Name: Gale Boyd
From: Everywhere (D.C., L.A., Utah, Israel, Cyprus, Ireland, Malaysia)
Occupation: Writer/ Editor
Favorite Food: Pretzels
Hobbies: Teaching, writing, interior design, research, singing, sewing and handicrafts
Favorite Scripture: Right now, since I’m engaged in apologetics…Doctrine and Covenants 71:7-11
Favorite Hymn: How Firm a Foundation, because God is with me everywhere, even on a sailboat in a storm in the Aegean.
I was born in Washington, D.C., but moved to Los Angeles at age 8. I am descended from German Jews on my mother’s side, and Ukrainian/Lithuanian Jews on my father’s side. My mother was a Blumenthal, and my father was a Tompakov.
What brings you the greatest happiness?
The Plan of Salvation and my family.
What strengthens your faith in Jesus Christ?
Miracles and tender mercies designed for me alone witness to me that God is aware of and cares about every thought and molecule and is giving me watch-care every minute.
And music, and nature, and art, and babies, and scripture, and people, and….
How has one of your spiritual gifts/talents benefited your life?
I am naturally curious, intellectual, and a born teacher. I research to share, and I have the ability to distill complicated ideas into easy-to-grasp concepts.
I’ve been a high school teacher of English, creative writing, and psychology, taught ESL in foreign countries, taught poetry-writing to little children, taught gospel doctrine classes for decades, taught adult CES classes, health classes to many, and relationships classes to college students.
I’ve written films and roadshows, but it’s the roadshows that were the most fun!
How do you know when you’ve received answers to prayers?
I have received answers to prayers in every conceivable way.
I have received instant calm assurances. I have seen Heavenly Father immediately begin working on fulfilling requests, but the fulfillments have taken years.
I have received many answers to concerns I’ve prayed about in priesthood blessings. I never miss an opportunity for a priesthood blessing.
Gale’s Conversion Story:
I vaguely remember practicing Judaism, culturally, when I was little, and we lived in the eastern U.S., but we never had religion in the home. We celebrated Easter and Christmas but had no Christian influence in the home besides that.
When we moved to L.A., we were far away from extended family in the east and never made a trip back there to reconnect. Our household was very adult-oriented. Our house was full of books.
My father was a rocket scientist and an atheist. Our family became more and more dysfunctional, as my mother suffered from narcissistic personality disorder.
By the time I was 15, I had reached the “is this all there is?” state. I longed to fill the empty space in my life that I knew should be filled with something spiritual, something higher than mortality could offer. I also longed for peace at home. I began attending various churches with my neighbors and enjoyed most of them, but the spiritual emptiness persisted.
One Sunday I called a girlfriend to invite her to a movie. She gently and thoroughly explained to me why she didn’t attend movies on the Sabbath. I was embarrassed.
When I hung up the phone, I felt like I should know that, like I was born knowing it and had somehow forgotten.
Later, she invited me to a youth conference presentation. The second I stepped across the threshold to the meetinghouse, the Spirit overwhelmed me with a witness that this was the answer, the right place, forever.
I had no idea what Mormons believed; I knew absolutely nothing. But I could not wait to be a part of it.
Hearing the Plan of Salvation was the most miraculous gift of knowledge I had ever received, and it remains so to this day.
I was baptized at 16 against the wishes of my parents. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
What are ways you share & live the Gospel with your family or others around you?
We have lived all over the world and raised our children in four countries. In many places there were very few Mormons, and we really stood out.
We were just kind and accepting and walked the walk, and I think, people remember us for that wherever we have lived.
There were a few conversions on the way, just through the example we set of finding real joy, and yes, fun, in the gospel.
What is your hope/wish/prayer for all women throughout the world?
My heart aches for women who are downtrodden and treated like chattel. We have seen it first-hand in various countries and cultures. People ask if I’m a feminist, but I see the issues with a world-view, not a narrow one.
I see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as perhaps the most feminist world religion in existence just the way it stands and American men as perhaps the least chauvinistic in the world.
I also feel grateful to have been born into an ideal situation at this time in this place. I have rarely encountered misogynistic behaviors toward me, and have had full opportunities to express myself, to develop my talents, to obtain an education, and to make choices. I wish all women could have those opportunities.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
My family. I’ve reversed or ended some dysfunctional trends in my own family, so there can be happy families in my lineage on into the future. And those families will have the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But I’ve also done a few other things.
We were fortunate to live in Israel for 8 years, and I’ve extensively researched Judaica. The fruits of that are in my book, which finds Jesus in the Jewish holidays. It’s called Days of Awe. It even has Family Home Evening ideas and instructions and resources for staging a Passover feast.
Because I’ve suffered ill health and the Lord knows I’m willing to research, He helped me research through Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain and to help others with what I’ve learned. I have a self-help website, fibroself-help.com, to help other sufferers.
Everyone experiences trials throughout life. I’m including a few lines relating to Gale’s experience with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain to show how her trust in God and practical resourcefulness led to her own healing, and then to helping others heal.
Former Fibromyalgia Sufferer Mounts Website to Help Others
Gale Boyd suffered the pain and ravages of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FS) and Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) for only three years, a very short amount of time for conditions that “have no cure.”
Her journey to healing from the two conditions was spiritual as well as physical — she loves to research, but she also sought guidance through prayer to lead her to methods of self-help while avoiding drugs to address symptoms.
That was an individual choice. I talk about choices on my website, but I would never instruct a person to ignore her doctor or take a certain drug or avoid a drug. Everyone is different.
Our bodies talk to us, and so does the Spirit. We need to follow our gut feelings and listen to the experts. My website talks about what we can do with lifestyle choices and possible treatments and causes.
In my research, I’ve also found how certain treatments can conflict with each other, so there is a page for medical professionals, too.
Fibromyalgia and CMP
FS has a long list of symptoms but is basically an electrical problem. Pain is random and cycling from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. Every variety of pain can be experienced, and the FS sufferer may even have skin pain — the slightest touch is excruciating.
CMP is a connective tissue problem that doesn’t always accompany FS. Connective tissue hardens and pulls tight, developing micro-lesions that then scar over. Muscles are pulled into painful lumps. Tightened tendons and ligaments in the face and neck can make the sufferer feel strangled when reclining.
Any movement is awkward, difficult, and painful. Sitting in one position for too long can make it almost impossible to “unwind” and begin to move. That makes it tough to fly or drive for very long without standing up and walking around, which in itself, is painful.
I once flew from Salt Lake to Atlanta, and when I got off the plane, attendants came running to me with wheelchairs. I was happy to make use of one, but my goal was to stop looking like a cripple. I wanted to walk through the airport like any normal person.
No One Cause, No One Cure
This is a situation where a number of elements conspire to compromise health. Although neither FS or CMP are considered auto-immune diseases, they often occur along with an auto-immune condition, so there is a relationship.
This is not a situation where you can say, “Hey, I have this miracle supplement or this new drug that will cure your fibro. You have to identify the cascade of events that pertain to you individually and undo them one by one.”
FS and CMP often show up two or three weeks after a traumatic event, but that event is usually the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You have to look back and see the line-up of causative events and conditions that brought you to this point and begin to address them.
Gale sees FS and CMP as conditions that would never occur if the environment were clean and pristine and devoid of pollutants. Many sufferers are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment. Most have hormone deficiencies and food sensitivities. Stress is also an important factor.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.