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Paul's Story Part 1

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The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2021 8:38 am

Paul's Story Part 1

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April 28, 2021 8:38 am

From Mormon to Jesus!  Real, authentic conversations among former members of The Church Of Latter-Day Saints.

Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts

Your right and today were really refocusing on Paul's journey how he was brought up in the oldest church what's things he led him out of the church. What led him to Christ, so will be interviewing him, asking a few questions and I would hope you'll all enjoy what we have to. So you just briefly introduce yourself maybe your upbringing you were born and raised sure so I was born parents, Bountiful, Utah and Salt Lake for the first nine years of my life. Those were good times we were in there was the Salt Lake 22nd more good memories of growing up there parents were were members of the church.

My mom comes from a family that goes back in the church. Generations have a great great grandmother who left Denmark and traveled to America in 1860s and crossed the plains care when a handcart with her daughter and settled.

Ultimately, Pleasant Grove, Utah and also correct higher stock on my mom's side and then dad actually was a convert to the obvious. He was born and raised as a person. The Lutheran work and when she was young adult is 26 or so his dad passed away unexpectedly and that the cause of the sum succeeding hands around that time. Some of the missionaries came knocking on the door and he took that as a sign and so took lessons from them hands, eventually joining the LDS church, spent a few years there in a small branch in upstate New York baptize my grandmother on my side of the family before finally making the decision to Utah. One of the missionaries that my data no bearing that small branch in New York lived in Utah and when I went home my dad moved out, they become friends.

My data documents and lived with his parents for a while.

His parents and my dad to my mom and her because they did genealogical research at the genealogy library downtown Salt Lake City and my mom studied library sciences at BYU in order to become a professional genealogist did work for people to help them find their ancestors and help prepare the paperwork that gone in order to change the Temple baptisms for the dead and other ordinances for the benefit of this do so. This family introduce my parents were married about a year later, in the Salt Lake Temple in 1975. My sister came along in 1976 and I came along and 78 and have a younger sister more than anyone younger sister morning. My youngest brothers is the caboose of the family on 85 cell growth stereotypically large Mormon family when I was nine years old we moved from Salt Lake City to the suburbs of West Jordan, Utah and lived there throughout the rest of my adolescence until I serve a mission and then I came home from my mission. I moved out of state.

So that's the spirit with my upbringing, my family was pretty big going into the temple was frequently as well as for your mission was Musselman parents have to remove Dr. West Jordan, they were ordinance workers and Jordan River Temple work in the baptistery for a number of years so on Thursday nights. That's what they did, work, they would both get ready and they went to a session in the baptistery from typically around 6 o'clock in the evening until after 9 o'clock, almost 10 o'clock Sunday evenings and what that entailed was for the various boards, there would have been go to the temple. I have a temple night for doing baptisms for the dead.

So there would be five or six words that would bring learning through an evening I baptisms and and so my my older sister and I were old enough that when when my parents were workers there probably go with them occasionally on Thursday night.

It was a exaggerated and enjoyable experience because we got to go to the cafeteria and the temporality dinner with us.

It was a nice time to spend together with family. My parents baptisms for the dead on enough of us.

It was one of those experiences that carried out in to start questioning because when veritable people who were there working in the baptistery. It wasn't uncommon for her to have my parents to talk about or seeing people doing baptisms and I remember going and participating but never feeling or seeing anyone, and that always had my mind wondering what they were experiencing that I wasn't so close early experiences that I got a questioning THINKING that sounds like you were brought up from a young age to be alert. He sent in your baptize at eight yesterday so we were still living downtown. I was baptized in the tabernacle, the next Mormon Tabernacle choir and asparagus to change the name Russell case that there's a baptistery and in the basement of the famous Tabernacle Barrington Square and that's where our state would work performance baptisms so I was eight years old I was baptized there. It was next to the opera.

I've written about is the goal of I described as joining a men's club and the reason I described it always is that when I was younger I used to go to was called the NW. Multipurpose Center Cir. like a YMCA type of place much for my sister and I took swimming lessons and we go over there on Tuesday nights and inducible lessons of Don, dad would take me into the men's changing room like my mama take my sister and to the women's changing room. We would be changing often my God, my work, going to the sauna room that was there, if you all remember ever status to a sonogram with the heroes asked basically people sitting around the towel wrapped around them and the door and stepped inside, get a little of hot water onto hot lava rocks to create stadium and you sit around and slap a more popular than it is now about the vastness will review after swimming lessons on Tuesday night than I remember. Strange experience going into the sauna room with another man, who were mostly etc. towel and I remember going to the basement baptistery change the tabernacle and felt like a similar experience in unchanging and getting ready and my friends from school were there because they were also being baptized one Vicenza scavenger to school and I was surprised to see Americans being baptized, so we were all part of the same club's house. It was the joining club as your growing up anywhere, a member of the church.

What were some of the positive experiences you had while you remember did mention your experiences in the baptistery and did mention some positive changes there. So what are some other positive experiences they had. So the earliest churches to be veritable of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts when I was younger I do that when all Cub Scouts.

I'm not an Eagle Scout. I reached a point in my life where oddities were more important than scouting early on was a Cub Scout chance camps in the summertime and shoot arrows, and leather worker back I came across a piece of leather work, but I don't want those camps located the game is going to some things in my mom's back. It was those experiences with bond interest are not catalog everything I scouting a lot of camping about being around other guys hands.

Everything about acceptance going after the awards that going merit badges so yeah got to the point where the chase that this wasn't as important, but I'm good Scouting is one of those positive experiences that that I had illness, church sadists and I remember there used to be a real effort to do things that were fun, but also educational survivor by Christmas. This is a Christmas party but whoever was in charge of the planet really well and a deck out the gym and the church like it was Jerusalem and the whole idea was that you would spend an evening in brightness of 11 in Bethlehem to use the evening in battle had where the Savior was born and hands. I had I had authentically was that they had pitas you didn't stop so try to make as authentic as it is.

It could be interviewed as a kid Skeptical of the lights were turned out of the gym. The props that looked like shops and in what might it might imagine our agent that will look like. So that was critical as those that much effort like everything is developing that the guy was a positive experience. Stories of cocky, asked about it and I think he said after some time after your mission you were the elders quorum and you are involved in teaching and things of that nature as well was at her for a while. How was that experience for me so I'm I hope the number of callings here in entirety after I moved here. One of them was ward mission leader spent a few years with no men's organization and award and also a number of years. The elders quorum presidency helping to run that organization and also teaching on a regular basis with an organization, I just got back a little bit and talk about my machine so as a teenager I kind of fell away from activity in the church had alluded to the fact that there were things that became more important than scouting and good thing that on talk about. There is this basketball salon was a teenager I got to point basketball some friends of mine. When we moved to West Jordan, Utah, and I was the need to school in the got snow some friends and one of the things that I noticed pretty quickly about the war that had moved into West Jordan is that is pretty cliquish and that got remained that way throughout the time we were there. I know my family felt that some of the families felt that in the subzero there were good people about war did not know that that Mormon words are indeed very very kind but they can also be unforgiving for some people, and so I would say that probably my struggle socially as a teenager were probably related to my going away from regular activity within the church slip. I don't hold any of those people that I grew up with to higher standard in that regard. Given what Mormonism teaches about the children generation during engraver. They were currently holding political receiving but there were some times when it was difficult as it is a teenager to to feel like I was a part of things and so I drifted away like a seven spend more time focusing on playing basketball. Both from a middle school in my high school friends was fairly successful about throughout those years, and one of the things in my mom would always say you because it was clear to her that I was becoming a passion of mine that I wanted to play at the college level and so she would always say to me that there are two years of your life that don't belong to you belong to God and you need to give those years to have and sometimes argue little about that because I really wanted one of the college basketball but is as a resident little sunglasses. I took her her guidance to heart and so when when the bishop of my ward called tenacity. If I had intentions of serving a mission.

I told him yes really want to do it and so I started the process of preparing papers for going on a mission and the both of you know that the process can depending on how busy is that process could take some time is thirsting stated on medical forms to be filled out by Dr. dental forms to be filled out that so start working through that process, spring of 1997 and ends during the time that I was working on my papers and actually have them all ready to turn in the night before I had an appointment with the stake president for final interview before papers will be submitted. I was out with friends and we were we going to a pool hall, which was, not uncommon for non-noncompany press to do on a Saturday night we go to the pool hall and then click for a few hours and we were there.

And some people knew from school, high school and they had smuggled drink. They have a 44 ounce drink from a gas station that they had doctored with some alcoholic beverages and ends they offered me my friends drink and so here I am on the on the eve of the final interview with my stake president and return militia papers and mounted a swing out of an alcoholic beverage. So the next day the next morning.

Got up felt incredibly guilty for having done that didn't get drunk, took a couple of swallows of an alcoholic beverage and then went home, but it would guilty the next morning self-confessed optimistic president and the browbeating from him basically said you know that I go home and pray. Think about whether additional something I really wanted to do have delay submitting militia papers for some time so that delayed the submission of additional papers for a couple months. During that time I was working at the same company that I was working I was testing microchips to make sure they were within specifications for what they were needed for the device they were putting and the sooner the interests absentmindedly microchips into the tester pressing the test button E recruitment process when developing in advancing their realizing that I had never read the book of Mormon all the way through yet I was full on Vista preparations for going on a mission.

I had certainly read parts of the book of Mormon. I had graduated from seminary in LA had sent portion of time skipping. Seminary, breakfast with friends to the point where one of my teachers had had the class president started to become class putting his like I had read quite a bit of one, but I've never met all and I certainly never gotten Rome's promise to get our minds pray God is so singular that one may think about that realizing you probably should make a serious effort to read all the way through and so I started due at the library would we and actually not much of my working was pretty monotonous testing microchips like that are doing other things that repetitively to do something in the process of waiting a few minutes for that process to complete and doing nothing over again.

So I started reading the book of Mormon. While I was testing microchips might fight was seen by trouble, president of the company was was a sick president so he actually did catch in the hollow eyed I still do not always Mormon mission ends so finish distributed through the first time was interested but before I went before isolate my papers. I did decide that I would follow the promise in chapter 10 I got down on my knees in the minors living room in West Jordan. After spending an hour or so reading 11 nightly and it's great to know is true Joe's that was a prophet and thought I felt something like warm water come over my body radiating out of my chest and thought to myself, that was a strange experience and I remember saying narrowmindedness for a long time trying to understand what that was and I realize that I slowed my breathing down and really cannot focus all my attention on my chest and and interesting because as a latter-day Saints, at least when I was growing up I don't how much of it out of the church for 10 years and also how much is emphasized now that when I was growing up he was really emphasized. That is great about the book of Mormon was so the witness that I received was exactly what I did receive countless times and I stayed Jeremy's longest time and realize eventually that I slow my breathing and focus my energy my attention on my chest that I kind of re-create that radiation and that bothered me, and bothered that I continue to pray for witness of the book of Mormon throughout the entire time that I was in MTC throughout the entire two years of my mission until the very last area. My mission, I was still praying for witness that I croons explain away and ends so eventually discipline microbrews received a call to serve in hushed, hungry mission spends about half of my time in country in Budapest in various areas. Budapest is actually two cities that are on opposite sides of the river is on one side on the side of the river that has more of the hills and passions.

On the other side of the upside of the grid versus latter area serving three years in the past during my time there I spent a number of months in a small city outside border of Taza and then I spent a few months in a college town near the border every moment he saw the seas pulsated mission was a great experience. I learned discipline I learned study habits.

I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships and learning to get along with people so I enjoyed my mission, but definitely throughout my mission my cassette I was I was I was aware that although I was there to teach and I often told people when they would ask people people are generally surprised that a 19-year-old spends two years of their life preaching rather than doing other things that 19 typically deal and so I would often get asked why why and not document back to what what my mom told me know that the two years are not mine. Are they are dedicated to God and so I had to give tannins slap you what I was doing but I was aware of the fact that in some sense, I felt like I was a frog because I was going to tell people that this book and this profit were true and I wasn't sure that I believe about myself when I was certain that I did not witness so towards the end of my mission.

We were teaching Osseo family, but mostly taught the wife of the husband was not very interested in both houses burned by religion and come out of Christianity and ends considered what I consider consolidated lists. She was much more strident and that she was she was still open this evening. Which is why she never with his permission and salute with her on basis.

She did eventually dramatizing the obvious. And I spent several months at the very end of my mission just pleading with God to make our family and bring the whole family into the church and went to a branch where I was there there was a branch of USX expatriates who are working for various companies over there and were largely only English speakers to speak.

And there was a gentleman who was in that English-speaking branch. For whatever reason our mission president decided to call as the branch president of the Hungarian branch that we were serving in and so we went to a branch get together is how his home there and the this family were teaching, including husband came and got her current witness is a discussion between this this American businessman in this area has been audited. Praying for and listen to this. This man has been completely authentic in describing his disbelief and effectively aided the way she was able to be honest, even though his family was going a different direction. It affected realize that maybe I was pretending a little bit a lot and maybe question a lot of things I spends last two months of my mission kind of space in my head and my heart where I was just really wanting Mormonism to be true, but I was pretty certain that it wasn't but I imagine myself so the settlement better in the book of Mormon and think about how there was no archaeological evidence for and it was just accepted that is true, but there was no evidence for source and daydream on battering morning study that I would go home and study BYU and become an archaeologist and go to Central America and find the ruins I would find the artifacts that would prove the book of Mormon to future events is the kind of thing I was daydreaming about the final months of my mission, but one of the other things that I was wrestling with is that I reached a point where I was needing. So I agree I set myself the goal of not only would I finish the book of Mormon, but during the time that was on the mission of all LDS standard works. The book of Mormon doctrine and covenants, Old Testament and New Testament and in those final months of our mission. I've got a point where I was reading the New Testament and I was reading through Paul and they were blowing away with some of the things that he was saying because it didn't fit and I remember being on the bus and reading.

This is a Paul and thinking to myself, I might not be said and I went home that night and for the next few weeks through the end of my mission. My prayer was for God to safety and strangely enough, I started praying to Jesus which you not be revealed.

Pray to God in the name of Jesus. And so, but I would just go by my bed and pleaded with Jesus to did my Savior and Andy's that I came home and the I went back to Utah and ends put on the good face that everything was great. Mission was a success by all measures of Mormon mission in Eastern Europe exam was fairly successful.

There were a number of people who join the church as a result of having contact with an option as well and so came home and felt like you to know I was in the space. I've been a successful missionary but there was a lot of pressure to two of the social social matter of Mormonism. Your return missionary analysis analysis.

I'm kind of driving the temple and start having kids and I was home in Utah and that the all of that just terrified me. The question that mission real quick because he said quite a bit to get a spiritual witness and I don't like, especially in foreign nations.

Missionaries will take the fact of being able to learn the language is like a gift card score like a miracle that you have other experiences that you were kinda grappling with baby like that you were arguing against yourself meeting you had had a different kind of the witness sure so there were times when so over Charleston. Was our district, president of the time so couple of times during my time numbers came from the Jesus station either Frankfurt or summer in France can remember exactly where he was stationed during the time but she would conference either at the district conference or good, but there was one time she changes and elder teachings at the small ranch house where I was serving so I was in my career.

My mission, see first Terry was about four months. Secondary was five months was four months so I was I was in the nine or 10 months in the country when opportunities to the membership and normally they would have Native Americans translate but I don't recall exactly what happened. There was something that happened that you have one twin sister Jean Steve. Have a female native periods of translate for her and have a meal native speaker translate for the general student. I don't recall exactly what happened but I was asked to translate for for LTE that evening which was incredibly nerve-racking but I got I did it and I remember being told by the native speaker who had done the translation persisted that there was nothing about my translation that was off that it was exactly as she would've done it issued intransitive for him credible Seattle things like that is just as evidence that the I was in God's good graces that what I was doing was to be about your eternal mission and how you are kind of having to put on this mass to kind of hide your true feelings or experiences remission so it did this continue going on or did you did you feel like you ever had that witness that you are hoping for, or did it kind of just continue on the same path that you had started so the mask slot allows you to see is the answer?

Love to see him struggle with this as well because I don't know I don't recall exactly when the missionary materials were changed, but the beast is the old missionary guidelines missionary training center, and so if you know that there was no way to earn missionaries in the group were going same country going the submission to attend a couple discussions in the average return missionary skipping discussions. Practice delivering memorized discussions to the missionaries and certain missionary guy were instructed to testify of Jesus Christ testify of Joseph Smith testified Mormon and I remember one evening doing that in a role-play to see testifying the book of Mormon and my companion got tears in his eyes and hands was taken aback by that because we were just role-play right and I didn't really feel like I had over this. I was still getting down on my knees by my bedside in Cheyenne, and pray for that witness so that she would.

The fact that he will be moved by my testifying was a little upsetting today and ends.

Later that night, going back to our dorms. She asked if he could speak to me in private so we went out to get away to others that were in and sat out in the common area under the stairs and she told me that she had. She had a really strong knowledge was right about this strong knowledge of abuse, church doctrine and teachings of the book of Mormon was much more dark doctrinally stupid I was about point but he told me that she had never had a witness of the book of Mormon and that when I testify she could just tell that I had made sad and jealous and that's what she was experiencing in that moment in the classroom earlier that evening, and that's really messed with my head because I didn't have an supposedly moved by my witness and so that the just message me. So I talked to one of our instructors about the next day was longer needed a talk by Gordon.

Hacker called candle board's in that talk of the matter basically recommended that the witness would come to come. It that border testimony. You will get a witness even if you had receded at the needles and quite some detail talking about trying to turn it dance around the idea that doing so would be lying basically said no. It's made idea is less just kind of lost it. I went in addition, with was that you don't have this witness, I want to believe. I testify as best I can and I will get that witness comes and eventually I got to the point where I just started going back to talk about circling back to that.

That feeling of not reading out of my chest successful and describe talk about witness and I do that all went through 2008, both during and after my mission and ends. Initially, we were in another storm starting the teachings of the prophet's series of books is to be studied in society and use the Google McKay and there is a part that describes going out into the field, riding a horse on the field to us as a young man to pray about the book of Mormon and self and she talks about realized that we got a lot of disease that same boy he was before. Basically meaning that she did not receive a witness or anything spectacular in his time of prayer that very bad day and he goes on to explain that his witnesses come to a performance of his duty and so when I when I saw that experienced from the military went on to become the president prophet of the church community realized school. She never received witness. I never will. Trying to describe on that.

I know I can create so God I never received anything that I thought something I could. Jenna process all thought a great stuff this side of the out of podcast please visit the brightest podcast beta Facebook. Feel free to send us a message than with comments or questions, send a message at the time the pain appreciated the page like we also have and how to write his and others. As we discussed on past episodes can also send this rightness to the other brightest podcast on podcasts cast box Google cast cast the spot of science teacher. Also you can check out our new YouTube channel. If you like it certainly is likely surveyed also connect with Michael. The axman just wind up blogs and sometimes Poland method as well. Music for the outer brightness podcast is graciously provided by the talented Breanna Flournoy and by Adams Road. Learn more about Adams Road. By visiting their ministry page.

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