Stories of Faith

Why a popular Protestant YouTuber just joined the Church—‘God likes to get creative to catch our attention’

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YouTuber David Boice of "52 Churches in 52 Weeks" shares his conversion story on his channel.
Screenshot from YouTube.

In 2015, YouTuber David Boice completed what he set out to accomplish: he visited 52 churches in 52 weeks. He documented the experience on his channel and gained an enormous amount of new respect for and understanding of faiths outside his Protestant upbringing.

But as he wrapped things up, a friend mentioned that Boice hadn’t—and should have—gone to a “Mormon church meeting.” So, as he continued to explore other faiths beyond his 52-week goal and create videos, he made a point to attend a Latter-day Saint service.

“Back then, I had no real idea what the Church was,” Boice admits now. “When I first visited, my extremely limited cumulative knowledge of [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] consisted of ... Utah, BYU, and Mitt Romney.

“When I walked in, I saw some portraits of God the Father and Jesus Christ appearing to a man in a 19th-century white shirt and black knickerbockers. I’d never seen that imagery before.”

While there, Boice was taken aback by how quickly he was welcomed and befriended. He was immediately invited to sit with a woman and her husband. After sacrament meeting, another man waved over the ward’s missionaries, who spent an hour and a half answering Boice’s questions.

After that first visit, he shared on his Instagram account that his number one conclusion was that “Mormons are talkers.”

“Never had I met anyone who spent that much time talking about faith at a new church,” he told LDS Living.

But he also calls it “the best welcome for a church newcomer I had ever seen.”

He continued creating interfaith content for YouTube, encouraging dialogue, openness, and respect for other religions. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kept popping up in his life.

In 2023, with his interest in the Church still piqued, Boice drove from his home in Wisconsin to attend the Bentonville Arkansas Temple open house. He said, “By far, the top request I’ve received for this channel has been to visit a Latter-day Saint temple during an open house.”

And his experience there was life-changing.

“My first temple open house experience was quite unique,” he says. “I was not expecting many to attend. … The large number of families and smiles left a lasting impression. ...

“To walk in the first time, it felt a little like The Twilight Zone to me—going into a temple that is only available to the general public for a short time. But the more I thought about it and the healthy example that I saw that day, it made me wonder if, in actuality, I was walking out of The Twilight Zone. It was a unique feeling.

“I was too introverted to ask questions about the various rooms, but it left me wanting to understand more.”

He took every opportunity he could to visit other temple open houses and explore his questions. Over the next several months, Boice attended open houses for the Orem Utah Temple, the St. George Utah Temple, and the Manti Utah Temple.

On top of these experiences, curious things kept happening when Boice had intentional interactions with the Church and its doctrine—the appearance of red cardinal birds.

Cardinals have taken on a deeply personal meaning for Boice. He says that once, after a sleepless night filled with prayers asking for the Lord’s guidance, he saw a single, random cardinal the next day.

He’d noticed a second one at another pivotal moment in his life. And then, during that first visit to a Latter-day Saint sacrament meeting, he saw a third.

Right around the same time he began reading the Book of Mormon, Boice noticed yet another cardinal. He began to wonder if these sightings were linked to important spiritual moments for him.

And the birds kept showing up.

He found one in a Minerva Teichert mural when he attended the Manti Temple open house. And when he went for a walk to shake off some jitters just hours before his baptism, instead of a single bird, he saw five cardinals.

As he shared in one of his YouTube video descriptions, “Sometimes, God likes to get creative to catch our attention.”

Since his baptism, Boice has shared his testimony and conversion story in a heartfelt YouTube video, which now has over 184,000 views, along with the following caption:

“Conversion was NOT something that was on my Bingo card when I started the second round of 52in52 two years ago. I was content as a Protestant. That's what I knew, that's what I was familiar with.

“Still, I wasn't a fan of ANY form of church membership. Been there before. No thanks.

“The [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] presented something deeper - in conviction, example, and belief. What was this? …

“Over the last two years, I’ve had 11 different [Latter-day Saint] missionaries participate in a lesson, along with talking with various members, hundreds of messages, thousands of comments. Whereas most churches are stretched thin and rely on emails, [Latter-day Saint] consistent follow-up was key. After a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of study, I got my answer in a prayer. A witness of the Holy Ghost type of moment. Peace was something that I would find. …

“I was baptized in my childhood church when I was 21 days old. I figured I was good, though knowing it wasn’t my own decision. I had to take a leap of faith. Sink or swim... or better yet... walk. That's the beauty of Peter walking on the water. He had the faith to follow Jesus’s words to do it, then needed Jesus’s arm to pull him up.”

Today, Boice says the support and love he’s received since posting his baptism story have been beyond his wildest dreams.

“The outpouring of support from Church members has been astonishing. There have been so many comments and messages [that] I’ve had a hard time responding to everyone.

“I was told after the baptism that I’d be gaining an instant family, and it turned out to be true on a much wider, global scale.”

► You may also like: What I’ll never forget about my grandparents’ loving reaction when I chose to join the Church

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