Jr. Taimi's life was drugs and gangs when he was just a kid. He was incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit, lost his mom while he was in prison, and experienced many other heartbreaking tragedies.

After coming home from prison, he was at the dinner table with his family and his daughter said a prayer that would change the course of his life. He knew that wherever she learned to pray like that was somewhere he wanted to be.

Jr. met with the missionaries and debated the church's teachings with them. When he learned about eternal families, and gained the knowledge that he could see his mom again, he knew he wanted to be baptized and 3 years later, he and his wife Asia were sealed in the temple.

They now run a group home in St. George, UT, & give back to kids who struggle. They say the difference in their program, is that they treat everyone who enters like children of God.




We're here with the Taimis. And we've got Asia and we've got Jr. and I don't really know a whole lot about your story. I know high level, just the legendary pieces of what I've heard.


I want to start from the beginning. Like, where were you raised? What was your childhood like? What, you know, teenage years? What was that like?



Well, I was raised in Long Beach, California. And I was born in 1981. So, growing up, we lived on the east side of Long Beach and anybody who knows the east side around the 80s it was very gang invested.  But my dad moved there to work in the oil refinery.  And he met my mom there in Long Beach. And they had kids, and that's how we were becoming born and raised in Long Beach, California.

And so growing up there, it was very rough. It was all they could afford, we weren't rich. So we came from a drug infested and gang infested area where it wasn't a place for kids to grow up, you know, it was very, very sad.  You see everything on the streets, like literally out in front of you.  Nowadays they clean up the streets. People think that it's worse now, but then it was in your face, you go outside, and we grew up with my mom and my pops.



What was your relationship with your parents? Like, do you feel like they tried to, you know,



They did their best, but I feel like looking back now, it was a barrier, like, a language barrier culture barrier, you know, they came from the Polynesian Islands, where, in the village there’s a lot of discipline in the village. So, if you discipline it means they expect the kids a lot in a different type of way, not how America looks, views spanking, but you know, how they view it as do a lot of discipline, you know, but in Samoa in the villages, when you discipline the kid and the kid runs out of the village, the village helps bring the kid back but here in the streets of Long Beach, California, in Los Angeles, you beat your kid there, and they run to the streets, there’s no village to bring your kid back from the street, you know, the street will eat your kid alive, you know, so you end up turning to the streets and other places.

And I think what it is, is they thought they were doing their best, you know, within a culture barrier. Gambling is a big thing here. And a lot of influences that America has, and they don’t have on islands really, really took to them to the point where I’m not saying they neglected, but they spent a lot of time like, in other places besides the home, but they expected you to be on your P’s and Q’s. And like, you know, in the home, you weren’t raising yourself. But at the same time, you were kind of like raising yourself, ya know what I mean, like, and so, you know, a lot of Samoans and Polynesians that lived in that time, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

And so, yeah, now, that was basically our life dealing with a lot of child abuse, you know, and then shortly after that, about two years later, me and my younger brother joined the gang, which was actually enemies of my rivals, with my sister, and my brother’s gang, you know, which a lot of my other family, I grew up in a family that was gang infested. Like, it was just, it was just, you just knew what you were gonna do when you grew up, unless you were good at sports or, you know, you hear those scientists and those great tennis players, they all come from the ghetto. Unless you’re one of those talented people, you, you’re just the ones that are left behind that don’t have any other talents, you know, and so, therefore, the streets become your playground, and your talent and so. And so that’s what happened.

So, I grew up in the streets of Long Beach, you know, after my dad got locked up and we didn’t have a father figure, my mom God bless her heart, man, she couldn’t control us, you know? Believe it or not, I feel like I never could admit it when I was young, but I felt like Where’s God at? You know what I mean?  I always wondered about God, because, you know, I think I knew I believed in him, I go to church and I look for answers because it was so chaotic in my household. I even like at one point when I had nine or 10 and there was some dramatic drama going on in my household and abuse was going on very heavily at this time. And I just, I put myself in the closet and I closed the door and I pray you know, I mean, if you take us out of the situation, me and my mom, and my brothers and sisters, you know, I mean I’ll give my life to You know, but you  we learn as we grow up, it’s not in our time we have to go through the things we have to go through to learn these to get you on standing to you live life and help people.

And you see, so as a young age, and I’ve always had them on my mind, even though I went through stuff and did bad stuff. It’s funny because as a youngster, when I did that stuff, as I got away with it, the first thing I think about is I was that guy just robbed. That other guy just chopped off at the freeway After we checked his car, you know, oh, my horrible go instantly to regret. And I don’t know if any other people who were in gangs felt that way. But I know, I’ve always did. And I know that in anybody who are in gangs that are in the ghetto, if they had somebody take them in and say, hey, look, I’ll take you out of the ghetto, they’ll take it in a second. You know, people think that just life that we lived like, a lot of gangbangers in the 80s and 90s lived, that you choose to live that. But I tell you, what, if I had had a chance to get out of there, I would have took it. I always tell my wife that your missionaries go on missions, if I would have known that I would have been there in a heartbeat. I don’t even know what religion is. But take me on.

So, we grew up, going in and out of juvenile hall, and then eventually to group homes because my mom couldn’t control us. And the system saw it so took us away, we went to my aunty’s for a little bit and she, helped us she loves bless her heart, she just passed away last year, as she helped us, she was like, my second mom, you know, she helped us as much as she could to a point where as we were getting older, I felt like we were catching on to how to be good. It stills weekend calls with mom going to visit mom and seeing the freedom that we had over there as opposed to my auntie’s house.

So, we literally just we ran away from the system and ended back my mom, you know, just illegally into and didn’t get caught until about was just too old enough for the system not to, like they couldn’t just nothing they could do for me. I was ward of the state. So, if anything happens to me it’s prison and juvenile hall, no more group home, handouts. You know, we’re helping me out, so. And that’s when I met my wife.



How old were you at that time?



When I met my wife?




I meant my wife, I think I was 15, or I had just turned 16.



And how did you guys meet?



We met…uh.. This is weird. Nowadays they'll call it weird. But her little sister went out with my little brother, you know, and I asked her if she had any friends, you know, I was single at the time, you know. And so, one day, we were going into a 7/11. And she was like here. You know, she had put her on the phone. And I didn't know the girl ran away. So, I'm taking, you know, like, Oh, this is a hunger and I say hello. And it's her big sister. And she’s looking for this little girl. And you know, she's hanging out with? What do you know, my sister? Where's my sister at? Like, where are you guys holding her? I was like, what? And I dropped the phone. I was like, I don't know who you put me on the phone with but they’re looking for you.



That is a memorable first meeting.




Were you in Long Beach at this time? Okay. Okay. And so, Gretchen told me a story of your interaction with the missionaries. We’ve got to hear that.



This is during the time, you know, after I met my wife well, so before my wife. I've always seen these guys in suits. You know, I'm saying they're riding their bikes, you know? Well, I don't I didn't really pay attention to tags, but I didn't know they was in suits and those were some nice bikes. And, you know, the block they took was our block we were just wondering like, nobody's gonna ride down our block with brand new bike just survived through it.

A missionary roll by and I just like, I clipped off his bike, and he fell, and I took the bike. And then he said, you can have it bro.  And I grabbed his backpack, you know, and opened up his backpack. All I seen was Jesus Christ on these blue books. And I was like, Oh, snap. And he's like, you can have it because he’s trying to share a message. And I don't know who he was.  And he holds a card up and is like you could have it if I can share a message with you. And I was like, oh, you church people. He's like, no, no, no, no, it's fine. You know, all they can share a message with you. Now is it my bad man? I'm sorry. No, that's good. And the other elder just took off, he didn’t stop. But he was like, you have all this if I can just share this message with you. I was like, I got no time for that. But I'm sorry, man. I know who you are now. Meaning, you know, like, the next time I saw him, my home was like, I look nothing. Oh, no, those are church people. You know, they were like, how do you know who they are.  You know, they was church peoples, you know, and so, you know, they were always fine always waved at us, you know, at certain time, they will go you know, they were right down the block and you know, we would wave at them and, and that's just how it was, you know, like, they was never messed with ever since then, since I've stayed on that block. So that was a blast from the past about the missionaries.



So what was your first encounter with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?



Well, my first encounter was I just got out of prison. I went to prison, I was 18, for a crime I didn't commit those acts, my brother that committed this crime, but the code of the streets, doesn't allow you to say innocence, because, you know, it's the code of the streets, man, you know, so, I am doing time, when I got out, you figure I was 18. We move over here to Utah. And before I got out, I heard about this, you know, Mormons and my cell mate, he was actually Tonga and he was telling me about the Mormons and their beliefs? And I was like, because I was a Muslim at the time, you know, and I told him, I was like, you’re not going to convert me. You know, I freaking like soda.  and I don't know what you’re talking about. Not watching TV on Sunday. She didn't never say no, it's just, I heard it from him, because he grew up a member. And I was like, so I don't know what he's talking about. And my wife, just, she reassured me she was like, I don't know what whoever's telling you just, we're just here to just help to get better. That's the first thing.  you're trying to, like you're future tripping, you know, just go one step at a time.

So, we got to the house, I'm telling you this because this is my first night here in St. George. We sat down to eat. And we said, my wife said to say a prayer to my daughter. She's the oldest daughter now she has my grandson. She was like she was four years old. She actually say a prayer. Now, the prayers I'm used to you know, is the prayers I'm used to I've been to mostly almost all religions so I know prayers, prayers, you memorize and then there's prayers that kids get little kiddie prayers. And then there's prayers that the pastor's give very strong spiritual prayers, you know. And so, what I was expecting from my daughter was, was just a little kiddie prayer. So, I close my eyes, you know, and I'll wait for the first word that come on, and my Dear Heavenly Father, we are grateful for the blessed food and I open my eyes, and I'm looking at this little girl. Dear Heavenly Father I never heard a kid say something like that, and, and meaning so much. And it spiritually just, it just grabbed my soul. And I was like, when I was looking at my daughter, saying a prayer, I was amazed and my heart was with, I just couldn't breathe. And then I looked at my wife, and she, she nodded her head at me smiling, because she knows where my life comes from, as much as I wanted, I should have called upon him I never did, you know, this little girl does every day, you know, who knows how far it is. But I tell you the story about my daughter later, but when she said that prayer, and prayer was done reading it, took a second to take it in and ask where did she learn his prayer from?

They teach it to them all the time at church.  What church? Because I knew I just knew wherever taught her how to pray like that, whatever that place is, I need to go there as my heart I'm saying, and she was like, it's the church. The Mormon Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I'm like, church, man, you know, and it was the funny thing is, is that something in me before got out of prison just wanted me to be healthy. So, I quit smoking, just because I like to do the bodybuilding workout. So, I just quit smoking. At the ending of my term for no reason, just like because I wanted to for myself, my reasons was, I wanted to be a bodybuilder, now that I look back on it God had a plan from me, you know, because I was also celled up and move cells from the Tonga dude and I was set up with this Christian guy who would always talk about Christian stuff and it was kind of boring stuff, the same old story, but he was a faithful Christian who went to church you know, if he was in there, he was serving triple life, you know, I mean, you know, he did some very crazy things , but the way he believed in God you know what I mean like the way every day when he woke up You know, even though he wasn't, you know, a member the way he believed in God just had me thinking man, like, I got hope when I get out because I you know, we all get out of prison. We were scared we don't know what lies beyond those gates. And so that's how I ended up I still remember my first Ward, it was Morningside Fifth Ward Yeah.



What was your experience like going to church that first time going to church did you feel like welcomed? Did you feel judged? What was all the things you felt?



Oh, man, it was Armageddon in there, man. I just everybody, you know, I just everybody because of what I've heard, you know, cuz I wasn't gonna go to class I was gonna go see where my daughter was going to, you know me. And it's funny because you look at it. It's the basics. And that's what the Lord wanted me to go. He didn't want to go to no elder’s quorum that he wanted to go, go hang out with the little kids. So, I took my daughter because I'm like, this is my daughter. I'm not gonna leave her here, man. You know, like, I don't know what these people do to kids. But when I went in there, you know, they sang the song like that. Is my favorite song, you know, still to this day, it's the rainbow song. I call it the rainbow song, you know. And when I heard that song, I immediately told my kids to come in the room and sing that song to me, you know, again, and they sang it and they sang it. And we all cry when they were singing it. They sang it to me and I just said, That's the song. And it took a couple of songs because they didn't know what I was talking about. I was like, the rainbow song. You know, when I heard that song, and I was just in the next Sunday, I came in I met a fellow by the name of Nale Fakhua he was a Polynesian but I did not have any type of Polynesian I've seen before, because the only ones I've seen where gangbangers are Oh, geez, you know, like, you can feel the strength of Satan real strong. When you get around them.

This was a different Polynesian. I did not know this man. In this ward way out here in Utah, was from the same ghetto part of California but Northern in Fresco, you know, so I didn't know that. He knew. He knew automatically what I was just by looking at me. And he knew exactly what he was going to do with me. You know, I mean, I'll tell you when I tell you this. I was in elder’s quorum. And about 2 weeks later I was doing home visiting teaching. And I didn't know what it was, but this man had me doing home visits. He had to, you know, so I went home teaching with his brother, I forgot his name because it’s been years you know. And so, this brother, I hope he hears this man because I forgot his name. I forgot your name, man. But I always remember you because this brother right here.

So two years later, I'm driving, I'm out of that ward already over with your mom, I just let your mom and I'm driving and this cop just tailing me like, Oh my goodness. And then he pulls up and he's like, pulling up right behind me. And then I was like, dang, I tried to slow down but I can't, because I'm gonna hit his bumper. I was like, what am I doing going too fast, going too slow, what's going on? And he pulls up on the side of me. And he was like, What's up brother Taimi. And I was like, oh, my goodness, I was my home teaching companion. Like, all I was thinking was he knew I did not like cop. And he hooked him up with me. Like, I didn't never know he was a cop. But like that, for somebody that just didn't you know, I had a big. I know all over the place how my story happened. I had a big hate towards cops, you know, for my brother being murdered. My brother was murdered my cousin and my two cousins. So, there was 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds, you know, killed in a car accident. So I just blamed a lot on the cops, you know, but meaning that guy right there that he gave me Oh, a whole outlook on cops and who they are and, and my love for cops has just been like, you know, like, since I've been working with the youth, you know, know that, you know, like, I know that without the cops there is no working with the youth so we have to go hand in hand with them. So, right. Yeah.



Tell me a little bit about your baptism, and how you know what led to that and what that looks like.



Okay, so I was taught by this big, well, this big, tall, seven-footer they sent him. They sent two big tall, seven footers to my house. And I chased them away. At first time we met I don't even know the names, you know, I mean, they just like, we'd sit down much because what I did was, like I said, they're gonna teach me about the Bible. I'm gonna teach them about the Bible. Because I, you know, I know, I was Muslim for six years, and the whole time I stayed in prison, you know, not only that, like, you know, I had experience with all the religions my mom was a Catholic. I grew up in Protestant. I went to church with the Baptist and I was in Assembly of God, I tried it all. And I'll tell you what, but you know, God was with me through this whole times. matter of fact, when I first watched the Life of Joseph Smith, and I saw when he was young, he was always worried about his salvation. You know, even though he was back in the horse and hay days, you know, I just flipped the script and turned the two together. And I was like, Bro, that's me, right there. You know, through my whole experience. Since I was young, I've always worried about my salvation, just trying to get by off what was around me like, that's what really caught my attention., I went to the visitor's temple, and I think they had the Joseph Smith movie on and that's just like, man, he knows, you know, because God was always on my mind even though I went through, you know, the world and its tribulations, he never left my mind and He knows that.

So fast forward. They sent another set of missionaries over and there was a missionary by the name of Kapishka and Elder Chrisjanssen, and they came and they would teach me and I would give a lot of pushback, you know, and I can tell Elder Kapishka , he was a little known as his, you know, on his seat, you know, he was, I don't know if he was like getting, you know, like, I just said, take it with me, but like, one thing he did this man, you know, this young man, he's young. And now, and this father was in the 70s. So, this young man right here, he any question I had, and I always questioned him He didn't have a question for, but the next day, next time we teach, he come in with the answer. I'm like, what are you talking about? Well, you remember when you told me about this thing? He was on it! Because I had another question. I mean, I was ready for the answers. I had a bunch of questions, but I wasn't ready for that.



And there were times where I would get frustrated with him.



She'd be washing dishes listening, like,



it was like, he was like, he was playing get back games the missionary. So he came up with the most obnoxious questions that they can't answer these 18 year old kids.



But one thing they did though, they go back, they’ll find the answers. Well, Elder Chrisjanssen said he left in the middle of that and Elder Liao from Brazil. Okay, picture this now, okay. Joseph Smith having that vision, you know, in America, who would know that a German, and a Brazilian will be teaching a Samoan here in the United States? How far this comes, you know? And if that ain't real, I don't know. I don't know what else. I don't know how you can twist it and look at it and say, it's crazy. Because looking how far it came, these are different countries coming together here in America. nobody could predict that every heart is I brought, you know, he was just, you know, like, more loving, he was just tripping out, you know, the tattoo guy. He's here listening every time. You know, I'd make them food and feed them. And they know it's coming. You know, after the feeding, you know, we're gonna go, over here and battle scripturally. But when elderly Liao, it was love, you know.  It was Elder Kapishka firm teachings, he’d never let go a question. If he didn't have it, then he'd always go back, come back and show it to me. And it was utterly out of love, you know, his unconditional love because I pushed his buttons this man, you know, and those two was a combo. Elder Chrisjanssen, he did a lot too. And there was also an Elder by the name of Elder Kafusi. He came right afterwards. And he was he was great, too.

So, it was Elder Liao and Elder Kapishka they were talking to me. And so we went through the lessons and it got to this, we got to the part where eternal families, and he said, so we want to talk to you about eternal families. and I started to get upset with him, you know, because, , like I said, I went to prison, and in prison, I lost my mother, she passed away while I was in prison. And I didn't know until I got out of prison, I went to her grave and saw my mom.

And before I left prison before I knew my mom passed away, you know, I know it's changing, it's gonna make my mom proud. I know, it's gonna make my mom proud. I know, it wasn't gonna do the things that I've been doing, I knew that already. This is the first time in a term from juvenile hall, you know, all the way up to prison I didn't say nothing to nobody. Before I used to talk to my friends in prison and tell them, you know, how I’m gonna change and this is the first time I didn’t.  I just act crazy all the way till I got out of prison. You know, guards thought I was crazy. Thought I was gonna come in by noon, I knew exactly what I was going to do. I knew that this would be the last time I come in, but I just didn't know that God was gonna be in my plan.

And so I lost my mom. And then here's this guy telling me, you know, about eternal life. You know, I mean, you know, and how families can be together forever. You know, that didn't make sense to me, you know? Because, you know, my mom was gone. Yeah, who are you? You little kid you a little to no, you got your mom and your dad, man. You telling me that families can be together forever. And I tell them, families can't be together forever. You may tell me you can make my mom be with me forever.

You should have seen us. But the first time I think of Kapiska lit up, you know, I mean, because I'm mad. I'm almost crying. It's emotional for me. And this guy wants to smile. Finally, but I didn't know what he had in store for him. But he had a message. He said yes. I said, How, tell me how, you know, he started to proceed to tell me about the plan of salvation, and about the temple work about, you know, how if we're worthy, we can do the work for the dead, and we can have them sealed to us. And it's not mind you this is three months into my lessons, you know, and I knew I wasn't gonna get baptized. Once he was done after that. I said, when are we gonna get baptized? And they were shocked. They blink. They were pulled back. They couldn't they were like, wait, wait, wait. I said, when we gonna get baptized, if what you're saying is true. That's what I want. I want my mom to be back in my life because the life that I gave her wasn't fit for a mother that was she was a good mother. You know, she may not have did all the right steps. You know, when she was a mother, but she we never went with that. You know, I mean, we never went hungry. You know, she, always looked out for us, even when she knew we're bad kids, I wanted it back because, you know, I was living these two years, these first days without my mom knowing she's not on this earth. And it was it was hurting, you know, I didn't get a chance to grieve. He says, I asked him, where were you baptize? This is another thing that really confirmed to me about the church. You know, they said to me, they didn't rush a date. They said Okay, you're ready to get baptized. Yeah. Okay, what's the date? Using any church? Here? Okay, well, tomorrow, I'm saying take it to the river and dip me down there. But they're like, okay, focus on a date, you know, we want you to do this thing called the Moroni Challenge. That, you know, no, like, we want you to get on your knees and pray and ask, see if this is, you know, the truest church as like, you guys just told me this is to choose church, man, I gotta go ask, you know, they're like, no, we know, we want you to find out for yourself. We can tell you anything we tell you. The sky is blue and yellow, you know, when you die, you know, but only you can find out who you want to give you that challenge. So if I pray and I’m still not feeling it, can we still get baptized? And they’re like just try it out Brother Taimi, you know?

And I tell you what, you know, when I when I said a prayer to me, I've had a lot of stuff to do, you know, like, give me this challenge, you know, somehow in my life was standing still. But I did every day. Because since being with them, I prayed before I went to sleep. I never did this my whole entire life, in any religion. But I prayed before I went to sleep. I prayed before I got up before I got up to go to work. Even when I was late, I prayed. And for that morning prayer, and all these things make sense now, but in the life that I live seem so far away, you know, and so praying to ask them about this was nothing to me. But what I didn't know was the challenge of like, really asking becoming like, that's what they say like that little kid is when I was a little kid looking for God, if He would have showed himself,  I would have been ready but as I grew up as an adult, I don't think I'd have been ready for that type of, you know, interaction, because I wasn't ready, I was doing bad things, you know, but you have to become like a little child know, meek like a little child so you can understand when they do have that feeling. It's the feeling of confirming you know, the warmness in the belly, you know, I don't know what it's called, maybe shivering, you know, the thing I feel I can never deny it no matter what. Even to this day now, even now, when they come out with new stuff and new stuff on the internet. I go back, and I say, but that feeling, you know, you can't take that away from me, I don't care what you say, you know, that feeling. Nobody can take away from me since being a member of church, so my kids fell off. You know, they, I wish I could say this was a, you know, a happy story, you know, that I get into church, my family lives happy forever, you know, but this is real life. And in real life you have to go through like Joseph Smith, being in the jail, you have to go through it. He's the Lord told him, but if you endure it in the end righteously. So right now, as we speak, I'm in enduring the time I was working in my life. So enduring, with all the positives that sealed my life includes a lot of the negatives, you know, what I don't do is complain about the fact that I don't have I can faith I hold on to the fact that I do. And I hold on to it dearly, because not only are the filling, you know, that I had, but you know, I know this church is true, I've seen it, I've been through so much stuff that worse it gets, I just endure it, you know, to the end righteously, and I can't come out of it better, as opposed to when I used to be in the ghetto and go through that stuff. You know, it just felt like he was doing it all alone, while going through it. I don't feel like I'm alone. I'm going through the places, and I'm over here doing podcast interviews, I mean, and I still feel good. You know, I still go to church, we’re in the Antonio Ward now.

And going back to where I was at, you know, I felt the spirit. You know, it took about three to four weeks. I wanted to get baptized fast, you know, but they just told me, you know, we can set it up, you can feel the spirit afterwards, you know, but then I started getting all nitpicking and stuff. You know, like, back when I was on drugs, I just wanted to do everything right, everything has to be right. You know, I eventually stopped spirit and I told him, brothers, I felt spirit, man, let's do this, you know, we did you know, we went and I got baptized. And when I got baptized, you know, because you're looking for the next thing. What's the next thing to do? What's the next thing to do? I don't think, you know, going through this process. You wanted to make it a process, you know, meaning like, what's the next step as you're getting baptized? Because that's what happened me You know, I was always for progression, you know, you know, spirituality I felt, you know, but when I sit back and hear other people's baptisms, like I was I should have slowed my roll, you know, trying to go fast, you know, because I did so much wrong that I was trying to do so much right. The first round to hit me or the second, you know, and I just went in on it like sacrament was my calling, you know, I mean, I got to church, people got to turn on all the lights. You know what I mean? Like I did this for like, two straight years before we left that word, you know, to the point where the eldest, a young men's leader had to tell me, we appreciate everything you do. But this is for the young men


Yeah, cuz they can't beat you here. They always try to beat you here, but you're here. And you're doing on and I was oh, they had they had to rip me away from there. And I was like, I was heartbroken. But then he showed me that we have other callings. And so, as I was getting, you know, lost in the callings, the Bishop was like, I love what you're doing. And so, did you get the sealing in the temple? The temple? That's why I got it. I was like, no, how do you do that? Brother, you've been in part of the church for three years, now, you got to get sealed in the temple, like, no, no, we got to wait longer. He was like, no, should have been ready. I was like, okay, okay, let me I want to go take the classes. You know, so I took the classes with your mom, your mother-in-law, we took the classes. I was just like, trying to be perfect. You know, I was trying to perfect here I am trying to be perfect, right. And every year when it came up, they're like, you ready to go like, you know, not yet.

The second year before we left, you know, we moved to Santa Clara, Bishop told me something really, really important. And I hope he remembers telling me this, because this this helped me out a lot in the church trying to be perfect. He said listen up; Brother Taimi why aren't you going into the temple? Well, I didn’t pay all my tithing two months ago, you know, when he was like, Brother Taimi, if you're trying to be perfect to go to the temple, you know, that temple will be empty if people were supposed to be 100% perfect. So, like, just like this church, you know, if people were 100% perfect. If it was a you know, if you had to be 100% perfect to be in this church, nobody been here. I said, oh, he said, Yeah, so don't procrastinate, man, you know, get your blessings. You know, and that made me calm down and slow down and stop being a perfectionist because I think that's what hinders our growth, you know, I mean, it stunts our growth when we sit there, try to make sure everything is right. And, you know, as long as you're doing the best you can, you can leave the rest of him, you know, and go and go and get your blessing, you know, don't deny yourself.

So we finally got decided to go to temple. And before we went to temple. I want to tell you the story. Now my daughter did the prayer, right? She comes to my first Christmas out. She says, I should I want a sister. And I was like, oh, sweet, you're gonna have to pray for one. Because in my mind, like, we're never gonna have no more kids. She's like, Okay, well, next December, guess what happened? She had a baby sister.


Oh, my gosh


You wouldn't believe that. But that is serious stuff. So, we're going to the temple and my daughter is just like, you know, like, she's a little baby. You know, this girl when she was little, she knew when the water and a bread came, she would shake like, the whole church would hear her. Her she was like, she wanted the water, she wanted the bread, and like, they, everybody would feel the spirit so much this girl, you know, like, but they don't know, my daughter likes to eat. She can see food a mile away. When she knew in the church, for some reason, she wasn't even one yet. And she knew that when the bread and water is about to come after these kids stand up, and she starts shaking, you know, she can't wait to eat it, you know. So, my daughter was a baby, and we're all there. But then he told me about a feeling for that. Everything that I've learned every Sunday, you know, I learned something great. And I asked her if she can escort me.



They love you. And she just, I know that that moment meant so much to her,



That’s my mother with a different color. For real, you know,



that's so awesome. Well, so tell me a little bit about what you guys are doing today. And I know we're kind of running out of time, but I want to hear what you know about your group home and what you guys do. And just I know, you’ve shared a lot of experiences that you've had. But you know, when things get hard, when people leave the church that are close to you, like how do you anchor your testimony? How do you know, are there experiences that you have, obviously, you've shared a lot, but how do you anchor yourself to the Gospel,



People close to me left church, you first get that, that feeling of upsetness you know, like how you were getting let down when you were back in that life, when you live that bad life, you know, you can always count on them can't count on them. So, you automatically have that feeling. It comes to you, but at the same time, you know, what I do is I just go back to the things that kept me rooted. my son, he was born autistic. And a doctor said that he be limited with a lot of things, and that he needed medication, he special, special education, you know, and all this in that way. And my mom, my wife told me, you know, I tried to get medicine for the kid, you know, just before I was in prison still, and she didn't tell me this but she trusted and leaning on the Lord. And he just had her father was an ex-bishop and he gave him a blessing, you know. And that's all we left it with a blessing. And a kid with autism.  we didn't give him no medicine, this kid grew up very, it was very hard to raise him because I raised him normally. He didn't know he had autism until after he won his football state championship that he played on the football team, which the doctor said that he wouldn't ever do even till this day how he lives his life. He it's normal. You know, you couldn't even tell you autism until you until he tells you. But he is have never faltered. His mentality never faltered. He said, when he got baptized, he saw little angels.

This is the kid when I got him out the thing, and we wipe them down, and I was in thing with the stall with them wiping them down. My son told me he saw four angels hovering over him. And they were all cheering, you know? I said, son don’t play with me, man, you know, there's not a good time to play, don't you can't tell lies in the church. you know.  And he said no daddy, there were four of them. And they were circling me as I went down. And when I came back up, they were cheering for me. You know, they're cheering for me that he was happy for us. Those moments right there, you can never take those moments, if the worst happened ended. and the devil came crashing down, I still believe, these things, you can't take them.

And so we have to draw upon our spirits, our spiritual moments that we have to remind us why we're doing this, members are going to fall off. And it's going to be members of your family that you will never think, your patriarchs or whoever it is, they're gonna fall off.

I'm gonna tell you a quick story with a missionary who was about to leave the church came and told me he said, you know, I can't understand this, he fresh off his mission. And I think he was gonna tell me a spiritual story. But he told me a story about a man out there in California, in a rich neighborhood, very wealthy man, that none of the missionaries want to go visit because he on Christmas Day when they try to visit him, he slams the door on them and he used to be a stake president. And he opened the door and this missionary was a tall Polynesian kid, you know, and he just surprised to see somebody other than some white kids, so he let them in. And he could tell the Polynesian kid had a lot of questions on his mind. As they were talking there. He was like, the Polynesian kid asked the man, well, what happened? You're successful, you know, you were a state president, why did you leave the church, you know, and he said, I'll be back. And he went in, he went back and he went to go grab his patriarchal blessing. And he brought it up. Put up the picture of his wife, he said, this is my wife. She had terminal cancer last year, and she was going to die. But I knew it was wrong. Because in my patriarchal blessing, it says that she will be with me, you know, the second coming of the Lord. And he sat there while his wife was dying, and just held on to that piece of paper. this paper is what I believe in, you know, nothing's gonna, she's gonna make it through it. He said, and she died, Jr. So, you know, what's that say about? What's that say about patriarchal blessings, as soon as I heard that, and I'm not trying to say I have visions but bam an explanation came and the devil has the power to bruise man's heels. Regardless if it means to get through you with something that you believe in so greatly, you know, something physical, you know, the Lord say, no idols before him anything, you know, that you put precious before him, even your family members. You know, I mean, that is a sin.  He's supposed to be the number one man you love, you know, but he loves that families everything important to him. But you put Him above all that, and He'll bless your families. So that's, one of the reasons why, like, receiving, I feel like revelations, you know, receiving explanations of why this and that, I'm good with it. And if anybody asked me about it, I always tell them my experience, you know, how could you because of the Blacks, I even had a revelation with that, because I almost left the church, but I didn’t that's for another stuff because we don't have a lot of time. But, you know, trust and believe I had a revelation on that, you know, and, and I came home and I was so happy and my wife was happy. I explained it to my kids, and they were happy, you know, but I'm with our friends about the group home.



Oh, yeah. The Maya is with to live with them and open they are here. St. Joe chapter. They have a few homes out there. Salt Lake area. The same goal is to help to help struggling teens and in return and helps us on a daily basis. It's a great reminder that we have a purpose here on Earth.



And our different approach from other programs which is squarely on, we're treating these kids like children of God, we're not treating them, like, you know, how do you say, criminals or specimens, clients or whatever we call them, there, we introduce them to people as our nephews, we're all family, we're all family in the eyes of God. So, you know, these guys, you know, we give them the same love we give our kids you know, and I will cheer them and me and my wife, we've always had kids in and out of our house, you know, always, you know.



I didn't like it a lot of times



Whether they will succeed or not. We were there. We went through the gridlock with them and they left you know, and they're living their lives, you know, most of them. They did a good job, you know, and so, when this opportunity came, there was no doubt, you know, so like, doing the same thing in our house, but we're actually doing it legal now. Helping people you know, legally, you know.



So awesome.  Well, you guys are amazing. And thank you so much for sharing your story with us. The spirit has been so strong here and I just appreciate you so much and your testimony. So, thank you so much for this opportunity.