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An Ex Ex-Mormon's Story | 3 Mormons

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29:59   |   Oct 26, 2017

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An Ex Ex-Mormon's Story | 3 Mormons
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  • So, we got trusty, rusty, Dusty on the show. Dusty yeah Dustin that trusty, rusty, crusty musty. We
  • could good thing you didn't say lusty. Lusty Dusty! We're canceled.
  • We've got Dusty Smith on the show, and Dusty's story has been shared on
  • LDS living and things like that--all over the internet in all honesty, because Dusty you
  • used to be a Mormon and then an anti-Mormon, and now you're Mormon again. Yes I
  • read the story. You are a Mormon sandwich. Sort of like that. With like a real saucy
  • kind of edgy middle. Well there is a saucy part. Actually I grew up
  • non-LDS. I converted when I was-- right after college and served a mission.
  • After my mission is when I left the church. I was in law school actually my
  • third year of law school when I left the church. Did you go inactive or did you
  • leave the church? Oh no, I actually, I was, I lost my testimony totally and I was
  • angry, very angry and I wrote a letter to my stake president and said
  • please remove my name from the church rolls. So yeah. That's as leaving as you
  • can get. And then I got a letter a couple of months later inviting me to church
  • court and I said, 'Not going, y'all don't have any authority over me, I've already
  • rejected you.' I didn't go then I got another letter about a month later
  • saying that I had been excommunicated. Oh man. Yeah that didn't help with the anger
  • issues. Well I mean you asked for it. I did yeah I did. I always felt like
  • they could have just said okay your name's off. But they went through the
  • whole, you know, ordeal of a court in that- disciplinary court- yeah and that
  • really... interesting. You weren't just kind of done. And I was even more done. I was over
  • done. But yeah I left the church in 89. My
  • third year law school. Gotcha. Where'd you go to law school? I went to
  • Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan. It was the only law school I could find
  • that would let me work full-time. Most schools law schools-- law school
  • is very, very strenuous and the law schools will not let you work full-time
  • especially your first year but I carried a full-time job all three years.
  • What was the crux of losing your testimony? What was it that put you over
  • the edge because I think a lot of people can relate with your story. Well when I
  • was in law school in Michigan, I would go to Palmyra every now and then
  • and I happened to go by-- the last year of law school was during the pageant and
  • I went to the pageant and there were just tons of anti Mormons and I argued
  • with them because I'm in law school, I can argue with anybody.
  • I took that arguing 101 class and-- you are the devil's advocate-- heavy on the devil part
  • but. Yeah. Hadn't finished law school yet. I hadn't passed the bar yet but I came back
  • wanting to be the smartest Mormon ever, so that I could better argue
  • against anti Mormons. So I came back and I began to read stuff and the more I
  • read the more I thought, I was never taught this, I was never taught this and
  • to be perfectly honest-- because I wasn't perfectly honest before now-- but to be
  • perfectly honest I wasn't prepared for a spiritual battle. I was living on three
  • hours of sleep a night, working all day, going to school, studying all night,
  • trying to grab three hours of sleep here and there and wasn't prepared for the
  • spiritual battle that I was going to undergo and I woke up one day and
  • realized that I no longer believed. I no longer had a testimony. And when you
  • no longer had a testimony, you didn't just become neutral, you weren't like all
  • right well, I'll just live my life. You were-- not my style. Not my
  • style. You're arguing and you're gonna go against the church. I'm
  • gonna let-- when you're in court, you're not like, well
  • he could be guilty, he could not be. Since I'm unsure,
  • I'm gonna just sit down now. No I became not even a little anti, I was anti anti
  • anti, you know, to the infinite degree. I taught classes in churches against the
  • Mormon Church, I-- you were that guy, like when I was a Methodist they brought
  • in a man who was also bald and he had told us-- at time-- you
  • were much younger then. I was better-looking too. You were much younger
  • then. I taught classes, I wrote stuff, then I found the Internet
  • when I came back from-- after law school I was in the
  • army. And I was stationed in Panama and Honduras which is interesting
  • that I was stationed in Honduras because I served my mission and Honduras so I
  • actually went to people that I had taught and apologized for teaching.
  • Oh boy. Yeah. When you say anti-- I was--
  • trolling people on Twitter, you were like the real deal.
  • Twitter would never work for me, you're limited to 140
  • characters. Then I found the internet when I came back to the states and I
  • looked for bulletin boards that were LDS bulletin boards. I wanted to argue with
  • people and I did. I went and found several and I was constantly posting- you
  • guys are wrong, you guys are wrong, you guys are wrong, here's why you're wrong,
  • it's a false church, it's a false prophet, you name it. I was spouting it.
  • Hold on so do you think that when you made your decision that cognitive
  • dissonance fell in and you were like well I made my decision so now I have to
  • go deep into anti? Or was, where did you truly feel like there was no other
  • option than to go anti? There's always an option but here's the thing that
  • I don't think that people, if you've left the church you understand this. If you
  • leave the Baptist Church, if you leave the Methodist Church, if you
  • leave the Lutheran Church, you haven't invested much in those
  • things. A lot of people choose their Baptist Church, Lutheran Church
  • Methodist Church on who has the best sermon, they like this choir, the
  • best congregation, they don't they don't invest-- when you become LDS you invest
  • yourself into it. I was a college graduate
  • when I became LDS the first time. I quit my job to go on a mission, okay? I had
  • family that turned their back on me, I had a girlfriend who turned her back on
  • me, I don't-- I gave up quite a bit to be LDS and so when you leave that you feel
  • like you've been cheated. Or betrayed, yeah. Absolutely. So it wasn't just, it wasn't
  • just ambivalence. Now I will say this, there are a lot of people who leave
  • the LDS Church who become atheist and I never did that, I always believed in God.
  • Always believed in God. But yeah, holy moly, I was out there.
  • I began to then search out places where I could argue with people. I wanted
  • people to know that I was against the Mormon Church and that they were all
  • wrong and I was right and that's how I met Mike. In the story Mike was
  • on this, What do Mormons really believe? I joined and said I'll tell you what they
  • really believe and he and I began to argue quite a bit. Some really nasty
  • arguments. Yeah, we've been a part of those a little bit. I can see that with
  • him. I can. You're probably always right though so you just hold that
  • inside. That's kind of the branding of the show. It's just based upon that. I
  • didn't know that for a fact but I suspected it. I had no idea that Bruce Willis had such a
  • punch to him. You know, interestingly enough, I get stopped all the time-- you look
  • like-- I took a picture of me by a poster of his one day because people
  • kept saying that and darned if I don't a little bit. Yeah. I don't get his money
  • but you know. But on the positive side I didn't have to be with me anymore either
  • so. So what-- you're in these arguments with Mike and they're nasty and
  • they're just not probably very edifying or they're not really conducting any
  • sort of good outcome. No, in fact people watched them. They were arguments in
  • posts where I would say something and he would say something and somebody else would
  • join in. Yeah, this was a, this was a chat board where it was, people would
  • posts. It would be different threads you could go on and I would start threads:
  • Look at what Joseph did here, look at what happened here, you know. And
  • was this just a couple of things or was it like Joseph polygamy, blacks and
  • the priesthood, women the priesthood, Kolob, Heavenly Mother... You wanna know
  • one of the biggest arguments that I used against was? All the various versions of the
  • first vision. I would tell people on the
  • board, you put a witness on the stand, I mean I'm a litigator right?
  • You put a witness on the stand and I have won more trials than I can shake a
  • stick at by them having more than one story. Two stories. I
  • can destroy a witness with two stories. And joseph has nine. Now I can destroy his
  • story. I could destroy Joseph on the-- and I would tell that to Mike. You
  • know? That was one of my biggest arguments. The archaeology was another
  • one. I could walk the streets of
  • Jerusalem but I can't walk the streets of Zarahemla. So that was
  • one of my other arguments. So Mike and I over time became friends
  • and the hatred went away of the church and I began to feel the pull back
  • in 2005ish I began to feel a pull and rejected it. I said it's just good
  • feelings of my mission because I really love my mission. Even when I was hating
  • on the church, I would say but my mission was my best two years of my life. You had
  • some fun times? I loved being a missionary in Honduras.
  • Not in Boise. No, not in Boise. I probably wouldn't of had fun in Boise.
  • I loved, I loved being a missionary. So I kind of rejected it. Then in 2009
  • the pull came back a little bit, and that's when the miracle started was in
  • 2000. That precipitated some of the miracles was in 2009. In 2009, I went
  • down to the Mexican border to do depositions. I had a client who was from
  • Mexico and had been in a car accident in Dallas, and I went down to do--he
  • couldn't come back in the country, so we just arranged to do the depositions at
  • the immigration station there on the border, in Laredo. So, I go down to the
  • border, and I contract the swine-flu. I had the swine flu in 2009. H1N1. Did you
  • really? I did. I had the real bad kind H1N2. You're much younger then--no I'm kidding.
  • Let me tell you, I came back and I got, I was so sick, and I would call--I'm a veteran:
  • six knee surgeries, they considered me a disabled vet, so I called the VA they
  • said, oh no don't come here. Nobody would see me yeah they were afraid of it. I
  • remember, it was bad. Then two missionaries knocked on my door; my son let them in, and they
  • came up and I didn't want them there, and they said well can we give you a
  • blessing, and I said okay, and they did, and I was immediately healed, immediately.
  • I mean I got up out of bed walked him downstairs and still did not join the
  • church. My pride was was way too-- they said I was gonna-- well have a good day.
  • Thank you so much for the healing. Come again. I'll call you when I'm sick next time.
  • Actually, well I went back. I went back to sacrament. I went to talk to the Stake
  • President he said you'd have to go to a church Court to come back, and I said well
  • I didn't do anything wrong; I'm not going to a church court, and I said forget it
  • I walked away. Well in 2009 I did join another Mormon board under a name; I
  • forget what name it was. Brigham Young. It's something like that like an old apostle or something.
  • I told him I was being
  • pulled. I felt a pull, and then I immediately left that board and never
  • went back. Forgot I'd been ever been on that board.
  • In 2014, I rejoined that board under a name Country Boy. You don't say?
  • I begin posting and this girl starts messaging me. Her name was Garden Girl.
  • She said I feel very, very strangely drawn to you- and then George Strait was like come to the church.
  • I'm a country boy, she's a gardener girl.
  • You should probably just stick to talking. Anyway I told her I said I gotta tell
  • you, I don't mind messaging you but I'm married.
  • And she wrote back and she's just like I'm 75 get over yourself. She just gardens.
  • Yeah she just gardens. So anyway we talked on the phone one day.
  • She was LDS and I was never gonna come back to the church, we were talking and
  • she said, "Do you have any family members in the church?" I said no, I said oh I do... hang
  • on, I do. I've never met him but he's a big mucky-muck. His name is
  • Dean Jesse, he is a church historian. In fact, if you've read the Joseph Smith
  • Papers, you can thank him for that. But I'd never met him. But
  • I knew of his existence because my mother did family tree work
  • and there was a long pause and she said, "Your cousin is Dean Jesse?" And I said yes
  • and she said, "My cousin is Dean Jesse." Turns out this woman and I are related
  • and never knew she existed. So then my wife is working for a photography
  • company, she's district manager and they want to move her to Louisiana as a
  • promotion. We said okay Louisiana. Is that a promotion though? I don't know... she moved to
  • Baton Rouge, we had agreed we would meet in Shreveport once a month and it was
  • gonna be fine. I wanted her to live her dream.
  • You know it was a promotion, right? She was there for several months and they
  • said, "We're going to close that district, we want to move you
  • to Baltimore." So we talked about it, I said fine I'll come visit you every three
  • months. We'll go see Washington DC, we'll do stuff. So I called Mike, my friend Mike
  • of the bulletin board thing and I said, "Mike I need you to pray, we
  • need Susan to get this position in Baltimore. It's a two-week vetting deal
  • but you know please pray for her." And Mike said, "Absolutely, I'll her name in the
  • temple" which Mike had done for 20 years for me and I said, "However Mike," this is
  • where I got really crafty, I said "if God wants me to be LDS again, he will
  • send Susan to Salt Lake." There was no position open in Salt Lake
  • and I knew that. The very next day, the person in Salt Lake retires, very next
  • day Susan's paperwork is transferred from Baltimore to Salt Lake and
  • she's hired without any vetting immediately. So I called Mike
  • and I said, "Mike you're not gonna believe this but Susan's going to Salt Lake." Mike
  • said, "You know what you told God." I said, "I was just joking." He said, "God wasn't."
  • That's when I decided it was time to hit my knees and I said okay Heavenly Father
  • you want me to be LDS again, great. But I have issues. There's issues that I left
  • the church over, those had never been resolved, I need you to resolve these
  • issues and I left in his hand and then for the next several weeks I would wake
  • up in the middle the night with a new answer. Every night, well not every night
  • but almost every night. Some new answer. For example, I told you that
  • geography was one of my issues, right? Archaeology. And so I'm sitting talking
  • to talking to the Lord and Lord says okay if you walk the streets of
  • Jerusalem, does that make the Bible true? And I said
  • no. And he said, "But if tomorrow someone found a sign down in South America or
  • somewhere and they wipe it off and it says welcome to Zarahemla, population
  • 450, what would that do? I said it would
  • make the Book of Mormon absolutely true and he said, "Well then what would be your
  • faith?" And I was okay. That's an answer I can accept. One of my issues was Joseph
  • Smith, first it was the one where he was a treasure hunter, a kid,
  • folklore. What the Lord told me, he said okay Mr. Attorney, who would you
  • have chosen? Would it have been you who questions everything, would it have been
  • a doctor perhaps would've been more your liking, who always needs to have proof
  • and evidence of something to fix something? Or how about my plan where
  • it's a person who's open to the suggestion that there's other stuff out
  • there, that there's the potential that God
  • will talk to you that
  • God will be there, that you'll have visitations from angels. Who would you
  • have chosen Mr. Attorney since you're so smart?
  • And I said, "Joseph Smith sir." But that was an answer that I could understand but
  • the one about the various stories-- this is kind of funny because I'd always
  • heard the answers, you know well, he told different things to different people in
  • times . So something happened during the day and Susan was living here. I was
  • still living in Dallas and something had happened, I don't remember what the story was
  • but I wanted to relate the story to Susan so I'm telling Susan the story and
  • I've already told it a couple of times to friends during the day but I'm
  • telling Susan, I'm cutting some things out because I feel like she doesn't need
  • to know the superfluous stuff, right? And she's interrupting me, asking
  • the questions and I hate being interrupted, keep that in mind.
  • Anyway, so finally I get mad at her for interrupting because she's asking me
  • questions. She finally says, if you tell me everything I wouldn't have to
  • ask you questions and I realized you do tell people different stories based on
  • who they are and what you think they already know. And that was a hard way to
  • learn that lesson because we had fight. But it did dawn on me, yeah you might
  • change the story a little bit. Not change it but
  • alter it to focus on different things. More depth or less depth depending on who you're
  • talking to. So these were some of the answers that I was waking
  • up with in the middle of the night and I would go back to I'd write it down, go
  • back to bed. Then one day I woke up and and I hit my knees to pray as I did
  • every morning and I realized my testimony was back. And I had a like a, I
  • don't want to make it sound like I'm a visionary because I'm not, but I had like
  • this scene in my head where Heavenly Father walks, the Lord walks up to
  • me and he's got his hands like this and he walks up to me and he says okay I
  • have kept this safe and warm for you, now it's your turn to keep it this time.
  • Take care of it. And he touches my chest, my testimony is back. And for the first time in
  • my life it dawned on me that the testimony-- when I was at LDS the first
  • time it was like testimony was like in iCloud. You pulled it down
  • when you needed it. I'm going to give a testimony, I'm going to pull
  • it down and give a testimony put it back up there. And it occurred to me that the
  • testimony, your testimony is a living, breathing thing and if you're not
  • nourishing and taking care of it, feeding it, that it will die as it
  • did with me the first time. So I went back to Dallas. I mean I came to
  • visit Susan in April of 2015. I had gotten where I was a going to get
  • rebaptised, hadn't been baptized yet and I come to Salt Lake to visit Susan about once
  • every three months and I'm taking my five mile walk that I do every day and
  • the Lord says, "This is home." Now I don't wanna move here. I had a great job, great
  • law firm, nice house, balcony, front porch; I loved my house. And I went back to Susan
  • and I said, "Susan, what do you think about Salt Lake?" And she said, "I've been
  • wondering how to tell you that I don't want to leave." I said fine I'll go back
  • home and I will try to sell the house. So I get back home, I called a realtor.
  • Realtor comes to the house and looks around and said okay you're never gonna
  • sell the house. Ever. Because it was built in 1929, the foundation's a mess,
  • you're gonna have to spend thousands of dollars into this house just to get the
  • house sellable. Don't even consider appraising it. Yeah and even then, you'll
  • never get what it's worth. And I called Susan and said okay Susan nevermind,
  • we may have to rent it out. I got baptized. A couple of days after my
  • baptism I get a knock at the door. A guy is standing there, he says I want to buy
  • your house. I said my house is not for sale.
  • He says I know I was driving down the street I looked at it I like it I want
  • to buy it. One of the 3 Nephites. Haha.
  • Teaser! I said, "Sir, I got to tell you, I appreciate that but I
  • don't have the money or the time right now to spend to get it all fixed up."
  • Right, he says, "I want to buy it as is." Oh my gosh. I said, "How much?" He wrote down the
  • figure, it was more than the house was worth. I called Susan, I said you're not
  • gonna believe this and she said when the Lord wants you someplace he really wants
  • you someplace. Now the story does not end there. About a year after that, I mean I
  • sold the house, moved here, boom. About a year after that I get a phone call.
  • Some guy wants to buy my house in Dallas. I said, "I sold it." He said, "You sure?" I said
  • "I was there, pretty sure" and he said hang on a sec. I heard papers
  • papers rustling and everything and then he says, "Uh huh" I said, "What?" He
  • goes, "Yeah, the records show your house was bought by somebody." He then
  • disappeared, your house is in foreclosure. I mean for him, not for me, I got my check. But the
  • guy that bought my house-- if you go down to Dallas right now, the house is
  • abandoned, a mess. He buys my house and disappears.
  • So make your own suggestions. So then, remember I told you about the
  • missionaries? Are you one of the 3 Nephites? I'm actually two of them. In February
  • of this this year, I went down to Sandy Utah to a gun
  • show and saw a table of holsters. You don't like guns? How does he know? He can just tell.
  • I have radar for those that hate the Constitution.
  • That was a good one. In my apartment,
  • we have the Constitution on our wall. It's full of dart holes, I get it,
  • especially right around the Second Amendment. That's the bullseye.
  • Oh man, Glenn Beck's gonna love this episode.
  • So anyway, I'm at the gun show
  • and I want a holster so I see a table for holsters and we go over there, my
  • wife and I walk over and we're talking and the one guy says, "Are you from Texas?" I
  • said yes he said I own property in Texas. I said cool and we got to the why I'm
  • here and I said well if you heard if you heard President Uchtdorf's talk in
  • October then you know why I'm here, that was me. And he goes really? Will you talk
  • to me for a minute I said sure. So my wife and I walk over with this guy and
  • another guy kind of follows. So I'm telling this guy my story and I get
  • finished and the other guy that followed him says, "You're from Dallas?" And I said
  • "Yes" and he goes "Oakcliff?" I said, "Yep." He said you probably don't remember me but in 2009 I
  • came to your house and gave you a blessing
  • it gets better gets better. Turns out that he was inactive. His bishop told him
  • to go to General Conference priesthood session and he goes. Because of President
  • Uchtdorf's talk, he reactivates not realizing that the guy President Uchtdorf talked about was
  • the guy that he knew in Dallas Texas in 2009. Came up to his house, gave him a blessing.
  • Is this not bizarre? I don't know why I'm laughing, it's like laughters of joy, that's amazing!
  • It's just been one of these... Did you say laughters of joy?
  • Laughters of sadness is that a thing? Yes, for him it is. I find that people who don't like the
  • Constitution laugh sadly and by the way sadly is now a word. So is bigly. Muchly is a word.
  • And how many people say-- And it came to pass that muchly
  • Nephites have perished. Well and like do you often say I'm gruntled? I don't
  • often I say that. I'm gruntled. I can imagine. Because it's the opposite of
  • disgruntled. Yes, see? Gruntled means you're not
  • disgruntled. It's true, that makes a lot of sense. Well I had to spell
  • it out for you, buddy. So it's been one of these miracles after another and
  • this not all of them, but there's been one thing after another that you just go
  • my goodness. And it's been an amazing trip. I was at work one day
  • before October last year, in the summer, and I answer the phone,
  • it's a female and she says, "Is this Dusty?" I said yes it is and she said, "Would you
  • please hold for President Uchtdorf?" I went, Yes. And he got on the phone and we
  • chatted about my story and then he ended up using my story. I'm not the one mocking.
  • Oh my gosh, no. He's taking both of us down. He's flying the show.
  • I'm glad that you're getting some cuz it's just been me this whole time.
  • So he used my story in General Conference.
  • Later he ordained me a high priest and when he did that, my bishop, my
  • stake president, and my wife were there. My wife was not LDS and he said let's come
  • in and let's chat for a few minutes before the ordination. I thought he's
  • gonna talk to me about you know the responsibilities I was gonna have now
  • and everything. No, no he spent 30 minutes talking to my wife and he told her bring
  • what you have, we'll add to it. And then he told her, I know that Dusty wants to be
  • sealed to you in the temple. We'll save a place for you. And the very next day
  • Susan agreed to take the lessons and we just baptized her on September 23rd. So
  • it's just been an amazing journey. This story came out and I've had hundreds and
  • hundreds and hundreds of emails. I feel like that what I have is a message of
  • hope, a message that that people can relate to, that if they're non Mormons or
  • anti Mormons are struggling with their testimony. Well Dusty thank you so much
  • for coming on the show. That was a beautiful story. It was an amazing
  • testimony. I teared up a little bit, got angry most of the time,
  • it's fine. I've been waiting a long time to say those things Dusty so thank you.
  • Well I just wanted to say thank you so much. It's been awesome.
  • Y'all are great. Thank you so much these guys are awesome, subscribe
  • to the YouTube channel, you won't want to miss a single episode of this especially
  • you don't want to miss the ones that he's by himself. Okay so you want to
  • subscribe to see them all just so you can see those, okay?
  • See how much better it is now? We have room!

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Description

Today we talk to a member of the church who, at one point in his life, was an ex-mormon. Dusty Smith shares his story of why he left and what caused him to come back to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and be re-baptized.

Dusty Smith, a lawyer from Texas, starts the show by talking about his early days of being a member of the church. When a close friend's child passed away, he questioned God's existence. How could God just let something like that happen?

Soon, Dusty became very effective in disproving certain aspects of church history. Through his endeavors to disprove the church, he met someone who would get into very heated debates about the validity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with him. But the two soon became friends, despite their differences.

Through a series of events and miracles Dusty soon came to believe that the Church was true. He explains each of these miraculous events in his own words, and he also talks about the role that faith had in his conversion back to Mormonism.

Check out the episode to hear the story in Dusty's own words!

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