I know it.” Ken Gilbert. Theyre not

  • here, huh? An amazing holy boldness man, I adore him now; he’s one of my dearest friends,

  • but it, at the time, he, he, he’d ruin my life. He gets with my husband, my husband’s

  • going to get him back into the Mormon church. He is, in turn, going to teach my husband

  • about Jesus. So they start talking, they exchange literature. That’s where my first, my husband

  • first came in contact -- it’s his firstanti-Mormon stuff.” So heso he sneaks

  • it into my house, literally hides it, and waits for me to leave, so that he can watch

  • it. And that’s kinda where his story begins. It kinda continues in this secretive thing,

  • his degree’s in anthropology and archaeology.

  • So, the DNA versus theSteve’s. So my husband’s. So, that’s kinda where his,

  • the DNA versus the Book of Mormon was earth-shattering for him. And so he’s studying on his own,

  • and I -- I had questions, K, I wasn’t this perfect little Mormon girl, I had questions,

  • things that didn’t make sense, but I was completely convinced that I’d find the answers

  • within the Mormon church. That it was my lack of understanding, not that the church was

  • wrong. I really thought that it was just me.

  • So, he starts to search, and were preparing to do this big path, and the more he searches,

  • the bigger the hole gets. Things start to fall apart. So he’s still talkinto Ken,

  • and he starts to come to me with small things. Kind of feeling the waters to see how it would

  • be perceived. Met him with complete resistance and anger, fear. I was afraid and, at first

  • it was likeha ha, yeah, that’s funny,” but then I started to see a seriousness about

  • him. And that’s kind where it kinda turns really, really ugly. And, it kind of escalates

  • into a situation where I find the anti-Mormon stuff. It was like finding porn in my house.

  • I threw it across my bedroom, I felt completely betrayed. Uh, I felt like he had deceived

  • me, and it was uh, it started the beginning of a year-long civil war within my house.

  • And I do mean a civil war. Mormon women typically aren’t submissive, K? That’s kind of a

  • four-letter word; it kinda means youre a doormat, because we don’t understand godly

  • submission. It means that the man has complete and utter total power over you, and were

  • like, “no he doesn’t.” And so, it was a clash-- it was clash of the titans. It was

  • horrible. And I’d only been in a year, so I’m thinking “I can fix this. It would

  • be another divorce, but I have to get back on the path somehow. I can’t be called out

  • of the grave unless he knows my name. He’s not gonna know my name, unless he goes to

  • this temple to learn my name. I can’t have my family unless I have him sealed to me.”

  • K, so I had to choose now between him -- my marriage -- and my daughter, and my children.

  • As far as I was concerned, he was going to outer darkness; he’s now an apostate.

  • Cause it finally escalated to him, to where he, he denounced the Mormon church. So, he’d

  • walk in a room; I’d walk out. Uh, we have a family cabin that we’d go to, it was like

  • our little place; it’s where we were married. I wouldn’t go there with him anymore. He

  • went alone. It was not good. There was no friendship left. I was fearful; was so close,

  • so close to leaving, I had a plan, and one call to the Mormon church, just one call,

  • they wouldve swooped me and my children up, they wouldve helped me relocate, and

  • they-- they wouldve paid my way. Not only that, his family wouldve helped me, against

  • him. If I wouldve called them and said, “He’s, he’s an apostate; he’s leaving

  • the church,” they wouldve taken my side against him.

  • And so, Satan had the hugest opportunity to destroy my family, completely destroy it.

  • And everyone’s like, “well, what did it? What did it?” It was just a process of things.

  • So during this year-long war, he would, he would give me tidbits. Uh, things that he

  • knew would matter to me. Like, Joseph Smith had thirty-three wives. He knows how I feel

  • about polygamy. He knows how I feel about old man sleeping with young girls, as Susan

  • and I have talked about. It just isn’t okay. So he gave me this tidbits, he’d kind of

  • lure me to a safe place where I would think that he wouldn’t talk to me, and then he’d,

  • like, drop a bombshell on me. Then I’d freak out, and like go and slam doors, andeventually,

  • I’m going to the Mormon church, K? Every single Sunday. He’s now following me to

  • the Mormon church, in a purple shirt, with a Christian Bible. For those of you who don’t

  • know the Mormon culture, it can’t get much worse, K, it just doesn’t. You wear a white

  • shirt, and a tie, and you don’t bring a Christian Bible. You bring your quad, or your

  • various MormonMormon books. Back to the purple shirt and how that came about: right

  • at the end of where he’s ready to say “I’m not doing this anymore,” uh, he went into

  • priesthood with this purple shirt on, K, and he, he, he still was, hadn’t said no more

  • yet. They gave the lesson that day onif you, youre not a godly man unless you wear

  • this white shirt, because it represents your obedience to God, and your willingness to

  • submit to God.” So there he sits in a purple shirt, the only one not in a white shirt out

  • of probably twenty-four men. He meets me in the lobby; he’s furious. He has two fingers

  • in his tie that he’s now ripping off, in the foyer with everyone around; he’s livid.

  • And he said, “This is so stupid, like it matters what color of shirt I have on.”

  • K? I’m, like, dying. And I’m thinking, “Okay, youre crazy. I’ve had it with

  • you.” I make to the vehicle, I’m gonna leave him. I’m gonna show him. So I’m

  • gonna get into the vehicle, I’m gonna lock the doors, I’m gonna drive home, make him

  • walk. (It’s not that far. It’s like two blocks.) Anyway, I’m makin’ a point here.

  • He knows me. As soon as he sees me hightail it outta there, he thinksshe’s gonna

  • leave me.” So we have this race to the vehicle. Mormons are everywhere, K? I don’t make

  • it. I get in, I shut the door, I hit the thing just as he opens the door. I’m screaming,

  • Get out! Walk home. I don’t want you near me.” He’s like, “I’m not getting

  • out.” He gets in, shuts the door, he sayslet’s go home.”

  • Every morning, we would have the same screaming match in my closet. I would sayplease,

  • just stay here. Please don’t go to church with me. Please.” And he said, “youre

  • my wife. I’m going where you go.” And I saidbut you don’t even believe it!”

  • He saidneither do you. You just don’t know it yet.” So, away we’d go, with him

  • in his purple shirt and his big fat Bible that Ken gave him, the guy who ruined my life

  • so, where we would sit in Gospel Doctrine class-- this is the day that was really good.

  • They wroteThe New Covenanton the board, and underneath it in parentheses they put

  • “(the Book of Mormon).” He went nuts. He’s flipping through Scripture, he’s

  • pointing, he’s sliding it across to me and he’s pointing. Now everyone’s no longer

  • at who’s teaching; theyre turning around, looking at us. I’m wanting to die.

  • So from that day forward, I saidyou can’t do that to me anymore.” I said, “that’s

  • not okay.” He saidokay, youre right. That probably wasn’t okay.” And he said,

  • so, when you go, what are you looking for?” And I saidJesus.” He said, “Okay,”

  • he said, “well do they teach about Jesus?” I’m like, “it’s theChurch of Jesus

  • Christ’; are you a moron? Of course they teach me about Jesus.” He saidDo they?”

  • He saidHere,” he saidjust, I want you to be just a little bit more observant.

  • If that’s what youre looking for,” he said, “then from now on, I just want

  • you to just be aware of how much Jesus youre getting.” I’m like okay, that’s fair.

  • So as I keep going, he lays off on the pointing and thehe doesn’t lay off on the weird-colored

  • shirts and the big fat Bible, but he lays off on the pointing and the antics and the

  • things in the foyer, and stuff of that nature.

  • And, so I went for another three months: there’s no Jesus. There’s no mention of him except

  • for in prayer. That’s it. We touched on everything else -- everything else imaginable

  • -- but there was no Jesus. And so, by this time I’m wearing down, I’m hungry, and

  • I’m empty, and I feel alone, and I’m scared, and I don’t know what I’m gonna do, and

  • my only answer is I have to end this mess, and try to start over again. Somewhere along

  • here he kind of changes his antics, and it’s because God had changed him. I look, in hindsight

  • I look back and it’s because he was becoming a new man. K? I didn’t understand; at the

  • time, I just thoughtwell, he’s getting it.” He started to approach me with way

  • more love. Instead of dive-bombing me, he was, he was telling me in love when he was

  • saying things likethis is, I love you so much, the last thing I want to do on this

  • earth is hurt you, and the last thing I want you to do is leave me.” And he said “I

  • just, I need to, there’s all this stuff that I know, and I need somebody to talk to.”

  • And I didn’t listen for a long, long time.

  • There was one day when there’d kind of been a truce. We’d agreed to disagree, and tried

  • to stop fighting. For the children. And he’d called me on his way home from Salt Lake,

  • and he said “I’m gonna go fishing at the cabin. Will you please come with me?” He

  • said, “I promise I’ll be good,” he said “I-- just come with me.” And I saidokay,

  • I’ll go with you.” Well, he stopped at a Christian bookstore, and he prayed in the

  • parking lot. He saidGod, just give me something to reach her that won’t offend

  • her, that won’t drive her farther away from me, thatll open her heart,” and so he

  • went in, and he, he picked a book by John Hagee, it was written by him and his wife.

  • There was like, it’s like a two-sided book; you flip it upside-down, she wrote half, he

  • wrote half. So we went up and our thing was, he fishes and I read out loud to him, whatever

  • were reading at the time.

  • So, we go down fishing, and he gets it out of his backpack (poor man, he mustve been

  • scared to death), and he just said “I, I got a book for us to read together.” And

  • he said, “it has nothing to do with Mormonism.” He saidit’s just a Christian book.”

  • And he said, “will you just read it?” He goes, “if you hate it, we don’t have

  • to read it.” I said okay, so we started with her side, and I’m sitting on this rock,

  • and my man dressed in, I don’t know, ragged sandals and yucky shorts and a tank top, and

  • he’s fishing, and she’s describing what a godly man is. And I’m looking as I’m

  • reading, and it’s standing before me.

  • And it doesn’t have on a white shirt, and a pressed tie, and slacks, and shiny black

  • shoes. And it was profound to me, because that’s the first time in a year that I had

  • ever looked at him as being even remotely in God’s realm. K? From that point, he was

  • being led by Satan, he was hanging out with Satan’s friends, he was listening to Satan,

  • and he was as far away from God as, as I felt he could possibly be at that time.

  • I would say that that was, uh, the, the beginning of a new beginning for us. I was subdued that

  • day. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t angry. And so, from that, I started

  • to just look at him with new eyes. I started to see him like God saw him. And I started

  • to see him get up every single morning, into Scripture, ‘cause he wanted to. Not only

  • was he into Scripture, but he was studying. And he’d have several things out. And he

  • was actually, uh, comparing what he was learning. It was actually like this really well thought-out

  • process, not just another path to take. ‘Cause before that, I thought he’d taken the high

  • road. I said

  • well isn’t that easy. He’d tried several times to explain grace to me, and I’d tell

  • himthere’s no such thing as a free lunch, Steve. There just isn’t.” It didn’t

  • make any sense to me at all. So I started to soften, I don’t know that I started to

  • listen to him, but some. In here, there were things that I would tell me there’s no evidence,

  • like six hundred years of a civilization of people that there’s no evidence for. The

  • church doesn’t actually come out and say that there’s evidence, but they allude you

  • to believe that there’s evidence. K? So I started to search. Now I’m doing my own

  • thing when he leaves the house. I look and see when he’s gone down the road, now I’m

  • looking. I was a good girl, though. I stayed within the church websites. And the more things

  • I looked up, now my hole starts to get bigger. I validated the stuff with Joseph Smith, I

  • read the quote where he claims to be better than Jesus, that he could keep the church

  • together and not even Jesus could do that, and that he has so many reasons to boast.

  • Even in my most Mormon world, that quote sickened me. It wasn’t okay.

  • My testimony, by this point, of Joseph Smith is now pretty gone. Not that it was ever super

  • strong, K? Joseph Smith was never, I would never singPraise to the Man.” Never

  • felt like he was a man that needed to be praised, never really got that. He was just a prophet,

  • like any other prophet. He, but he was a man. So now Joseph Smith’s over here, but I’m

  • still gonna, it’s the Church of Jesus Christ, not the Church of Joseph Smith, so I’m still

  • okay, for all rights and purposes. As I look, my hole starts to get bigger, I’m confused,

  • I’m going to church, there’s no Jesus. I’m becoming more empty, and more lost,

  • and more broken than I’d ever been in my whole, whole life. In hindsight, he was leading

  • me to the desert. He was. He wanted me to famine. He wanted me empty that he could fill

  • me. And that’s exactly what he did.

  • There was one day when he stood between me and the door; I couldn’t get out. And he

  • just saidTell me what you believe.” I saidit’s none of your business what

  • I believe.” He said “I’m your husband; it is business what you believe.” He said,

  • If youre so sure what you believe,” he said, “just tell me.” So I rattled

  • my best, whatever I rattled, it was something to do with Jesus and something something.

  • He just, he started to laugh and he said, “That’s the heart of Christian woman,

  • not a Mormon woman.” If I couldve hit him with something, I would have. ‘Cause

  • that wasn’t a compliment at the time. And he just said, he saidIt is all about Jesus.”

  • He said, “But he’s all you need.” And then he just proceeded to ask me, he said,

  • will you please just listen to me? Please.” He said, “youre my wife, youre my

  • friend. Youre all I’ve got.” He said “I have nobody. I can’t talk to my coworkers,

  • I can’t talk to my family, I can’t talk to my friends.” He said “I can’t talk

  • to our children.” He said, “I have no one.” He saidAnd it’s your job! Youre

  • supposed, God says youre supposed to be my friend. And youre supposed to listen

  • to me.” And I knew he was right.

  • And I saidOkay.” I said, “You get one shot.” So I sat down, I shut my mouth,

  • and I listened. K, if anyone knows my husband, he probably won’t remember your name, and

  • some days he doesn’t remember mine. That’s just him. He recited Scripture like it was

  • before him on a paper. God worked through him; he remembered everything. He remembered

  • everything he’d ever studied, every answer he’d ever found, how he found it, where

  • it was, and every Scripture to back that up. How, how he had came to the knowledge that

  • he could trust the Bible, how he had came to the knowledge that he couldn’t trust

  • the Book of Mormon, K, and it, this was constant talking, took about, probably about half hour.

  • And then he took a deep breath and he saidThat’s all I got.” And I saidThat’s

  • a lot.” I saidokay.” He said, “Thank you for listening to me.” And we parted

  • ways. As, as friends at this point, and that’s where I started, started my real study. That’s

  • where I started to… I thought, “he’s serious about this. This isn’t him taking