Sharing His Story
“In November 2014,” Smith says, “I was happily living in Texas as an attorney, happily Catholic, vocally anti-Mormon, living in a historic district. Two years after that, I am living in Salt Lake in an apartment. Not only am I a member of the Church I decried [but] I was talked about in general conference and then ordained a high priest by an apostle. If you just take that two-year time frame, that is insane. That is just absolutely insane.”.
Many who have heard his story comment on how they wish they could experience even one miracle like those that fill Smith’s life. His response? “They probably do. You are just not seeing them. Sometimes the Lord will open the waters, sometimes He’ll make the earth shake, sometimes He’ll cure the sick, sometimes He’ll raise the dead, but sometimes, He whispers.”
Since his reconversion to the Church, Smith has felt compelled to spread his story and testimony through conversation, writing, talks, and even firesides. Part of that desire stems from a blessing he received from President Uchtdorf—one that said his story would reach thousands, bringing them light and hope. But Smith is the first to recognize that such influence has little to do with him or his story and everything to do with the transformative grace of our Heavenly Father.
“I want people to know that God loves them and that there is hope and that even when people have turned their backs on the Church, there is hope that they will come back,” Smith says. “People who [have loved ones] who have gone away from the Church can look at my story and realize you should never give up. My friend Mike never gave up. Think about that. From 1999 until 2015, every week he put my name in the temple. I want people to know that God loves us, and He is intricately and acutely aware of us. He knows us. He waits for us. He doesn’t give up on us even when we give up on Him.”
Tips for Those Who Are Doubting
“President Uchtdorf said it best. . . . He said, ‘Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith,’” Smith says.
When questions of faith arise and doubts begin to plague you, Smith knows from experience that is when you need to “go back to the basics.” He continues, “You can get caught up in the superfluous stuff. You can absolutely get caught around the axle about some of the things Church leaders have said or members have said. Yes those things can affect you, but they shouldn’t.”
With the Internet and so much knowledge at our fingertips, Smith knows trials to our faith will come. But he reminds members that so much of what we read is taken out of context, especially when considering Church history, which was written in a “different time.”
While Smith acknowledges members and leaders within the Church are human and make mistakes, he knows those weaknesses don’t lessen God’s works. “Moses disobeyed, Jonah disobeyed, Peter disobeyed,” he says. “Disobeying does not make you less of what you are called to be. It means you need to repent. We shouldn’t hold people up to higher expectations than we hold ourselves.”
But even with all of the information, arguments, or questions that can enter our minds, Smith says he has chosen to believe. “I haven’t had any doubts since I got baptized. I haven’t let myself get there. We choose so much of what we feel, do, act, and believe. . . . Every day I wake up grateful that I am alive, grateful I belong to the Church, thankful that the Lord for whatever reason has incredibly blessed me.”
Dusty Smith is passionate about his story, his testimony, and sharing both with others. If you would like to hear more from Dusty, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.