Michael Budge


Michael Budge

January 21, 2021


How I Found The Marvelous Work and a Wonder


This is my story of how I found the Marvelous Work and a Wonder and how it has changed my life. Since my sexuality played such a big part in leading me to find the Real Truth, I am going to be open and transparent about it as I tell my story. Very few others know the full story besides my husband Rob, who played such a big part in it.


I grew up as part of a devout Mormon family in Salt Lake City. My whole family was deeply involved with the LDS Church and it was a big part of my life. I was a really happy child and had loving parents. From an early age I found myself attracted to men and boys, although I didn’t understand it at the time. Nothing really came of those thoughts until I was 12 (around 2001) and began my sexual development. These desires became connected to my sexuality and like most gay teenage boys, I began to masturbate to fantasies involving other boys and men. As I grew older I began to feel guilty about this because I was told in church that pleasuring yourself was wrong and being gay was one of the worst sins possible. I kept these feelings a secret because I was taught by my family and my church leaders that what I was hiding was sinful and wrong.


I continued through my teenage years going through many terrible cycles of guilt and shame regarding these things. I dated a few girls because that’s what was expected of me to do, but it always felt like a chore. I even kissed girls a few times but never understood what the other guys were so excited about. I just chalked it up to being a particularly righteous priesthood holder who was good at resisting temptation. I got involved in the Church’s youth programs and began to believe deeply in The Book of Mormon and in the Church’s version of its history. I was made the leader of whatever priesthood quorum I was in and made friends with other equally devoted Mormon teens. I even joined an independent group in high school where we would read the Book of Mormon together weekly for a year. I came to love the words I read in that book even though I failed to understand them.

I found that being engaged in the church was a distraction from my troubling sexuality. I was afraid of my growing attraction to men and tried to do everything I could to remove it. Of course nothing I could do could change my sexual orientation and this became a source of unhappiness for me. I was taught that Heavenly Father would take these desires away from me if I tried hard enough to follow the commandments of the Church. By distracting myself with church service I felt like I could overcome my sexuality and ultimately live up to what I was expected to do. I was called on an LDS Mission to the American Midwest in 2007. I got to experience the endowment in the Salt Lake Temple which was eye opening. I didn’t understand much about it, but what I learned about Adam & Eve looking for further light and knowledge stuck with me. Being a member of the Church was exciting to me and made me feel like I belonged.


While on my mission I spent my time in the state of Iowa and occasionally got to go to the Nauvoo, Illinois Temple. While in Nauvoo, I felt powerful spiritual feelings connected to that place and to Joseph Smith. I devoured the scriptures and began anxiously awaiting the “greater things” promised to come forth in the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon. I became overzealous in my desire to obey the rules of the Church, and share “the gospel” with as many people as I could. A lot of investigators I found on my mission joined the Church, although very few stayed active in years to come. I realize now when looking back how prideful and ignorant I was. I had been completely convinced by the church leaders that what they taught was the truth and I was ready to dedicate the rest of my life to it. I thought I had overcome my “same-sex attraction” and was feeling really good about myself.

But once I returned home in 2009, it was time to find a woman to marry and start a family. That’s when my world began to fall apart. Family and friends began pressuring me to get married and I realized I had no desire to be with girls at all. Within a few months of studying at Utah State University, my homosexual desires returned and they became much more difficult to resist. Soon I was meeting others in secret on the internet and this culminated in having my first sexual encounter with a man. This was an incredible life changing moment for me. I suddenly realized what I had been missing for my whole life, and knew why my straight friends had been so excited about women. But now I was faced with the inescapable reality that I was gay, and that scared the hell out of me.


I felt guilty about what I had done, and went back to my church leaders who just told me put it behind me, keep going to church, praying, etc. I tried to be a good Mormon, that just led to feelings of loneliness and estrangement because I knew the church had no place for gay people. I was faced with the daunting prospect of having to marry a woman, when I knew that wouldn’t lead to my happiness. I foresaw that getting into a “mixed-orientation marriage” wasn’t fair to the woman who would be my potential wife, and especially to our potential kids.

So, I fell into despair in 2010 because I felt that being gay was going to lead me away from the church, away from God, and ultimately to eternal damnation. I hit rock bottom at a family party in the cold winter of 2011 when I realized I would be denied the blessings all my faithful friends and family would enjoy. I walked outside of the party by myself and cried, asking God what I should do. A new thought came into my head, saying “I love you for who you are, even if you’re gay”. I knew from that moment there was NOTHING wrong with my sexuality; and that the Church was wrong about it.


From that point, things began to improve. Soon after, I began telling people I was gay and by so doing I lost most of my Mormon friends. My family took it hard when I told them, but as time has passed my parents have been full of love and acceptance for who I am. I soon fell in love with an ex-mormon boy I met and he showed me an exciting new world where I discovered the joys of life outside of the church. I started drinking alcohol, going to gay bars, and found out about the pleasures of sex with someone you’re attracted to. All of this opened the door for me to ask what else the Mormon Church was wrong about. My own experience told me they were wrong about sex. Once I learned about the way the church had lied to their members about their history, I was done with it. I was totally unsure about what to believe at this point and felt spiritually lost in a dark and dreary waste.


I broke up with the boy in 2012 and the following year, went on a spring break vacation to Las Vegas. It was there while at a gay dance club with friends that I met a local guy named Rob. He was much older than I was, but we hit it off immediately and spent most of the night talking to each other. I got his number and we started to keep in touch after the vacation ended. Within a month he offered to fly me down to Las Vegas to spend a weekend together and while there I felt a connection with him that I wasn’t expecting to find. I started seeing him every month or so, and we kept our relationship a secret from just about everyone. He came from a Catholic background and was curious about my Mormon background. I laughed when he told me he had started reading the Book of Mormon because I knew the Church was so homophobic. At the time, I was unable to disconnect the Book of Mormon from the LDS church. Rob read the whole book and loved it.


I knew that the sort of relationship I had with Rob was a dream come true, but I guess wasn’t ready for it yet. I was too concerned with what others would think of me and was focused on starting my career. Rob and I essentially broke up when I moved to Dallas, Texas after graduation for a job as a civil engineer. While in Texas I tried to find value in my career, in money, success, and materialism. I lost myself in drinking, going to parties with wealthy people, sex, and trying to impress people. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t - and quickly realized it was not making me happy.


I tried going to various churches during this time but none of them were meaningful to me at all. I wasn’t sure what to make of God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. I stopped believing in religion, but I still felt there was some truth behind it all that I wasn’t seeing or understanding. I read the words of Christ in the scriptures and realized how contradictory his teachings were to the teachings of Christian churches. I felt that the Mormons would probably reject the Jesus of the Bible if he started teaching in Salt Lake City today.


Rob and I kept in touch. We still had tickets for a mountain retreat with a group of people in Utah that we had purchased earlier and we decided to go the retreat together. While there, we met a guy named Damon Cook, who was also there on vacation with friends. After hearing some of our stories, Damon asked us if we had heard that the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon had been translated. He said he had had read it, believed it, and had met the man who had translated it. I was blown away, but also a bit skeptical. I had never heard of anyone claiming this, and was really curious to see what was in it. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of it myself, and I was more surprised to see so few who believed in it. While there, Rob and I also realized that we made each other happy and started our long-distance relationship back up.


On the trip back home to Texas, I found the free PDF of the Sealed Portion and started reading. I just knew that I needed to give this book a chance without finding anything out about the author first. I thought that if the book was true, the words would speak for themselves. I was immediately overcome by the beauty of what I read and I easily recognized Moroni’s voice from the Book of Mormon. By the time the plane landed I knew that I had found something significant.


Over the coming months I finished reading the Sealed Portion and I knew it was finally what I had been searching all my life for. I cried when I read the parts about the Father accepting his gay children. I was dumbfounded that more people hadn’t heard of this book yet. I would talk to Damon on the phone about the Marvelous Work and a Wonder and about Christopher. I had so many questions! Damon didn’t say much but suggested me to start reading Christopher’s other books. I downloaded them from the website and read them all voraciously.


It was like I just couldn’t get enough of this incredible information. All of my questions that I had about religion were being answered with clarity and completeness. I was completely blown away to have explanations for the Book of Revelation, the Endowment, Joseph Smith’s history, the nature of God, and the proper way to solve poverty. Meanwhile, Rob was living in California and was going through his own experience reading the Sealed Portion. I was overjoyed to see that he also believed what he was reading in the MWAW books and it bought us closer together when we talked about what we had found.


However, what I was learning caused me to lose the value I had placed in the world and soon my life began to fall apart. The friends I had made in Dallas valued different things than what I now valued. Through various ways in 2015, I lost my housing, my health, my car, and my job. I was devastated after all this happened to me and I felt like I was getting a message that I wasn’t in the right place. I wanted to be back in Utah to be closer to this Marvelous Work and a Wonder.


Coincidently, within a week of being fired from my job I was hired over the phone to work at an engineering firm in Salt Lake City. In November 2015 I moved back to Utah and Damon took me to an MWAW Meet n’ Greet in Orem soon after I arrived home. While there I got to meet many of the other supporters for the first time, including Christopher and his wife, Sheri. It was an incredible experience to listen to Christopher speak in person. I knew somehow that I was where I was supposed to be.


In June of 2016, I was asked to participate in the Executive Board of the Humanity Party. I was humbled by this, and I soon got the chance to work with other supporters on presenting the plan to end poverty. I struggled to feel adequate for this, but did the best I knew how. I learned a lot about how the proper government should function, and saw firsthand how difficult it was to get the Humanity Party to gain any traction with the public. After being around Christopher in some of our meetings I saw for myself what his character was like both in private and public settings. I saw that he was a truly a good person and that he wasn’t what some people online were making him out to be.


By this point I had read the things Christopher’s critics and enemies wrote about him and I found that my own experience with him was nothing like how they described him to be. I saw none of the troubling things that caused me to leave religion. What I was learning made more sense than anything else I had learned before. I looked for faults or weak links in the Real Truth but I could not find any. When I was part of the Mormon/LDS faith I was always told not to question the leaders. I was afraid of researching too deep into outside sources of information for fear that I would lose my testimony. But with the Real Truth I do not get that feeling at all. I simply cannot find anything else out there that makes more sense to me than this.


Interestingly, during this time I met new friends who helped me try psychedelic drugs for the first time. Some of these drugs profoundly opened my mind to new ways to think and see the world. I deeply felt the importance of loving myself, and of respecting every human being as I love and respect myself. I noticed that many people who have these life-changing psychedelic experiences quickly leave whatever religion they previously belonged to because the drugs help them to essentially expose the lies of their man-made religions. However, to my delight, I found that everything I experienced in these altered states actually supported and aligned perfectly with the Real Truth. It continues to be a confirmation in my mind that the information presented in the Marvelous Work and a Wonder is exactly what it claims to be.


Rob and I kept seeing each other as often as we could. We finally decided to move in together when he came to Utah in 2017 to attend the MWAW Symposium. I realized that I was not going to find another man who would both love me for who I am and also value the Real Truth together with me. He moved to Utah the following year and we got married in 2019. He has been an incredible support to me and continues to impress me with his faith, hope and love.


I always dreamed when I was younger about what it would feel like to be alive during a time when a True Messenger was on Earth and how incredible it would be to know the Real Truth. In my experience, it has been more wonderful that I could have imagined and also more difficult than I could have imagined. The sense of inner peace I have found in knowing who I am and how I should live has brought me immense joy. I have also lost many relationships with family and friends because of my support of Christopher and the Real Illuminati. It has been hard knowing that nearly everyone in my life does not see the value that I see in this incredible work. But I know that supporting this Work is the most important thing in my life now because it is the only thing that can truly help our world solve its problems.

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