TESTIMONIALS OF ATTENDEES
"Attending the As I Am Men's Retreat was possibly the most impactful weekend of my life. I first attended in September 2018 and have volunteered twice since then. Not only did I make some amazing friends, I was also able to deal with and move through some of my life challenges and emotional baggage, and at the same time gain tools to improve going forward.
"We all have our trials, temptations and difficulties, so I have no issue sharing this with the world. I also had an opportunity to focus on coming to better know my real identity; the core of who I am, beyond my roles, gifts and expectations.
"I'm very excited that there are people who can help us when we need it. I continue to serve as a volunteer so I can help move this work along. It's time for men, especially men who love God, to band together as never before and rise up to accomplish good things through the power, example and priesthood of Jesus Christ."
Matt, Atlanta, Georgia
Through the As I Am retreat I learned how I might communicate with my son and other men whom I didn't know how to reach and share my concerns and love. I also learned a great deal about acceptance from those I deemed far more masculine, put together and powerful, learning that I too possess those gifts. I saw newly acquainted men exemplify brotherhood and love through bravery and vulnerability and from whom I wished to always be a art of. Wonderful experience.
James, Twin Falls, Idaho
"I absolutely love Discover Identity! I went to a weekend retreat on Christ-Like Masculinity. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but I was greeted by very friendly men. At first I was a little hesitant to participate, but I felt comfortable and I was really able to relax and truly participate. I learned and grew so much, and I was so inspired by Christ's example. I met people that I was able to connect with, and grow strong friendships with. I was able to more fully get ready to serve a mission. I am so grateful for Discovery Identity and all they have done to help me learn of who I am, and who I can become."
Caleb V., Payson, Utah
"This has 'changed my life' a friend of mine kept bugging me to go to the retreat in Georgia. I had every excuse in the book, but he knew what this did for him, and he knew me well enough to keep encouraging me to go. So I did. I use the things I learned to better myself on a daily basis. Your age doesn't matter. I've experienced this with friends as young as 22 and as old as 83. Its an incredible bond that cannot be experienced in any other way. I encourage you to take the challenge and go. You will have no regrets."
Steve W., Georgia
"As I Am has helped me see Christ as a loving brother and teacher, and that I am worthy of His love and the love of my brothers."
"Before attending the retreat I attended two workshops (one on feelings and brotherhood). They were both really great experiences. While attending the first workshop I had a very strong impression that I needed to attend the retreat (which I promptly ignored). The impression returned after I attended the second workshop and I finally signed up for the retreat. Once the retreat finally came around, I set off early Friday morning for Heber Valley where the retreat was held. The whole way I scared and doubted my decision to go. I even decided that I could go camping somewhere instead and my family would never know that I chickened out.
"Thankfully I didn't chicken out and instead I attended the retreat. I can say with complete confidence that I know God guided me to this organization and to this retreat. It was the answer to many prayers, both spoken and unspoken. God knows us perfectly and what we need to help us progress in our lives. As I Am was definitely what I needed in my life.
"The retreat was a very pivotal moment in my life. On the retreat I felt the closest to Christ that I'd ever felt before, and I was able to feel His love for me. The retreat helped me start on the path of healing my relationship with myself and with those around me. I was given the tools I needed to change my life. I've been able to gain better confidence in myself and my identity as a Son of God. I've learned out to handle my emotions in a healthy way. Mostly importantly I've learned how to connect with those around me and how to build relationships of brotherhood with other men. So much has changed in my life in the last 10 months since attending the retreat. Dozens of prayers have been answered. I feel so much happier about myself and about my life, and I've been able to create lasting friendships with those around me that I never wouldn't thought possible.
"I've since attended the retreat a second time and I also help volunteer with this organization. I will continue to do so because I've seen just how much this can bless people's lives. If you're not sure about attending the retreat I'd recommend praying about it. God knows what's best for you, and chances are that you're only here reading this testimonial because He guided you here. Don't be afraid to attend the retreat even if it seems scary, it will be more than worth it!!"
-Aaron Perkins, Rexburg, Idaho.
"This was a life changing and spiritual experience for me. I came dragging my feet about participating in As I Am at its first meeting in Parowan last year. The reason? I have participated in and staffed many experiential groups and had come to the conclusion that "As I Am" was just more of the same. I WAS WRONG!
"My wife saw the promoting brochure and asked if I was going to go, I said I thought not. Because it was Christ centered she nearly pushed me out the door. I was truly amazed how I connected to Christ in a masculine way. It was a memorable experience, a retreat that is unique, uplifting and rewarding. I gained a new understanding of masculinity by following Christ's teachings and I encourage all to look and step into a new way of healing. Your reward will be greater than your investment."
Bill, St. George, Utah
"It was just one year after I lost my wife and my grandson in a drowning incident that I attended As I Am. I went seeking healing. I came home feeling that at least half of the processes of the retreat had been included just for me. There was much healing. I experienced Quorum there—authenticity, transparency, vulnerability and safety. I found myself wishing that a member of the 12 or of the First Quorum of Seventy could have attended so that they could see that quorum really can be felt/experienced."
RM, Vernal, Utah
"The experience I had at the retreat has been an answer to prayer. I was able to make connections with other men and create meaningful friendships . . . what I learned most from the retreat is that men need strong male relationships with other men. This is a movement to help men know who to look to as an example of real masculinity; namely Jesus Christ.
"This retreat gave me hope that we can influence change one man at a time."
Charles, Riverton, Utah
"The retreat helped my cousin improve his relationship with the Savior and himself. It was also the catalyst he needed to continue with preparation for a mission."
RH, Woodlyn, Pennsylvania
"As I Am was a great experience that I’ve reflected on again and again."
JK, Ogden, Utah
"This retreat changed me. What happened on the retreat was even more than I could have hoped for. I have some wounds from my past and was able to work through some of them and truly gain the freedom from the pain and guilt and shame surrounding them. The brotherhood I felt there was amazing. For the past 9 years, I have had a very strained relationship with God and Christ.
"This retreat gave tools, experiences, and opportunities to confront that strained relationship head on. I made more progress in those couple of days than I had in 9 years. I feel reborn, rejuvenated, and recommitted to my desire to love and follow and serve God and Christ."
Doug, Washington, Utah
"An experience that I will always remember. It helped me realize who I am and how to be better in life. It helped me learn the skills of how to express my emotions. It helped me learn the skills on how to strengthen my relationships with family and friends. Something that I would highly recommend anyone to go and do this retreat. Especially the As I Am retreat."
Braden, Tremonton, UT
"As I write these lines, it’s just three days after I attended a weekend retreat for men in Georgia called As I Am. Designed for Latter Day Saints who want to become better men by following Jesus Christ as the ultimate role model for masculinity, the retreat provided a safe place for men to be vulnerable, support each other, learn valuable spiritual lessons, and grow in their own, individual manhood.
"As is so often the case in my life, I was the outsider. Not only am I not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I’m about as far away from sainthood as anyone off of Death Row could possibly be.
"But I knew some of the men who were putting on the retreat beforehand, and had a deep admiration for each of them. I thought that maybe if I attended the event myself, I’d be sufficiently out of my comfort zone to do some deep emotional work while learning a different perspective on masculinity than the one I had grown up with.
"Maybe it was the breathtaking setting. Maybe it was my lack of dogmatic bias. Or maybe it was just the extraordinary group of men who were willing to share their lives and deepest vulnerabilities with me. But for whatever reason, As I Am impacted me in a far more profound way than I had remotely expected. For the first time in my life, I truly understood that brotherhood isn’t just a sacred concept, it’s an absolutely essential need for every man, everywhere, in every social strata or life situation."
Mike B., Dallas, Texas
"The retreat has profoundly affected my life. I truly understand that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me as I am. That thought, when I heard it, immediately made me feel that if I was good enough for Christ, then I was good enough for myself. I have had a life-long desire to be someone else who I saw in person in a movie. That desire was sexual at times but just as often was wanting to be that other person for something I saw in them. It is a sad thing for me because I did not love and accept myself. The retreat has fixed that and every day I am thankful for who I am, including my faults, weaknesses and the abused little boy inside me. I am at peace with him and am glad to have him as part of me; but not in control of me.
"The retreat has affected my life in many ways, but perhaps most profoundly was through the deep emotions that were unleashed in me. I was raised to have no emotions and I stuck to that very well. Of course, I had counter emotions and except for anger, rarely, if ever, expressed any authentic emotions. The retreat gave me 3 days of getting in touch with emotions. I know that what we were taught in lecture was true in practice. Now that I can experience and express sadness, fear and anger, I can experience joy. For me, it is like being released from a prison that bound me up and kept me from being real. I find the real me is a pretty good guy. Finding that I can love myself for who I am, has also caused me to feel love for others in my life. It has reduced my prejudices and judgments of others and helped me to see others as Christ does.
"Since the retreat I have had some of the most incredible experiences telling others in my life about the retreat and the changes in me. I was able to express love for my son and daughter in a way I never did before. Also had beautiful conversations with my sister, Mother, girlfriend and 2 male friends. I am just happy even when trials have been thrown at me. I am also able to forgive my enemies with a truer intent."
Mike Y., Tampa Bay, Florida