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Nikki Yaste tells the raw, emotional story of the hardships that brought her to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and shares her testimony of the transformative power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in her book “Latter-day Woman at the Well” (Snowy Peaks Media, $14.99).

“I realized that there are a lot of people out there with stories like mine, and we just don’t ever talk about it,” Yaste said in a phone interview on deciding to write a book about her experience. “We paint over it in a certain way or think that we shouldn’t talk about it, or we get afraid, but it needs to be talked about because it’s through the process of sharing our testimonies that we are able to be healed.”

Yaste calls herself the Latter-day Woman at the Well because when she first read the story of Christ teaching the Samaritan woman at the well in the Bible, she loved the way she could relate to the woman. Seeing Christ interact with, teach and love this woman despite her sins and mistakes gave Yaste hope in her own transformation and conversion to the gospel, she said.

Yaste was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Growing up in abusive circumstances forced her to strive to live up to unattainable expectations. Seeking the acceptance she never felt from her family, she found friends who introduced her to drugs and alcohol. In college, her then-boyfriend suggested she become an exotic dancer in strip clubs, which led to working in the pornography industry to earn money, leading her further into a world of substance abuse and psychological trauma.

To read the full article on Deseret News, click here.