"When I got into prison the first thing I asked my family was to send me a triple combination. I had never read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. Prior to that it was piece by piece. It is hard to put into words the amount of darkness you feel while in prison that is surrounding you. You are always reminded of how horrible your decisions are, you are beaten down left and right. I religiously started reading the Book of Mormon everyday, really studying it and trying to understand it and grow my own testimony. I started to notice it brought me so much comfort no matter what was going on around me. My scriptures became a guide and a light to me in such a dark place."




Hey everybody, welcome to the Comeback podcast. My name is Lauren Rose, you might recognize me from Episode Six. But Ashley isn't able to be here today, so I am hosting, and we have a guest here named AJ Whipple.  I’m really excited to share his story. AJ, why don't you go ahead and tell us a little about yourself and your childhood.



Thank you. I was born and raised in St. George, Utah. My dad was a Boy Scout leader, and so we were always doing outside activities. I was a Deacon’s and Teachers President, and it finally hit me in high school.  It was about – I’d say – sophomore year. Leading up to that, a lot of reasons why was I put so much pressure on myself, not really from my family, but being a perfectionist. I'd seen, like, “Hey, if you put all this effort in, if you're doing more than the next person, then you get something back from it.” I was like, “okay, cool, fine.” A theory of like, “okay, if you can do this, you get a result, you get this, you get that.” And so, that's the way I approached it.

I was a 4.0 student all the way and then finally hit where I got an A- in a class. And so, it came to a halt where it was like, “it's not worth it anymore.” I mean, I literally like mapped out the rest of my life thinking that the world is over: “I can't go to this school; I can't go to that college if I didn't have a 4.0.” And being a huge honor student and stuff like that, it wasn't possible, it was not in the books. So why keep going?  And I got tired of it. It's the same thing with the Church is like, “well, I keep messing up. Why is it worth it? I mean, why keep going?”

And so, it started with that, where, if I wasn't perfect, I wasn't worthy, and then thinking I can do this on my own. And so, I started distancing myself from the Church where I thought in my mind, “if I prayed hard enough that I'd have this trial or issue taken away from me of OCD, of all these thoughts that I'm not good enough.”  If I prayed hard, and I was good enough, it will be taken away. But it wasn't taken away. And so, I was like, “Why am I still doing this? Why am I following the commandments? Why am I doing this? Why am I going to church?”  That's where it started from.

My mom suffers from depression. And she’s gone through that process. And she saw these warning signs. And fortunately, I was not going to school at all, I couldn't even get out of bed. I didn't even care. And back in those days, mental health wasn't that big of a deal. They figured like, “Oh, it's all in your head, it's all in your head.  Just wake up, and keep going.  What's your problem?  Tough it out. What is your problem?”  And fortunately, because of my mom, she put me through therapy, she got me clinical help, and so I was able to finally after a while start functioning with depression and understanding that these thought processes were wrong. And that it's not all or nothing.  We live in a gray world, that it's not an all or nothing, it's not black and white; it's okay to be not perfect.  It's okay to mess up. It's not the end of the world, you can still function.

And so, I was able to get back into school and fortunately – through the help of some other guidance counselors –take some extra classes outside of hours and still be able to graduate. I was borderline not going to be graduating even. And fortunately, I did get some help from there. But I still kept the Church at a distance because I still felt hurt that I wasn't washed clean, I didn't have this taken away, I was still having to deal with this. So why should I still go to church?  And I'm an all or nothing person, I couldn't just sit on the fence. So, it was like, “Okay, well, I’ll keep it at a distance. It's still there.” And so, my morals started loosening more and more slowly, and fast forward to college.



So, did you change friends? I imagine you had a certain set of friends, and then did you just start kind of gravitating towards different types of people?



Slowly, a little bit.  I still partially had those morals where I didn't want to drink –I didn't even drink or anything prior to that end – I didn't even swear. And I started swearing and stuff like that. But I never participated in like parties and stuff like that.  There was no like “in-between group” in my mind that I could see of.  I played football and athletics, and so I was always part of that group. And, I was always like the loner who was always at the gym. And so, my friends were the gym. And so, I didn't really have that group of people.

Those people that were still in the church distanced themselves from me, which kind of hurt myself even more thinking like “if you're going to ridicule me for thinking this?” It made it worse, actually, where I didn't want to have any more to do with the Church because I'm like “you say you're doing these standards and stuff like that. And you're not accepting of me, of wherever I'm at. Like, I'm a plague.” And so, it pushed me even further away from the Church.

But yeah, luckily, I didn't ever get really into any different groups of friends. I mean, I was open to others, but I never did. And so, from there, it went into college, where now I open up to different groups of people, I started hanging out with different friends.  Where my morals had started to loosen even more. And I started being okay to being open to drinking; that's when I started drinking.

I played football at Dixie State (or Utah Tech, now).  I got open to some groups that were taking steroids and was like, “why not start?”, you know; started taking them for performance enhancement, you know, PEDs. And I liked them, and all of a sudden, I got open to the possibility of dealing them to other people. And it just grew and grew. And it hit a head where the only reason why I was still at school was football, and football started not being fun anymore. I was making a lot of money selling the steroids and drugs. And so, I was like, “Why do I need to go to school if I'm already making a good amount of money?” and stuff like that.

And about sophomore year in college, I went to a friend's wedding out in Florida, Miami. And I wanted a change anyway. And I thought about California or Florida, and I never been to Florida, so I was like, “why not?” So, I went out there and I got open to the possibility of moving out there. And so, before I knew it, I was like, “Why not? I'm young and I'm making a decent amount of money. And I see that South America is like cash king. That's all they do, and shady stuff, and all deals are with cash and whatnot. So, what's the hurt?”  And so, I moved out there when I was 22 – I had just turned 22 – and before you know it, all of a sudden, it blew up bigger than I even thought and hugely successful in the eyes of the world. I always kept people at a distance, I'd always tell them that I do import or export, which they don't bat an eye out there. And they're always wondering why I had so much cash and it's South Florida, they don’t really care; most people carry lots of cash. There's a lot of shady things that go on there. And so, I just fit in and so it just blew up even more. And I got more and more successful, and then before I knew, it was like four years have passed since moving there.

And then I became a full-blown alcoholic because I knew what I was doing was wrong morally on so many different levels illegally. And I knew I should stop, and I couldn't stop because I got so much attention from it. I'm like, “hey, well, I built this up,” and the money was coming so easy that I couldn't stop.  I just felt like I had no support group around me that knew about what I did fully, or if they did, they didn't care.  They said, “you make a lot of money.  Let's go party; let's go to the casino; let's go to the club.” And so, there's no one there that really wanted to stop me or tell me “You should stop, you're going down a path you can't come back possibly.  Some bad things can happen.”

And so, even though I had all these things of the world, I felt so lonely –like ridiculously, ridiculously lonely.  That's why I was drinking so much was to numb whatever was going on; and going to the casino; and I think just doing everything in my power to not face what was really going on. And knowing that I wasn't being fulfilled in my life, and knowing that what I was doing was wrong. And that's how it was going because it was getting worse and worse.


So, I'd been in this spiral. Basically, I dug a hole I should say, not a spiral.  I dug a hole myself just so deep.  It started small, but one thing after another, it just kept on going and going. And I had not seen a way out besides possibly just taking my own life. And I had felt like that probably would be the best. But the one thing that stopped me was my own family.   I couldn't do that; I couldn't do that to my family.  A huge blessing that came to mind was, when I finally did get arrested.  It was September 23, 2013. I remember I had a regular routine of going into my warehouse right down the street from where I lived, and went and got my all my packages that I had to go to the post office and ship off.

So, I got through there, I got all the way through, kept on going all the way until 11 or 12.  My regular routine was grab packages for that day, and then jet over and walk my dog and get something to eat, and then go to the Post Office. And so, I hurried and got there. And I lived in a gated community.  I went in and hurried in there, walked my dog, and sent him back in, and hurried and put my car in reverse really fast. And I look back and I'm like, “Someone is blocking my car.” I'm like, “What is going on? What is this guy doing?” I'm looking at my clock and I'm like, “I gotta make the Post Office.” I'm like, “Come on, hurry up.” And then finally those words were like “Put your hands up.  Put your car back in park.”

Most times people are like, “Oh, I'm panicking. I'm panicking.” But the weight that I had built up over so much time –that hole—, I was like, “finally.”  Like I said, I wouldn't have stopped unless I was forced to stop. And so, they basically went through the procedures of getting me out of the car, throwing the keys outside of the car, and then I was on the ground, putting my hands up, arrested.

“Do you see what has happened now? This is your blessing. Now, see what you can do with it.” And from there on, I remember I went to the Detention Center, it was hard all of a sudden, when they shut the doors behind you, and your freedoms are taken away through my actions doing illegal activity, that privilege was taken away.

And I had always thought about how this could lead to prison and whatever, and a couple years is nothing big. But finally, when it hits you, it's a whole different level of like, “what do I do?” There are all these flashings of “how's my life going to pan out now?”  And fortunately, I was still pretty young – I turned 26, just barely.  So, I was like, “Why didn't this happen earlier?” And all these thoughts came in my head of “there's a time and place for everything,” and, “maybe I had to learn some more things that I wasn't prepared for.”  “This is a humbling experience, stop being so prideful.” “You can't do this world –this life – alone.” “Stop being so stubborn.” All these things in my head.

And fortunately, I had such a great family supporting me.  The first person I called was my dad.  I had told him there were some things leading up to this day that felt weird, that felt wrong.  And I prepared my dad and told him, “Hey, if something happens to me with getting arrested, find this out and understand what to do.”  And it was just amazing that all of the sudden, the first person I called, that he knew exactly what to do. He booked a flight out and to have that support in the first person I called.  I was able to call him like, “Hey, where are you guys?” And all I can think of is I’m glad I'm still alive. I'm still here. And to have a support system like that because – having gone through more of the prison system – I know how many people don't have that and how they can fall back into it. And I know why because the recidivism is like, I think it's 80%. It's ridiculous.



You have incredible parents.  You really do.



Yeah, I mean, my support system is probably the only reason why I'm still here because I would have given up a long time ago.

So, I was at the Detention Center for about 10 days, I’d say.  I had no money either. And they had no money to put up a bond or anything. A friend of mine that I met from the gym – he didn't know – but he put forth the money to let me go out, otherwise I would have stayed in. And he was an awesome friend I still stay close to, and it's like that minor, small blessings like that, and understanding that he looked on me more as a person, and not what I did, but the type of person I was. And so that's what he looked on.  I was so surprised of that small, minor blessing of that.

I was able to get out. And the worst time in my life was actually that span, I would say, because I had gotten used to that lifestyle, and now I had to do drug tests non-stop, having to go see a psychologist non-stop because I didn't care for her life, obviously.  First time back to doing like a regular, hourly job, which I was making nothing compared to obviously what I was making. So, the reason it was so hard was because it was like a cold stop of, “Here you are.”  The way I call it is like having a spigot going full force, and then you shut it completely off and don’t have anything to do with it.  And the problem was, I was in Florida still. So, I didn't have a support group to help me understand what I was doing was.

I was drinking huge amounts, even though I was told not to do it. But it was still the only thing that was keeping me going, and so that's why it was so hard, because it's like, having to still see all these people, I have no money, all that was all taken away, and no more drugs. and then I'm like, “Okay, so I'm just having to live a regular life that I have not lived forever,” but I was forced to do it now. And so that's why it was so hard, and that's where I actually was super close to committing suicide.

My parents came out for my sentencing.  I fully thought that I was going to go in there immediately, but I ended up being sentenced to 18 months. Which is ridiculous. I mean, that's a short amount of time. And not to mention my lawyer – that's another blessing that I was able to get this lawyer. I got the lawyer from a friend from the gym, too that was a lawyer himself, just not a trial lawyer. And he mentioned, “Hey, put in a good word for this guy.” And he's like, “He's well known.” His name is Mark Argosh.  I don't know if you know anything about him, but he's on CNN all the time. And so, this highly reputable guy that I had no chance of getting – I didn't have the money even to pay for much at all – and so he even discounted the rate, even to as low as he ever can do.  And realizing, “Hey, I have such a huge support group.”

He knew the judge too, personally; she took compassion on me and seeing that I had a support group and that I'm going to be going through RDAP which is Residential Drug Addiction Program, I was gonna go through that. and all these things. So, I think that's the reason why I got such a short time in 18 months.

None of my family ever visited.  I didn't want them to visit mainly because I didn't want them to see me in such a vulnerable spot.  And another blessing was I met some friends from the casino of all places. There was an older guy –I didn't really have much of a relationship with him –but he ended up visiting me and found out what I was going through.  Every week, he would come visit me on Friday – or no, Sundays – and he’d just come visit me, have a discussion for two hours and stuff, and at the time, I didn't realize how much of a help it did, but he was always there.  It's the small things that I don't know what I had, how I had such an impact on them. But apparently, I did. And they wanted to help me out as much as possible. And so, he was there. I ended up serving like nine months directly in prison, and every week pretty much he came and visited me.



Wow. Do you still keep in touch with him?



Yeah, he's a bit older and he’s still down in South Florida. He has Parkinson's and is still dealing with that. So, he's great friend. I still talk with him, and he’s a lifelong friend. I mean, yeah. through such tribulation like that.



I’m sure you have such a good bond with him.  That's really cool.

I remember reading in your summary, that you read the Book of Mormon while you were in prison. So, where do you start to see God really enter in your life and guide you back?



It started when I was in the Detention Center, where I was like, “Hey, you need to get your stuff together.” And from there, I got into prison. and the first thing I asked my family to send me was a Book of Mormon – or, actually, a triple combination.  I never read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. Prior to that, it was piece by piece growing up, nothing serious.

But it's hard to actually try to put into words the amount of darkness you feel while in prison, surrounding you all over the place.  And because you're always surrounded by people that are not the best in the world, obviously. And you're always reminded of how horrible your decisions are, or “you did something wrong; you did something wrong, you did something wrong.”  And so, you’re beaten down all left and right.  And the only thing that helped me was I started reading the scriptures.  At least, a chapter a day at night.

So, the only thing that really helped me keep going – because you're surrounded by so much despair and darkness – was that continually reading the scriptures. And I took a different approach, I was like, “I need to find out if this book is true. Why not a better place than right now where I'm at?  I've got the time. Why not?”  And so, I went into it, I was like, “okay,” and started writing things down. I'm like, “what does it mean by this? What does it mean by that?” Full on studying, not just reading, but trying to understand and grow my own testimony of the Book of Mormon and the scriptures and understanding like, “Hey, yes, this is true.” I'm like, “Why am I feeling so much comfort?”  After a day of how bad anything was going around me that I can look to the scriptures as a guide, a light, especially in such a dark area.

And I remember so many times where I’d get so anxious because in prison you can't do anything, you're just tied up and you feel like conflicting things going on in your mind.  But the thing that helped me was reading the scriptures, it helped calm me down and understand like “be where you're at. You're here for a reason. And be a light not only to others.”   And there was a lot of my friends that I dealt with, they realized like, “Oh, you're from Utah County, Utah,” and they would always call me Johnny Utah” and be like, “hey, are you Mormon?”  I'm like, “Yeah. Yeah. I am.  Obviously, I fell off the path. Obviously, that's why I'm here. But yes, I’m a member. Yes. Definitely.”  And so, it was nice to chat with them and to bring them to the gospel, or a better understanding of what it is and dispel some of their understandings from the media; rather than from the media, straight from the person who was a member instead.



That's awesome.  I'm sure being in. like you said, such a dark place, and feeling the heaviness and the sorrow of everybody there. and then all of a sudden having light. It’s such a contrast that it's so easy for you to see and so easy for you to feel because it's like flipping a switch. So, that's really cool.



So, I went through that and ended up reading the Triple Combination, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants.  I went through it all, and it's amazing how much peace it brought me where this inner turmoil was going on.  And understanding what I did:  Yes, it was bad and wrong, but as long as you fully repent and go through this repentance process, that it can be washed away.  I'd beat myself up so many times that I didn't think I could come back but to know that I could, it was just a comforting feeling that however far – I’d gone very deep and in the wrong way – that there is a way out.

And one of the best feelings I got was – outside of Utah, in most prisoners, there is no sacrament at all, that's just one of those things.  And one of the best pictures that I love is the one where Jesus is rapping on the door; the prodigal son coming back. And so, a lot of times, that story resonates with me a lot. It felt so much that his arms were wrapping around me and knowing that, “hey, you're here, you've made it” and to look back on how far I've gone, I didn't think I could make it. And to be able to partake of the sacrament after so long of not being able to.  Even nowadays, I take the sacrament and understand there's a lot of times when you can't, and I don't take that lightly. This is something that a lot of people can't, or are not able to do it, and I understand what's so precious about it.

I remember, for the first time I finally got back out here and I had an opportunity to do go to church. And it was amazing because I went to my parents’ church, and I met the bishop, and I went into his office, and the first thing that he did was he hugged me. And I was like, “Whoa” because you do not interact with anyone while in prison. So, it was a little off. An he told me, he was like, “Hey, thank you so much for being here. And Heavenly Father loves you. You're forgiven.”  Emotions are really hard, you learn to get away from those emotions while in prison, but it is a comforting feeling.

That’s biggest thing. Even nowadays, being so far away from family, and pushing them away for so long, and realizing when I got in trouble, how valuable family is.  They're the ones really that stuck around. And so, I had plenty opportunities to go somewhere else, but to this day, I value family above almost everything, and I can take these other jobs for higher pay, but no.  Family is everything to me for how much they've been there for me.

When I got out, I was in a halfway house. I had chosen to go back to Florida. Apparently, I had some unfinished things that I never got done. So, I ended up moving back there. And I ended up starting going back into my old ways:  Drinking, even after all I had gone through.



So, you're at the church, you're feeling all the love from the bishop.  And then what was it that made you want to leave all of that though? Was it just the lure of the world that you were like, “Oh, I don't want to live this sober life.” Is that what made you want to go back?



A lot of it was the lure of the world again.  Just prideful, thinking like, “Hey, well, okay, maybe I can go back to Florida and start making money again and getting back on my feet and accomplished.”  And so that pull was on there still.  And so, that's what brought me back to Florida.  And I forgot to mention, while you're on a supervisor-released parole, you can never move up.  I was a priest, and I wanted to become an elder.  I was being stubborn and prideful, and I felt, “I had served my time. Why am I still being punished? And I can't move up in the church? Okay, fine, alright, then I guess I don't need you either then.”  Going back to that cycle again. That was one of those small things where I, at the time, I felt so stubborn and like, “I am still being punished for this. Why can't I move up?”



You felt like it invalidated all that time in jail. Like, it didn't count.  It probably hurt your feelings a little bit deep down.



Yeah. And so, it just grew and grew. And all of a sudden, I was like, “Well, okay, then fine.”  I went back to my old ways and it was slow. And then I went back out to Florida, I tried to stay sober. I was still trying to attend church here and there.  But the problem was I was skirting the line of “I can't sin and still be in the Church.”  I was drinking and I was still going to church. I've never been one to ever be a fence sitter. I was either all in or all out.

And I was on track to do the same thing of what I had been doing.  Luckily, I had gotten closer to my family –my inner circle – so that they caught on, and I was open at least to listen to them. And I moved back out to Utah, and I've been here ever since.  I started school in 2017; I was still on supervised released and everything; parole. And I started noticing, I'm like, “Finally, there’s these people around me – my family – and why are they so happy?”  And I'm like, “They don't really have a whole lot, in my mind, of these worldly pleasures and not successful and this, but they're still happy. They have this family.”  And I'm like, “What am I missing here?” And I'm like, “Oh my gosh, going with the world isn't true happiness.” And I never fully went away from the world. And I was like, “Okay, why not try humbling myself, fully embracing the Church and the gospel, and fully embracing it, see what happens? What's the worst that can happen? You just end up back where you were?” I was like, “Alright, fine, let's go.” And I'm like, “Alright,”

So that's where I slowly got my journey back in 2018. And I stopped drinking. And I started surrounding myself with better groups of people that support being sober. And I had never been sober fully, besides prison. I was like, “wow, this is great. I'm so much healthier.” And then I'm like, “alright, well, why not start going back to church?”  I got a job that I worked on Sundays, and I finally got the courage where I was like, “hey, I can't work on Sundays anymore, it’s just conflicting with church. I can't do it. Is there some way you can work with me?” Otherwise, I had resorted that I was going to just quit because I couldn't do it anymore.  I couldn't do a little tip toe, a little foot in the church while still being out.

And so, I committed to it, I was like, “alright, well, here we go.” And it was amazing, because it was a blessing.  They said, “Oh, no, we can accommodate you, we can work around your schedule, we can do that. No problem.  Can you come in these days?”  And I was like, “oh, yeah, okay.” And so, it's just a small miracle that I never thought that I opened myself up to possibilities. And then finally, I actually got off supervised release, and I could actually start to work toward becoming an elder.  I had wanted to go to the temple and all these things growing up, and this is great.  All my siblings have gone through the temple, they've all been married in the temple. I never was active at that time when they got married, I never could go through the temple. And I wanted to go through that. And they're such great examples to me, and that's one of the reasons why it pushed me to go back into the church was because of them, because I saw how happy they were. And realizing there is happiness in following these commandments and being part of the church.  And I wanted that, that's the biggest thing that I'm like, “hey, I want a family like that. That’s be awesome.” I mean, obviously, what I've been doing isn't working.

So, in 2019, after about a year of getting back into the church and working with my bishop and stuff, I was finally able to get ordained an elder. And I actually first blessed the sacrament.



That was your first time ever?



Ever. And so, it was a strange feeling. I was like, “whoa.” And then from there, luckily my schedule with what I was working, I was able to go do baptisms for the dead with my bishop. And that was surreal because I was I remember doing that when I was so young, and it was a totally different experience. The amount of light that the temple brings in, I was just like, “Whoa.”  It's breathtaking.  The amount of blessings you get from just going to the temple. And at that time, I was just going to do baptisms for the dead, and I was able to go through.  I went through the Bountiful temple with my family. It was a long road, to say the least. But it was that same embrace that I had felt before of having Heavenly Father and Jesus wrap his arms around me and knowing, “You did it. You did a good job. You're here in that embrace.”  And so, I got through the temple and that's been a couple years now.



And I read you go every week.



Oh, yeah.  So that was like December 2019. I went through Bountiful. And then I went through Salt Lake right before they closed.  And so, I got an opportunity there. And then all of a sudden, first of the year, it was like, “You know, you don't have to be perfect. Everyone there at the temple is not perfect. And we're all fallen, and it's okay to mess up,” and all these things – these walls – came down of knowing I don’t have to be perfect, it's okay to mess up. it's not the end of the world whatever you're doing, and understanding that you're there to serve and you draw close to the Lord. And it brings so much happiness to me.

I wanted to go through all these different temples. In the Salt Lake area, you're so close to all these temples. I'm like, “why not?”  I started every week, I’d go to another temple on my Saturday drive, or I’d go to all these different ones.



You know, they have a temple passport?  Someone in my family bought one from me.  It has all the Utah temples in it, and you put a little sticker every time you go to a different temple.  You should get one.



The most I’ve done in one week is three times; three sessions, endowment sessions, because it's miraculous about the differences and nuances of how it's different for each temple. And that's why at the end of the day, you're still serving, and bringing those that have passed away an opportunity to partake of those sacred ordinances that they didn't have an opportunity for here in life.



That's awesome. So, how are you feeling today? Now that you have accomplished so much, you've come so far, you're going to the temple.  How's life now?



Oh, it's great. I mean, I still have to deal with my regular OCD. And a lot of times, the devil knows how to get out really hard.  And one of the biggest things that I've dealt with a lot lately is understanding my path, and not comparing it to others. And in Utah, it's hard not to compare yourself for where my path is. And I'm 35, I still deal with like depression big time. Coming back to my own path and understanding and having reverence and understanding that my timetable is not the same as the Lord's for me.  I want something so bad.  My siblings have gotten married. I'm not married, I don't have kids. I'm 35. And it's hard not to compare yourself to others, but at the same time, I've gone through so many different situations that maybe my story can help someone else in the same situation.

And so, I continually have to watch myself.  I'm an addict, I'm definitely an addict. And I have to watch my triggers. And one of the is being lonely.  I take it day by day and it helps me a lot to go to the temple. And that's one of the things that helps me; my refuge is going to the temple and serving. And not only that, I had an awesome opportunity this past February in my calling:  I'm a Sunday school teacher. It’s like 15–16-year-olds, and it's a blessing, I think more from my own perspective because it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and open up to more of the “Come, Follow Me” that maybe I wouldn't have been doing, and how I can help them. especially because that's when I fell away at their age, and help them understand that to hopefully prevent them from going down the same path that I did.



That's amazing. I think that there's a lot of people who will be able to relate to you. I don't think you have to be a drug dealer to relate to you. There's a lot of things that you think, that you've spoken about, that I know I have dealt with, and I know a lot of other people have.

I think that you have a really incredible story. And I'm so excited to share it with everybody. It's so inspiring and just to see how happy you are. And I watched your face just light up, it was so different from the beginning of this episode to the end.  You're a different person telling the story, like a change from your old self to your current self, and it's beautiful. It really is.

And you just you reminded me of my journey and the things that I felt were similar to you even though I didn't have to go through the exact same things.  And I don't know you, but I am so proud of you. You have such a great story. I'm so glad that you shared it with us.

Do you have any last thoughts with you that you want to share?  Any spiritual insights or any anything?



Based off conference talks that have just come; we just went to conference and one that touched me was when you’re feeling lonely, reach to the Lord, don’t go the way of the world. Reach out to the Lord; yoke with him to gain strength and you will feel stronger and be able to accomplish anything that comes your way.



Okay, well, thank you so much, and we'll stay in touch.



Ok, will do!