En Route: A Journey of the Spirit

Retracing his spiritual odyssey, Jack Newell weaves a colorful tapestry that includes a religiously diverse extended family, his Methodist upbringing in rural Ohio, and baptism into the Mormon Church when he was twenty-three years old—in the era of David O. McKay’s leadership and High B. Brown’s liberal influence. Proceeding through a series of inspiring experiences and baffling incidents as a graduate student, young professor, and college dean in North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Utah, he held many leadership positions in branches, wards, and stakes. Never “church-broke,” however, he challenged the conservative status quo all along the way, enjoying a few notable successes but more often precipitating humorous results. He traces the evolution of his religiosity to his current way station, where he describes his spirituality as peacefully independent of the Mormon Church.

L. Jackson Newell