Interview

My interview with City Weekly is out now. As I predicted, I’m being told I’m bitter and angry. No matter. I said what I wanted to say, whether people agree with me or not.

It’s kind of a surreal experience, as my name and face have never been in print other than in a school yearbook. But I figured I couldn’t turn down the invitation, and I’m happy with the way it turned out.

http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-291-16246-lds-missionary-experience-spin.html

And just so there’s no confusion: I did not leave the LDS church because of Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy and polyandry. That would be way too simplistic. Over many years I rationalized and “shelved” problematic issues, not only in church history but in LDS scripture and foundational claims. The incident with my friend was one of those moments of clarity when I realized how much I had been rationalizing, and I couldn’t justify it anymore. Once I stopped rationalizing polygamy and polyandry, every other rationalization went, too.

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8 Responses to Interview

  1. Jeff Ward says:

    I bear witness that this article tells the truth. I live in the Seattle WA mission and the missionaries here are treated worse than that. It is amazing to me that they stay out on their missions. I talked to an Elder the other day and he said that he was sticking it out becasue he wants his RM status and going home early is suiside. It has gotten so bad out here that the mission president has tried to completely isolate the missionaries from eachother. No contact with other missionaries only in District meeting, Zone meetings. After which they are to return to work without speaking to other companionships. Not calling other missionaries without the approval of the DL/ZL. No activities at all with other Missionaries. Very strange, sad really when a mission can be a lot of fun.

  2. Lorraine Seal says:

    Congratulations, John, on the interview. I think you come across in it, as you do in the book, as thoughtful and just, well, normal. I find it astonishing that anything you’ve said can be characterised as bitter, angry or even negative. It is what it is. When did telling the truth become bitterness? It’s just not there: whoever is calling you bitter is projecting his or her fears into what you said.

  3. Denise says:

    Your interview was anything but bitter and angry. If that is what anyone takes away from it… it just shows you how they are still trying to control the message. I thought you spoke honestly and fairly. I wish I could hear your speech this weekend but I guess I’ll have to be satisfied by reading your book. Thank you for your courage in speaking what is true for you. And it does take a lot of courage.

  4. Andrew S. says:

    I liked your comments in the interview a lot… If it fits in my schedule, I’ll try to swing by your mission Sunstone session.

  5. Your interview was great – you came across as reasonable and honest, not “angry” at all. If people think you are angry, that is their problem, not yours.

  6. Cylon says:

    Loved the interview, laughed at the comments. I almost feel bad for those poor deluded souls who accuse you of lying about Joseph Smith (almost). Anyway, I agree with the above commenters, you weren’t bitter or angry at all.

    Also, I recently read your book and I loved it, although it was hard to read at times because it was so true to life. I served in the Bolivian mission as well, and although things had improved in the country in a lot of ways by the time I went, (we didn’t have to worry about not getting enough to eat, only about the food being terribly bland, and most Bolivians I met liked Americans well enough) I still found a lot in common with your experiences. Thanks for sharing your story. In my opinion, the church does a real disservice to its members by focusing so much on the faith promoting experiences. By excising the darker parts of the narrative, it removes much of the humanity and truth that could be found within.

  7. tisatruth says:

    You did a great job, imo. Evenhanded and fair treatment of an emotionally-charged subject. The comments section was a fascinating read.

  8. […] immoral marriage practices. That’s when “it just hit me,” he said. On his blog, Mr. Williams explained,“And just so there’s no confusion: I did not leave the LDS church because of Joseph Smith’s […]

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