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  1. Just getting started on this series with the Booth’s.

    I already appreciate them taking time to come appear on Mormon Stories.

  2. I’ve been watching/listening to MormonStories since 2012 and this couple’s life story is right up there at the top of my favorites. I’m so glad Jason and Jeanne were able to stay together and not lose their marriage over the disbelief in Mormonism. Four podcasts in one day! Definitely worth my time (which I had since I didn’t have a lesson to prepare for Sunday!) I could relate to Jeanne with her feelings of missing her time at church with her friends – I still miss my ward family and I’ve been out for 6 years now. I LOVE these stories and the feeling of camaraderie I feel towards this couple as well as others you have interviewed. Thank you, Jason and Jeanne, for being willing to share your faith journey with us and thank you, John, for MormonStories!

  3. Jeanne and Jeff,

    You have no idea how much I appreciate your interview. It has helped. I too am a former Bishop and my faith left me a little while back. I go to church with my active wife and try to fit in the best I can. I have gone through 3 bishops – none have spoke to me about my faith. They really don’t know how to treat my kind.
    You have my respect for being such a classy couple and handling your circumstances with such respect and dignity.
    Best Regards,

  4. Just finished the third episode, and will continue soon with the fourth. Something really hit me at around 14 minutes into Episode 3. Jason perfectly states the real harm done by religions, and religious authorities.

    I am once again inspired by the bravery of this family to align themselves with the truth and live genuine lives. It has made me reflect upon the things in my own life that I am not open or honest about with those that I claim matter the most to me.

  5. In the third video at about 14 minutes in, Jeff shares his feelings about men implying that God has told them to say or do something that God never did. The responsibility of implying divine intent is pretty dramatic and risky. As a church leader or even parent, if you make decisions in your stewardship as a man or woman and credit God for your choices, it is one very serious form of dishonesty. It can go fine, but it can also go horribly wrong. I would say that is certainly the main reason many men have difficulty giving priesthood blessings. People expect the priesthood holder to get revelation, on the spot, from God, and they expect those things to be gospel truth and will up-end their lives or place great hope in those words. How many priesthood blessings resulted in a great healing? How many were just men saying whatever came to them in the moment, hoping that some of it would stick? How many blessings are in fact revelation from God for that individual being blessed.

    It’s extremely dangerous and difficult, not just for the person receiving the blessing, but for the man giving the blessing, who may now feeling guilt and shame for saying things in God’s name that he knows God never uttered or said. A blessing done properly is a connection with the spirit in the behalf of another, OR it is a petition to God for aid, not a statement of divine intent given by a man who has no idea what God wants or intends.

    Are some blessings actually the mind and will of God? I’ll bet that some are. I’ve known people who had gifts that I did not have, and I know I have some gifts that others don’t. All are given gifts, but few if any have all gifts. That’s a true principle! But in our present institution, all men worthy of the priesthood are expected to give blessings of healing, when that may not be anywhere near remotely possible for them. Faith strong enough to heal is not in everybody’s arsenal of gifts!

    LDS services and meetings are a mixed bag. I’ve had many spiritual experiences in meetings, and I’ve had some experiences that made me want to puke, where I knew with a certainty that a leader is just “winging it” as a person with no spiritual gifts, yet they projected and believed they were inspired. That belief in self infallibility is one of the core problems with the church, with any church. The infallibility doctrine is one of the church’s great stumbling blocks, especially with regards to the brethren.

    I’ve served under bishops who felt very clearly inspired to do certain things that made absolutely no sense to me and turned out poorly, and I’ve served under bishops who didn’t claim any inspiration but made really good decisions that obviously benefited many people. I’ve also served under bishops who claimed inspiration in a way that felt humbling and pure and right, and their choices had wonderful results with people, and I’ve served with bishops who didn’t feel confident in their choices, made them anyway, and the consequences were pretty bad. It’s a four-square box with four possibilities.

    Every human is unique, every situation is unique, and I believe God wants it to be difficult and challenging. How we handle our challenges defines us. This beautiful couple handled it well I think, all things considered. And yes, Sundays are wonderful when they aren’t filled with 10 hours of meetings. Amen! So much time to spend visiting neighbors, loving your family, resting your soul.

    Jeff & Jeanne, I hope you find a way to remain spiritual, to seek the possibilities of Godliness without the confines of formulaic religion. I pray, if God exists and cares, that He/She blesses and sustains you!

  6. Just finished part 2, looking forward to hearing the rest of the story. My husband served for 5 years as bishop with me as an unbelieving spouse. I attended and still do to support him and my children. It’s tough. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Taking the Lord’s name in vain

    You both are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Something that Jason said really resonated with me. I was a counselor in a bishopric and had moments of fear that I was claiming direction from God without really knowing that to be true. To me this is what taking the lord’s name in vain really meant. I couldn’t see a loving God getting angry at using his name as a swear word. People use the word Jerry-rigging as a pejorative all the time (my name is Jerry), and I don’t care. But if someone told another person that I said something when I really didn’t that would bother me.

    But, it wasn’t until my faith crisis that the significance of this issue came to light. Giving people direction and claiming it came from God is one of the worst things you can do. What an awful, manipulating thing that is! I now feel very guilty about having done this while in leadership positions.

  8. Loved listening to my sister Jeanne and her good husband Jason’s story. I laughed, smiled, cried and mourned with them through these 4 hrs of interview. I value their honest and straightforward words. It has brought much clarity and dispelled many concerns. More than anything else these hours of listening have strengthened, confirmed and planted my testimony in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints deeper into my soul. The righteous principles and values have made this wonderful couple who they are. This gospel is based on our Savior Jesus Christ. He took upon himself the sins of the world so that happiness, joy and families can and will be ours forever. I am so thankful for these two wonderful people and their sweet kiddos place in my life. Anyone who knows them loves them as you can see from these podcasts. I love Jason and Jeanne so deeply and will continue to support them through their journey, as I know they will do the same to me. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤️

    1. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our story Trish. It means a lot to us that you are willing to see things from our perspective. We love you!

  9. Jason and Jeanne, thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. It is so similar ours. We were married in ’98, have 4 beautiful, loving children who mean the world to us. I never served as Bishop but I was serving in the High Priest Group and teaching the lesson the day my first crack formed. Then it was the essays, then Mormon Stories – Simon Southerton was monumental in my journey.. Second perhaps only to Grant Palmer in my mind.

    My wife and I are overwhelmed at your courage. Listening to your story, your joy in your service and your love for your ward family is clear and evident. Extracting yourselves from such a situation shows the depth of your knowledge of and commitment to the truth. The easy way would have been to stay and pretend. It is so obvious that you wanted nothing other than to spend the rest of your life living the religion you grew up “knowing.” The heartbreak you felt upon learning of the truth is gut-wrenching.. as it is for all of us on this path, but hearing your story and seeing so many similarities to our own was so therapeutic to my wife and I.

    Thank you again for being the kind of people with the courage to stand for what you believe. You are inspiring. You give the rest of us hope and help along our journey.

  10. What a fantastic episode! Thanks so much for doing this Jason and Jeanne! My wife and I have a very similar story in many ways (different in others of course). I was recently released as Bishop and both my wife and I went through a faith transition while I was serving as Bishop. I have spoken briefly with John about sharing our story as well. I truly understand and can empathize with how it is being Bishop while transitioning faith. It was and is very difficult for both of us and our children and during your interview, I could feel that from you as well.

    I found so much peace and validation in listening to your story. It helps so much to hear of others who share a similar path. You are such wonderful people. I think it would be great to connect with you at some point in the near future (on the phone at least). Perhaps John could facilitate?

    Take Care!

    -Mike

  11. Loved these episodes! Thank you, Jason and Jeanne, for your remarkable courage and honesty. You are just amazing!!

    My journey is similar in many ways but unique as well. On the topic of finding community and connection, when my husband and I left the Mormon Church (he has since passed away), I went online (there are several websites like Belief-O-Matic and What Church Should I Join.com) and answered many questions about what I truly believe. Then found my compatible group which, for me as an agnostic, was the Unitarian Church. I really love going to some kind of church or group to connect on a spiritual and not necessarily religious level, and this group has made me whole again in that regard. I have found so many ways to serve my fellow humans beings without needing to subscribe to any particular religious dogma. Our church has many, many very enlightened, intelligent, curious and compassionate former Mormon missionaries!! I have led a Davis County small Unitarian discussion group for many years where we grapple with important questions of belief and truth with no absolute answers. Many of us are secular Buddhists, Jeanne. Good luck to you in your journey!
    Darlene

  12. Jason and Jeanne,

    I agree with others who have commented about your courage in sharing your story. I cannot imagine the difficulty you and others have experienced as you dealt with the issues surrounding leaving the church. I have written a letter to you that I sent to an address I found on line. If you don’t get that letter, I give John Dehlin permission to give out my email to you on a one time basis so you can contact me. I will then email the letter to you. As I said in the letter, you are wonderful, kind, loving people. I wrote the letter because I am a Christian and I am concerned for you and others who are struggling with belief in God. Jason’s loss of his father also resonated with me because I lost my wife to cancer two years ago. The letter I wrote is personal so I am not going to try to put it in this comment but I will include part of the conclusion of the letter that has to do with the gospel message of Christianity. That portion follows below.

    I would like to conclude by telling you about the true gospel as taught in the Bible. The first principle of the gospel is that God is one and that He is spirit, not flesh and bone. I cannot explain the trinity to you adequately. It is a mystery to me how God can be three persons in one being. In spite of not completely understanding, I accept that it is true. Secondly, the Christian gospel is not as complicated as the one you have been taught. It is a simple message. You and I are sinners in need of a savior. We are completely incapable of saving ourselves. Because of our need for salvation, Jesus, who has eternally existed as God (see John chapter one), came to earth in the form of a man to pay our sin debt. His work on the cross paid for all of our sin. The work was done when he said “it is finished”. There is nothing we can do to add to what He accomplished on the cross. He paid it all.

    I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense to a Mormon. The LDS Sisters I have spoken with didn’t understand how that could work. Part of the reason they thought Christianity was false was because no works are required. What they didn’t understand was that works are secondary in Christianity. They are a demonstration of faith, not a requirement prior to salvation. As James says, faith without works is dead. Someone who professes faith in Christ will show their love for Him by wanting to please Him through obedience and service. Instead of works being a burden, they become a pleasure. We want to serve our Lord because of the great sacrifice He has made for us. Read Ephesians 2:8 and 9. Those verse explain our salvation is a gift. A gift cannot be earned. We can only accept it. if we worked for it, it would no longer be a gift.

    Thank you once again for courageously sharing your story.

    Bill McClymonds

    1. Bill,
      Did you not listen to Jason trying to describe the pain caused by brass heavens upon his truly begging for truth in what the Bible scripture taught him?

      Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

      The last thing someone fresh out of Mormonism (say under 3 years) needs is immediate re-immersion in another OT/NT black and white Truth system.

      I, like Jason was given a stone, man how I remember that wound to my soul. Jason and Jeanne, at least for me the oscillations from the extremes of atheism to the Mormon hierarchy of Gods continued for many years. I believe it’s pretty common that members who were all in with Mormonism’s Object Truth claims and experience that collapse tend to atheism as the oscillations settle out. We were raised to fear Human Secularism, don’t fear it any longer.

    2. Do you feel that you apply the same level of skepticism to Biblical historical claims that you do to Book of Mormon historical claims? The existence of Zarahemla, new-world horses, chariots, etc.? Do you seek out independent, scientific sources for your evidence and resources alongside apologists?

      Cheers,
      Justin

      1. Justin,

        Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure if the comment is addressed to me since I didn’t make any claims about Book of Mormon history, I will make a brief reply in case you were asking me the question. Just grab a Bible and a modern map of Israel. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee and on and on. Look at all the thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts and other ancient writings including Josephus. Even Bart Ehrman doesn’t deny the existence of Jesus. He just doesn’t believe Jesus was God. There may not be evidence for every single detail in the Bible, but there is no question it was written about real history. Comparing it to Book of Mormon historical claims … there is no comparison. There is a tremendous amount of evidence for the historicity of the Bible that is indisputable.

        1. “Despite attempts by a number of biblical archaeologists — and an even larger number of amateur enthusiasts — over the years, credible direct archaeological evidence for the Exodus has yet to be found.

          While it can be argued that such evidence would be difficult to find, since nomads generally do not leave behind permanent installations, archaeologists have discovered and excavated nomadic emplacements from other periods in the Sinai desert.

          So if there were archaeological remains to be found from the Exodus, one would have expected them to be found by now. And yet, thus far there is no trace of the biblical “600,000 men on foot, besides children” plus “a mixed crowd…and live stock in great numbers” (Exod. 12:37-38) who wandered for forty years in the desert.” – Eric H Cline, Ph.d, Ancient History

          There are Biblical apologetics to dispute the above conclusion, but, to me, it all sounds like the same kine of BoM apologetics to explain how tapirs are horses, obsidan swords are steel swords, etc. “Skepticsm, properly applied, necessarily lead to atheism.” There is no evidence or good reason to believe in anything supernatural.

          Cheers,
          Justin

          1. Justin,

            In my opinion I gave you plenty of evidence for the Bible. You picked one point that does not yet have answers that are sufficient for you. I’m sure there are others you can find. Your questions are good ones but don’t ignore the evidence I already provided. As far as evidence or good reason for the supernatural, I would suggest looking at the writings and videos by Gary Habermas about the resurrection of Jesus. I suspect that will not be adequate evidence for you either, but it is the best place I can suggest for you to start.

            In my opinion, Jesus confirmed the veracity of the Exodus. John 6:49-50 King James Version (KJV) states: “49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” Obviously Jesus is speaking about the Exodus. I know you probably will not accept the words of Jesus, but they are good enough for me. If the resurrection is true, then the Exodus is also true.

            While we are still dealing with evidence, I would appreciate evidence for abiogenesis. Before you start sending me the evidence, please check out a video I will link by James Tour PhD. The video is long and somewhat technical but the first twenty minutes will pretty much summarize his point. Jim is a synthetic organic chemist. He builds molecular machines. He has an open challenge to anyone who can explain abiogenesis to him from a chemical standpoint. He isn’t even asking for an explanation of the DNA code. That code is one of the most complex things in the universe. He just wants a chemical explanation. Starting with absolutely no intelligence on the early Earth (rocks and chemicals), then progressing to the complexity of the first reproductive organism containing DNA … without any external intelligent input … is not a simple task. He is only asking for an explanation of the easy part … chemical assembly. If you can explain that adequately to Dr. Tour, I have some questions for you about DNA.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaXpnz5hBk8

            If I understand the naturalistic or atheist position correctly, it is a belief that we are all simply intellectually advanced sacks of biologically encapsulated cosmic debris on an insignificant planet that is circling an insignificant star in a vast universe. How can biologically encapsulated sacks of cosmic debris have or assign any true and lasting value, meaning or purpose? Given the naturalistic atheist position, why even care about what other insignificant sacks of cosmic debris think or believe? If the atheist position is true, we all end up as fertilizer in the end anyway.

            Please understand that I am only making the statements and asking the questions in the preceding paragraph in order to get you to fully evaluate what you believe. I think the atheist position provides nothing but ultimate hopeless and despair if you think deeply about it. That is not what I want for you. I don’t think you are a sack of cosmic debris. I think you are extremely valuable and extremely significant. To me, you are a child of God. As one of His creations, you have tremendous value and worth. I hope someday you will value yourself as much as I value you.

            In gentleness and with respect,

            Bill

          2. “Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.” – Dara O’Briain

            Having read many texts and watching countless hours of Christian debates and arguments, I find the evidence and apologetics for anything in The Bible just as implausible and empty as the evidence and apologetics for The Book of Mormon, The Q’uran, The Book of Abraham, The Book of The Law of The Lord, The Vedas, etc.

            https://www.secular-reality.com/2015/08/05/bowing-to-an-empty-throne/

            Cheers,
            Justin

  13. When a Bishop and his partner leave the church together, it has to help many LDS members who were quietly suffering and attending to gather the courage to leave. Thank you for speaking out.

  14. Bill McClymonds,
    Bill, before you give advice to others regarding the true gospel in the Bible, you really need to study the history of Christianity and both the Old and the New Testaments. Don’t just take your pastor’s word for what you believe. You really need to study when we got the concept of the Trinity, the coversion of Constantine, the gospels that did not get into the Bible and who determined which books got into your Bible. Not long ago John interviewed Biblical scholar from the University of North Carolina, Bart Ehrman. I highly recommend that you go back a few weeks and listen to what this fellow said, and he was originally a born-again Christian. Without a massive about of studying you are no different than I was when for 40 years I accepted the Mormon Gospel because I was told how to recognize the Holy Spirit.

    And thanks so much to you, John, and to Jeanne and Jason. The road gets even better as time passes.

  15. Thank you very much for the comment Kallen. If I understand correctly, you were a member of the LDS Church for 40 years. If you invested that much of your life into the Church only to find it was not true, I can understand why you are expressing the concerns you have expressed.

    What I wrote was a very basic gospel message of Christianity. It is not my advice, it is what the Bible says is true. There were some things I did not mention that I will include at the end of this comment. Hopefully they will add clarification to what I previously wrote.

    First of all, I would like you to know that I really care about the Mormon people. I told Jeanne and Jason in the letter I wrote that I was approached by a number of LDS Missionary Sisters recently. I had the opportunity to spend many hours talking with them about their faith. Like Jeanne and Jason, I found them to be extremely kind, loving, people.

    Secondly, I will answer the concerns you raised to the best of my ability but I am not interested in an argument. I will simply state what I believe is true and allow you and others to decide if what I write makes sense. This is the story of Jeanne and Jason. It is not my story. If I can clarify anything I write, I will be happy to do that, but I have no desire to argue.

    You are correct if you are assuming that I am just a regular guy in the pew. I am not an expert in textural criticism. On the other hand, I don’t just take the pastors word for something. I investigate things for myself. If something is not true, I want to know about it.

    I watched the interview with Bart Ehrman you mentioned when it was first posted. I have also watched other videos he has on You Tube including some of his debates. I think he makes some good points but, at the same time, I think he approaches his criticism of the Bible from an extremely skeptical perspective. You may be interested in watching a video by Michael Kruger, who is also a Biblical textural critic. As a matter of fact, Kruger was a student of Ehrman’s when he attended college. In the video I will link, Dr. Kruger answers the majority of objections Dr. Ehrman raised on the Mormon Stories interview. I will let the video from Dr. Kruger speak for me in answering your concerns. I will link the video below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5AkDOsc4fA

    From what I understand of this video and others by Kruger I have watched, the bottom line is that there have been three significant changes to the New Testament text over the years. The problem for Joseph Smith is that the changes were additions, not deletions. No plain and precious truths were lost. Instead, additions were made to the King James Version that are not in the earlier manuscripts. Those three additions were John 7:53 – 8:11, Mark 16:9-20, and First John 5:7-8 which has some changes and additions. All of these changes are in the footnotes of my copy of the New King James Bible. None of the additions affected or changed any Biblical doctrine. All of the original Bible doctrinal issues remain intact.

    When I wrote about the gospel message of Christianity I was trying to keep it as simple as possible. After I wrote, I thought there might have been some things that might need more clarification to a member of the LDS Church. I will conclude with those additional thoughts.

    I did not note that the Bible says we should repent of our sin when accepting the gift of Christ. We are to turn from sin and follow Him. I also forgot to note that salvation for a Christian means we will go to the one and only highest heaven where we will live with God (Father Son and Holy Spirit) for eternity. We will never ever begin to approach the glory, honor, majesty and power of God, but we will be able to enjoy and worship those aspects of His presence with us.

    For anyone who doesn’t understand mainstream Christianity, there are only two places people go when they die. Either heaven or hell. There is no other option. Repenting of sin and accepting the free gift of salvation will assure us entrance into heaven where we will live eternally with God. Continuing to follow Christ for life and good works are the evidence that will accumulate in the life of a believer who is truly saved.

  16. I am indeed happy for Jeanne and Jason in their luck, which John has pointed out. I also appreciate John’s desire to interview mixed faith marriages which are hard to come by. I too have also had a streak of luck in that my TBM wife did not divorce me and my TBM adult children have put up with my apostasy for 18 years now.

    But I must say, at times like this (listening to the Booths successful exit) it’s still so painful after all these years. My biggest regret in life is how successful was my part of the indoctrination of my children, and seeing it be passed on yet again to my grandchildren.

    The fear of the anti-Mormon is so deeply embedded. The labeling of the likes of John Dehlin as being an enemy so concrete. How I wish that I could get my wife and adult children on an interview with JD. How I wish some other family in my situation could get their family to do so. There is just no real hope for any relief from the chronic pain I feel by our clash over the Church. I’m not sure how much pain my children feel from it, as it’s not a topic to ever be discussed in private, let-a-lone in a public interview.

    For some of us, there is no escape from the pain and the anger that results from time to time.

    1. Thank you for sharing this, I relate to this very much. While I remain active to support my family, I have not been a believer for many years. I supported my husband through 5 years of being bishop and am now supporting my daughter on a mission. I don’t see them ever leaving and I’m not sure where this leaves me. I love much about the church, but it’s complicated.

  17. Rockslider,

    As I said in another comment. I am just a layman. I will try to provide a reply for you that is as honest and sincere as I can be, but I will be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers. I have been watching the Mormon Stories You Tube videos for quite a while now. Although I cannot possibly experience the same pain you and others have experienced leaving Mormonism, I have had my share of difficulty in life. I do understand deep pain and sorrow.

    I did hear Jason when he talked about the pain of unanswered prayer. I have no doubt about the sincerity of his prayer or your prayers. I know you and others have prayed deeply and sincerely without receiving answers to those prayers. While I don’t doubt your sincerity, I would ask to whom you addressed those prayers. If you were praying to an exalted man who progressed to godhood, I would not expect that god to provide an acceptable answer to your prayer since I do not believe there is any such god.

    Having written the words above, I do not want to dismiss your difficulty with unanswered prayer lightly. I have personally prayed and had others pray with me when I did not receive the answer to prayer that I wanted to receive. My wife died of cancer in spite of my prayers her prayers, and the prayers of many others. As you know, unanswered prayer is a very difficult thing to experience. On the other hand, God has answered prayer for me many other times and has given me a tremendous amount of support through the love of many Christian friends and family since my wife died. It has been two years since she died and all of the deep pain and sadness that I experienced at first is gone. That does not keep me from shedding a few tears as I write about her in this reply, but my memories of her are no longer painful.

    The God I worship is not a genie who grants my every wish as I rub a magic lamp. He is a God who is far beyond my human ability to comprehend. My plan and His plan don’t always coincide. He, as the God of the universe, has given me the privilege of speaking with him in prayer, but he has not given me the power to overrule His sovereign will.

    You wrote ” The last thing someone fresh out of Mormonism (say under 3 years) needs is immediate re-immersion in another OT/NT black and white Truth system.” I can understand how the experience of Mormonism could cause you to feel that way, but I have also seen stories of others who have left Mormonism for Christianity or other beliefs. I think there is a wide diversity among those who leave the LDS Church.
    As a Christian, there is another consideration that is part of the reason I am writing. Some of the people who leave the LDS Church will not live three years. If what I believe is true, and they do not accept Christ as their savior, they will spend an eternity separated from God. That is the last thing I want for them.

    The final thing I would like to address about unanswered prayer is the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. As you know, He prayed that he would not have to endure the cross. His words were: ” Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” While in human form, he did not want to suffer the agony on the cross. On the other hand, He submitted to the will of the Father as an example for us to follow.

    Jesus in Christianity has existed as God from eternity past. According to the first chapter of John, he created all things. From that position of supreme authority and power He humbled himself when He took on human form in order to pay for the sin debt we have all accumulated while living on the Earth. If you want something that is difficult to understand, this is the greatest mystery to me. If I was reigning as God in heaven, I cannot imagine myself making the sacrifice and allowing the pain, suffering and humiliation at the hands humans creatures that I had created. I would have solved human sin and rebellion with a simple decree. They can all go to hell.

    Fortunately for all of us, I am not God. I will never begin to approach the depth of His love for us when He died on the cross for our sin. I will never be able to thank Him enough or even begin to repay what he has done for me. That is why, even though He does not answer every prayer in the way I would like it to be answered, I still love honor and respect Him as my Lord and Savior.

  18. Rockslider,

    There was something else I thought about after I posted my last comment. A passage similar to the one you quoted from Matthew is also found in Luke chapter 11.

    Luke 11:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
    9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

    Note the context of the passage. It is not saying you can ask and receive anything you want. It is saying God will grant salvation to those who ask Him by providing the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the sign that someone has been born again or born from above. I hope this will add some clarification to what I previously posted.

    1. Bill,

      I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s passing. I’m a survivor (kind of) of rectal cancer for six years now. I know how hard it is on a caregiver, but can only sympathize on the losing of a spouse. However, your efforts here remind me of an ambulance chaser. In my case, I have years and years of personal experience with what you are trying to sell and I have no interest in your services.

  19. Rockslider,

    Thank you for the kind words about my wife. I do also want to express my concern for your situation dealing with rectal cancer. That has to be very difficult when combined with all the pain you expressed in your August 26th comment that was not addressed to me. It is very difficult for me to understand all the pain, sorrow and regret that you expressed in those comments. I know you, and many others have been hurt deeply by what you have and are continuing to experience as a result of your LDS Church experience.

    Your comment about ambulance chaser sounds somewhat uncomplimentary if I am interpreting it correctly. That is OK. I have been called much worse. It actually made me think of a different analogy. You and I have both been hurt deeply by life situations that we have experienced. When the ambulance came to get us, both of us were hemorrhaging severely from our wounds. At this point in time, my wounds are healing and I have few scars. You, on the other hand were more severely injured and have been deeply scared by your wounds. The post traumatic effects have been much more severe in your case.

    No analogy is ever perfect, and mine was probably a little too simplistic for the trauma you and others have experienced. My brother experienced no physical injuries while piloting a combat helicopter in Vietnam, but he carries many emotional scars from that experience. Many of the stories of those leaving Mormonism remind me a lot of that type of scaring. People who look fine on the outside while carrying deep wounds and emotional scars on the inside.

    You mentioned years of personal experience with what I am trying to sell. Selling implies financial gain. I’m not promoting anything that would provide me with any financial gain. On the other hand, I am suggesting something that would provide you with a huge eternal benefit. Treasures in heaven. I keep saying salvation is a gift, but I know that is hard for anyone with a Mormon background to understand. Please try reading the New Testament just as a child would read it. Try to leave all your preconceived ideas behind and just read what it says. I know I will never convince you by my words of what is true, but the Lord may be able to show you the truth if you read His word as it was written instead of allowing the filter of Mormonism to cloud your vision as you read the text.

    I wish you all the best Rockslider. Even though I have not experienced your pain, I can feel the deepness of your hurt through your words. You may not believe in any God at this point but I hope you will not mind if I express my hope that the God I believe in will bless you as you continue your journey through life. I have a deep and lasting joy, even through sadness and pain, because of His love for me. Someday I hope you also will experience that joy.

  20. CORRECTION. Scared in paragraph two and scaring in paragraph three of my prior comment should have been scarred and scarring. Hopefully the meaning was still clear. Perhaps John can correct those spelling errors on my part.

  21. Thanks for sharing your stories, Jeanne and Jason! You are not alone; and you are not wrong! Hopefully, the people you care about who are still in the LDS Mormon church will take the time to listen and understand where you are coming from; if not understand the actual truth about what they’ve been taught. Hopefully your stories will inspire others, like me, to be more courageous in standing up for truth.

    There’s a lot in your stories we can relate to. Serena and I are in Layton if you guys ever want to talk.

  22. I relate to these two so so much. This podcast was very healing. My experience and feelings have been SO similar to Jeanne’s. I am grateful for her suggestion of secular Buddhism. I am going to look into that because I think it will help me with my anxiety and ability to be present. Thanks so much for being willing to put yourselves out there. ♥️

  23. I so enjoyed all the podcasts with the Booth’s. They were well worth my time.

    Our stories are similar in that my husband was the bishop when I discovered the essays and gave myself permission to pull back the curtain to see what else was behind it. Clearly I had been fed lies – lies that the church was now trying to tell me didn’t matter, and shouldn’t cause me any concerns. My husband stayed a bit longer than I did or could, he felt that the spiritual experiences he had were testimony of the truthfulness of the church. It wasn’t until he could see that there could be other explanations for his feelings that he was able to let go.

    I wish we had been younger, like the Booths when this happened, unfortunately the essays and the internet came much later for us. Our family suffered from being so faithful to a church that we didn’t have time or money for each other. It is my biggest regret, I just wish I had not allowed a church to tell me what my life had to be.

    Thanks again for sharing your story. You are brave! It is difficult to go from “knowing” all the answers to knowing you do not know, but that that is all right.

    P.S. I listened intently when Jeanne spoke about her MP. I feel I know exactly who he is. If I am right he was my SP in Chattanooga right before he was called as MP in California. He was every bit as strict/dictatorial as a SP. I have to wonder how many members he pushed away, he did not give me any warm fuzzies. It may may be true that TBMs make the best exmo missionaries.

  24. Justin,

    Since there was no opportunity to reply to your comment on the discussion that started with my comment on August 24th, I will put my reply here. You and I have probably gotten as far as we can get in the discussion. After this comment I would prefer to let others continue to comment instead of you and I monopolizing the conversation. We will just have to respectfully agree to disagree.

    You quoted: “Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.” – Dara O’Briain

    Of course science doesn’t know everything. My education is in the field of biological sciences. I am well aware of that. What I asked you about was abiogenesis. Life from non life is at the very foundation of the biological sciences. All the other evolutionary explanations mean nothing without a reasonable explanation for first life. Dr. Tour used the term collectively clueless when it comes to abiogenesis. That is the position of our best natural scientists at the present time.

    What I am proposing is an inference to the best explanation. Everything we know at the present time tells us that there is no complex, functional, information processing system we know about that develops or progresses long term in a positive direction without external intelligent input. If you know of such a system, please let me know.

    Did you hear Dr. Tour say the cell is a factory? It is a complex, functional, biological information processing system. DNA is a code or language the cell contains. One of the simplest bacterial cells we know about, mycoplasma genitalium, required half a gigabyte of data to describe a single reproductive cycle according to researchers at the Venter Institute. Try converting that half gigabyte of data to a word document for yourself using regular font sizes and spacing. I’d love to hear how many standard printing pages of data you get (hint … it is in the many thousands). The data you will have on all those printed pages is simply information in a written form. It is a lot of information required to describe a short period of cellular reproductive activity … and we are just beginning to discover things about the cell that suggest its information content is considerably greater than what we know about it now.

    If you think it is easy to go from zero intelligence to a “simple cell”, try going from zero intelligence to the human brain. It would take me many pages to even begin to describe the complexity of a functional biological information processing system like the human brain. The neuronal and synaptic system alone boggles the mind when trying to comprehend its complexity.

    You may think that both the cell and the human brain developed in a natural manner without any external intelligence. I find that scenario counter intuitive to everything we presently know. In my opinion, external intelligence was essential to first life and human brain development. The external intelligence that makes the most sense to me is the God of the Christian Bible. You are free to think otherwise, but please give me a reasonably scientific explanation for what you believe and why you think what you believe is true. I am willing to listen to any reasonable explanation that can explain the development of the first cell and the human brain without appealing to some form of external intelligence.

    What I am trying to communicate is that going from absolutely no intelligence on the early Earth to the complexity of the human brain is simply illogical to my way of thinking. You are free to think otherwise, but I would appreciate some solid scientific evidence to show me why going from zero intelligence to the complexity of the cell and human brain is logical from whatever perspective you have chosen as your world view.

    In reply to the link you gave, I will simply ask where the writer of the article got good and evil without God. In the words of the guru of atheism, Richard Dawkins: ” The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” In addition, the fine tuning of the universe convinces me that without God’s sustaining presence the universe would collapse in chaos.

    Once again, I write in gentleness and with respect.

    Bill

  25. Thank you soooooooo much! This was so helpful for me. Even though my husband is still very believing, (which is so challenging), you both have given me hope to continue to follow what I feel in my heart to be true. I honor your courage immensely! I live fairly close and would love to meet up with you Jeanne.

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