August 5, 2019
We might be on a break, but we're still working hard to gather your stories! In this bonus episode, KaRyn and Katie give you a sneak peek at some of the themes for season 2 so you can submit your stories to the pitchline AND share a pitch that made it into one of our upcoming season 2 episodes.
June 24, 2019
Stories in this episode: Vai Sikahema was a small boy in Tonga when his family sold everything they had to go to the temple in New Zealand to be sealed. Decades later, that experience helps him be the right person at the right time in a meeting that could very well decide the fate of another temple; When Keala Sikahema decides to put the temple at the center of her family life, she sees its power emanating in ways she didn't expect.  SHOW NOTES Hi friends! This is the last episode for season one of This Is the Gospel, but don't worry! You can still follow us on Instagram and Facebook until season two begins in September 2019. LDS Living Video about the Sikahemas and the Philly Temple: Temple Blessings from Tonga to Philadelphia President Howard W. Hunter's message "A Temple-Motivated People" Click here to view the's temple landing page.
June 17, 2019
Stories in this episode: A surprising request from a frightened mother reminds Steve that being spiritually prepared is just as important as physical preparation in rescue work; Lindsey feels guided to save the elderly man under the tree but her plans are changed when she realized what she’s really there to do; With a mysterious illness plaguing his wife, Baron’s flagging faith gets a boost from allowing others to serve his family. SHOW NOTES Remember how I said that there was another story for another day? well here it is. How Neighbor Steve Saved Me from The Backyard Burglar  by KaRyn Daley Lay I didn’t even know that anything was wrong until I opened the door to find the police standing on my porch. I had heard the pounding knocks while I was getting out of the shower and quickly threw some clothes on thinking that it was probably a neighbor or a salesperson (although, why in the world would there be sales people at 8:30am on a weekday?Pest Control?). Instead, I was greeted by two of Salt Lake’s finest who informed me that my neighbor had called 911 regarding a home invasion that was in process at my house. RIGHT NOW. Stunned, I walked with them to the back of my house where they pointed out the footprints in the fresh snow that seemed to be going back and forth between two windows, both of which had bent frames where someone had clearly tried to jimmie the window open --- One of those was the window to the bathroom where I had been just minutes before. Apparently, when the intruder had not found luck with the windows, he had tried to kick in the back door. The door was damaged, but had not quite given in. Thank goodness. I was shaken to say the least. I called my husband Justin who had already left for work and we tried to piece together what must have happened. We’d had a rash of burglaries in our neighborhood in the recent months, so that part wasn’t at all surprising. But the fact that someone had tried to get in while I was home was super weird. We figured that they had made their way to the back of the house in the time that I was gone to the gym (back when I did such things) and Justin had left for work, and while they were going between windows and doors, I had come back and gone into the house to shower. Maybe they were so tweaked out on drugs or adrenaline that they hadn’t heard the car drive in? Or maybe they had. I shuddered to think about the latter option. We learned later that there was another drama playing out at the house just behind ours. We share a fence with Steve and his wife Rachel and when we’re standing on our respective porches in the winter when the trees are bare, we can just barely peek over the fence and see the back of each other’s houses. That morning, Rachel was making breakfast when she noticed something outside the kitchen window. She couldn’t quite make it out, but it looked like someone was trying to break into our house. She yelled to her husband who, because of his SWAT training and emergency work was the resident neighborhood protector. Steve, who was in the middle of getting ready for the day and wasn’t even fully dressed yet, threw on some sweat pants and grabbed his gun while Rachel called the police. He told me that he was just waiting for them to break in so he could hop the fence and catch them mid-burglary because then the police were sure to catch them...He ran to his porch, barefoot in the snow, waiting and watching. And then he saw my car in the driveway and realized that I was in the house. As Steve says in the podcast, he “loves making decisions under duress in a time competitive environment” and he now knew that the stakes were much higher so he made a decision right then and there to change tactics. He yelled loudly and waved his gun around at the burglar letting them know he was there and he was coming for them. The burglar got spooked and ran off. The police took pictures of the shoe print in the snow and left with the promise to contact us if anything came of it. We replaced the back door which was severely structurally compromised and only moments from giving way when Steve intervened. We got a few new deadbolts, some motion sensor lights for the carport, and I baked my very best loaf of “thank you for saving my life” chocolate coconut banana bread for Captain Steve, who shrugged the whole thing off as if it was a daily occurrence. Thank goodness for good neighbors who can hop fences in their bare feet with a gun, but don’t. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
June 10, 2019
Losing their dad in a plane crash when they were just kids left KC and Brian without someone to do the things that dads do—like building a pinewood derby car and making sure they made it to the father-son campout. When the men in their local ward stepped up to fill the gap, KC and Brian learned how a Heavenly Father uses others to be there for us when he can’t. SHOW NOTES
June 3, 2019
Eric and Chris were best friends and drinking buddies during and after high school and while Chris was a member of the Church, religion was definitely the farthest thing from their minds. When a personal crisis led Eric toward God, his lifelong friendship with Chris and their shared experiences years before showed them both that the path back to the Savior can look very different from the way you might expect. SHOW NOTES CLICK HERE to view pictures of Eric's baptism day  Watch our THIS IS THE GOSPEL: Converted Unto the Lord video series featuring eric's conversion story.
May 26, 2019
Stories in this episode: As a newly enlisted soldier in the Royal Canadian Navy, Warren finds himself and his faith at odds with military tradition during a fancy dinner; Verdi makes a surprising traffic stop on a late night policing shift that changes his perspective about human dignity; Nicole learns what it really means to trust God when she is left to hold down the fort during her husband’s military deployment. SHOW NOTES I didn't mention it in the host segments, but Nicole and Chris Fairall grew up with me (KaRyn) in Pennsylvania. Nicole and her mother and three siblings all joined the church and joined our little branch in Northeastern PA when we were in our early teens. It has been such a joy to reconnect in our adulthood as we've migrated to Utah for various reasons. You can see pictures from this episode here. Thanks for listening! If you loved this episode, please leave a review for us on Apple iTunes. Click here and then click on "listen in iTunes" - once iTunes is open, find the RATINGS AND REVIEWS tab and click on it. That will get you ALMOST all the way there... once you're on that page, you'll see WRITE A REVIEW. That's it! Click and write. We really appreciate it.   Our sponsor is Bookshelf Plus. You can get a free trial for 30 days here!
May 20, 2019
Stories in this episode: Emily finds a tiny but meaningful evidence of God’s care for her in a convention center bathroom; A disappointing answer to one prayer leads Alexandra to a new kind of prayer with interesting results; Scott returns to a difficult area from his mission five years later and is met with a happy surprise; one creatively placed word helps Serena find hope; Marianne sees the hand of God in a perfectly timed knock at her door. SHOW NOTES: We referenced this talk from the April 2005 General Conference. You've probably already heard it once or twice, but it's ALWAYS worth a revisit! Happy reading! "The Tender Mercies of The Lord" - Elder David A. Bednar  Emily Belle Freeman, our first storyteller in this episode, is the author of a lot of really awesome books about coming closer to the Savior  She's also a TOFW speaker and her 2015 talk called "Finding God's Fingerprints" is available here. Looking for the picture of the safety pin on the bathroom stall door? Head on over to the show notes on this episode at Thanks for listening! If you loved this episode, please leave a review for us on Apple iTunes. Click here and then click on "listen in iTunes" - once iTunes is open, find the RATINGS AND REVIEWS tab and click on it. That will get you ALMOST all the way there... once you're on that page, you'll see WRITE A REVIEW. That's it! Click and write. We really appreciate it.
May 13, 2019
“Going to high school as an adult is hard! Way harder than when you were a teenager!” When Lauri decided to get her diploma in her 40’s, she was unprepared for the way it would stretch her. But when she realized that going back to school was connected to her efforts to come back from excommunication, the difficulties and lessons she learned took on new meaning.
May 6, 2019
Stories in this episode: A missionary visits a recent convert in jail and leaves with a crazy new plan for her post-mission life; Erin gets a crash course in motherhood when she takes four small children to a restaurant for the first time by herself; Years of unrequited love in her dating life prepare Megan for a surprising twist when she becomes a mother.
April 28, 2019
After a year of asking and waiting, Donald finally got permission from his mom to join the church when he was 15. Being a part of this new church family felt like the right next step for this Jamaican immigrant living in Florida, but he soon learned that while the restored gospel was perfect, the people weren’t. In this story, Donald shares the moments that left him wondering about his place in the body of Christ and what helped him to chose faith and forgiveness. But I can tell you instead of the "why", I can tell you how you move forward. And how we move forward is by focusing on Jesus Christ because we're all, black, white, Jew, gentile, green, whatever color you are, We are all His sons and daughters. SHOW NOTES We met Donald Kelly and his wife Cristina when we were filming in Florida in the fall of 2017. In fact, the audio for this story was taken from the video that we made of donald for the VIEWPOINT series. You can watch the video HERE on our youtube channel.  TRANSCRIPT This episode of This is the gospel is sponsored by BookshelfPLUS+ .  --- With BookshelfPLUS+ you can have unlimited access to every audio book that Deseret Book has ever released from all your favorite authors -- fiction, non-fiction, even the newest books like Sheri Dew's "Insights from a Prophet's Life" which is full of stories, and well, insights from President Nelson's extraordinary life of service Read by the author.00:00:25So if you want more uplifting, good stories after this episode is over, try BookshelfPLUS+ free for 30 days by visiting Welcome to "This Is the Gospel", an LDS Living podcast where we feature real stories from real people who are practicing and living their faith every day. I'm your host, KaRyn Lay. There are now over 16 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints around the world. And when you think about it, that's a lot of people who've put their hearts and their souls into the hands of a church family seeking opportunities to learn together and grow together as we individually work towards our salvation. That's a lot of people from a lot of different cultures meeting in the proverbial chapel every Sunday.00:01:26I come from a family with seven kids so I understand that the bigger the family the more room there is to feel neglected, misunderstood, or forgotten or in some cases, even overly protective of your status in the family structure. In fact, I understand this because my favorite book when I was a little girl was called "Noisy Nora" (by Rosemary Wells) and it was about a mouse who was constantly making noise just so her family wouldn't forget she existed When a new baby came. So, I get it. But here's the other thing that I know about big families. They also give us more opportunities to brush up against the kind of, what I like to call, "divine friction" that can only come from so many different personalities, backgrounds, races, and cultures engaged in the work of God. And that "divine friction" asks us to change and to be better. Sometimes we get it right. And sometimes we get it wrong.00:02:20Today our story comes from Donald, whose conversion at 15 (sic) and membership in the Church was often complicated by some of this divine friction around race. As a black member living in a predominantly white stake of the church in Florida, his experience with racism sometimes left him wondering about his place in that body of Christ. How he chose faith and forgiveness is a story that truly is the Gospel.00:02:45Here's Donald:00:02:48DONALD: I'm 33 years old. I was 31 and I was called to be a bishop and it was definitely something that I was not expecting. He definitely has a lot of trust.00:03:00Anyone who wants to be a Bishop... they're more than welcome to be the Bishop. It's a lot of work when you're a bishop.00:03:08Why I do what I do? For the money, man!!! (laughter) It's all about the money -- the bling bling, baby. (laughter)00:03:15The reason why I do what I do because I feel people need to know it.00:03:20My life has been changed because of the truthfulness of the Gospel, the direction that it gave me.... and I know that there is more, there are more Donalds and out there and more people who need that direction. And that's why I do what I do . It's because of the love Jesus had for me and spared me so I can go and do his work and help spare somebody else.00:03:45I grew up in Jamaica and moved to the United States when I was nine years old and my mom was a single parent raising two kids. Then my sister came along later on and there was three of us. And when I moved... in Jamaica they refer to anyone in the United States-- you're a "Yankee" so the Jamaican term, "You're a Yankee man, turned yankee man no junior!"00:04:09My mom came to the United States for a better opportunity. Jamaica economy had different challenges especially in the early 90s.00:04:17So she came here with hopes of a better life earning more money and also providing for us. Giving us the opportunity as her children to get quality education and to get an opportunity just to better ourselves. My mom did everything to make sure that opportunity came through. She worked hard. She is a hard worker. She still works right now. You're not a Jamaican unless you have two jobs. So she embodied that, where she worked multiple jobs and just, I call it "the hustle" hustled and did whatever she could to provide for us. And it didn't seem like much -- making thirty thousand dollars a year.00:04:53I grew up in a not so safe neighborhood and it was... a lot of us in the neighborhood were poor and some people were poor and didn't know it. But, some of us knew it. I knew that I was poor but my mom always made sure we had what we needed. We never went hungry. We always had food and we always somehow found out a way to get clothes... if we got to McDonald's? That was cool. (lau00:05:23My childhood growing up and my early adolescent going into teenage years, I went to middle school, Bear Lakes Middle School and that was.... I had some friends who were kind of rough around the edges and my mom raised us as a good good kid. I never drank, never smoked ...I never never saw her drink or smoke and it was just this good environment and it was... it rubbed off on me. So when I selected friends, I just selected friends who were people in the neighborhood and even though they did things that I didn't necessarily agree with or approve of, they were friends. We hung out with them. So the four of us one evening, we were hanging around in the neighborhood and went to this fence and we were being teenage boys and the neighbors thought we were breaking into his house... came outside and he chased us. I got caught out of the four of us and I was arrested that evening and wasn't taken to jail but I was booked and released back to my mom. And I was put on house detention - no bands on your legs, you're just put on house detention so I just was home and my mom being a strict Jamaican mother, she said, (donald in Jamaican accent) "you're grounded for life." So I was was... I was grounded for ever. Pretty much that was my prison was home.00:06:44we went to church every so often. After being arrested and being at home and now having a lot of time to myself, a lot of time to think, I knew I need to get back into a church. I know what church or any church. So one of my friends, Ralston Campbell, Dane we called him. He introduced me to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. Invited me at a National Junior Honor Society meeting to come to scouts and play basketball on Tuesday nigh00:07:09I blew him off but then he reminded me and invited me again and I took him up on it. I went to church, my first time was on Easter Sunday 1999. I think it was a General Conference that time and then I had all these questions and he said, "I have two friends for you." and introduced me to the missionaries. So I started taking lessons and the missionaries invited my mom to take the lessons and to learn about it but she was stuck in her ways and didn't want to learn anything about it. But didn't have a big deal with me go to church and it was a good thing for me at that time of my life.00:07:41Growing up in Jamaica is really interesting though. People don't get baptized until you're later. It's kind of like you're done making all your mistakes in life -- your sinning. Your're an adult, you understand what you're doing. So when I approached her that I wanted to get baptized... I started going to church April and I approached her really soon after getting to the lessons that I want to be baptized. And she said, "no, you need to wait until you're 18."00:08:03and then she pushed it back "until you're 16." So several months later I asked her and she said, "no." So the missionaries were transitioning through and then it came down to the end of the year was December and I really want to get baptized so I asked her. I remember seeing all my friends passing the sacrament and I was like I want to do this too. And she said no.00:08:23It Was a fast Sunday so all of us the teachers and the young men's and some of the members they said we're gonna do a joint fast. And we fasted that my mom would allow me to get baptized. She had said at 16 at this time and I just turned 15. So we went that Sunday again in December. I asked her and she said, "yes, you can get baptized." It was amazing. So that gave me a huge huge testimony of fasting. And if you have something, you bring it to Lord to help you. And I was baptized when I was 15.00:08:58We went on this high adventure (scout campout) and I remember we were in North Carolina and there's, you know, five six of us kids... scouts... that were black and the majority of us were just white and we all friends and so forth. But we're gathered together and some of the other kids had doubts about the Church and about the Book of Mormon and the blacks and the priesthood and I remember that really hitting me.00:09:21And that was the one time I started to think like, "well, is something wrong here? Is something wrong with the with the Church... is something wrong with that?" And I really... I stopped reading the Book of Mormon. You know, something doesn't seem like it's right. I had good leaders at the time who gave me good mentorship and guidance and taught me to study the scriptures, to go to get an answer. So I read the Bible and I read the Book of Mormon and I would study and picked up and I came to know that it was true but it's still in the back of your mind.00:09:54The High school I went to was predominantly white and I didn't have any black leaders. I didn't necessarily see it as an issue but one time there was a guy named brother Carter and he came to our ward and he was a bishop previously. But seeing him in the churchv- that he was a black man that was a bishop at one point. It was like, "that is cool." I remember the day that when I did see that, it was awakening to say - oh, Brother Carter. It just gave me that vision that - oh, you know, we can have opportunities." It was just interesting. It was just different.00:10:29For the majority of our life my mom was a single mom raising us and my stepfather was in the picture for a little bit of the time. He was... it was an abusive situation... physically abuse, domestic abuse from my mom and he was in the picture for a few years and he was thrown in jail.00:10:45So that left us with a financial situation. My mom was recovering from abuse and missed a couple of weeks of work. And that led us to being evicted from our home. I remember coming home seeing the fluorescent orange sheet of paper on the door and you know what it was because you've seen it before in the neighborhood. Somebody is getting evicted. And that was us.00:11:07I knew things were rough but not that bad. And we threw everything in a small storage unit and my mom, brother, and sister went to live with one of my cousins on the other side of town and I stayed with another relative, a cousin, because that was the busing route to my high school.00:11:25One of my best friends in the Church is Andrew. So we always hung out, always spent time together. a few of us together. And so when I stopped we got evicted and I lived with my cousin and his small apartment. I stopped going to seminary because I didn't have my rides to pick me up and take me to seminary anymore so he knew something was wrong. So I just pulled it out of me and I told them what was going on. That we were evicted and family was separated and I was staying with my cousin in the laundry room. He said, "well you know, we're already brothers already like brothers. I think my parents be fine you come and stay with us."00:12:00And I went home with them that evening and they said, "Of course you can stay with us." And I used to live with them for about a year until my mom got back on her feet. T hey have seven kids and always the extra was Donald. I remember the youngest son Matthew, He was so confused because he was a little kid at a time when I lived with them...00:12:21but they would say, "yeah we have six kids and seven kids." and hew was like, "What about Donald?" (laughter) And it was always uh... cute.00:12:30My friend who introduced me to the church at 14, He's also Jamaican and black American as well. And his mom left the Church... he left the Church too.00:12:46There was that thing that started it... someone at the time was teaching Relief Society and said (or some meetings) said that the blacks were the seed of Cain and taught that false doctrine and it was very difficult for her. I can see how tough it was. So not seeing her come to church and not seeing Dane come to church, It was really hard for me to figure out how I was going to get to church.00:13:13I knew I was right. I knew deep down that it was right. So I kept going and it was again that escape for me and I went and went. Those questions came later on. There were times... I remember one situation where a girl that I had interest in and she had interest in me, But her parents would not approve because the fact that I was black and it's that that idea. How do you feel about that? When people read and misunderstand the Book of Mormon and to say don't mix your your seed with someone... like, what did I do? And that was really a difficult time to grasp that again.00:13:47But the Church was like the thing for me. It was an escape away from, you know growing up and in the way I grew up, in the environment. And being in a wholesome environment... having a vision. And I did get my Eagle Scout and naturally that's the next progression. You go on a mission. And I knew I wanted to but going on a mission I got called to Detroit Michigan. And Detroit. It's a lot of African-Americans, right? And being a black missionary in Detroit it was like a big deal for our mission. So I got placed in the inner city a lot of times and it was it was really neat to be in the city. But stuff came up.00:14:24Out of the hundred and fifty, one hundred and twenty missionaries only a couple that are black, the population of the Church majority are not black. So people ask that question, "how can you be a part of a church like that?" And it brought me to think a lot. I knew that this was the Church of Jesus Christ and knew it was restored. There are things that I didn't understand and it brought a lot of questions and I can humbly say it did bring me to question certain things.00:14:53"Is this the right place for me? Is this correct? How come blacks couldn't have the priesthood?" and and it brought me to my knees a lot to study and to try to understand. How can I teach people, how can I go out every single day and tell people that this is a church for them when no one looks like them.00:15:16The cool thing about Detroit, they saw us as Christ followers -- Christians who were out there doing the Lord's work... but it was... there was a tension. The members in Detroit, you have to be rock solid. You have to gain that testimony to know that, "yes, I understand there were issues in the past but I know without a shadow of a doubt that is true."00:15:35And I've seen so many of those members that became the bedrock and the foundation in establishing the Church. When Gladys Knight became a member of the Church that... she is in Detroit ... that was pretty big as well because that helped people understand somebody who's prominent who is African-American as well was also remember the Church. It brought the church out of this obscurity that it's a church for everyone.00:15:57The history in the past happened but it doesn't mean that the Church isn't Christ's Church. Things happen. That helped to see those strong members and that guided us and gave us direction and companions who are just like you know you saw us brothers who were just really awesome. I can tell you the thing that kept me going was just getting on your knees and praying and knowing that Jesus is the Christ that he truly did die for my sins and he truly did made the way. He (was) resurrected and gave us an opportunity. That doctrine, that ideology is the bedrock that kept me grounded. To understand that this is Jesus' work. It was that guidance that helped me through. Through all of that even understanding that people make mistakes and that we're not perfect and if that was the case there would be no need for the Atonement. Made me realize that everyone makes mistakes and people can repent and can change and in due time they will come to understand and I hope they did and I hope they do.00:17:02But for me, it doesn't make sense to hold a grudge or to be angry. It makes sense to keep going in the testimony of Jesus Christ and I do have and that has guided me and forged a path and kept me going and led me to the opportunities in life I have today .00:17:22Being a bishop and being African-American, younger folks come to me and ask, "Well,I have trouble with this. I have concerns about this. And why did this happen in the past in the Church?"00:17:33And some of them, I really don't have answers to and I think that's one of the interesting thing with life. We don't get answers to everything.00:17:39And I remember, being one of the times as early as a bishop I went back into some of those studies and I studied for a couple days and just diving into more on the topic and a final answer it came back down to that I give to people as my final answer is that they're imperfect people in the church and some people say things are not right. But the truth is the gospel is restored. And don't let anyone take that part away from you. And though we may not have all the answers --I can't give you everything about "why" -- In due time those answers will come . But I can tell you instead of the "why", I can tell you how you move forward.00:18:21And how we move forward is by focusing on Jesus Christ because we're all, black, white, Jew, gentile, green, whatever color you are, We are all His sons and daughters.00:18:33And he wants us to go back and live with Him.00:18:46KaRyn: That was Donald Kelly. I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to hear those stories of times when we as members of the church didn't quite get it right. And I really appreciate Bishop Kelly's personal revelation that helped him make sense of the things that we don't yet understand or know about our history. I also recognize that there are many brothers and sisters who are still waiting for that personal revelation that will heal their wounds. But I revel in the hope that each of us can be healed through Jesus Christ and those of us who have done the wounding, whether intentionally or not, can seek repentance and forgiveness. And isn't that just like being part of a family?00:19:25There's this part in "The Family:A Proclamation to the World" that says, "Successful families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion,, work and wholesome recreational activities."00:19:41I think as a church family, we've got that recreational activity part down if our Ward's block parties and chili cook- offs are any indication. But what if we could do better at all the other things to help make our family, our ward family, our stake family, our church family more successful? I asked Donald to share his thoughts about what we could all do better to minister to our brothers and sisters of color. And here's what he shared:00:20:05DONALD: Now, this is a very sensitive topic for both black members and white members as a whole and I feel the answer is complex but still yet could be very simple. But, in order for us to understand it simply we must recognize or go through the complex answer that I feel first. .00:20:21It comes down to education and empathy. Hear me out on this for a second. Personally, this is my opinion, personally I feel for years that many members of the Church don't talk about race because they just don't understand enough about race or don't talk enough about blacks and the priesthood because they don't understand enough about blacks and the priesthood or they don't understand where members are coming from with it or just simply don't have an answer. And is ignorant to what they should be saying or how they can help other members go through it. So the easy answer, "let's ignore it. Put our heads in the sand, so to speak, and maybe what will happen... They just won't experiment with anything.00:21:01It is not easy to talk about. We can do what Stephen Covey said, "Seek first to understand then to be understood."00:21:07Because what happens, especially when I served my mission in Detroit, Sometimes you will find that members, they were they were taught years ago by the missionaries. These two guys came through the neighborhood started preaching about scriptures, about the Book of Mormon, about the restoration of the Gospel and it made sense. They felt something. They knew, they had this spirit tell them that this was true. They made the decision to get baptized and then maybe couple years later somebody mentioned this idea about blacks and the priesthood and then they start to question like, "wait, what do you mean about that??"00:21:43Now understanding you're probably saying, "yes they got a testimony so why in the world would somebody start doubting?" It's not necessarily doubting and this is where empathy needs to come in play. It's putting yourself in a person's shoes. Oftentimes these individuals who are maybe newer to the church and first time hearing about race and blacks and the priesthood, they probably... they feel... and this is what I'm just sharing what I've heard is.." I feel like I wasn't told everything upfront before I made a decision."00:22:13This caused them to have some kind of question and start questioning everything. How come the missionaries didn't say something about it? How come my bishop didn't talk to me about it? How come some of these things are not taught to me? And then those questions lead to more questions. And more resentment. And then more confusion and frustration.00:22:31Now when they start having conversation with, say a member of the church about it, Because We don't necessarily understand how to Have that conversation with A black member, We go back to just simple saying, "You need to just have more faith. And stop doubting."00:22:49It's depicted, "Well, This person just seems like they don't believe in the fact that we have The restored gospel or that we have prophets on the earth today because if they believe that, They wouldn't ask these questions." Which by the way, is totally not true. It is because I do believe that there is a restoration because it is because I do believe that there are prophets and apostles On the earth. It is because I do believe in the fact that we have priesthood authority. That's why I am asking -- to get better understanding. Again, having a question isn't bad. Maybe you recognize -- yes someone has questioned or going through this challenging time in their life and they're trying to figure things out. Help them. Don't shun them. Don't say they're not faithful. Read scriptures with them. Study with them. Have them over for come follow me.00:23:36Or maybe you can... There are things that you research and you could talk about with them. And just maybe as a bishop, you have more dialogue. As the elders quorum or Relief Society or Young Man or Young Woman president. Taking time to recognize someone's questions and helping them. And for black members of the Church or any one of the Church that may have doubts or have questions, who have these these things they wrestling with, I share this a lot, but I just say, don't jump out of the boat. Stay. In. The boat. Right now. You are safe. You're protected. You may not understand everything. Stay in the boat. Continue to progress. Serve in your calling. Help the ward. Help the members share the gospel of Jesus Christ ,live the gospel of Jesus Christ.00:24:19And as you continue to do this, I pray and I hope that you will gain the answer and insights and revelation that you need. And perhaps maybe we will all come to a better understanding. As we have more of an open dialogue. So again my answer is quite complex. But it comes back down to the simple part. Of. Us. All. Making sure that we educate ourselves and to have open dialogue. And to have empathy. I think those things will help.  00:24:45KaRyn: Donald is always quick to say that he doesn't speak for every black member of our church family so I was thinking that one of the ways I could put his ideas into practice would be to actually ask my friends of a different race, "What is it like for you to be a part of this church?" and then to really listen to their story --not to try to fix it for them or to offer solutions-- but to simply listen and make space for the hard things they might say. And then we can celebrate together the shared faith that brings us all to the sacrament table every week to feast together as brothers and sisters in the same family of Christ... while vowing to do better at being part of that family.00:25:26Well, whatever you feel inspired to do to make our church family better, I hope you'll write it down this week and find a way to put it into action. Let that divine friction change us so we can be better.00:25:41That's it for this episode of This is the gospel. Thank you to Donald for sharing his story and his faith.00:25:46And if you have a story to share whether it's funny touching or miraculous we'd love to hear it. Call our pitch line at (515) 519-6179 leave us a message with a short synopsis of your story. You can also listen to our bonus episode that tells you all about how to become a storyteller on this is the gospel. We've heard from so many of you that this podcast is making a difference in your day. I f so would you please take the time to leave a review on the Apple podcast app? Or anywhere you listen to your podcasts and be sure to tell your friends. The more people know about us the more we're able to keep telling great stories.00:26:21This episode was produced and edited by me KaRyn Lay and Sarah Blake with story editing by Davey Johnson. It was mixed and mastered by mix at six studios and our executive producer is Erin HALLSTROM.00:26:32You can find past episodes of this podcast and other LDS living podcasts like the ALL IN podcast at . Have a great week.
April 22, 2019
Stories in this episode -- from the campfire in Paradise, CA: Charelle watches from afar as fire engulfs the town she grew up in and finds comfort in the things she didn’t see; Bryant follows a seemingly hopeless prompting only to discover the real reason God sent him into the fire; Emily and her family narrowly escape danger while trying to find one another in the chaos and reunite to a new future.
April 18, 2019
Do you have a story to tell but you're not sure how to do it? TITG story producers Davi Johnson and Sarah Blake are here to help! This bonus episode will give you insights into the story producing process with tips and tricks to help you get your story ready... AND! They'll share upcoming themes for the episodes. When you're ready, call our pitchline:  (515) 519-6179
April 15, 2019
Phil was just a boy when he and his friends made an impulse decision on a scouting trip that would reverberate throughout their lives and challenge their faith and the faith of an entire community. Though it seemed that the guilt and shame of that experience might haunt him and his future forever, a desperate prayer finally led Phil to a place of peace and understanding through Jesus Christ.
April 8, 2019
Stories in this episode: Erik takes a huge professional risk as a Broadway theater producer that doesn’t quite turn out the way he prayed it would when failure leads him somewhere surprising; When Emily, a born adventurer, finds herself in the tedium of young motherhood, another woman’s last minute trip to Peru sends her to her knees to ask God what he has in store for her.
April 1, 2019
Stories in this episode: A talk at General Conference answers DiDi’s reluctant prayer about the truthfulness of the missionaries’ message; Naveen makes a joyful 2 a.m. phone call to India after a surprise prophetic announcement; Cynthia starts on a path of redemption and healing when a seemingly personal message from an Apostle shows her that forgiveness and change is possible.
March 25, 2019
Stories in this episode: An extraordinary lesson from her family history helps Sister Linda K. Burton find the right words to minister to the women of the Relief Society when she is called as president; Deserey is called to be the Family History specialist in her single adult ward and receives a special spiritual confirmation from her father beyond the veil about the value of her calling.
March 18, 2019
If there was ever a time when Calee needed to hear the voice of the Lord loud and clear, it was the year she found herself in the midst of a difficult divorce navigating life as a single mom. The fact that the heavens seemed completely silent might have driven her further from her faith, but Calee’s determination to hold out for more from God takes her to new and exhilarating places when she seeks to understand the quiet.
March 11, 2019
When Dusty first came in contact with anti-Mormon literature, he had no idea that his desire to refute it would eventually lead him to become a vehement persecutor of the Church he once loved. What does it take to come back from the precipice of lost faith? Dusty’s unique story of belief lost and found is a reminder that the Savior’s atonement reaches for us even in our seemingly unreachable places.
March 5, 2019
Change is an exciting and inevitable part of our lives as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this episode, Christie shares her story of being sent with her family on a work assignment to Senegal West Africa where they discovered that being part of the growing church means making room for personal spiritual growth and flexibility and trusting in God’s purposes.
February 26, 2019
When Jon was asked to turn off his flashlight in the depths of a cave during a youth activity, he had an experience with darkness and light that stuck with him the rest of his life. That dark cave and its lesson in opposition became a spiritual anchor to Jon when he and his wife Emily were faced with the real ups and downs of a life-threatening illness.
February 19, 2019
You can find the beauty even in the hardest things when you put your faith in God. Stories in this episode: Teresa has a strange prompting that helps her find the compensatory blessings from God when her plans for retirement are upended by loss; A bid for a spot on the village council places Shauna in some crazy situations, with outcomes that only God could have foreseen.
February 11, 2019
Stories in this episode: A last ditch quidditch match in the MTC brings Rylan and Diana together years later when they reconnect at the temple; Tyler’s side hustle as a singing telegram puts him in the unique position to find real love; Sarah’s wild dream about a flying kite proves the key to her courage when love comes in an unexpected way; Friendship takes a turn toward romance on a disastrous road trip for Melea and Dean.
February 4, 2019
Stories in this episode: When an undercover rescue operation takes a dangerous turn, Tim rediscovers a truth about how faith works in his life; Davi gets a prompting to do something that seems counterintuitive as she prays to receive healing in depression; A friend’s loss of faith offers Adam an opportunity to search out where to focus his own doubts and faith.
January 28, 2019
Stories in this episode: Crishelle learns how to move forward after a deep betrayal causes her to question everything she once knew about her family; After a traumatic car accident, Kaitlyn discovers forgiveness is a process and not a one-time event; A very naughty puppy teaches Sarah the love and understanding that can come through Christ’s Atonement.
January 21, 2019
Ashley and Alo Moli always imagined themselves with a large family but struggled with devastating infertility. Brittany and her 5 siblings prayed every night in their group foster home for parents who could love and care for them. A miraculous phone call from Alo’s brother set them all on a surprising path that showed them how God has been and always would be working behind the scenes of our pain to bring us joy.
January 14, 2019
Todd was far from religious or even spiritual when he started meeting weekly with a Latter-day Saint bishop in search of a new life beyond his addictions. What happened over the next four years, including an inspired trip to a roadside lemonade stand, changed the course of his life in real and lasting ways.
December 24, 2018
Stories in this episode: A missionary in Guatemala learns that Christmas sometimes means emptying buckets; When Christmas service gets real, a surly teen has a change of heart; Making amends brings a recovering addict and his family closer to the real spirit of the season; Newlyweds with nothing to give discover the secret to a full and rich Christmas.
December 21, 2018
When Brittani McLeod’s job led her to a remote village in the deserts of Morocco, she thought she would have to leave behind everything familiar. She didn’t expect the miraculous ways that her Heavenly Father would remind her that He is EVERYWHERE.
December 14, 2018
In this episode, Isaac Thomas shares the story of how he gained a testimony and joined the church in 1976 at a time when he, as a black man, could not receive the priesthood. He recounts the heartbreak and joy he found as he faithfully served and waited for a revelation that would restore the Priesthood to every worthy male member of the Church.
December 5, 2018
Stories in this episode: A trip to the temple reveals the six words that help Danielle remember who she is to God; Two strangers on rollerblades give Robyn the miraculous answer to her prayers; A moment of pure revelation helps Spencer navigate a painful divorce with grace.
November 27, 2018
The story of Carol Decker's life has inspired people around the world to choose love and gratitude despite their challenges. In this episode, Carol tells us what it was like to go to the hospital with what she thought was the flu and wake up to an irreversibly different world and body. Carol's website:
November 19, 2018
Stories in this episode: A dad with a special needs child courageously decides not to skip town the Sunday of the Primary Program with hilarious and touching results; A primary president discovers the unexpected real rewards of putting it all together; A visitor on the back pew of a Chicago ward wonders, “where did they find these kids?”
November 14, 2018
Stories in this episode: A High School Student tries to find his tribe when he moves with his parents to Eastern Europe; A no-coffee, no-swearing study-abroad with BYU students sets one woman on a path to Christ; and a congregation in Virginia shows us what it means to truly love every person as they are, where they are.
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