Adam Greenwood: My Conversion

November 23, 2005 | 8 comments

I was sitting on my bed one teenage afternoon in the early 90s wondering if there was a God and a Christ. I had been reading Will and Ariel Durant again, which always unsettled me.

A voice, if voice is the right word, came into my mind. It seemed angry. The voice communicated something like this: “We have always been with you. This is the slightest taste of our absence.” Then it left, and I felt horrid. I felt dropped. Words fail me, but it really was an awful experience, like your inner ear all of a sudden giving out.

Then the presence I hadn’t realized was there returned, and that was the end of that. I felt enormously relieved.

If I sometimes seem to see a God who is a little less patient and sweet than many do, its because he’s always been a little less so with me. I found that out. I also found out that he was there.

I could go on to tell how I got my testimony of the Book of Mormon and family and divinization and many other things, but there’s little to tell. At some level I always felt that either God had the audacity to want to make Gods of men, or there was no God. The rest was just detail and time.


8 Responses to Adam Greenwood: My Conversion

  1. Jack on November 23, 2005 at 11:55 pm


    I suspect that our communication with the infinite is usually a little more collaborative than we may like to think. Hence the “God who is a little less patient and sweet.” Now don’t what I said to heart as a criticism! It’s that very quality that enables one to bull’s-eye the baloons of mormon pop-religion with deadly sharpness. I love it. And, infact, wish I had the stamina to bear that view of diety more squarely on my shoulders.

  2. Susan M on November 24, 2005 at 12:20 am

    I know that feeling of the Spirit leaving. It is horrible.

  3. John Williams on November 24, 2005 at 1:19 am


    What do you think about Mr. and Mrs. Durant these days?

  4. Wilfried on November 24, 2005 at 10:34 am

    “At some level I always felt that either God had the audacity to want to makes Gods of men, or there was no God.”

    What a unique and powerful way to express the essence of Mormonism, Adam. Thank you for this intense, gripping testimonial.

  5. Jim F. on November 24, 2005 at 8:14 pm

    Adam, your story contains an important truth: having the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we
    can either not-know or forget what we have. Being reminded of what that means is every bit as much a spiritual experience on which to build a testimony as an experience like mine was. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. Matt Evans on November 24, 2005 at 11:55 pm

    Adam, I liked the sentence Wilfried did, too. It’s just always made sense to me, too, and once explained why I thought it logically necessary here.

  7. Bradley Ross on November 25, 2005 at 12:29 am

    I met a man who had been (and still was) excommunicated from the church. He insisted, like Adam and Susan, that the feeling of the absence of the Spirit is difficult to bear. He explained that he didn’t know what it felt like until it was gone and he realized it had been there all the time before. I find myself simultaneously wishing that I could feel what that is like and being grateful that I don’t know.

  8. Seth Rogers on November 25, 2005 at 3:22 pm

    Yeah, sometimes I think we forget that our God is also still the “God of the Old Testament.” He isn’t just nurturing and forgiving, he’s also quite demanding (veangeful even).

    I also think that we forget that our capacity for sorrow is just as important as our capacity for joy. Both must be deepened if life is to be truly lived.

    These days, we emphasize the happy stuff about our religion perhaps a little too much.


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