I was born and raised in a good Mormon family on the poor side of Skyline High school in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was the third child of six. I weighed 9 lbs 6 oz (4.25 kg) and, was 23 inches (58.5 cm) long when I was born. I was always the tallest of my class and grew to be 6’9“ (2.06m). At 6 months old I contracted a staph infection. The doctor told my mother that had she not brought me into his office, I would have died in the next couple of hours. This infection slowed down my brain and I was often called lazy. I was eight when I was diagnosed with Perthes Disease (a hip disease where one leg grows longer).
I went from being a clumsy, quiet, shy, and disabled kid to playing basketball in college. I set many records playing basketball. Who would have thought? While at Michigan State I played with one of the greatest players of all time – Earvin “Magic” Johnson. After college I played with Rickard “Dick” Nemelka. We played with other professional and college players at a Las Vegas tournament. Dick was Chris’ uncle. Chris would often play on his uncle’s team. Dick told me that the team mates would pass the ball to Chris, when he was heavily guarded, and Chris would score. My high school coach at Skyline High School, Neil Roberts, played on BYU’s team with Dick Nemelka when BYU won the NIT Championship in 1966.
My cousin (Carey DeYoung Lloyd and his wife) knew Chris back in the day as he was a Student Body President, and Chris was the Senior Class President at West High School in 1980. It’s a small world after all! Little did I know that Christopher would be the True Messenger one day.
While at Michigan State, I was called to be the Sunday School President. I asked Derrick, the one and only black student in the branch, to be one of my counselors. This was in 1976 and an approval was needed by the President of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City. He wasn’t allowed to do Priesthood duties, however, as black couldn’t receive the Priesthood at the time. He asked me if I thought he would ever be able to receive the Priesthood. I told him “of course, it will happen one day”. The discrimination towards black would always bother me as most players on the basketball team were black that I associated with every day. In the school brochure that was given out at the beginning of the school year, to announce the new players and basketball team, it read the following about me: “Les DeYoung is an Elder for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has a sister (Beckie) in Michigan that is a missionary.” I just hoped none of the players knew much about the Church, and the discrimination of blacks. The “Declaration” concerning the black members came out two years later in 1978. Derrick was one happy guy when it happened.
While at Michigan State University I came down with another staph infection. My shoes didn’t fit quite right during a practice, and I ended up with a multi-blister. The trainer lanced the blister to drain the liquid with a dirty scalpel which caused the staph infection to go from my foot to my arm. My arm became swollen to at least twice its size and had to be drained. I was told by the doctor that had I not come in at that time I would have died. My future was looking pretty promising until the staph infection happened along with a broken foot. Any hopes of playing professional basketball went down the drain. I was very depressed at the time.
I graduated in Business Administration in 1978. It wasn’t easy finishing up school as I was very weak and slow from the infection. I moved back to SLC, and worked at Hercules, Inc for about 15 years in my profession. I was promoted to supervisor jobs, was handed additional responsibility, yet never got the comparable pay increases. As they laid off people around me my workload increased fivefold. My workload became unbearable. Productivity increased but at the cost of many layoffs, and many falling sick by the wayside. Forced efficiency. I was laid off after I crashed. Did anyone care? A cousin, Mark DeYoung, became the CEO and President of the company making $10 million a year. Minimum wage is still $7.25 since 2009. Inequality? The 666 book says that it takes 99 slaves to support the 1.
I physically and mentally collapsed in 1993. I was diagnosed with a cognitive brain dysfunction and major depression. I asked myself “why me, why am I not being blessed?” A former Bishop’s wife said in Fast and Testimony Meeting that they had prayed and the Lord told them they should move to Pepperwood, an expensive gated community south of Salt Lake City. Obviously, they were being blessed.
After I crashed and burned, I turned to the Book of Mormon. I happened to open the book to Mormon Chapter 8, where Moroni mentions that everyone is full of pride and love their money more than they care for those in need. I didn’t feel like anyone cared as I was struggling. Anger and despair consumed me. During this time I became disillusioned of the Church. The Leaders preached self-sufficiency for all, even the poor and afflicted, which didn’t help my situation. It brought me further into despair. I called my dad one day after reading Mormon chapter 8 and said “Dad, Moroni says it is ‘all’ churches that are caught up in pride“. He said back to me “not this church”.
After 24 years of celestial marriage and 3 children we ended up not so celestial after all, and divorced. My ex kept me from seeing my children for many years.
I met Vivianne in 2000 who helped me get my feet on the ground. Vivianne and I got married in 2002. We found out about the Sealed Portion from my Uncle Rulon. He gave us the 666 book. We read all the MWAW books methodically one by one, usually reading out loud with each other. Many a time with tears in our eyes, our questions were answered. In November 2010 we attended the rededication of the memorial in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. This was the first time we met Christopher. We pretty much knew he was the True Messenger.
The “Swedish Rescue” took place in 2010. Many Swedish members read about church history on the internet, and ended up with many questions. Hans Mattsson, a former Seventy, asked Church Leaders for answers to 15 questions. L Tom Perry went to Sweden in 2005 with answers in his briefcase. So he said. He never gave Hans the answers. Elder Perry told them to have faith. In 2010 the Church sent Historians Jensen & Turley, who failed to answer the questions. Christopher has answered the 15 questions with clarity, and common sense.
All of these events in my life have lead me to question just about everything. The answers have come with the Real Truth. MWAW has given me more and more peace. The truth has set me free from the chains that bind us. I am much happier now.
The Real Truth makes common sense. I love learning more and more. I can only be appreciative of what Christopher and his mentors have shared, and their resolve to help all of us equally.
MWAW and the Humanity Party have the answers to world problems.
Ida Smith said: “Read the damn books.” I second that. It’s quite the education from those that know, and know that they know.
“I am glad to be here. In fact at my age I’m glad to be anywhere.” Quote from Grandpa Lesley Goates (sports writer for Deseret News) whom I was named after, and influenced me to play sports. I can only agree now at my age.
Hope you have success in your search for Real Truth!!!
Les DeYoung Lesdey1@aol.com
On the Turning Away
On the turning away From the pale and downtrodden And the words they say Which we won't understand
Don't accept that what's happening Is just a case of others' suffering Or you'll find that you're joining in The turning away
It's a sin that somehow Light is changing to shadow And casting its shroud over all we have known Unaware how the ranks have grown Driven on by a heart of stone We could find that we're all alone In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night As the daytime is stirring Where the speechless unite in a silent accord Using words you will find are strange Mesmerised as they light the flame Feel the new wind of change On the wings of the night
No more turning away From the weak and the weary No more turning away from the coldness inside Just a world that we all must share It's not enough just to stand and stare Is it only a dream that there'll be No more turning away?