My journey to the Real Truth, began on June 4th, 1956. I was born the oldest of five children, to life-long members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Although my parents never purposely exposed me to any other religion, I came to know that “the Church” had more truth than any other religion. What was the basis of that knowledge? It made more sense than any other religion that I’d heard talked about, whether at school, or on any of the myriad of television programs that I watched, during my formative years. I remember, as early as the third grade, that I understood things better-when they “made sense”. Mathematics confirmed that, when I found that math was an extremely easy subject for me in elementary school. With its formulas and other ways of arriving at the correct answer, I found that I didn’t have to study math very much. It seemed that I was born with “a gift” for understanding math, algebra, and geometry. It made perfect sense to me, so I didn’t wrestle with it as much as a lot of the other students did. If something didn’t make sense to me, I usually had a lot of questions. Once I understood, once it “made sense”, I was able to see clearly.
Growing up in a staunch LDS family, I didn’t have many questions. There just weren’t that many things that were hard to understand, after reading the Book of Mormon. Even during my mission to Taiwan, I didn’t come across anything that didn’t correlate with what was written in the Book of Mormon, at least, not that I noticed at the time. Of course, anything that wasn’t crystal clear, was promised to be explained simply, in the “Sealed Portion” of the Book of Mormon. So, being the patient man that I learned to be, I just kept reassuring myself that when the time was right, the “Sealed Portion” would fill in all of the holes in the puzzle picture of what the “gospel of Jesus Christ” was supposed to look like.
During all of my adult life as a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, there was only one thing that made me extremely “uncomfortable”-giving a “priesthood blessing”. It was something I avoided like the plague. I couldn’t seem to figure out why…but I was never comfortable talking with my father, or any other Melchizedek Priesthood holder/leader about my reservations. To be perfectly honest, it felt like I was being dishonest, or deceptive, in a way I couldn’t even explain to myself. All I know, is that it was the same feeling I got when I told a lie, or when I did something to deceive another. So, whenever I was asked to give a priesthood blessing, I made up an excuse why I couldn’t do it. To make matters worse, I always felt very much at peace, AFTER, I was able to successfully “dodge” participating in the administration of the blessing. This wasn’t enough for me to leave the church, but I filed that “red flag” on one of the back burners in my brain.
It was 1985, and the Church was in the middle of negotiating with Mark Hofmann, to purchase historical documents that were important to establishing various events in the early history of the church. I remember the awful feeling I felt, when it was revealed that Mark Hofmann had been deceiving church leaders into purchasing documents that had been forged. The nagging feeling that I had, was confusion over “HOW” church leaders-leaders who claimed to have the spirit of revelation and discernment, could be deceived into using other peoples “tithing” money, to purchase forged documents. If the church apostles and prophets, indeed, had the power of revelation and discernment, as I had been taught my whole life, then why hadn’t the Holy Ghost revealed to them, that Mark Hofmann was offering them forged documents? It didn’t make any sense to me. If there was ever a “latter day” need, for the Holy Ghost to step up and protect the members and the tithing fund of the church, it was now, with the whole Mark Hofmann scenario. This wasn't enough for me to leave the church, but I filed that "red flag" on one of the back burners in my brain.
The church teaches that the story of Adam and Eve took place around 4000 BC, and that the timetable for the Earth’s existence, including the Millennium, is 7000 years. So, when it got close to the year 2000 (Y2K), my common sense was telling me that the “Sealed Portion” of the Book of Mormon should be revealed, and soon. I started to get nervous. My common sense was telling me that the end of Earth’s existence was just around the corner, and the time for the coming forth of the “Sealed Portion” was “nigh at hand”. As a result, my mental sensors were now on “high alert”. I remember sitting in front of General Conference with a notebook in hand, to document everything that was mentioned, or even hinted at, concerning the coming forth of foretold revelation-revelation that was to come forth “prior” to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Nothing was mentioned. Thereafter, every six months I performed the same routine. Every six months the result was the same. An empty notebook. The topics spoken from the pulpit were always the same. Regular temple attendance, becoming worthy to attend the temple, the importance of building temples, temple marriage, keeping your temple covenants, paying a full tithing and fast offering, honoring your priesthood, keeping the commandments, the importance of prayer, the holding of Family Home Evening, the importance of Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching, sharing the Gospel with others, strengthening your testimony, etc. The only difference seemed to be who spoke about the topic, and the personal experiences that they shared. Nothing was ever said about the coming forth of the “Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon”, or the work of the Three Nephites and John the Beloved, or anything regarding the “further light and knowledge Father promised to send us.” The year 1995 came and went, as did the years 1996-2001. On top of that, I hadn’t found a woman to marry yet. I had been very diligent in my responsibilities, duties, and obligations to God and the Church. Still, I was a single Melchizedek Priesthood holder, with nary a prospect in sight! This wasn't enough for me to leave the church, but I filed that "red flag" on one of the back burners in my brain. Needless to say, I was getting very discouraged, and very disillusioned with the church, because of the many “red flags” that were accumulating.
My parents were serving a temple mission to Washington D.C. between April of 2002 and April of 2003. We spoke frequently on the telephone. On one occasion, my mother asked if I had any success finding a woman with the potential of becoming my wife. I answered in the negative, and I believe she could hear my frustration. She asked, like LDS mothers do, if I was attending the temple frequently, still paying my tithing, putting my name on the prayer roll of the temple, and attending all of my Sunday church meetings. She was attempting to help me figure out, if possible, why I wasn’t having any success in finding a mate. Prior to this conversation, my church and temple attendance were sporadic at best, and bordering on total inactivity. I had already stopped paying my tithing. I didn’t have the courage to tell my mother the truth. She’s was serving a temple mission, and she didn’t need a distraction from that, by worrying about what was happening in my life. So, I lied to her. I didn’t tell anyone in my immediate family what I was going through. The Lord and I both knew what was going on, and I was okay with keeping it between Him and me.
Soon after this conversation with my mother, I met a woman on an LDS Singles web site. We dated for a few weeks, and I began to notice that she was a little on the “friskier than normal” side. What I mean by that, is that if I were to initiate actions to become intimate, she would not be opposed to that. My mental and/or spiritual state was such that I had become tired of being strong, and it had been 13 years since my divorce. I was 46 and not getting any younger, and frankly, I wasn’t feeling very “blessed” for being faithful to the church’s “Law of Chastity”. So…I gave in to my “natural man” desires. Having been raised in the church my entire life, and having read in the book of Alma, the kind of misery and agony I would be suffering for committing a sexual sin, I was fully prepared to face the onslaught of guilt, misery, and the feeling of being “lower than the dust of the earth.” To my surprise, it didn’t come. I fully expected the guilt to hit me the “morning after.” I thought I’d give it a week of contemplating the effects of my action, figuring it certainly would “wash” over me by then. The week came and went. Still, no guilt or misery arrived, and there didn’t seem to be any on the horizon. The intimacy continued beyond the first time, until it became a regular part of our dating relationship. This REALLY blew my mind!!! I mean, for 46 years of my life, the church had drilled into me the importance of the Law of Chastity, as well as the subsequent pain, guilt, and misery that was to follow one who had broken the Law…especially one who had been through the temple and taken out their own endowments. Where was the foretold, and promised, pain, guilt, and misery? I was beginning to feel cheated. In more ways than one. Either the church leaders had lied to me, or, I was so far down the “road to apostacy”, that I was beyond feeling the pain, guilt, and misery that I fully expected, and was “taught” that I would feel. The alternative was to believe that those feelings “do not” accompany intimacy between partners who are both single, with no marital commitment to another person. If that was the case, then I missed out on a lot of opportunities to be intimate with a woman who wasn’t otherwise committed in a marital way. Why was I so staunch and faithful to keeping a commandment of the church, if it turns out that the mental pain, anguish, and misery was not really the punishment for breaking the commandment? Or, there was NO mental/spiritual punishment “at all”, because I wasn’t breaking one of “God’s commandments”? I knew that my spirit knew the truth, even if my mortal brain and body didn’t understand it at the time. This wasn’t enough for me to leave the church, but I filed that “red flag” on one of the back burners in my brain.
In the early part of 2005, my brother told me that the “Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon” had been translated. He had been getting several chapters at a time from a mutual acquaintance of ours. I expressed my desire to get a complete copy, because he was giving his copies to our mother, and our paths didn’t cross often enough to warrant reading a few chapters here and there. I wanted to read at my speed, independent of when he or my mother were finished and able to pass his chapters along to me. Soon, my brother had gifted me a copy. I knew from reading anti Mormon literature in the past, that I was perceptive and confident enough, to be able to ascertain the authenticity of this book after reading only a couple pages. To my immediate amazement, it seemed as if I had just put down the Book of Mormon (Part 1), and picked up Part 2 (The Sealed Portion). It was a very familiar voice I heard when I began to read. It was as if the same person who wrote the Book of Mormon, had written the Sealed Portion. The writing style was exactly the same. The foretold simplicity of the writing, and the ability to understand completely was something I noticed immediately. I didn’t have to do a lot pondering of what I read. I was able to understand immediately the words I was reading in the moment. Compared to the Book of Mormon, it was extremely refreshing to read something written so simply, that a 10-year-old could understand, without a parent explaining. The lights in my head were continually being switched on, as the understanding of the information was taking place. It was incredible! It was very difficult to put the book down. I found myself devouring the information, and getting hungrier for more, the more I read. Each page explained something. Something that wasn’t completely understood before. And the mysteries that were being explained, were so enlightening, and I found myself seeing the pieces of an unseen puzzle being placed in their correct spot. I was beginning to see the larger picture, and it was exciting! My whole being felt as if I was on fire, but on the inside. I wanted to scream to the whole world what I was reading. I wanted to share it because it felt very selfish to be enjoying it, and being filled, alone…by myself.
Whenever I had read the Book of Mormon, before, during, and after serving an LDS mission to Taiwan, I was always astonished when I got to the story in Third Nephi of what took place in the circle of fire during Christ’s visit to America, following his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. It was difficult, to say the least, to imagine WHY the things that took place in the circle of fire, couldn’t be put into words. It just didn’t make sense that an event couldn’t be described, in the language of those that witnessed it. My curiosity caused me to wonder “greatly”, and to look forward with great anticipation for the promised explanation that would be included in the “Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon”. That event, more than any other principle associated with the gospel of Jesus Christ, dominated the things that I was most desirous to know, when the time came.
When I first got the book, I had totally forgotten about the circle of fire story. If I had remembered it, I know I would have searched the book until I found it, and then read it first. As it was, I was told to read the book in order, chapter by chapter, and to avoid the temptation of bouncing around. The wisdom in that is, Moroni takes the reader by the hand and gently leads them through each concept, each explanation. Each concept leads into the next, so reading the chapters in order, facilitates a complete and gradual understanding of the many explanations and mysteries that lie ahead of the reader. When I finally got to Chapter 42 and read the Chapter synopsis, I got very excited and was reminded of the curiosity I had developed to know the complete truth about the “circle of fire”. Looking back, I remember that the love that the Father and Jesus Christ have for us-the love that I felt as I read the explanation-caused me to shed tears of joy. So many tears of joy, I couldn’t read the next chapter immediately. By the time I was able to continue reading, I realized that I had wept for three hours. The explanation of that event lived up to every expectation that I had, and MORE!
The Sealed Portion reveals so much. So many things that I didn’t realize that I didn’t know. So many things that I didn’t expect, or even knew that I needed or wanted to know. Before I ever reached Chapter 87, I knew one thing for sure. I knew that I had to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a result of the things that Moroni taught, I knew that I could no longer be associated with the church. Moroni had helped me to see, that the doctrines that the church teaches are simply “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.”
As I read the book, I became very curious about the Messenger, the guy who translated the Sealed Portion. He was living in California, but I met a couple who had traveled there to meet him, and decided to have him perform the marriage ceremony. They showed me pictures that were taken at the wedding. As they thumbed through the pictures, I saw a picture of a man that had a countenance that shone, like no other countenance that I had ever witnessed. I asked them to stop, and asked who the gentleman was in the photo. They said his name was Christopher, Christopher Nemelka. They said he was the guy that translated the Sealed Portion. I knew immediately, just from the photo, that he was a true messenger. I tell you, his countenance shone, not as bright as when Moses (Charlton Heston) came down from the mount, after conversing with God in the burning bush in the Hollywood movie, but more than I had ever witnessed before, in or out of the church. Meeting him in person, I experienced a very humble man who was kind, gentle, and sincere. I could feel a genuine love for mankind, the kind of feeling you’d expect to feel, standing next to someone called of God, or even standing next to God Himself. It certainly was a more powerful feeling than I felt after meeting and standing next to Gordon B Hinckley while on my mission.
With each book that Christopher put out through the Marvelous Work and a Wonder, he proves that he is a true messenger. No one else in the world has explained the symbols and meaning of the LDS Temple Endowment Ordinance, and have it made sense. No one else has explained all of the symbols and metaphors and unfolded the Revelation of the Apostle John the Beloved, and have it made sense. No one else has explained “Who We Are and Why We Exist” and have it made sense. No one else has given us the true history and the only authorized biography of Joseph Smith, and have it made sense. No one else has provided mankind with a fool-proof plan to end Child Prostitution worldwide and posted it on the internet, and have it made sense. No one else has given the world a fool-proof plan to end world-wide poverty in one day, and have it made sense. No one else can answer the questions that the people ask of him, and have the answers make sense.
At one gathering I attended, Christopher produced the Urim and Thummim. He allowed those in attendance to handle them, as he explained how they worked, and how they wouldn’t work for anyone but him. The leaders of the LDS church haven’t even attempted, to do any of the things that Christopher Marc Nemelka has accomplished through the Marvelous Work and a Wonder. They have never talked about having the Urim and Thummin in their possession. They have never mentioned that they are working with the Three Nephites and John the Beloved, to help prepare the earth for the Second Coming of Christ, with their considerable temporal/monetary resources. They have never put forth a plan to end worldwide poverty. But then again, the church seems more interested in spending money to build temples and malls, instead of building homeless shelters or low-cost housing for the homeless, or ending worldwide poverty. They’ve never been able to explain the Temple Endowment Ordinance, and yet they have no problem deleting parts of the ordinance, so as to make it more acceptable to the world.
So, what has the Marvelous Work and a Wonder done for me? Well, to be perfectly honest, I can say that it’s changed my life. It’s changed my life in a way that no other person or religion or organization has been able to change it. Admittedly, and with profound shame, while I was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was one of the most judgmental people I knew…or even imagined. I looked down on anyone that wasn’t a member. I looked down on any member who hadn’t taken out their endowments yet. I looked down on any member that wasn’t living up to every commandment. On the outside, I still treated them with respect and kindness. Mentally, I looked down on those that didn’t measure up, even if I didn’t show it with my actions. After reading the Sealed Portion, my siblings and I took a trip to Las Vegas, to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of our parents. While there, I took the time to pull my youngest brother aside. This is the brother that shunned the church after graduating high school and joining the Navy. This is the brother that treated the rest of us, the ones that remained faithful to the church, the same as he has always treated us…with love and respect. I took him aside and apologized for looking down on him and judging him for making, what I considered to be “poor choices” with his life. I apologized with all of the sincerity I could muster, for I was truly ashamed, and asked for his forgiveness. He had treated us “better”, and was actually a better Christian to us and his fellowman, than any of us were to him or to OUR fellowman. Since then, I’ve done my best to treat everyone I come in contact with, in person or on the phone, the way I would like to be treated. I’m not perfect at it yet, but it is getting easier. It’s getting to where I don’t have to consciously think about it. It comes more naturally now. As a result, I have experienced MORE PEACE and MORE HAPPINESS in my daily life, than I ever did during the first 49 years of my life. Why would I change ANYTHING in my life now, with results like that?
The scriptures are filled with instances in which we are admonished to “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Those three verbs (in bold), are action verbs. You have to get off your butt and proactively “ask”, “seek”, and “knock”. The truth does NOT just fall into your lap, whether you’re expecting it to, or not. Sitting in front of “General Conference” every six months, expecting the leaders of the LDS church to hand it to you, is NOT how the system is set up. I was only guided to the truth, the Sealed Portion and Christopher the Messenger, AFTER I put in the work of “asking”, through prayer; “seeking”, through searching for anything that “claimed” to be the Sealed Portion or other prophesied truth; “knocking”, by opening what I found and reading it to see if it resonated, like “real truth” tends to do. When you put in the work (asking, seeking, and knocking), the angels can see by your actions, that you are proactively using your free will to look for the truth. When they see your purposeful actions, they are free to guide you to the truth that you’re seeking, in a way in which is perfect for you. Without your willful intentions, they are prohibited from violating your “free will”. In short, you’ll never be guided to the prophesied truth, unless you’re actively looking for it. The ONLY reason I found it, is because after the doubts of the truthfulness of the LDS church began to be exposed, I began my purposeful and willful search with determined “action”.
If you’ve been through the temple yourself, you’ll remember that during the film, Adam testifies that Peter, James, and John are true messengers from the Father, and then admonishes the viewing audience by saying: “I exhort you to give strict heed to their counsel and teachings, and they will lead you in the way of life and salvation.” In the immortal words of Ida Smith, “read the damn books”. If you’ve put in the work, and been guided to the truth, you’ll recognize it when you read or hear it. I have read the books. I have listened to the counsel and teachings of Christopher. I have put both to the test. The results are nothing short of “life changing.” Bases upon my experience, Christopher is undeniably a “true messenger” …a “bearer of Christ”. Why? Not just because I say so. It’s because Christ himself taught in the Sermon on the Mount, “Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.”
If you are reading my story, then you are most likely on YOUR path to the real truth. Don’t cheat yourself! Treat yourself! Read the books…or shall I say…partake of the fruit that I have tasted. Experience for yourself, the fruit that is sweeter than all the other fruits that you have tasted. You will never look back, with regret. Like me, you will find that it will prove to be the best decision you’ve ever made in this mortal experience.