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Michael's Story Part 1

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April 28, 2021 8:28 am

Michael's Story Part 1

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April 28, 2021 8:28 am

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


Your answering right and and roasters welcome back to this podcast talking to Michael Moore about your story with us is I can fill in the blanks. What you know so little history, some of it showed on the wall of it right. Michael really what we will be doing something to your word shall be the cause of you, just like pull clips from other things that I've said always that videos out there that we come in like a Michael Flournoy soundboard you know like like is a button you click and it's like a phrase we could string in tarsal, we should just go ahead and make that the public for all of us are clueless get sick or something showed so is listening and I like it sounds like he's repeating the same word over and over to see okay. We actually just have three phrases each of you often. Yeah, I think I'm ready a means it's just my my life. I think I know it since I lived it. So yeah I'm ready.

Michael want to tell listeners about your upbringing. Where were you born was your family. Always LDS family practice religion just to get through some of the thigh was born in Alice Springs, Australia.

My dad was in the Air Force so I was born out of country and I don't have any recollection of that. They brought me to Texas pretty early on. Yes, they were LDS my entire life mean my dad my mom all my siblings, and interesting is my my mom's family goes back all the way to win the church pretty much started. They were just on the bandwagon right away and every time my grandparents would be over they be telling the stories about our ancestors being in the wagon trains and all the spiritual experiences that they had. My dad was actually a convert to the church.

He was probably want to say in his early 20s when the missionaries came by and they talk to his his mom and she's like no I don't want to talk to you guys but you should come back and talk to my son because he's a Jesus freak. And so the like. Okay, so they came back and they talk to my dad and they gave him the book of Mormon. He read it in one day and dearly came back and the like you did you read that chapter that we gave you music you actually read the whole thing and I like what the like will what was your favorite part is a well of been a die when he was you know, talking to King no one in the they killed him yacht healing. I really liked that part and so they talk to him for a couple bots and he got baptized yet grew up going to the wardens. I hated it for a long time. I think like a lot of LDS children do. I mean it was three hours of church right and for at least an hour of that.

You're just sitting there in sacrament meeting and it's very boring. When your child like I would just look at the clock and be like is that our up yet, it always felt like it was more than an hour and it turns out that actually was. It was like an hour and 15 minutes or something and it wasn't till it was a little bit older, probably a young man, maybe 13 or 14, I finally started making some friends of the church.

There is a group of us guys you know they were just as dorky as me. We called ourselves the odd clod and just have a lot of fun together, going to the youth activities and and there are a lot of pretty girls and so Mike okay yeah I like it here. You know I would go to the Ward without being forced to go by my parents is kind of the only real social activities that I had because I was real shy and didn't want to talk to people otherwise but but I was over there actually had Frandsen's and got to go do fun activities and I really enjoyed it. I loved being a member of the church, but I didn't really have any sort of. I was a little firm in the doctrines. It was just a social thing is a is like a club that I got to go to and really that's all that it was for me. So the odd clod was that kind of in your preteen teenagers. Yeah, I'd say it was about about 14 is when I met these three other guys were all with all my age you all the same quorum with me and we just do a lot of a lot of things together we go. We do sleepovers.

We wrestled a lot was another thing that we were really big into, and so you just just had my my posse to hang out with during mutual linens and on Sunday and is pretty cool so you rebaptize the age of progress through all of the various preset offices to teach your priest what you remember about those experiences will my baptism brings back some traumatic memories for me because my dad was telling me for weeks that he was going to have to hold me down for an extra long amount of time to wash away all the sin from my life and I tried to do.

Yeah, I kind of knew that he was joking, but then the day of the actual baptism came and I wouldn't go down in the water. I think he was a little embarrassed is like hey it's okay you know I got was I was just kidding and that I would go down in the water and my dad was trying to coax me to go down X he had the close the curtains and make it a private baptism and kinda come back there and my dad. I did like reassure me that he was joking and that it was okay that actually ended up traumatizing me so much that when I went on my mission later.

I didn't baptize a single person because I didn't want to get back in the baptismal font.

So how do you feel about that now. Well I mean I after I accepted Christ I had no problem jumping back into the baptismal font at all. You know, I just wear my mission, my coming rebaptize people, but I was make sure that I had a member doing it, which they said was better anyways because they needed somebody that they were bonded to them what that's what I'm doing.

I'm just I'm just bonding them to the members of these wards and and the reality was I just didn't want to get wet. Did you have like a more general fear of water as a kid was swimming or anything like that. I know my sister did, but scarcity did Mel know how I did. I never had any issue jumping in the pool or anything like that.

I just didn't want to go under the baptismal font. I think a lot of it wasn't just that but but it was also, I never really felt like I was one of the of course to perform ordinances and to use the priest to give to be worthy to do it and I never felt like I really was and so I think that was another one of the papers that I had was probably because you my Donald unit water long enough.

It's true, I mean round if I had my means. Let's be honest here. Yeah II did I I went in. I became a deacon and you receive the erotic priesthood became a teacher and that a priest at 16 and I don't remember a lot going on during those years I member the they went and got me my patriarchal blessing which is such a big deal when you grow up in the church. You know it's it's like those of those movies like hunger games, you know where they they say what or not hunger is what you will at some of these movies really say what your job is going to be for the rest of your life as like like wow shouldn't be in Harry Potter. Yeah. Kind of like that. Yeah, it's a big deal, and so I went and it was just it was a really generic blessing that I received it basically I think half of it really just talked about stuff before my mission like oh you're gonna you know, go through the through seminary and at such an important thing by time I went on my mission. Half of the stuff in my patriarchal blessing was invalid. It was stuff that it already happened and there was is just very, I don't know. I thought I was expecting something big and it was almost nothing but general statements that they could've made about anybody and then there is a new patriarch that got called and my younger brothers went and got their blessings and they were amazing like one of them said he would go serve in another country and he would speak like in natives and one of my brothers said he would be like Nephi and angels would minister to him like okay what's wrong with me. How come I don't have these amazing blessings promised to me in my blessings that it's interesting well I had a similar experience Lord minus is very detailed and the multiple probably 700 pages and hers is just, very vanilla one half to pages I remember when we first got married and and she read my mission, felt disappointed and hurt and into different different patriarchs, different states, and so you know, just to talk about you-like bishopric roulette or whatever. I guess you the picture. Never let us well with my comes those blessings right and theoretically it shouldn't matter what patriarch you get because it's supposed to be from revelation directly from God and it is it is kind of disappointing when you grow open and a belief system that the whole thing.

That's so great about it is that there is ongoing revelation and then you get your personal revelation and just like us. Hey what's up. Have a nice summer psycho face to talk a little bit about the quad with one other good memories you have about growing up Mormon. I one of things I really liked was having the other youth dances once a month to me that was those really exciting especially having my friends there. I don't remember doing much dancing at all. A. Usually, hung out over by the Maxon. You know, leaned up against the wall, but I remember just having a big group of friends and it was great because I was not a social person at school or or anywhere else but in this environment, I was able to be somebody else's and there were people that actually appreciated me for who I was and just the activities that that they do.

I feel like the church, the LDS church is so good at having fun activities for the youth and one in particular just sticks out in my mind is over they put us all in a line and they blindfolded us and they had us lock arms and like okay your objective is to get to the other end of this field and don't let anybody distract you. It was kind of like a spiritual lesson because the adults were trying to separate us from each other and we this'll around in circles and we had to break free and stop trusting them, which is kinda kinda interesting kind of foreshadowing a little bit and in a member going to FYI when I was 16 and I was one of the biggest things that happened to me in my early childhood. My teenage years, which is what is the FY stamper for those might not know that is especially for youth, socio-retreat for teenage Latter Day Saints and 16 was the first year that I could go so mean the audit quad we all went together. We were roommates at that and they did a lot of the just a lot of activities there as well.

But the big things that happened there was on a Thursday night they took us into a room and they showed us this video about Jesus. Somebody was playing on the piano.

I know that my Redeemer lives. They were bearing testimony in the video about Jesus and how he'd change their lives. While sitting there. I wasn't really paying much attention because I wasn't that interested in church or doctrine or God. I was there for the social club and I just I just got to thinking about things I'm the oldest in my family and got four younger siblings and I started to think me or my mom and had a miscarriage before I was born and so if I'd had an older brother. What would he be like, and so I started thinking about them like I bet he would be amazing. He would love me to no end and anyone want to talk to me all night about the insignificant things that I thought were important and I kinda looked up at the screen and saw Jesus and had this big spiritual moment were like oh my gosh like that's my older brother, which is when Jesus is in Mormonism he sees your older brother. It was his prey is also big like these big charismatic events where people were falling down my can even stand out because they were so overwhelmed with emotions. After this, the big thing that happened to me that night is so I think they were. I think they were trying to inoculate us. I think that's what was going on there trying to to give us a little and to go you know what the vaccine so that later in life. If we if we heard about Jesus, we would say oh yeah yeah were Christians I know Jesus and I think that it backfired a little bit because I think that I had what had was a real experience with God and I was suddenly just just faced with God's holiness and then I saw how simple I was and I felt filthy and as sorrowful and if God decided to destroy me. I would've been happy about it but then I was just overwhelmed with this feeling of love and grace that God love me despite my sins, which later I would learn and is not really compatible with LDS doctrine at all.

But after that event. I was convinced that God was real and that God cared about me for the first time in my life today feel like that was the first time that God had revealed himself to you, truly or that you do forget a connection with God.

I absolutely think that that was a true connection with God and that that even early on he was throwing seeds in my life that were later going to sprout and turn into a problem for me, but he allowed me to continue to to stay in the church and and keep believing you know and I associated that event with the Mormon church being true.

I said okay I'm adding Mormon sponsored event and this happened here so it must mean that the church is true. I think that's I think that's totally true thing. But then my life to like. I like what I mentioned their experiences or add that just witnessed to me that there is a God that's just this. This wonderful powerful creator out there that that loves us and like you said you attributed that to the LDS church being sure I kind of attribute attributed those experiences to the LDS view of God, and he would not the elders.

You've got isn't correct. I still feel like that was God trying to communicate to me so that's why I asked because II had kind of a similar experience like during my mission in the foreign mission like that. Yeah, yeah. And honestly later on when I would be talking to Christians and they would immediately tell me that I didn't know God. It was such a turnoff for me because unlike what you don't even know what I've experienced and is actually Paul that finally like me to statement that helped me past that hurdle and eventually told me I need to give credit where credit is due. In other words, yes, God has been courting me and I need to acknowledge that, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the church is true because I attributed every single spiritual experience to the Mormon church, being true, and he opened up a whole new door that I needed to go explore the Point it's it's interesting that experience you had at that is funny. I was one of the Lakota Christ in you, especially for youth retreat to direct and what you said about realizing that the sense that that God loves you in spite of the fact that you are a sinner and not not really being compatible with with LDS doctrine.

I remember one time preparing to give a talk in Sacrament meeting it was one as young adult offenders married. We had three kids of the time and I was calculated into the wood before preparing and you know in the LDS church and others there's, there's, lip service given to always study each of the standard works once every four years. But if you follow if you if it if is a member of the church you follow the reading guide that they give you.

You certainly don't read all of the New Testament or all of the Old Testament in those years you read you know what is presented to you to read and I remember coming across this passage in Romans when I was preparing that talk. Romans 58 but God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and decided to put that in my talk I member having a similar experience to you Michael worms like that doesn't really fit. Does it with what with what LDS doctrine is about the way that repentance works in the way that worthiness is supposed to work but it was one of those experiences where I came upon this Bible passage that I've not seen before and after I read it because I know my rebel through the whole New Testament on my mission, but this is one of those things were didn't jump out at me and I and I do not see something like that on a regular basis because you just as a Mormon who just not an the Bible that deeply if you're if you're just kind of following the teaching curriculum at this, given to yeah and and you're not really conditioned to think that way. So even when you do come across passage of Scripture like that.

Like I would tend to just kinda glaze over things like resident as a believer I looked through Romans. And unlike this is completely new material and yet I know I've read it before and it's like it's like a completely new book is like, it's like you read it, but you think to yourself, and even if even if you recognize what assignment you kind of pictures of the Mean that that's government something else not to. Did you have any other questions for Michael Stern think just to soak it all and that's really so interesting to hear about this experience you had.

So your era 16 at the time.

He said right hip 16 as I was gonna make a joke earlier asking if you know you want the FIs of the can pick up the girls are have no offenders really unify what I heard that's where that's kind of what happens in a lot of ways I did almost have a romance that you fly didn't work outside a kind of giving this girl like a little love note and then she was reading with all her little girly friends and and then I end up getting really scared and ran off didn't work out, though, confession time allotted. I never heard about the FY until I was on my mission and neck that could be partly because I was largely inactive during my teenage years, but I did go on like pioneer contracts sent to scout camps and use conferences, but I never heard of the FY until I was on my mission. I was talking to one of my mission companions and had no cassette tape of music from the FY that he was listening to one. One day I I asked him what the F law.

Why wasn't he explained about that was like not totally missed out on what might've been the best expansive I could get you fixed. You totally missed yet I didn't I didn't hear about that either. I got I'd heard something about a banana and I was glad because arrogant some kids got some crazy stuff before it is catlike. There was a royal like a whole lot of adult supervision right is catlike. You sort of deadly certified some people around there but is catlike your a lot of time yourself Digital hearing secondhand yet.

It was a lot of freedom there were a lot more to love more kids than there were adults, so there was no way for them to really keep that close of an IME. We had like two counselors and that was really at I didn't and I was pretty straightlaced at the time saw me and I didn't mean my friends were were getting to shoes and we didn't do anything crazy, but I heard stories like that to see Michael Michaels getting to know Jesus at the FY scoping out the ladies and and I marching through the desert of the Western Utah desert pulling a handcart is a chronic quick funny story is that I did the handcart thing to and what about when my friends looked like right next door to me. He he claimed that he had a sprained ankle or is tied or something so we had to push them in handcart. The hallway, but really all he wanted to do was play Pokmon on his Game Boy system also. So Michael is experiencing the FY were were there other other experiences. Besides that one or any other times when when kind of religion and God became real for you. Not really. Things didn't start to get real for me until I was preparing to go on my mission because some boys were my friends. The two of them actually from the odd clod went before I did. The little was actually a year older than me and and so he ended up going inside okay once my friends kinda started dropping away. I'm like oh Mike you know this thing that I'm supposed to do for two years is coming and that's that that's a big deal actually seminary was another thing you know what I go there every morning at the break of dawn salute to learn the LDS doctrine for the first three years of high school I just joked around my friends and was a total nuisance and then in my senior year I had a teacher sister almond and she really got me interested in the Scriptures and is one of the things Ryan get there in the morning and she'd be in my seat and she would not let me have my seat until I beat her at a Scripture chaise or quoted a Scripture or something of that nature.

And so kind of made it fun for me and and I actually started kinda getting into the Scriptures a little bit more and actually read the book of Mormon for the first time before my mission and I didn't get anything out of it at all, but I kinda just ignore that and turn in my papers and and got ready to go on my mission and I had I was working at a thrift shop right before my mission and somehow we ended up getting the elders from our ward to come as volunteers and help me break furniture that nobody wanted in the back parking lot with in acts in a sledgehammer. So that was a lot of fun, but I really looked up to these guys and I wanted to be like them and I kinda started wanting to be out there and be a missionary was was going on a missions of the newest plans to do and you can imagine that when one of them of your friends from the pond went. That is like oh here's this thing was a something he does plan to do or did did you kinda decide to go in your late teen years it was him. It was a big struggle for me to decide to go I had not planned on going one where the other. It actually had been was assuming that my family pressured me to do a whole lot actually take that back is some of my family members were pressuring me ridiculously, especially my grandparents on my mother's side because I was the first floor.

No way to go serve a mission from my dad's side, and so to them.

It was a big deal. My grandpa would call me the torchbearer and that he get all teary-eyed so there was that pressure, but my my parents hadn't really pressured me to go that much until right before it was time to go and suddenly out of nowhere. My mother began to pressure me a lot to go and she would get real emotional: I kind of got to point where I I decided to go but I also just as interesting as I had my nonmember cousin started pressuring me to go but not for any good reasons.

In particular, but he was like he was so fascinated by what I was going to be doing in these like so they can send you anywhere in the world. I'm like yeah anywhere that they see fit to put me he's like oh my gosh, like maybe you'll go somewhere and learn another language like like Spanish amazing if you go to Brazil to be so jealous and my friend had gone to Hong Kong and he was learning Mandarin Chinese.

And so I was like man I he's like handling my rifle growing up to size like I got a ghost. I hope I go somewhere really cool like that. I ended up getting my letter back and it turned out I was going to the foreign nation of California, Orange County, English-speaking and I was so disappointed again just like with my patriarchal blessing. I was like man God could dissent me anywhere, and he doesn't trust me enough to to take me outside of the country where, to be fair, I would neither.

I wouldn't either. Nobody knowing myself like I do now that the time I thought that I deserve to go to Mexico or something like that.

You know just immediately disappointed by a lot of unholy thoughts right like okay like I'm not going to have this second language to help me get a good job when I come home and I'm not can have amazing stories to tell my dates when I come home because I'm just going to California like nobody wants to hear about that, on the Led Zeppelin nozzle song about it so about serving a mission in California while not going to did you did you get a penny. Can a ribbing from your family or friends because you're going to California.

Are they just excited for though they were just excited for me to go. My mom did say that she was disappointed as well. Initially, then she prayed about it and God confirm to her that that was exactly where I needed to go and so she told me that there was somebody there waiting and I had a purpose and I just needed to trust God and that it was going to be great. I knew going at 19.

See the missionary training Center in Provo, Utah, and I really liked the missionary training center. The only thing I didn't like about it was that being from Texas I was not used to the climate in Utah and I'm lucky I went in April, so it wasn't too bad but there was no humidity so I would wake up in the middle of the night with flooding noses. I would probably get like three of them a day and just have to run to the restroom and fix it. Because of this is just a tough issue for me there and it turned out is because I wasn't drinking enough water, because I was just like slurping down all their personas blue Jell-O that they have at the MTC. How I was can ask little bit more about your experience of the MTC. No record interviews with other people who are our text Mormon supposed Mormons a lot of time at time of the MTC. The high-pressure's newness of the site, but what was your experience there. When I first got to the MTC. I was really nervous. I was like okay if like that moment where you realize like okay I'm a huge introvert and I am going on a mission like what am I thinking. In fact I looked at them.

I looked overlooking myself in the mirror right before I laughed and thinking I'm never going to stand in the spot again like my life is over two years is never going to us and I get to the MTC and in him really nervous and I find my district you're the other group of missionaries that I'm there with and they were all really chill people. I really liked my district.

They were friendly, made me feel at ease a lot of your budget.

Utah Mormons and I realize real quick that I did not really fit in with that group, especially once we started practicing teaching because unlike me. These guys knew their stuff. They even knew the myths. Nobody could talk about it so well, like he was absolutely true. You know, like, oh the star when they were looking for Jesus. It was a brand-new star being created would tell Mike where did you find that if that is that hidden in the doctrine and covenants somewhere when he said myths that they are talking about like the stories about the three neophytes or something like that minor urges legends. Yeah, I mean more like quasi-doctrine, as well as the real doctrine of the church and there is so much more well-versed in it and they were interested in the theology and I was like oh wow actually was really intimidated because I couldn't teach worth a darn. And I didn't really know anything, they would practice teaching and it was so eloquent.

Compared to me. They just seem like they knew what they were doing and I was like, man, I'm never going to catch up to these guys I've ever one day we went to to go clean one of the buildings, but we went we clean this floor of this building. We got done pretty fast. We were big district and there's an older guy there and he sat us all down and started talking to us in these like how many of you guys have girlfriends back home and most of the guys did. I didn't and they shared the fund statistic that says only 1% of LDS women will wait for their missionary boyfriend become hallways like you just feel like the pressure in the room like the goes but I have found a way to make it 100% and then he goes into this long story about how when he was on his mission. Him and a bunch of the other missionaries made a covenant with God that if they would serve him the way he wanted them to that he would protect the relationships he said everyone he did that. Went home and married the girl was waiting for them except for one of them and in his case.

When they got married in the temple, like the guy said that they had made that promise in the preexistence. I was like you know this really spiritual ball man and after that at all the guys there were like oh my gosh were given do that tonight and so we all went to our our dorm rooms that night and and they all think a bunch of them did that. That night, and I never followed up with any of them to figure out what happens, but I didn't have anyone waiting at home for me and I was really concerned about the fact that I couldn't teach that I couldn't do any sort of public speaking at all because I was so I had so much anxiety and so I kind of down on my bed and I made a deal with God that if I would serve him the way he wanted me to that he would teach me how to speak and I immediately fell this feeling like but God was saying yes to me and so again you I took that to mean that okay you know covenants are real in the LDS church is definitely true that night I didn't experience like my whole mission. I was really awkward and had a incredibly hard time talking to people on the streets, but then magically when I came home and I was speaking over the pulpit.

I felt like I could speak a lot better and I attributed that to that instant, the net instance of the MTC very particular experiences that you have in California that have been important. Your for returning.

Yeah, I think just the whole experience. Overall was really important. I kinda learned that I have a hard time getting along with people. I think I went. I cycled through like 17 companions on my missions, just with new people all the time but I got to learn how to actually work with others in.

I really enjoyed teaching people in their homes and in studying the Scriptures every morning. I had some excellent trainers to like emerald math you're talking about how years made you go running. Mine was exactly the same way. I wonder if they were like brothers or something because this guy he'd have us go out and run 2 miles other Sheena 37.

The other guy was really not fit and he he would likely be dying by just be like man. Why do you what you like to run so much and he was like a huge bodybuilder to use a lead we try to wrestle him down. We try to gang up on him and it never worked. He was a monster like Samson. I did you keep up with them.

Then Ari was dead he was. He cut my trainer and I can arrange into the ground that I could never keep up with him. I was just happy to build a stay ahead of my other companion. I am just not a runner.

I can Sprint really really well but if I'm doing a long distance. It kills me. I would rather do just about anything can go running so yeah he would. He would stop me to the ground and he was kind of.

That way when it came to teaching to because he was another just really good teacher really knowledgeable and you couldn't really get a word and when he was talking so I did a lot of listening and just really learn how to teach. I think from him. To this side of the outer podcast. Please visit the out of rightness podcast Facebook free to send us a message than with comments or questions, send a message of appreciated page life.

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