The Dan and Bobette Williams Story
(The events descibed in this document took place about 1990.)
JIM: You attended one of my meetings last winter, didn't you?
BOBETTE: Yes, I did. Dan and I came to the first night of your Mormonism seminar at Idaho Christian Center.
JIM: Why did you come?
BOBETTE: Well, Eldon Bickley had been talking to Dan for some time. They both work for the railroad and they had some real interesting conversations.
JIM: And Eldon invited Dan to the meeting?
BOBETTE: Yes, and I went along because it meant I got to go out to dinner and have a night out of the house. I figured I could sort of ignore what was said at the meeting.
JIM: Well then, what happened?
BOBETTE: You shocked me, Jim!
JIM: What do you mean?
BOBETTE: First of all, you were very reasonable. I left with a big armload of books. As a matter of fact, I had been doing some reading. Dan had previously given me a book on Freemasonry. Then, in the seminar I discovered the connection to Mormonism, Freemasonry, and the Occult. In fact, I had called my sister Sydni who was going to BYU Hawaii and asked her some questions. She was the Relief Society President of her college ward and she really worried about the questions I asked her. Anyway, I spent the winter reading all your books.
JIM: What happened next?
BOBETTE: You came back to Pocatello and did a three-night seminar. ("Barbarians at the Gates") Dan thought it was just for him.
JIM: Yes, I remember both of you in those meetings. You both made commitments to the Lord, didn't you?
BOBETTE: Yes. But we were really scared.
JIM: What do you mean?
BOBETTE: Well, the implications of that kind of step in our community...
JIM: You live in a farming community?
BOBETTE: Yes, and it is 100% Mormon. And our kids go to schools that are totally Mormon. My oldest boy, Dusty, was petrified that our neighbors were going to find out. He begged us not to leave the Church. He said "Mom don't you dare do this to me! If you leave the Church all my friends are gone." He was worried about being ridiculed. That's so hard for a teenager. And, of course, the Scout program is run by the Church.
JIM: What was the first thing that happened? What began to tip off the people in your ward to the fact something was wrong?
BOBETTE: Well, my best friend worked closely with me in the Church. She began to see that something was up. So I wrote her a long letter telling her where I was coming from. The next thing, she and her husband come over and spend four hours talking to me and Dan. That conversation ended with nothing resolved. All the while, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on. I'm becoming more and more angry over the lies and Church has handed me for my whole life. And the more I read, the more I wanted to know.
The next week the bishop called and wanted to talk to us. We knew we were going to have to tell him we were leaving the Church. I had a migraine all week.
JIM: Ithink that's when Dan called me at home.
BOBETTE: That's right. I was laying on the bed with a headache while you talked to him.
JIM: I told Dan to write a resignation letter, hand it to the Bishop and lovingly, but firmly, tell him you were through. And that you didn't want to be harassed. Or to have your kids harassed.
BOBETTE: That's exactly what we did. Well, Dan did. I was pretty quiet. The whole process literally made me sick. We were especially nervous about our kids.
JIM: What was the nest thing that happened?
BOBETTE: My sister Sydni was really heartsick over my decision to leave the Church. She came home from BYU determined to team up with my other sister, Shannon, and get me back in the Church. They went to the temple together and really geared up for setting me straight.
She came out to my place and tried to talk to me. I sent some books home with her. However, her husband, Zack, wasn't as closed-minded as she was. He took the books, read them and then he began to work on her!
JIM: She was getting it from both directions!
BOBETTE: That's right. So we had our friend, Tom Smith, visit with her. [Tom is a former Mormon studying for the ministry who secretly watched my movie TheMormonDilemma while he was on his mission—Jim] She like Tom and related to his testimony.
JIM: I first met Sydni and Shannon at my meetings on Mormonism in Black-foot (Idaho).
BOBETTE: That's right. I was shocked that they both agreed to go.
JIM: I think they liked it.
BOBETTE: They did. And now they are out of the Church!
JIM: How did that come about?
BOBETTE: They were impressed with your meetings so they went to their Bishop and asked him to explain what you had said—to contradict you. To prove you were wrong.
BOBETTE: The Bishop told them he couldn't answer their questions but he set up a meeting with some people from the LDS Institute at Idaho State University. But those men could do no better. Sydni said, "If that's the best they can do, it's not good enough!"
JIM: What about the rest of your kids?
BOBETTE: Dusty accepted the Lord in your Blackfoot meeting.
JIM: I remember. He raised his hand and I gave him a book after the meeting.
BOBETTE: Dan and I almost fainted when we saw you give him the book. We had no idea he had responded!
JIM: And the other kids? BOBETTE: Our 13-year-old son, Steve, was never really upset by all this. His best friends weren't Mormons anyhow, so he wasn't as threatened. He accepted the Lord at church camp in Sun Valley this summer. Our son, Derek, who is seven, and our daughter Brianna, who is six, really were too young to be affected by all this. They are starting with a clean slate.
JIM: They were both too young to have been baptized into the Mormon Church
BOBETTE: That's true. Dan and I were baptized—into Christ—together this summer in Island Park Reservoir. When we came up out of the water the church was singing "Amazing Grace." For the first time in our lives, we know what that song means. I keep praying, I just want to serve, I just want to serve God. I'm going through the Kennedy Evangelism Explosion training course right now. Maybe I can help somebody else.
JIM: I think you already have.