by James R. Spencer
Jim Spencer was a Mormon Elder for ten years. He was an honor student
at Mormon college and served in virtually every auxiliary of the Church.
He and his wife, Margaretta, were married in the Mormon temple in 1966.
Jim taught Gospel doctrine Classes in the Church for five years.
*Despite the lovely image of a typical Mormon family, why were divorce
and suicide and child abuse so rampant, and why did no one really get close
to one another?
*What were the real reasons behind three different Mormon organizations,
each claiming to be the One True church and each declaring the others to
*Why was his church-affiliated college so isolationist, to unable to
converse honestly with students about relationships and problems?
*Why did he continue to feel so troubled by the secret ceremony of the
temple that was supposed to be the height of his spiritual experience as
*Worst of all, if he had entered the inner circle of God's True Church,
why did he begin to feel again a nagging sense of emptiness?
To leave the Church would mean social rejection by the community in which
Spencer was not only a member but a leader. "My daughter's father
is a Mormon Elder," his wife told him. "If you leave the Church,
you leave your family."
So when Spencer began finding some surprising answers beyond Mormonism,
he had to ask himself: Was he willing to pay that high a price--and for
Jim Spencer pastored an evangelical church in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and
served as Eastern Idaho Divisional Superintendent for his denomination.
He has a broad business and journalistic background. He and Margaretta,
his wife of more than thirty years, have three daughters, six grandsons,
and one granddaughter.