Adam Young is a devout Mormon whose life is all planned out for him, by both his strict father and by his church. He follows the path they’ve established for him, including going off to his mission to Spain with mission companion Brandon Christensen—a handsome, enthusiastic practitioner of Mormonism. But as their mission progresses, they both realize they have major questions about their faith… and substantial feelings for one another.
About the Author
Laura Stone, a descendant of pioneer polygamists from the early days of the Mormon Church and a former Gospel Doctrine teacher, now keeps busy as a media blogger, ghostwriter and novelist when she’s not raising her youngest child.
While the majority of her family still lives in Utah, she resides in Texas because it’s where the good tamales are. Her first novel, The Bones of You, was published by Interlude Press in 2014 and was named a finalist for a Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award. Her second novel, Bitter Springs, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.
“You’re quiet back there,” the Mission President said, catching Adam’s gaze in the rearview mirror. “Tired?”
“A little,” Adam answered. “Mostly it’s just…” He nodded out the window. “Overwhelmed by it, I guess?”
“It’s a beautiful country. Beautiful people, too. Family-oriented, like we are. These should be two of the best years of your life, son.”
Adam smiled weakly and sank back into his seat as the two men up front continued their discussion all the transfers happening in various districts. He pushed his fist into his churning belly and strained to see the ocean as they wove through traffic.
All of his life, his friends, family and church leaders had spoken of how amazing this moment would be, how life-changing this experience was for those who answered the call to serve. His friends had been laser-focused on how much they were looking forward to becoming missionaries; Adam had always smiled and nodded but never with the same zeal. Over and over returned missionaries spoke with passion about how they were overcome with emotion the first time they heard the thousands of missionaries at the MTC singing “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” in unison. For Adam, that experience had just been a reminder that there was something wrong with him, because instead of feeling overwhelmed with the Spirit, he’d felt like a failure for not.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Laura Stone, author of And It Came to Pass.
Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here and to share my book—especially to share Adam Young, our protagonist from the Mormon town of Provo—with you and your readers.
Adam is a lot like me and the kids with whom I grew up: devoutly Mormon, doesn’t talk back, does exactly what he’s told. Adam also has a secret, one buried so deeply he’s even kept it hidden from himself. He’s not sure what he believes. For a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that’s not a long-term plan for righteous living, especially as when we meet him, he’s heading out to serve a two-year mission. He tells himself that he must get it figured out, fast.
Adam is a gentle-giant type and he’s immediately paired up with the Ultimate Mormon Guy: Brandon Christensen. Where Adam is taciturn, Brandon is full of good-humor and pearls of wisdom. Where Adam is nervous and unsure of whether or not his touch is welcome, Brandon is a man’s man, rough-housing the other missionaries, who welcome it with delight. Where Adam frets over questioning tenets of their shared faith, Brandon dives into research, even going so far as to write letters to his parents to seek answers.
Through all of this upheaval into the way Adam expected things to be, he begins to realize an even deeper secret about himself: He’s attracted to men. One in particular, the very one man he should not be attracted to. Brandon.
And It Came To Pass deals honestly with questions of faith versus dogma, the real pressures to be truly oneself that religion places on the shoulders of its LGBTQ members, but more importantly, offers hope to those who may not have realized that one can be queer and still have faith in God.
It was so important for me to write a story that reflected my friends who are both deeply spiritual while living happily as an LGBT person. It was equally as important for me to have these characters experience the joy of physical intimacy with someone they love while still maintaining their faith. (Those devout straight couples have sex, after all!)
I hope the reader comes away with a sense of joy and hope and the reminder that if there is a God, to remember how the hymn goes: God Is Love. It doesn’t say God is straight love. Just love.
Love is love is love.