I’m a 6th generation Mormon with ancestors who were part of the Willie Handcart Co. I grew up in southern California in the church without giving much deep thought to it, just an average member but I could see that socially and culturally it added a richness and a foundational meaning to life that I liked and my non-member friends lacked. However one thing that continued to plague me was my curiosity and my inability to thrive in an environment that discouraged probing questions. I went on a 2 week mini mission in Phoenix and witnessed a couple of hard realities that helped me realize I really didn’t want to serve on a regular proselytizing mission, but a service mission would have been of interest to me had it been available then. I married in the Mesa Temple and we had a son but the marriage was struggling mostly due to our psychological naivete. I left the marriage believing I had done all the church claimed was necessary for happiness somewhat disillusioned and ended up leaving the church as well. This began a time of great personal growth as I was ostracized by almost everyone I grew up with including my family and I had to learn how to stand on my own. Eventually I was excommunicated and I went on to live a very happy worldly life, to this day never regretting a moment of it.
What changed your perspective?
In the mid 1980s I began to have a personal interest in health and wellness which was largely about diet, exercise and stress reduction and I began living a very healthy lifestyle. Stress reduction eventually lead to meditation and after many years as I got better at meditation it lead me to the Spirit! In late 2003 I found myself having the quaking experience that you can read about in D&C 85:6 “Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:” Another reference to this can be found in 3 Nephi 11:3. The experience described in these scriptures is the beginning of a kundalini (spiritual) awakening. Kundalini is an ancient experience, the name kundalini is derived from a Sanskrit word and the experience is metaphorically described in ancient texts. For the next 7 years I was tutored 24/7 by the Spirit, I became a sell what you have and follow Him disciple.
What would a current week for you now look like?
My weekends are often filled with charity social events or socializing with charity related friends. My week days are mostly focused on Life Coaching others which I consider a ministry helping many who cannot otherwise afford help.
You are a steady commenter on Wheat and Tares. How did you find the blog and what keeps you there?
Well I found Wheat & Tares on the Mormon Archipelago aggregator. I’m here largely because of the inclusive attitude and tolerant moderation policy that facilitates a lot of creative space for discussion outside the correlated box. Sometimes I think of it as my ward.
Going forward, what projects do you see in your future?
I’ll be spending 6 weeks in Africa beginning in September, for two weeks I will be typical tourist and then I will be volunteering for a month at one of my favorite charities a South African AIDS orphanage called Lily of the Valley Endeavor (LOVE) that I have been helping support for the last four years.
I would like to see the church leave some of it’s Pharisaical and Mosaic ways behind in favor of a more spiritual focus and direction and I would like to see the Corporate Church distance itself further from Mammon and it’s material focus in favor of third world saving lives. I plan to continuing blogging on these themes and others as time allows.
If you were asked to sum up your beliefs in four or five sentences, what would you say is the core of what you believe?
I have a very strong personal testimony of Joseph and the restoration, in spite of my progressive attitudes regarding inclusiveness you might consider me somewhat of a fundamentalist (though not at all a literalist) regarding the restoration and the institutionalized regression that has taken place since Joseph.
If you were to give two pieces of unsolicited advice to anyone reading this interview, what would they be?
1) All that isn’t love is fear.
2) Non physical suffering is optional. It’s caused by clinging to the way you want things to be instead of accepting them as they are. As soon as you accept them the suffering ends!
3) Black and white thinking short changes you and those you attempt to communicate with.
What question do you wish someone would ask you, and what is the answer you would give.
I’m not sure how to phrase the question but here is the answer, it’s a warning. As citizens of the US and of the world we are currently engaged in spiritual warfare against a hidden enemy of fear mongers who drum up business for the war machine and place the profits of giant corporations ahead of our health and our family’s health. You may not be aware of the propaganda because you are totally immersed in it.
German Journalist exposes mainstream media bribing by the CIA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bf5G-zLrh0
Naomi Wolf Exposes US Domestic Propaganda – Fake News and False Flags https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7LmxyZXMw0
Thank you Howard