Beyond The Checklist

019 When Your Covenant Journey Helps You Know the Path You Don’t Want with Denita Bremer


Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. I’m so happy to be here with you today. And my guest today is Denita Bremer, and she’s going to share some of her life experiences and the things that she has experienced on the covenant path. So Denita, welcome. I’m so happy that you’re here. 

Denita: [00:00:44] Thanks for having me. 

Darla: [00:00:45] So glad to have you and help share your story and help other people get to know the things that you’ve experienced. So would you just take a second and introduce yourself, tell everyone a little bit about you. 

Denita: [00:00:57] So I live in Denver. I have three kids, two girls, and a boy. 17, 14, 12. I had, I don’t know why, but I always like to know that about people. 

Darla: [00:01:07] No, I agree. Yeah, totally. 

Denita: [00:01:10] We live like five minutes away from the Denver Temple and we picked it because we wanted to be very close. And I’m so sad about the pandemic and I miss the temple so much. I consider myself having grown up in the church because I started going to church when I was six with my grandparents, but I also understand what it’s like to be a convert because my dad was inactive since he was like 12 or 13 years old and my mom wasn’t a member, so I lived in my family of origin without the gospel, but then I went to church every week. So I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s necessarily unique. I don’t know a lot of people that experienced that. And I, as we’ll discover in this conversation, I’ve been in the church, out of the church, but have always had a testimony. What else about me? I’m a life coach. Yeah, I feel like I have a boring life. So it’s mostly my kids and now I have a little coaching business, but…

Darla: [00:02:08] Everybody has a story. Everybody has something to share that can help somebody else. And that’s why I’m really glad that you’re here to talk about the things that you’re going to share. So you said that your family that you grew up in wasn’t necessarily really active in the church. And you went to church with your grandparents. Tell me about growing up. What role did the gospel play in your life? What did that look like for you? 

Denita: [00:02:28] Yeah at first I think it was just a way for my parents to have a few hours a week without us kids. I have a sister who’s two years younger than me, and then I have another one that’s almost 12 years younger than me. But when I first started going to church, she wasn’t born yet. So I think my grandparents just offered like, Hey, if your girls want to come to church with us, we’d be happy to bring them. I was really super shy as a kid. Even into early adulthood, I was pretty shy and I loved my grandparents, but it was like this new situation. And so at first it was just like, we get dressed up and we go to church with Grandma and Grandpa every week. And then on General Conference weekends, they would be like, no church next week. No need to come. They, they didn’t even invite us then when we were really young. And so it was just like a thing we did. But it was fun. My grandma was always involved in like primary, so I felt comfortable having her there. She was my safety blanket and, I learned about the gospel and honestly, I never questioned any of it. It was like, whatever I was taught, Joseph Smith is a prophet Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real and they love you. I was like, Oh yeah, makes sense. Okay. And. it became over time part of the fabric of who I was is like, there’s a God. And I don’t know. I never remember really a time when I didn’t believe in God. And I didn’t know about the church, although I know that I didn’t start going to church until I was six years old. It feels now looking back, like it was just part of who I was. And even, I’m big into like personality typing systems. And I look at myself The gospel just really dovetails nicely with my personality. Like I have really high morals and standards for myself. So I think even if I didn’t have the gospel, I would still be that way of I want to do what’s right. I want to follow rules, that kind of thing. So having like commandments and expectations and standards just, it really suits me and my personality. So I don’t know. It always made sense. And like I said, my dad was inactive, but he, for sure, made it very clear that he still believed in the church and he still believed in God. I remember him having conversations with his parents, asking them questions. So it was, in a way, just part of the fabric of my family and that’s just who we were, even though my grandparents were converts. But I grew up in a very different environment. So my parents were like, took drugs and drank alcohol. And we lived for five years without running water and electricity. And it was just like paycheck to paycheck. They didn’t make very much money. It was very, I don’t know. Now I look back and I’m like how did that all work? But I think with the support of my grandparents, we would always live near them. I don’t know if that was just part of the arrangement on their part. But as I grew up, I enjoyed going to church. I enjoyed learning about the gospel. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, even outside of church, like during summers and things like that. And. I would ask them questions. We wouldn’t necessarily read scriptures together and I don’t ever remember praying with my grandparents, but we had a lot of conversations about the gospel and like when they were going to speak in sacrament meeting, we were in a really small branch. So I think we had less than a hundred people total. So they, of course being active members got asked to speak a lot. Like I would watch them prepare their talks and prepare lessons and things like that. So I don’t know, in a way it seemed totally normal, but then I would go home and it was totally different. So I don’t know. I think I was just primed. I was a spirit that came from heaven wanting the support of spiritual things. And so I actually feel really super blessed sometimes when I think about it, I’m like, how did I find the gospel? Like, how did I get so lucky to have grandparents that had found the gospel. I just feel so, such a blessing, but also I just think that was part of the plan. 

Darla: [00:06:46] Yeah. I think that’s a very fascinating, so something that you said earlier, I really want want to know a little bit more about this. You said that you’ve always had a testimony and we’re going to talk in a minute. Like you, you have been out of the church as well, but you said that you’ve always had a testimony. Was this just because you just have this believing heart and you just always knew, or were there defining moments that you had where you just knew that it was true? And you were starting to build your testimony at that time when you were going to church with your grandparents, what did that look like?

Denita: [00:07:14] Yeah, I think it was both. I do think one of my gifts is to believe and to have faith. But I also had an experience when I think I was about seven years old. It was a prayer experience where one day my grandma, I was, it was summertime and I was hanging out with her and it was really hot and there was no wind. And so she said, Oh, today’s a perfect day to spray weeds. And they had 20 acres. So they had a lot of property and she went to gather all the supplies and she couldn’t find the weed spray jug. Like she had this wagon and then there was this big, like two to three gallon jug, and then a nozzle thing that would go on top of it. And she would spray with that. And we looked everywhere. They had this like barn structure, they had a shed and they had a carport and two garages. And so it could have been in many places and she couldn’t find it. And so she was getting really frustrated and she gave up and she said, I’m just going to go make some lunch. And I, as a young child, I just was like, I want to help her so much. So I went and I prayed and then I felt, I totally felt led by the spirit where to go. It just said, go to the shed. So I went back to the shed. We’d already checked there like three times. And I just, I remember scanning this little shed. It was like six or eight feet square. And I started on my right side and I scanned the whole shed and I got to the left back corner and I saw this piece of like sheet metal and just something in my body was like, that’s where it is. And so imagine this little seven year old climbing over lawn mowers and yard equipment. And I pulled this piece of metal back and there it was, and I grabbed it and I ran up to the house and I was like, grandma, I found it. And she of course was flabbergasted. Like, how did you find it? And I didn’t tell her at the time I didn’t even tell her, like I prayed and God told me, I was just like, I’m just so happy to help. So I think that was my first real kind of, question that God communicated to me experience. And I don’t know if there were experiences before that like smaller type experiences. If there were, I don’t specifically remember them, but I’ve had a lot of those kinds of experiences where I can’t deny that, like it was a direct answer to prayer or the spirit is just speaking to me right now. So even as a kid, I think I was predisposed to paying attention to the little cues that we get from the spirit. And I don’t know, after that, I was just like, I just, I don’t remember a time, not believing in God, like not knowing and that there is a God who loves us and communicates with us. Yeah, that’s why I say I’ve always had a testimony. I think it just happened so gradually in childhood that I don’t know. I can’t even go back to the time when, before that, before six years old, I don’t even have a ton of memories that are really clear. So that’s why I say I always have had a testimony. 

Darla: [00:10:29] I love hearing that. I love hearing how that developed for you and how you gained your footing in the gospel. But then there is a time in your life, on your journey, on the covenant path that you stepped away. So tell me a little bit more about that. 

Denita: [00:10:43] Yes. I was an awkward teenager, as most of us probably were. 

Darla: [00:10:47] Yes. 

Denita: [00:10:48] And I do remember being at church because it was a small branch. There were only two of us in my class after I turned 12 and went into young women’s and I remember feeling a little out of place, somehow. And then when I think it was even before I turned 14, I started dating a boy and he came to me and asked me out on a date and I went to my parents and I was like, I don’t know I’m not ready for this. What? And I just asked them what do I do? And my dad said you could go on a date with him. And then if you don’t like it, you can just be like, I don’t want to go on a date anymore. And if you do, then you keep hanging out with them. And I just thought, Oh, that’s so reasonable and logical and okay. That seems easy. But I also knew the standards of the church, like I knew, like were instructed to not date until we were 16. And so I think it was just in that kind of moment where you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you really believe and what your personal standards are and what to do in a social situation. It feels good when a boy shows you some attention. So I went out on a date with this boy, and then we became closer and, we ended up dating for a year and a half, except that my grandparents found out about it. And they were a little, like at the time, my thought was that they were judgmental. They were like, oh they’re so judgmental now I’m… 

Darla: [00:12:12] They’re like saying, oh, you’re not 16. You shouldn’t be doing this. 

Denita: [00:12:15] They said, we know you’re hanging out with that boy. So it wasn’t like, you shouldn’t be hanging out with that boy, but in their tone and their delivery was like, 

Darla: [00:12:26] You were receiving it that way.

Denita: [00:12:27] Yeah. Yeah. We don’t agree with this. You shouldn’t be hanging out with this boy, but, so I felt very like embarrassed and I don’t know, just, I probably was feeling guilty, right? Like I was like, I know the standards of the church are not to date until 16, but then I have over here, my parents who are encouraging me to date, actually this boy worked with my mom, his dad was my mom’s boss. And he would go to the apple packing plant where my mom worked after school and he worked there. And so my mom was getting to know him. She thought he was a cool kid and she was like, you should hang out with him. You should get to know him. He’s really cool. And then my dad saying it’s so easy. You go on a date. Do you like him? Do you not? You continue or you don’t like it’s black and white. And so I had these two opposing I dunno, influences and I’m like a 14 year old girl. So instead of being like, I don’t think I had the ability to be like, wait, am I acting out of line with my own values here? I was just like, I like this boy, and it is fun to hang out with a boy and for him to like you back. And my parents say it’s okay. And my grandparents are very judgmental. And so I just stopped going to church because I didn’t want to deal with them and their judgment. And it’s as simple as that, it, I, didn’t not want to go to church. I didn’t want to be around my grandparents. And knowing that they knew I was dating and that I quote unquote should, or shouldn’t be dating and their thoughts about it. It was just that I felt guilty when I was around them and I didn’t feel guilty when I was around my parents or anybody else. And I had friends who were dating, who weren’t members of the church. And so it felt very natural and normal. And so it was so easy to like, ignore that part that was like, maybe something is not right here. And so in an effort to pull away from my grandparents, I stopped going to church and I kept saying, I’ll go to church next week. I’ll go to church next week. And I do remember the youth leaders coming and trying to visit with me and being like, I don’t really want them to visit with me cause I’m sure, cause I was feeling guilty and, I never really enjoyed young women’s, even before that. I somehow, like I said, it felt out of place and I don’t really know why that was. I think it was just my own concept of myself that I’m somehow different than them. That I don’t, I’m not in a family where the whole family is observing the Sabbath or going to church or whatever. And so I probably singled myself out and felt different already. And then the class sizes were really small. And so it was probably a few different factors, and it was just that time of your life when you’re you are, you’re figuring out who you are and what you want to do and how you want to be in all of that. And it was this really tiny town. Our stake building, like where they held stake conference and stuff was a three hour drive away. So stake events like dances and things like that were far away. And so it was like church became an inconvenience almost. And I had a couple experiences even before that I was probably more like 11 or 12 years old in Sunday school where the boys in Sunday school were so obnoxious and so rude to the teacher.

Darla: [00:15:54] What? 11 year old boys are obnoxious. 

Denita: [00:15:56] I have a 12 year old boy now, so that couldn’t be possible. But so I had thoughts about They don’t want to be here at church. And I don’t know, maybe part of it was just like being a teenager and pushing against what is expected of you and feeling normal that, not everybody, not all the rest of the kids want to be here either, those kinds of things. But I also had experiences where we had amazing youth activities and we had fun. But, I remember when we were doing karaoke and because I was super shy, I never really wanted to participate in things like that. So that might’ve been part of it too, is it’s always seems like you have activities or trying to get everyone to participate. And I was like the shy one. Who’s like don’t look at me. So probably a lot of a few factors coming into play there. But the main one was that I felt my grandparents were judgmental and I just started distancing myself from them. 

Darla: [00:16:48] So you just stopped going and how long did this go on for, did this go into your young adult years? And then what was the turning point when you said, I think I want to go back to church. What did that look like? 

Denita: [00:17:00] So yeah, my, from age 14, all the way through high school I didn’t go to church and there were only one or two peers in my high school that were members of the church. And my sister was one of them. And she would encourage me to go to

Darla: [00:17:18] So is your sister going to church when you weren’t? 

Denita: [00:17:21] Yes. My sister’s two years younger and she remained active in church and she would invite me to activities and things. And I would always just brush her off, be like, Oh, maybe next time. And she would be like, what is going on? Like, why don’t you want to go? It’s super fun. And I was just like, no. And I went from that boy that I started dating to another boy, like almost back to back, broke up with first, like I dated him a year and a half. Like my first boyfriend and then I started dating another boy and we dated for three years throughout high school. And I like thought throughout that whole time, I always was like, yeah, I’ll go back. But next week, Next time. It was always like in a couple of weeks or next time. And then when I went away to college, I thought, okay, I really need to go back to church. There’s no excuse now. My grandparents aren’t here. Nobody knows me. Nobody knows my history. And so I went to, so I grew up in Eastern Washington state and I went to school at the University of Washington and my freshman year I lived in the dorms and I had this group of friends that were pretty good examples to me. Nobody that was like really awful or anything. And I remember one time I said, I think I’m going to try to go to church. And I looked up where the local, YSA congregation was at the time. Coming from a tiny branch, I didn’t know anything about YSA or anything. I was just like looking up the local congregation. I’m like, Oh, it’s right here. A couple blocks away. Of course, cause it’s a big city. And I had this friend who I wasn’t actually really that close with. He was friends more with my roommate and he said, Oh, I’m interested in going. Can I come with you? And I just thought that was the weirdest thing. But this like 18, 19 year old boy wanted to go to a church that he didn’t belong to. And I was like, sure, you want to come with me? Awesome. So we went to, and it was like a an Institute building. It was in like the gym where sacrament meeting was, or like maybe overflow area or something. And I was waiting for somebody to come up to me and notice I was new and ask, what’s your name? Where are you from? And all of that. And nobody did. And I was kinda like, I don’t know where to go now. I don’t know this building. Let’s just leave. And so I felt really uncomfortable. Like I had made that felt like a giant step to go back to church and then nobody even noticed. And now I know it’s because they probably had multiple congregations and a lot of people coming and going and all of that, like now I’m like, Oh yeah, that’s totally makes sense. But at the time I was like, I grew up in a tiny branch. If any new face walked into the chapel, There were like 20 people like flocking to them. So I thought, Oh, for sure. Someone will come up to me and shake my hand and ask me what my name is and who I am. And do I know where to go next? And nobody did. So I was just like, okay, I’m leaving. And I did that twice. That first freshman year of college, I went twice, and both times, same thing. And I was just like, maybe I’m not ready. And so I put it back on a shelf. And then I met my husband. So we met freshman year of college. He came a quarter after I started college and he moved into the dorm room across the hall. So not a church school, it was a co-ed dorm and we slowly got to know each other and then we started dating and then it was time to move out of the dorms for the summer. And I had a job. Like I was like, I can’t just move home. Like I have a job, I have responsibilities. And so  a friend of mine from high school had asked me, Hey, do you want to rent an apartment with her and her boyfriend? And so I was like, okay. And so I went to my boyfriend at the time who became my husband and I said, Hey, what are your plans for summer? And he said I think I’m going to go hang out with my friends in Arizona. And I said, how about you move in with me? And he was like, okay. And so we moved in together into this apartment. Off-campus with another couple, and that was 1999. So I had finished my freshman year of college, summer of 99, moved in with my boyfriend and that New Year’s Eve, I went to him and I said, I had always been somebody who did new year’s resolutions. And I said, it’s not just a new year or a new decade. It’s a new millennium. We’re flipping the calendar to 2000. This is big. I need something big. And so I’ve decided my New Year’s resolution is to go back to church. And my 19 year old boyfriend said, okay, I’ll go with you. And again, 

Darla: [00:22:18] So does he know anything about the church at this point? 

Denita: [00:22:21] He knows nothing. No none at all. And yeah, in fact, we there was like a three month period of time, my freshman year of college, when I would drink. I went to a couple parties and I would drink and we would drink together. And then we started as we were dating and getting to know each other, he came to me and said, I don’t really like drinking. Let’s quit. And I was like, okay. And I don’t even think I had conversations about him about, Word of Wisdom and drinking, but I definitely felt a little bit guilty about drinking. And so after, three months or so, I was like, okay, that was a fun experiment. Let’s stop that now. And, but of course we’re still living together, and doing what people who live together do, and so he was actually really interested and I was just like, what? In my mind, teenage boys don’t want to be at church.

Darla: [00:23:13] You’re thinking back to that, those 12 year olds in the Sunday school class. 

Denita: [00:23:17] Yes, exactly. Who were so obnoxious and so mean to the teachers and clearly did not want to be there. And, but I went with it. I was like, Oh, okay. And. So I was like, first Sunday of the month, we’re going to go, we have looked up where to go, what time, all of the things. First, Sunday rolls around and he gets up and he’s, are we going to church? And I was like next week, same pattern. And I was a night owl. I wasn’t really an early riser plus it’s Sunday. Like I don’t have to get up for classes, things like that. So that happened for a month, all of January. I kept putting it off, putting it off. First week of February, he says to me, I’m going without you. And I’m like, what? So he went to church. And he comes home after an hour. I’m still in bed sleeping. And I said, I’m like waking up. I’m like, Oh, how’d it go? He goes, I really liked it. It was like, just people from the congregation walked up and they just spoke whatever was on their mind. And it was really interesting. And I was like, Oh, I’m so sorry. That’s Fast Sunday. It’s like the worst Sunday of the month. And he was like, no, really, I liked it. And I was like, really? So then after that I started going with him. I was like, okay, if you’re going to go up, get up go and it’s not even your church and it’s my resolution. I should probably go. And so we started going together first, we would just go just for sacrament meeting. And then of course, eventually the elders in that ward are like, Oh, there’s someone here that actually doesn’t belong to the church. And they started pulling us into a little classroom and giving us lessons during Sunday school hour. So we’d then we would go two hours and then we moved. And we ended up moving stake lines, and the elders that were in that ward that had been teaching my husband, they said, we’re not allowed to teach you anymore. And we were like, super confused about that. Growing up in a branch, really boundary lines never came up. And so they said you have to go to this other building and there will be people there to help you. And there will be missionaries there. And so we’re like, okay. And I remember walking into that building. And feeling like people could read on my head, like I’ve been inactive or something, lives with her boyfriend kind of thing. And everyone was so welcoming and they didn’t seem to care. And so we just integrated into this new ward and it actually was really good because that ward we had been going to was like a family ward. And this word was more of a college students. It was the newlywed, nearly dead type ward. And he ended up really hitting it off with the missionaries in that ward. And they ended up staying in that ward for nine months. I swear. It was just to teach my husband. One of them was, he’s from California, the Bay area. One of them was from the Bay area, California. They liked the same sports teams. Like they just really had this amazing relationship and he ended up getting baptized. This is the year 2000. I’m coming back to church. I’m learning things that like, these are big wards that I didn’t, I grew up in a tiny little branch. And so I’m like learning new things along with him. And I’m sitting in on the lessons too. I’m learning the gospel, a new and, so I was excited that he wanted to get baptized, but I really didn’t want him to do it for me. So I’m like, no, this is nothing to do with me. Please tell me you’re doing this for you. And he was like, no, I’m doing this for me. And his family had the same questions, but they were supportive. And it’s interesting because of course it brings up the question, what do we do about we’re living together? 

Darla: [00:26:59] Yeah. I was going to ask that. Yeah. 

Denita: [00:27:01] Yeah. So the, these two poor missionaries, these two 19 year old boys who are like the same age as us.

They have to bring up this very uncomfortable question. And my husband says to them I know I want to get baptized, but I can’t yet. And I can’t tell you why. And this was October and, I was so upset about that. I was like, wait, why, what are you hiding? Turns out he had bought us a trip to Cancun for the following spring break. And he, like we’re poor college students, so he didn’t want to waste that money and all of that. So he was like, I can’t tell you until after Christmas when she gets the gift, but it’s a surprise. And so then after that, they were like, Oh, okay. All right. So he wanted to go to this trip on this trip to Cancun, only one hotel room. That’s all we could afford. And then he’s I’ll get baptized like the next day, which is what happened. We went to Cancun for spring break. The following spring, I moved out and lived with a member of the bishopric who had young kids. And it was like an arrangement that I would babysit for them and I can live in their house. And then six months later we got married. 

Darla: [00:28:12] Wow. 

Denita: [00:28:13] Yeah. It’s pretty crazy. 

Darla: [00:28:15] So you, coming back you brought your husband along with you. 

Denita: [00:28:17] I did, unintentionally. I didn’t expect that to happen, but it did happen. And, now I’m so grateful. This is part of how I see Jesus Christ, on the covenant path. Like I can look back and see how He was there with me the whole time putting pieces into play. Like He probably knew that if I didn’t have any kind of support, I wouldn’t have stuck with it maybe. I like to think I would have, but it was so much easier for me to have somebody that is in it with me. So yeah., 

Darla: [00:28:54] And I think, you also have to think, I think we can never discount the journey. Like we are all having the journey that we’re supposed to have .And no matter what that looks like, it doesn’t always look like this straight line that you’re just, you have a testimony, you are you’re in the gospel, you just do everything that you’re supposed to do, the checklist, which is what I always talk about. But I can look at your story and I don’t know. You can tell me if you feel like this is true or not, but maybe you would never have met your husband if you hadn’t taken a step away from the gospel and, maybe you would never have been in that situation to meet him and to bring him to the gospel and, for you to move. I don’t know, but I look at that and I say, The Savior is still with us. He’s always there and we don’t know what our journey is supposed to look like, but we can embrace where we’ve been, where we’re going. What is your take on that? I would just love to know what you think. 

Denita: [00:29:42] 100 percent I for sure would not have dated my husband. If I was an active member of the church, living the standards. For sure. And like, a gift for us in our marriage is that I have never one time questioned whether or not he’s the right guy for me, because it just, it was just so perfect. Everything was so perfect. Like the first time I kissed him, I had been hanging out with him and I wanted to kiss him. And then I went into my dorm room and told my roommate, Oh, I want to kiss him. And she was like, Go kiss him. And I felt like I had this prompting to move closer to him, but it also felt like maybe I shouldn’t and all of this, I was having this internal battle and I just went back and knocked on his door and said, I got to kiss you tonight. And that is so outside of my personality. I would never, ever have done that. Like I see moments like that where like almost the spirit took over and was like, you need to do this. I know it doesn’t, you need to go kiss this boy. Who gets that prompting? But it was just him. He entered my life at exactly the perfect time with exactly the right circumstances. He also has parents who were like drug addicts and, a similar background story to me and I just needed him. And then clearly he needed me. So we always talk about that. How just like how he even ended up at the University of Washington and we’re like God really wanted us to be together. And we just, we both see on both of our sides that we needed to be together. And I think that too a lot of the direction I’ve taken in my life is because I know what I don’t want. So I saw my parents, they were, drugs and alcohol and just unhappy. And I was like I know I don’t want that. And I had that little stint where I drank for a little bit, but it was very short-lived and I was like, nope, this isn’t for me. And so in a way, those teenage years were me figuring out what I don’t want and pushing me more toward what I do want. And so I just, I think of it in terms of we have a path that we’re down, but sometimes we go off the path and it’s a dead end. And sometimes we have to go down the dead end to figure out, Oh, this isn’t it. And then we backtrack to the path and we keep going and you do that a hundred times and you figure out the right way. So yeah, one blessing, I think, is that in hindsight, even very close after that, like I did feel some guilt while I was not going to church and stuff, but even a year or two out of it, I thought, Oh, I needed that. I needed to be away from the church to show myself that what I really wanted was to be in the church.

And that’s like such a beautiful blessing because some people take some 50 years to figure that out. 

Darla: [00:32:40] And I think, and I would never say, Oh, you can step off the path. You can, I would never tell someone to intentionally do that. But if that’s part of your journey and if that’s part of what you have gone through and the choices that you’ve made have taken you away from the church. It doesn’t mean that the Savior is still not with you. And it doesn’t mean that he can’t take wherever you’re at and be with you and help you get back to where, to be back on that path and that’s why I just say all the time, it’s not the straight line. Nobody has that. Even if you never step away from the church, nobody has a straight line. We all have times where we lack faith or we, maybe we doubt or we have questions. And so that’s, you just really illustrated the message that I’m trying to share with my podcast is that, embrace your journey. Take it and look for the Savior there. So that brings me to my final question that I want to ask you. I would love to hear your answer to this, and that is how have you seen and felt the Savior in your journey on the covenant path? 

Denita: [00:33:39] In some ways it’s so hard to answer this because I feel like he has always been there. Like these experiences I’ve had with prayer. And it just was so clear to me that he was answering my prayers all along the way. And of course there were times when I would maybe tell myself like, Oh, God doesn’t want me around right now. Like I’m not living the standards. But those were very short-lived. I just always have had this sense that I am being guided. I like actually the picture that comes up in my mind is in His hands. Like His hands are cupped together in that boat shape. And I just feel like my whole life has been Heavenly Father guiding me. And I actually, me personally, I have a hard time teasing apart Jesus Christ, the spirit and Heavenly Father. I just feel like they’re all one to me. And it’s just, the spirit operating in my life in those years where I was not going to church, I can look back and see how prayers were being answered and how I was being guided. And I, it was more the way I would have said it then is this just feels right to me like more of a gut feeling, but now I’m like, there one in the same. I know that how the spirit talks to me is in my body I know what feels right or what I have to do. So I’ve had so many experiences where there’s a thing I have to do cause I know the spirit is telling me, even though I don’t want to do it, if I homeschooled my kids for five years and I did not want to, but the spirit was like, you need to do this. And it was like in my body, so clear. My testimony of Joseph Smith, reading in the scriptures- bodily experience. In public, on a public bus, but I just knew. And so I just can see so many of those experiences where, whether I called it my gut feeling or my intuition or the spirit, like there never has been a time when he hasn’t been with me. And yeah, just, I just, of course looking back, you can see it a little easier, but I feel like I’ve even had such amazing experiences where I knew in the moment. This is God. This is the spirit. This is Jesus Christ. He’s right here with me. And he’s telling me what to do. And he’s, he knows I’m afraid, but like I can do it. That’s why I say I think belief in faith is one of my gifts. Because my life has been filled with fear like traumatic fear. But when I know that God is guiding me that I’m just like, the fear doesn’t matter. I just have to move forward. So I have so many experiences like that where it’s just so undeniable to me, like people put in my life, experiences put in my life, questions in my mind. Like the spirit speaks to me in a lot of different ways, but it’s, it is no question in my mind that God has a work for me to do. I actually have been really enjoying reading Doctrine and Covenants and just the history because I relate so much to Joseph Smith. And I feel like this 14 year old boy, who’s uneducated and what’s so special about me, but like over and over again, I’m just like, I’m called to something special. I don’t know what it is. And I feel like all of us are. 

Darla: [00:37:11] It’s really fun to hear you share that you know that and I can see looking in on your life in this short time that we’ve been talking that, you had your own trials and your own set of circumstances, but He also blessed you and gave you gifts to deal with that. And He does that for all of us. He knows us so well. And I loved what you said right at the beginning of answering that question is that, you think of Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost, all kind of as one helping you. And they are, they’re separate beings, but they’re one in their purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of Denita. Like they are one in that and anybody can say that. So I just, I have really loved talking to you and hearing your story and your experiences because I just think it’s so important for us to hear other people’s experiences and find things that we can relate to and give us hope. And so thank you so much for being willing to share. I really appreciate it. So I know that you have your own podcast that you just started. So will you just tell people where they can find you, if they want to hear more of you have lots of stories to share, and you, I know you told me that you’re feeling called to share those. So where can people find your podcast and learn more about you?

Denita: [00:38:20] Yes, it is the Shame Proof Your Life Podcast, and it’s on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and I’m working on pushing it out to other platforms. But yeah, it’s basically a podcast of me following a prompting of God telling me to tell my life stories. And I have procrastinated this prompting for 17 years and finally with the technology and podcasting, it’s so easy. And so I’m like, I’m doing it and I don’t know why people need to hear my story. I don’t really feel like it’s all that special or unique, but I don’t know, it’s probably because I’ve been living it my whole life. But that is exactly what my podcast is telling these stories and just putting them out there just simply because I have been prompted to, and I’m just going to allow whatever is going to happen with that to happen. But yeah, they can find it there. You can go to my website,, and I have a page for my podcast, and you can connect with me on Instagram it’s my favorite place, @denitabremercoaching.

Darla: [00:39:27] That’s awesome. I’ll put all the links to that as well in the show notes so people can go and find you and I love how you’re just acting and you’re just moving forward and, acting upon those promptings that you felt. So thank you so much for being here today. I’ve loved talking to you. 

Denita: [00:39:40] Thank you.

Here are this week’s journal questions.   Denita talked about an experience she had at seven years old, helping her grandma find something by praying. She said this was an undeniable experience for her, that God communicated with her.  What experiences have you had that helped you to know God was there and aware of you? Write down the thoughts and memories that come to your mind. 

You may not know what your journey will look like going forward, but you can embrace where you’ve been and where you are at now. Think about your own past and present experiences in your journey on the covenant path. How have those experiences, good or bad, shaped you? 

How can you embrace what you’ve already experienced on the path? 

How can you look forward with faith to your future journey?