Testimonial Letter – Bishop Bob Spencer
January 16, 2001
To Whom it may Concern;
This letter is addressed to the ecclesiastical leader of James Mooney and is in regard to his conduct with respect to the peyote ceremonies. As way of background, approximately two years ago, while serving as a Brigham Young University Bishop, our two daughters became involved with James and the ceremonies he was conducting.
They were 24 and 26 years old at the time and still struggling from recent divorces. Although both our daughters were raised Mormon (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), they each began to experiment with drugs and alcohol during their teenage years. As parents we were stunned and bewildered as to why this happened and what to do. Our one daughter attended a Tough Love Wilderness camp and both had received professional counseling to no avail.After attending the ceremonies and many family prayers on their behalf, their lives have dramatically changed for the better.
One daughter just had her temple recommend restored and is looking forward to her husband blessing their new baby and being sealed together in the temple. Our other daughter is beginning to attend church and is happily married to a fine young man. They are both very happy at this time and I believe much of their progress is due to the counsel James personally gave them during the ceremonies they attended.
I have to admit that when our daughters came to me after attending their first ceremony I was very skeptical and concerned. After further discussion and encouragement by our daughters, I agreed to attend the next ceremony as an observer only. The ceremony I attended had approximately thirty individuals in attendance and ranged in age from early twenties to middle fifties, with both sexes pretty much evenly represented. The majority in attendance were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
During the ceremony I heard heart-wrenching stories of serious drug abuse, sexual abuse, and homosexuality. The counsel I hear James give was always in harmony with the standards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He often encouraged them to live their standards and take responsibility for their actions. For those who were not members, James explained what the standards of the Church were and testified to the life changing benefits they have for someone who is willing to live them.
Because of James’ life experiences, which he shared with the group, his council and testimony was given serious consideration with many stating they were going to make changes in their lives.I do not profess to completely understand what affect or purpose peyote serves during and after these ceremonies. But, what I observed at the ceremony were people seriously trying to deal with their problems and not just having fun and experimenting with peyote.In conclusion, as a result of our daughters’ experiences and from personal observation, I believe James Mooney has the best intentions to help those who attend his ceremonies while striving to uphold the standards of the Church.
I further believe that many lives have changed for the better because of his efforts, our daughters included.
Robert B. Spencer, Bishop, Brigham Young University