20: This Grand Gospel Adventure

Mon Apr 08 22:44:20 EDT 2019
Episode 20

Stories in this episode: Erik takes a huge professional risk as a Broadway theater producer that doesn’t quite turn out the way he prayed it would when failure leads him somewhere surprising; When Emily, a born adventurer, finds herself in the tedium of young motherhood, another woman’s last minute trip to Peru sends her to her knees to ask God what he has in store for her. Learn more about the Ortons' year-long sailing adventure by reading Seven at Sea: Why a New York City Family Cast Off Convention for a Life-Changing Adventure on a Sailboat.


KARYN LAY: If you're a regular listener to this podcast, then you're clearly someone who knows that a good story can change the course of a day. And some days I need as much of that as I can get. With Bookshelf PLUS+, you can have unlimited access to every audiobook that Deseret Book has ever released from all of your favorite authors, fiction, nonfiction, even the newest books from general authorities. Seriously, stories and books for days you guys. So if you want more uplifting, good stories after this episode is over, try Bookshelf PLUS+ free for 30 days on us by visiting deseretbook.com/thisisthegospel. That's deseretbook.com/thisisthegospel. Go get your free trial. And now, let's get on with the show.

Welcome to This is the Gospel, an LDS Living podcast where we feature real stories, from real people who are practicing and living their faith every day. I'm your host, KaRyn Lay. If you've ever said to yourself, look, I'm just not that adventurous, you're in good company. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I never thought to imagine myself as a world traveler, navigating strange cities where I could barely speak the language. I mean, I wasn't even brave enough to strap two sticks to my feet and slide down a mountain for school ski weekends. So how could I even think about something as foreign as a study abroad in college? That was what other people did. And anyway, I had to work every summer to save money, so it just wasn't meant to be. Even when I felt called to serve a full-time mission, Heavenly Father sent me to West Virginia, which to me was a very clear indication that trekking down the hollers of the deep south, was just about as foreign as he wanted my life to get y'all. So when I was 28, at the height of the Latter-day Saint internet dating boom, something weird happened. I fell head over heels in love with my internet boyfriend, who just happened to live in Australia. This is the part of the story where you get to determine if I'm possibly a crazy person. And listen, I'm not going to argue with you if you think I am. But at the time, it was everything that I wanted and needed. So after logging hours and days and even months talking on the phone and sending long emails after emails about our faith and our dreams and our shared love of music, we determined that I had to fly to Australia so we could meet in person. And don't worry, my parents and just about everyone else warned me that this might be a really stupid thing to do. And there was part of me that wondered if I'd end up locked inside of a basement somewhere in Australia. But I guess God knew that if I was ever going to see the beauty and scope of the world outside my front door, he would have to use true love as the bait. He'd have to. I felt divine assurance that this was the right next step for me so I got my first passport and I flew 8668 miles from Salt Lake City to Australia, where I turned 29 standing on a beach in Adelaide, getting dumped by my Australian internet boyfriend. And it was easily the most devastating and most life-affirming three weeks of my existence. That one experience set off a chain reaction to the kind of adventure I never thought I could dream about. But all of a sudden, it felt possible. Within a year, I had accepted a teaching job in Seoul, South Korea, where I lived and worked for two years. Taking weekend jaunts to Hong Kong and Japan, eating food so spicy that it made my face turn bright red, and falling absolutely in love with a world that was just so bright and colorful, and unexpected and filled with people who looked and spoke so differently, but who had as much God in their hearts as I did. And in the struggle of adapting to a new culture, I drew closer to my father in heaven than I had since my mission. I was different, the world was different. Turns out, I was an adventurer after all.

Well in this episode, we've got two stories that explore the very nature of adventure. What is it really? And what does it look like when we choose to first be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Our storytellers are Eric and Emily Orton, who started their married life in a very small apartment in Manhattan in New York City, with a commitment to a creative and adventurous life. And though they still have that same small apartment, their family of two has grown to seven, and they've added a boat to the list of family dwellings. The Orton's spent a full year at sea on that boat with their five children. And it's the subject of their new memoir, Seven at Sea. First, we'll hear from Eric who shares the story of an epic personal failure, and how that led him to his most epic family adventure. Here's Eric.

ERIC: I had just produced this musical Off-Broadway, and I was young and I hoped to break out and make my mark. Because I'd staked everything on this and I believed that if I gave it my all, it would have the best chance of succeeding. So the week the show opened, our fourth child and our only son was born. And two weeks later, we closed the show at a complete financial loss.

Truth be told, I was devastated and kind of in shock. Money was tight. We just weren't sure if we'd have enough to see ourselves through. And we floated for a few months off of savings and residual income, but then ultimately, I had to get back to work. Emily was home with the kids full time and so I had to do something. But I was too embarrassed to go back to work in the theater industry because I'd always worked on big shows like Les Miserables and the Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, and so I felt like I couldn't just take any job because I had my pride and I didn't want to work for somebody else anymore. I really wanted to launch out on my own and yet I had failed. So I walked into a temping agency and I took the test to see where they could place me until I could figure out what I wanted to do. And I was shocked when I failed their test. I was like, what? I'm not even qualified to work at a temp agency? And so they offered me a free two-week training course in PowerPoint and Excel in the evenings, which I thought I knew, but apparently not. But I had nothing else to do so I said yes. And surprisingly, I learned a lot. I didn't realize how much I didn't know, I went every evening, and I did really well. And after the class, I sailed through the test and I got a job temping downtown at an investment bank in the evenings. And so I'd work from four in the afternoon till midnight, Tuesday through Saturday. And the pay was pretty lousy, but it was better than nothing. And working at nights paid slightly better than working during the day. And you know, after all, like I said, at a wife and now four kids to provide for and I wanted a night job specifically, so I could continue doing my creative work during the day. So I was still reeling from this quick reversal in my professional life, where I'd gone from riding high and kind of being in charge of things, to feeling completely useless and ashamed. And Emily was great. She was just a tremendous support through all this. She believed in me and despite setbacks, she encouraged me. And at the time, we could only afford one cell phone and it had something like four or 500 minutes on it. I was like the absolute cheapest plan we could get. And on my dinner breaks at this new temp job, I'd go down to a row of payphones on the first floor, and I think that this was probably the last row of payphones left in Manhattan. I would call Emily from the cell phone, read off the number of one of the payphones and she would call me back at that number from our home line so we could save all the cell phone minutes, but then we could still talk as long we wanted. So in these dinner conversations, we would talk through this tumble of feelings that we were having, and try to map out a new course for our future. And meanwhile, back at home, Emily was doing everything she could to raise our three daughters that were now ages four, seven and nine, plus our newborn son. And she was trying to keep us fed on a very scant paycheck that I was bringing home and what little was left in our cupboards. So I was bringing home so little money that she started to open up the food storage we kept in our apartment in case of emergency and she was figuring out how to put our, you know, like we had these sealed silver bags that held powdered milk and we had canned beans and she was figuring out how to put all this to use in lots of creative ways. And what I remember most is that I ate a lot of tuna fish sandwiches during this time. And I was grateful to have some income but I couldn't stand the suffocating feeling of this new job that I'd taken on.

Whenever I had a dinner break, I had to go downstairs and get outside and get some air, even if it was freezing cold outside. And so during my dinner breaks, I would ride the elevator down 20 some floors walk a few blocks West out to this esplanade it looked over the Hudson River. And this cold wind would just blow down the waterfront and I would sit there and despite looking across the water at the Statue of Liberty, I truly had never felt more trapped in my life. So one night as the wind was blowing, I sat there on these cold marble steps and I was eating yet another soggy tuna fish sandwich. And they were inevitably soggy because they'd set my dinner bag for five hours between when Emily made it and when I'm eating it and it wasn't her fault, but I just didn't want to take another bite. And so I sat there in this self-pity looking at my pathetic dinner and this young banker, crisp clothes, walks by, he is chatting on his cell phone and I'm sure the job provided his cell phone and they probably gave them an unlimited minutes plan. And he had this box of like a full-size pizza under his arm, which I'm sure was completely for him and probably paid for by the company because he was working late. And I just couldn't stand it. I mean, I'm embarrassed to say now, but these were real first world problems, but I couldn't stand it. All I wanted to do was provide for my family and I was tired of feeling like a failure.

I watched some sailboats go up and down the river as the sun's going down. And it just looks so calm and peaceful. And I wondered if a sailboat could take me away somehow, just away from my problems and my worries. But I knew that this was impossible because we barely had enough money and I always felt like sailing was for other people. It was for rich people. I'd never grown up sailing, I didn't know anybody who sailed. But I watched and I longed for that. And as our food storage started to run thin, a friend at church happened to mention this grocery store that he found in New Jersey, he said it was just so awesome. And it was 45 minutes to drive there and he said that the prices were incredible. It wasn't fancy food, but he said the quality was good. And Emily and I decided we'd check it out. And our friend was right. Even with the cost of gas of driving out there and the very expensive toll that it takes to get across the bridge back into Manhattan, it was worth it to drive out that far and buy our groceries. And the first time Emily night went out and came back, we felt this huge sense of relief as we drove into the city with enough groceries to feed our family and enough money left in the bank to pay our bills. Even so, I continued to take my dinner breaks down by the river and Emily continued to pack me food to eat and the weather warmed up aS spring turned into summer. And throughout all this time, I'd been serving in a bishopric of a young single adult ward. And eventually, the bishop was released and I was called as bishop. And at work, I was eventually hired on full-time by this company that I'd been temping for. And so with that came an increase in pay and medical benefits. And so it was starting to feel better. And I mean, I wasn't ordering pizzas on my dinner breaks, but we were regaining our financial footing. And through all this, we'd continued to pay our tithing and fast offerings. And Emily now had a cell phone and so we could call each other on Unlimited, like cell phone to cell phone minutes. And so we still talked as I walked along the river during my breaks.

Little sidebar here, I'd always been inspired by the vision that Moses received. The Lord showed Moses the entirety of creation pertaining to this earth. And he showed him every person who ever had or would live on earth. And Moses, through the Spirit, saw every particle of this earth. And so somewhere deep inside me, I knew that there was more to see than what I was seeing, there was more to life than what I was doing. And I knew it couldn't all just be about working and earning money and buying groceries and just growing old. And it's not like I was old, I mean, I was barely in my 30s. But I just, I knew that there was this greater expanse to life that I wanted to access. And during this time, I was trying to learn the lessons, you know, trying to figure out what can I learn from the loss of this closed show that was such a setback for me. And I got enthusiastic, and I was on the phone again and I was making calls. I was talking with people and collaborating. And in a very real sense, I was coming out of my cocoon. I was encouraged, but I would also still go down to the river each night and watch the sailboats going up and down. And finally, finally, finally, I noticed a sailing school, literally right downstairs from where I had worked. And it had always been there and it said clearly on the side and big blue letters, "Manhattan Sailing School." And I'd never really paid attention to it before. But as my spirit and my soul revived, and this confidence flowed back into me, my eyes open and I saw some that literally had been right in front of me the whole time. And so I was telling Emily about it one night while we were on the phone, and we'd become a little bit more financially stable, but we weren't flushed by any means. And I didn't know anything about sailing. And like I said, no one in my family had ever owned a boat or knew how to sail. But Emily encouraged me and she said, "You should just check it out. I mean, what's there to lose?" And so one afternoon, I went down to work early, and I took a leap of faith and I walked down under the dock and into the sailing school, I said, "Hey, can you tell me how this whole sailing thing works." And that was the beginning. Later that summer, we did take sailing lessons, me, Emily and our two oldest daughters. They had to create a special class just for us that wouldn't conflict with my night working schedule, and serving on weekends as a bishop because that's when most people do classes, but that's when I was least available. I did have to take a second job to help pay for the classes because I was paying for classes for four instead of for one. But it worked out. Five years later, we moved aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean that we had saved up money and bought. And we spent the year sailing home from St Maarten, in the Caribbean, to our home in Manhattan. And it was life-changing.

I remember one night, as we were sailing between two islands in the lower Bahamas, the moon was out and the wind was steady and the ocean was flat and it was just warm. And we moved smoothly across the water and everything felt peaceful. Everything was in harmony. The wind and the ocean in the boat were really tuned to each other and I really just felt deep peace in my heart. And this whole experience was something I never could have imagined for myself or my family as I sat on those cold marble steps eating my sad, soggy tuna fish sandwich.

Now, I was reading recently in the New Testament when Christ announced his ministry and he read this scripture in the synagogue, and it says, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty, them that are bruised." And I know Christ healed the blind and he cast out devils because I know that I had been blind to so many things in my life, I was blind to my own pride, to the needs of others, to opportunities sitting right in front of me. And I also know that in a sense, I had devils within me, I had the devils of regret, devils of sadness and of self-doubt. I had felt poor, and brokenhearted and captive, blind and bruised. But I didn't anymore.

And so as I look back, I don't know why that first show didn't succeed. I did everything I could, I held nothing back and in the final days before it closed, I sat with one of my collaborators and we prayed. And we knew that God could touch a stone and fill it with light. And we asked him to fill this stone, this show with light, that it would survive. Because for me, everything was depending on it. But that didn't happen. And in hindsight, I'm grateful. I had wanted him to fill the show with light. But instead, what I think happened is I think he filled me with light. And I think maybe I was the stone. I truly believe that God has a much better imagination than I do, or than any of us do for that matter. And that we will often pigeonhole ourselves. All of us are much more expansive and comprehensive as beings than we realize. And so I don't think he's shy or bashful about moving us around and giving us opportunities to try things in different areas and to learn and grow in things that we never would have considered before. And who knows where it's all going to go, I don't know. And I think for me, the most rewarding part has just been the joy of being open and not resistant to opportunities that come.

KARYN LAY: That was Eric. Eric's story is about so much more than just a call to adventure on the high seas, even though that was definitely part of it. To me, it's this reminder that the real adventure, the one God actually has prepared for us, is way less about where we are and what we're doing, and so much more about who we're becoming. The adventure of becoming sometimes requires, as it did for Eric, total loss or epic failure, or breaking down of all the parts of ourselves that are holding us back from our divine nature. That call to adventure is ultimately a call to allow the Savior to be the architect of our dreams and our successes. Our final story comes from Emily. Emily is a mother, a writer, and a true city girl. Her story is one that I think women, whether they're living in a city or a small town, will absolutely recognize. Here's Emily

EMILY: When I was a little girl about eight years old, one of my biggest fears was that I would never leave our little town of Kaysville, or the state of Utah, where I was living. It wasn't the town, it was a great town. It's a town where little kids would, you know, decorate their bicycles and participate in the Independence Day parade and neighbors were friendly. But it was me. And one of the great things about this town was that my grandma Pearl only lived one mile away. I loved her so much. She was the kind of woman who had worked on airplanes at Hill Airforce Base during World War II. My mom told me when she was a little girl, her mom, my grandma Pearl would travel to Mexico and try to send back baby alligators. She said they never, they never made it and they were buried all over the front yard. My grandma also had this little jar on the top of her refrigerator that was a little clear glass jar formaldehyde that had a tiny baby octopus in it and she would pull it down for me whenever I wanted to take a look at it. And I think one of my favorite things that she would do is she would, she had false teeth, so she would pull out her false teeth sometimes and show me how she could actually touch her nose with our tongue. This was a woman who would not be shocked by anything. This was a woman who could take it. So I felt comfortable confiding this fear in her. And I told my grandma how I was worried I would never leave the town or never leave the state. And I explained that there was this little boy who had been in my kindergarten class and he had wet his pants in kindergarten. And by the third grade, you would have thought we would have moved on but nobody in my town ever moved. So two years later, he'd never wet his pants again, but he was still known as the kid who had wet his pants. And the effect this had on me was feeling that at any moment I could make a mistake or have some sort of experience or accident that would then brand me for the rest of my life. And I felt a little stifled. It wasn't really what I heard about in primary about how you could repent and forgive and move on and become a new person. I felt like other people's memories of me or their opinions of me, were going to pin me in the past. And I knew that I wanted to grow and explore and discover without being held back by something like that. Well, my grandma listened. And she decided that one solution she could help with was taking me on a road trip. So she got my parents approval, and we hopped in her car and we drove to Wyoming. We saw Yellowstone National Park, we visited my cousins in Star Valley. And on the way home, she cut through Montana, just so that I could say I'd been through two states and that actually really took the pressure off. I thought, okay, okay, that big fears already not happening.

From there, my world expanded. My dad served in the US Army, and he was stationed at the Pentagon so we moved to Northern Virginia. Over the next eight years, I changed schools four times, our family started driving back and forth across the country so that we could visit our relatives. So I got to see a lot of states. And I just got to meet kids from all different backgrounds and ethnicities and people who lived all over the world. I really loved having all these opportunities to learn new things from these new experiences. I went to college, I got a passport and a degree. At college, I did a study abroad to Chile and I taught Middle School. I also got married to my husband, Eric. And by the time we both graduated, we had two daughters. And at that point, we moved to New York City. And we lived in a little 800 square foot apartment and he was working on managing Broadway shows and I was taking care of the kids. And we just felt like this was going to be a great adventure and we were going to face the world together and we kind of had these stars in our eyes and full of young love. And he had been in this show in college called, "Matchmaker," that had a line, "Just the right amount of adventure." So we kept telling each other you know, "We're going to have just the right amount of adventure," and be really upbeat and positive about our experiences. Eric got a job managing Broadway shows. And he was meeting famous people in the elevator, he was able to go to shows. And his first business trip was actually flying to Canada to collect the Tony Awards out of the cabinet for a company that his company was acquiring. And it all felt very glamorous to me. I was really excited for him to be able to do those things. And at the same time, I was having a much more narrow experience. Everything felt really new and overwhelming to me as a 25-year-old Mom. I was actually spending most of my time changing diapers and watching Barney and just walking between my little apartment and the playground, four minutes away. It became pretty clear to me right away, that New York City could be so fun if we had the money to actually go to restaurants and cultural events. And I couldn't even afford the subway sometimes. And I felt-- I started to feel stuck, this was different than what I had imagined our life in New York City would be like as a new mom and newly married and my first time in an urban environment. So one day, I put my two little girls in the stroller, I walked about 20 blocks south on Broadway. So I got to the George Washington Bridge and then I walked across the bridge. And the other side of the bridge was New Jersey. And then I turned around and I walked home again because I just needed to know that I could leave if I wanted to. I felt a little better, and again, just taking that little trip took the pressure off. I also had some friends in New York. There were two single sisters who lived one floor down and they would come up and visit sometimes and tell us about their day and their jobs and their friends. And one, in particular, a woman named Heather, was telling me one day about how she and a co-worker had spotted a great deal on tickets to Peru. And I think they were $400 round trip from JFK Airport. And she hadn't just seen this price and thought about it being a cool thing. She and her friend and actually just said, "Let's go for it." And they bought the tickets, and they were going to be heading out and about two weeks. And they didn't really have a plan, they just thought let's go to Lima and see what happens. And I said all the right things at the time, like, "Wow, that's so great for you! Like I am excited, I want to hear about your trip when you get back." I tried to be, you know, an encouraging friend. But after she left and after I put the kids to bed, I just let all of that discontent bubble up inside of me.

I was jealous that she could just make that snap decision and go on that adventure and have that fun with a friend. She didn't have to consult her calendar or arrange for a babysitter or check with her husband. She just was going and I realized that I was wishing I could trade places with her. And I wondered like, I'm 25 years old, I'm young and healthy, what am I doing with my life? I could be you know, exploring the world, I could be going out to these restaurants, I could be flying to interesting places and meeting different people who are doing interesting things. And I'm like spending all my time with Barney and changing the diapers and walking to the playground four minutes away three times a day. And I wasn't hopping on any flights to Peru.

When Eric got home that night, I told him everything. And he just listened. One of the great things that Eric did when he was in middle school was he took a peer counseling class. And it was the best thing he ever got out of 12 years of public education because he really knew how to listen. He didn't give me any suggestions, he didn't try to point out the bright side, he didn't take it personally, he just let me talk. And as I talked, I emptied out all of my concerns and that emptiness, left a space for peace.

After I told Eric everything, I told God, everything. I told Him about my nature, my desire to grow and explore. I told him about how I was jealous. And then I went to sleep. I didn't have any answers, but I had asked all my questions. And the next morning when I woke up, I put on Barney because I say I didn't like him but Barney was my friend sometimes. I put on Barney for the kids and I started writing in my journal because I knew I needed to spend some time with myself. And a lot of times when I write in my journal, that's really when the answers come because the Lord sees that I'm ready to write down what he has to tell me. And I felt like I got some quiet, clear answers that morning. The Holy Ghost brought a lot of things to my attention and to my remembrance. And I realized that the jealousy and self-pity that I had been feeling made me very myopic, very short-sighted. And the Holy Ghost reminded me that while I only live once, I will live forever, that learning will go on forever, growth and progress will go on forever. I was reminded that I had fasted and prayed and received multiple priesthood blessings about my choice to marry Eric, it was confirmed and it was what I wanted. I was reminded also that the children were really my idea. In fact, when we first got married, I had to make an agreement with Eric that I wouldn't talk about children until we'd been married for at least six months. And every night for six months, I prayed that Eric's heart would be softened to the idea of starting a family because he felt that it would be the end of all ambition and all adventure and he'd have to just stay home and take care of babies every night. And I tried to convince him that they would actually join our family, they would join our adventure and that they wouldn't be what held us back, but they would give purpose and meaning to what we were doing. So really, the Holy Ghost was putting back in my face, you know, Emily, this is everything that you wanted. These are all of the choices that you made, that you thought about, that you prayed about, that you wanted to do. So not in a chastising way, or in an "I told you so sort" of way, the Holy Ghost brought all of these things to my memory and I wrote in my journal, I am living my dream. And that felt like revelation to me. I have other dreams, there's other things I want to do. But to me, I realized this was the most important one, I wouldn't trade it for any of my other dreams. It's the most central to my nature, the most central to my eternal identity, the most lasting. And I realized that I didn't want to get distracted by other people's opportunities, other people's choices, the path that the Lord was guiding other people to. That's their journey. But this was my choice. I chose my own adventure. And at the time, it made a huge difference for me to be able to say those five words, I am living my dream. And I only thought about the empowerment that it gave me. But now 20 years later, I've said it hundreds of times and looking back, I think about how that must have felt to my husband to hear you know, to Eric, to hear me say, "I am living my dream." Or what it felt like to my children, when they hear me say, "I'm living my dream." Since then, we've added three children to our family, so we're a family of seven now, we live in that same 800 square foot apartment. One of those little girls is now studying at BYU and the other little girl is serving a mission in Tokyo. I had never imagined the opportunities that we would have to travel the world as a family. We haven't been to Peru yet, that's still on the to-do list. But I'm so grateful that before any of those flashy opportunities presented themselves, I learned that being a mom is ambitious and motherhood is a great adventure. I've learned that my home and family is the best place, an ideal place for me to evolve and grow and change and repent and forgive and become who I want to be, who I meant to be. I've learned that my family is my greatest adventure, and I am living my dream.

KARYN LAY: That was Emily. Now listen, I'm a crier, so it shouldn't come as much of a shock to anyone that the first time I heard Emily's story I wept. But they were happy tears of solidarity as I thought of my many friends who are in the trenches of young parenthood. I've had many late nights, teary conversations where those very questions that Emily asked, hung heavily in the air. And while I know that God will give His revelation to each person in very personal and unique ways, I think Emily's discovery that her family is her grandest adventure and the fulfillment of her deepest dreams, even in the midst of never-ending diaper duty, is a gift worth seeking.

As you can probably tell from their stories, the Orton's are huge proponents of living the life God wants for you right now, full stop. The first step is of course, finding out what that life could be, in consultation with the loving Heavenly Father, because your adventure is going to look very different from mine. And potentially, as we saw with Eric and Emily, even a little different from person to person in the same family, on the same path. But allowing yourself to be surprised by what that answer might be and then doing whatever it takes to put that into motion, will bring you and me just a little closer to a life well lived with a whole heart. I personally think that process of seeking, hearing and then moving is probably only slightly less terrifying than the next necessary part. Which is to open ourselves to the possibility that the end result of whatever adventure we're called to, is not actually the act of jumping out of a plane, flying to a foreign country for love, or even sailing on a boat with five kids for a year. But the good news is that we are, by our very nature, built for the grand adventure. Every single one of us. It was first ignited in us when we aligned ourselves with the savior of all mankind in the pre-existence and agreed to come to this foreign place to be tested on the merits of our own agency. And it was reinforced when we took that first step into a baptismal font as a covenant disciple of Jesus Christ. We have always been ready for this grand gospel adventure, and it is always called to us.

That's it for this episode of This is the Gospel. Thank you to Emily and Eric Orton for sharing their stories with us this week. While they were holed up in one of the rooms of their Manhattan apartment recording their stories, their kids were busy staying quiet. And you won't want to miss the pictures they took of the aftermath. Head on over to our show notes on this episode at LDSliving.com/Thisisthegospel, where we'll also have a link to the Orton's new memoir, Seven at Sea. Get ready to be inspired.

If you have a story to share, whether it's funny, touching, or miraculous, we'd love to hear it. Call our pitch line at 515-519-6179 and leave us a message with a short synopsis of your story. We use some of the stories from the pitch line to help round out our episodes. We've heard from so many of you that this podcast is making a difference in your day. If it is, would you please take the time to leave us a review on the Apple Podcast app? It will help more people find us. This episode was produced by me, KaRyn Lay, with story production and editing by Davi Johnson, with additional help from Derek Campbell. It was mixed and mastered by Mix At Six Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. You can find past episodes of this podcast and other LDS Living podcasts at LDSliving.com/podcast. That's LDSliving.com/podcasts. Have an adventurous week!

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