I was a child of the seventies born and raised in a Mormon family in Salt Lake City, Utah. My maternal grandparents were some of the first pioneers that followed Brigham Young across the plains to establish "Zion" in the land of the everlasting hills - Salt Lake City. My paternal grandparents immigrated from Holland and started a dairy farm in Taylorsville, Utah. My father was the oldest of 8 siblings and the first person in his family to join the church; all of the rest of his family converted when he went on his mission to Holland. When my father returned from his mission, he couldn't wait to get married; when he saw my mother, who was exceedingly fair with blond hair and blue eyes, he heavily pursued her, along with many other potential suitors pursuing her. Two months after meeting, my parents were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple. I was the baby - their fourth child born "under the covenant." My first memories as a small child were church hymns, primary songs and seeing the beautiful mountains of the Wasatch Front. After church service on Sundays, I often found myself humming hymns, which planted the seeds of religion deep into my young impressionable mind.
I was a very difficult child and probably had ADHD, which was never treated. I was bored in school, so my mind would wander while the rest of the class left me behind academically. Some time between the ages of five and seven, I started to develop "tics," such as violently jerking my arms, fingers, throwing my head back and making strange whistles and guttural noises. I later learned that it was Tourette syndrome, which is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Even to this day, decades later, the tics never went away, but I learned how to control them by shifting them to less noticeable movements. For a significant part of my adolescence, I used a significant amount of my energy in my waking hours suppressing my tics, which dissipated the energy impulses coming from my brain in a way that is hard to explain. I remember my parents wondering what was wrong with me. I found some comfort when another supporter in this group, Denton Thedie, mentioned he also suffered from a similar condition. Because of my inability to focus and the intense energy it took for me to control my tics, I completed school and never read, which resulted in me being a slow reader as a child. I was afraid I was dum, since I was such a slow reader and did poorly on virtually all standardized tests. I still somehow managed to wing my way through each grade, typically with a C average.
When I was 11 years old, I was in a really bad car accident while crossing the Salt Flats near the Great Salt Lake in Utah. My brother in law had fallen asleep while driving while I was also asleep. I was thrown into the windshield, which smashed me up pretty bad. I fell asleep and everything was fine, and then I woke up in pure hell. While waiting for an ambulance, I had to lay there for two hours choking on my own blood, not knowing whether I would survive. Though it was painful and traumatic, it was good in that it made me more humble and appreciative of each day we have. This event forced me to think about the existential and metaphysical aspect of our existence; I was forever changed.
My parents divorced when I was about 12 years old, and I stayed with my mom. All of my other siblings had moved out, so I had the run of the house. Needless to say, I got in a lot of trouble and fell in with a jovial and salacious group of friends. To help build my confidence, my parents signed me up for martial arts training, which really helped me to focus and learn discipline. As I aged, I realized I had unique talents and could do many things that most others could not. I realized that I was not dumn; rather, it was an unusually active and raw dynamo of creative energy. I was a late bloomer, because I had to figure out how to settle all of the background "noise" in my head and focus. I was one of the first to start integrating acrobatics into martial arts katas and eventually won first place in an international karate tournament in Las Vegas in around 1994. When I was 16 years old I started to smoke cigarettes and drink with my friends, which ended my competitive martial arts career.
I had an incredible childhood and had the latitude to do basically whatever I wanted. I did and tried pretty much everything possible. When I was 17, out of the blue, during my Senior year in High school, I decided to move in with my father, who had been working as a geological engineer on an "Indian" (Native American) reservation in Parker, Arizona. Seeing the life path I was headed down, I was concerned that I would not be perceived as a "successful'' adult and thought I needed a more strict and structured environment, but my father actually turned out to be less strict, which forced me to self-regulate. I went from attending a nearly all-white middle class school in Utah to being one of the only white kids at a school attended by kids from impoverished families. After graduating high school, I stayed on the reservation for a couple more years and took some community college classes. My life as I knew it ended when I became a teenage parent. I decided to move back to Salt Lake with my mother, so that I could finish school and raise my son there with more family support. I was not ready to be a parent, but my son's mother was even less ready. We never married, and when my son was 4 months old, I became a single parent with full custody. Though my more selfish life ended, a new me was awakened when I knew I had no choice but to take care of this innocent child I created. I could never live with myself if I didn't do everything possible to give him the same opportunities I had. This gave me the incentive to apply myself academically, for the first time in my life. I wasn't willing to do it for myself, but I was willing to do it for him. Up until that time, I had pretty much rejected religion, but then I had to decide how I would raise my son. That is when I doubled back to my roots.
I quit smoking and drinking and cleaned up my life. I read the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover for the first time when I was about 21 years old. I was still a slow reader, so it took me about three weeks of reading several hours per day to finish. When I finished, I prayed in the name of Jesus Christ to manifest the truth to me. Immediately after this I became overwhelmed with a physical feeling that was so powerful I could not move, and my chest felt like it was on fire. I was convinced it was God - an outside force. I had never felt anything that powerful before or since. After that experience, I looked at a painting of the second coming of Jesus Christ coming in all of his glory surrounded by holy angels. I trembled in fear, because I knew that it was real. I realized I could NEVER deny the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, or my soul would be in danger of denying a full manifestation of the Holy Ghost and perish.
Even now, after learning what the Holy Ghost really is - my True Self that transcends the flesh - I could never deny that powerful life-changing experience. I took my son to church and blessed him. I took on various church assignments such as Stake Missionary, Teacher for the Young Mens, etc. I was obsessed with living the most "righteous" life possible so that I could become an exalted God with my own planet and eternal family in the Celestial Kingdom. I eventually got my temple recommend when I was 22, which meant that I was deemed righteous enough to go to the temple and receive my endowment blessings, which was a requirement to enter the Celestial Kingdom. I loved singing with the church congregation, because when I was inspired, my hairs would stand up. I had become a spirit junky. When I met people who knew me when I was younger, they were amazed by the way I had turned my life around. I gave talks during church sacrament meetings and Stake Conference where I described my miraculous conversion. This inspired many people.
I was so excited to go to the Temple and receive my Endowment Blessing. I was lucky enough to go to the main Salt Lake Temple in 1999-2000 when they were still using live actors to portray the characters in play and prior to when some major changes were made to the endowment play - when the plain and precious things were taken away. I expected to feel an overwhelming spirit when I was in the temple. I was shocked when I felt no spirit at all, nothing. I was struck by how ritualistic the endowment ceremony was, and I was perplexed by all of the symbolism and crazy clothing. Nobody really seemed to have a firm grasp of what all of the outward expressions actually meant, and it seemed to me that they were just going through the motions, because they believed that was what they had to do in order to qualify to enter the Celestial Kingdom of God. I left the temple in a stupor of thought.
I remained active in the church for several years thereafter, but I only attended the temple twice. I did not go on many dates, due to my focus on college and raising my son. Besides, women were not that interested in a young man with a baby and no money. While at church with my son, I saw the other temple-attending mormons with their wives and wished I could find my own wife to complete my family. Then, I met a woman during a NASA internship in Cape Canaveral Florida. She was an immigrant from Russia and was applying to Ph.D programs in Engineering. I felt so lucky that a woman like that loved me despite me being a single parent. She wasn't a Mormon, but I didn't seem to get along with Mormon girls anyways because of my filthy mouth and mixed life experience. This woman wanted nothing to do with the church, but I married her anyways. She adopted and helped me raise my son.
My wife got accepted to a graduate program at the University of San Diego, California (UCSD). When we moved to San Diego, we had no place to live, and there was a long waiting list for low-cost graduate student housing in La Jolla, California. We were poor, so we set up a tent in a park by a lake about 15 miles away from San Diego. We ended up living there for two months. Looking back, some of the best years of my life were when we were dirt poor with our whole future ahead of us. The state of California took very good care of us and provided child care, health insurance and food stamps. I knew I'd pay back what I took from the state in taxes once I finished college, and I eventually did a hundred fold. I got a full academic scholarship and graduated with degrees in Molecular Biology and Chemistry in 2003, and my wife completed her graduation program in 2005. We had two more kids along the way. By the time I was 28, I was doing research in Genetics for Johnson & Johnson, and we purchased an overpriced home in San Diego and had "The American Dream," with 3 kids and a dog.
After baptizing my first two kids, I became inactive in the church and started to notice inconsistencies in the way the church, as an organization, was operating. That is, the Book of Mormon talked about the most righteous people having "no poor among them," yet most mormons supported conservative policies that cut funding for poor and struggling people. This bothered me, because I was once a poor struggling young parent who needed state funding to achieve the level of professional success I was enjoying. I thought that Jesus would likely be a Socialist. Then, I saw the church successfully use its infrastructure to facilitate a political attack on gay marriage in California. I also had issues with the church history of not letting Black people get the priesthood until the 1970s and how they kept women in their place - at home, barefoot and pregnant and not allowed to hold the priesthood, which was the governing authority of that institution. I also thought the whole polygamy thing was inconsistant with the doctorine of the Book of Mormon. I realized the church, as an organization, had become corrupted, yet I could not deny the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I was perplexed. I decided to read the Book of Mormon again and attempt to replicate the manifestation of the spirit, which may renew my faith.
After reading the Book of Mormon again, which I did much faster this time, I prayed with the hope of receiving an answer. I received no such manifestation akin to the one I had 15 years prior. In about June, 2014, I started doing research on-line and found a Youtube video about the 10 reasons the Book of Mormon was not true. One of those reasons presented in the video was the point that other people had written impressive books like the Book of Mormon, with detailed descriptions of overlapping cultures spanning generations of contrived history. Two examples were given - 1) JR Tolken's Lord of the Rings was certainly as impressive as the Book of Mormon, if not more impressive; 2) A man named Christopher Nemelka claimed to have translated the Sealed Portion, which had about 700 pages of original scripture. The video showed a picture of Christopher with long hair and dressed in a white shirt, looking like depictions of Jesus. I thought that was very audacious, so I decided to investigate that for myself. Long story short, I found the Sealed Portion and many other books comprising the Marvelous Work and a Wonder (MWAW), all of which I read over a period of about 6 months. The material was mind blowing, and a lot of it seemed familiar to me, as if I had heard it before somewhere buried within the confines of my mind.
By the time I found out about the MWAW and Christopher, my American Dream had turned into an American Nightmare. I turned 40 years old, took an honest look at my life and realized that I was not happy, because I was "the accommodator" in a codependent relationship that was getting worse each year. This was the beginning of my "mid-life crisis." I realized I was losing myself in my effort to serve an individual who was emotionally dominating me and sapping my energy. I didn't want to be yet another divorcee and felt compelled to make it work. In order to buy some time, I took a special assignment at work and lived apart from my wife from 2014 to 2017, which was the time I read the works of the MWAW, while I was alone on my own "mission." This was the first time I had been away from my kids. My whole perspective on life changed, and I realized that for the past several years I had not been living in accordance with how my true self wanted me to life. "The work" of the MWAW is to effectively de-program and remove the filters from a brainwashed mind, and that is exactly what happened to me. I became emotionally liberated, not beholden to any church, not feeling bad about not being good enough to meet the standard set by others. I forgave myself and no longer let guilt or shame drive my decisions. These years I lived apart from my wife as an independent adult were some of the best years of my life, and that is when I realized I needed to get a divorce. I cried for humanity and a mourned the impending dissolution of my family.
I felt responsible for my wife, and it was hard for me to imagine tearing down the family I spent 17 years building. So, I moved back in with my wife in 2017 to give my marriage one last chance. After seeing that the toxicity of the relationship was continuing to increase, I filed for divorce after just four months of living together. This was a very ugly time. By December 2017, in a vulnerable state, I met and married a woman who seemed really nice at first. I married her to help her (long story); she then took advantage of me, stalked, robbed and tried to extort me. That marriage lasted a year, which is longer than it should have lasted. After filing for divorce for the second time in two years (the second one was really part of the process of leaving the first one but anyways...), I was free from any toxicity or emotional entanglements and lived alone sharing equal joint custody of my kids in Irvine, California. I suffered a lot of emotional trauma during those two years and learned an important lesson about human nature. What really kept me going and gave me a sense of inner-peace through the whole ordeal was Christopher's writings and occasional shows that he did, which I followed closely. Even though he is not very familiar with me personally, in this world, it seemed as if he was intimately familiar with what I was going through in my life, since his selected discussion topics and even fleeting comments tracked with what I was dealing with at the time. Moreover, Christopher went through a divorce at the same time I went through my divorce. Even though it sucked, it gave me a sense of solace - that others understand. It also gave me strength. Christopher spoke like a real person and not like a scripted politician, while at the same time, his understanding of human nature was far superior to any other person I've met. I never minded Christopher's swearing and probably swear more than him.
In 2019 I finally met The One, and we married in October 2020. For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm with an incredible person who serves me the same way I serve her. We're on the same page in every way. In fact, we went through very similar life trials at about the same time, so we understand each other. We both have equal custody of our kids with our ex spouses. We now have a total of 5 kids, which is crazy, but it is the good work... My disposition now is of patience and peace. Our home is a place of peace with no adult drame. I'm completely liberated from the clutches of others' control over me and de-programmed from the religious dogma that was buried deep within my mind from my first memories. It matters not whether Christopher made up the material he has presented or whether he came to deliver a message from our advanced world as he claims, because the effect is the same - liberation and awakening. It is extremely difficult to de-program a brain with 40 years of filters layered on it, but this information has that kind of power.
Now, all I care about is supporting efforts and policies to solve poverty, which is what is killing this world. People don't seam to realize that poverty feeds terrorism and civil unrest driven by poor, uneducated and easily manipulated disenfranchised groups. The plan laid out by Christopher in the True Humanity Party (THUMP) and the Real Illuminati, as the group is calling themselves now, is solid and would work. There's nothing like it, and the recent global pandemic has laid bare the fact that it would work - that the Government could easily print the money and inject it into the economy through the poor, as opposed to capitalization of banks, which already have all of the money. This would trigger a lucrative trickle-up economy and enrich the rich even more. If we can't unify the world and solve poverty, our civil society will not last much longer. While I follow the messenger, I find comfort knowing that it will all be good in the end while I join together with like minded people exemplifying "the patience of the saints'' - having solace in the knowledge that we have done and will continue to do all we can do to save humanity, while still finding joy and happiness within the boundary under our control.
Your friend forever,