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  1. Serenity Valley and Jay Roasted Tomatoes have touched my heart. I was riveted to my computer as I listened to Serenity talking about her childhood and later conversion. I figured out a way to work SV’s story about her dad’s Priesthood experience with his bishop (12:50-13:52) into my lesson for the young men on Sunday. I’m so overwhelmed with the faith of these two people and how they have come through their trials. I can’t wait for the second installment. Please don’t keep us waiting long!

  2. Bradley and J., thanks to both of you for your kind words! We did this interview with John because we thought that Serenity’s conversion story, in particular, was powerful and important (at least it is to me). So I’m glad to hear that it’s meant something to other people, as well!

  3. Thanks for another very interesting podcast! This episode in particular shows the power of John’s idea to just let people tell their stories. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest.

    RT and SV’s saga apparently ends well for the church, but my question is, what if the story didn’t end this way? What if someone “gets” what the church is supposed to be teaching about Christ, and they still don’t hear a peep from God? At what point is a person allowed to say, bag it, I’m not going to waste the rest of my life on a wild goose chase for an “answer” that may never materialize?

  4. Abner, I do understand that people have different experiences with respect to the church, God, and the whole package. If my experience had been like I infer yours to have been — no real experience of the divine, despite my best efforts — then I would draw the conclusion that Mormonism isn’t the place that I was meant to be. If that’s the conclusion that you’ve drawn, I have to respect that. (Just because Mormonism seems to be right for me doesn’t imply that it’s right for you.)

  5. RT, fair enough, but how are we supposed to argue if you’re going to be so darn reasonable? 🙂

    Seriously, I could bring up lots of other issues in Mormonism, and they do matter to a lesser or greater extent, but this one thing is probably the #1 reason I’m a disaffected Mormon (or an apostate, or whatever you prefer). The promises supposedly made by God failed. There’s nothing worse than a God who fails (just ask Metallica).

    I sought, but I didn’t find. I asked for bread, and I got a stone (well, even that would have been something. To be more accurate, I got nothing.) I cried to God in my closet, my fields, with family, with friends. As far as I can tell, he didn’t hear a word. I read the Book of Mormon numerous times, pondered its message, sincerely asked God, and all I’ve ever had in response was deafening silence. And in case you’re wondering, I did ask whether the BoM was “true” as well as whether it was “not true.” Didn’t help 🙂

    Geez, I even started praying in different ways. To Jesus, to Allah, to generic God, in tortured Elizebethan English, in modern English, in Spanish. I read the Bible in several different translations. Say, I’ve even attended the Episcopal church.

    Nowadays I don’t mind the silence – I don’t expect anything anymore – but it was frustrating and painful to carry on a one-way conversation for so long. Apparently my God gene is recessive.

  6. Well I’ve gotta say that this wasn’t my favourite of your podcasts. I guess I just have such high expectations of your work given the previous podcasts.

    When you’re so used to eating steaks it’s hard to digest a hamburger. It was a conversion story like so many others I’ve heard. Too bland.

    Hmmm. Just looked at my comments and figured you might want something more constructive…. sorry.

  7. I agree with Abner. I just left the church last week after 32 years. How much of your life do have to dedicate to have it finally click. It is very hard to go to church and try and fit in like you believe when you have serious doubts. It was a very big surprise when my wife and I told our bishop (since we both had callings and were very active) but we could just not go on any longer trying to fit in.

    I have spend 1/3 my life in the church and it is time to move on. Maybe God wants me somewhere else.

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  10. Dear Zelph, dear John,
    Glad you made it.
    You surely will have a hard time adjusting to a new life without the church,
    but I think its quite worthwhile it.
    Enjoy your new freedoms .
    (wear the underwear you and your wife want, not the corporate identity prisonwear)

    Your name reminds me of a question to John:
    Do we actually have the bones of Zelph, the infamous Nephite Warrior?
    If so, what are the DNA results? Is he of hebrew origin?
    If so, that would be a great hint that the church is actually true.
    I suppose that Joseph and his fellows gave the brave warrior a suitable burial.
    Well, anyway,
    I wish you, Zelph, all strength necessary to
    get over the tough period of change.

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