Being baptized in the Holy Spirit gave music and film icon Pat Boone and his wife, Shirley, a second chance when their marriage was falling apart, the 87-year-old revealed while discussing his upcoming film "The Mulligan."
A vibrant Boone stars in the upcoming film based on the popular book by Wally Armstrong and Ken Blanchard.
Scheduled to debut in select theaters nationwide for two days on April 18 and 19 via ReelWorks Studios and Fathom Events, “The Mulligan” weaves in life lessons inspired by the game of golf.
Mulligan is a term that allows a second chance after the first try goes wrong. In some informal games of golf, opponents will grant a player the courtesy of a do-over if they make a blunder.
"In the game of life, God makes the rules and He can grant you mulligan's, second chances,” the outspoken Christian shared with The Christian Post in a video interview.
“That's what the theme of this film is. It's all about golf. It's an exciting, well-made film about golf, the subject that millions of people love. But there's [very few] movies about golf. God can give you second chances, and if you make the right choices, you can have a far better life in this realm and in the one that's coming, inevitably, for all of us.”
Now 87 years old, Boone said he needed second chances in life. With four children and 16 grandchildren, the gold recording artist admits there was a time when his marriage "nearly came apart."
Boone's wife of 65 years, Shirley, died in 2019 at the age of 84.
“I can talk about it now, but after having had four kids ... by the time we were 23 and I graduated from college, none of us realized that would eventually, perhaps, take its toll on Shirley's body,” he said.
“There was a time after we moved to California and I was a big star and everything was going so great when I would simply put my arm around Shirley or want to kiss her on the cheek [and] she'd say, 'No Way! Every time we have any kind of affection, for some reason, I get nauseous, and I can't help it.'”
The entertainer said it was a challenging season for him as a man and husband.
"It's sort of tough on a husband who can't even embrace his wife or kiss her or anything without her getting sick in her stomach,” he noted. “I wanted her to go to a doctor, but she said, 'No, I'm sure I'll get past this.' But it went on for a while. And I must say that I began to think about, ‘If this is where our marriage is going, she's going to get sick every time I try to be amorous. This is not going to last.'”
Boone said she eventually went to a doctor and discovered cysts on her ovaries that developed after the birth of her children. She had that taken care of surgically, and the couple could be affectionate again. But Boone said that didn't come before they had an encounter with the Spirit of God.
"That trouble led to us receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which as good, churchgoing Christians, we were taught that all those wonderful supernatural things that happened to Christians in the first century, were not for today,” he said.
“We weren't expecting anything supernatural in our lives, but now as we experienced the deliverance from this malady, [we] see even the pain and the suffering for a while had its purpose. [It] not only show[ed] us there needed to be something corrected, which would have gotten worse and worse in her life, ... but also during that time, we learned that we could have the supernatural indwelling of the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
The Boones were a part of The Churches of Christ at that time. Because of their experience with the Holy Spirit, they were "excused or disfellowshipped." Boone said the denomination believed that miracles, healing and being infilled with God's presence were something that only happened to first-century Christians.
"At the time, we were the best-known members in the Church of Christ, which didn't subscribe to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and thought that Shirley and I were misled and because of our example, we were teaching others falsehoods,” he said. "So, we were declared no longer members. Not because of drinking, gambling, womanizing or anything like that, but getting mixed up with this Holy Spirit bit.”
The disfellowship made headlines at the time.
"Well, many more members of The Church of Christ learned who this Holy Spirit is, and gradually that rift was remitted,” the Broadway headliner told CP. “But even that worked as a blessing in our lives personally.”
Boone's experience with the supernatural presence of God is detailed in his New York Times bestelling book, A New Song. Boone says he was reinstated to the Churches of Christ and was recently at one of its churches in Nashville.
"More and more people are coming now to understand that what occurred in the first century was not just for then, but it's for now,” he maintained. “We're supposed to be living supernatural lives. If we're really Christians and children of the living God, filled with the Spirit of Jesus, who healed the sick and raised the dead, if that same Spirit dwells in us, He hasn't changed and we are expecting supernatural things in our lives because the whole relationship with God is supernatural.”
Boone plays a spirit-filled mentor in “The Mulligan” alongside Eric Close (“Nashville”), Tanya Christiansen (“I Still Believe”) and Charmin Lee (“Just Mercy”). His character is instrumental in helping Close’s character, a successful young businessman whose personal life is falling apart.
“This is really a great opportunity to say things that I believe in, [that] I don't always have the chance to say,” Boone told CP. “Great success can be the worst thing that happens to you because you become so enamored, so used to that success, and you think it's because you're so good in some way, or you made such great choices.”
When watching documentaries on successful people, the Florida native said the storyline often goes back into one's childhood, where they were handicapped or weren't treated right. He said it shows how the subject works hard and becomes “takeover kings in business” and multimillionaires, or even billionaires. But, the problem, Boone said, is they only trust in their own success and wealth.
"They don't have any real realization that there's a life beyond this. This life is pretty short compared to eternity,” Boone warned. “They're not making any preparation for the existence. I won't say life [because] we don't die. ... [we] continue into eternity.”
Boone recently wrote a new book called If, which will be released later this year. He goes into detail about eternity and what comes after this life.
"The if is Heaven or Hell,” he clarified. “Even in many churches today, there's not enough preaching. It's loving but stark that we are making a decision, every one of us right now, whether we know it ... about where we spend eternity, and there's only two choices — Heaven or Hell.”
“God's choice is Heaven," he continued. "He wants us to come to be with Him and He's made all the provisions, and it's free, and it's ready for us if we care to investigate. Jesus said, 'the way that leads to eternal life is difficult and the gate narrow, few there be that I find it.' Well, to find it indicates you got to be looking for it."
Boone said he knows many people with "earthly success" who are unhappy and dissatisfied.
“Even though they've got more money than they'd ever spend and wealth and power and fame, there's something inside that tells them, 'This is not going to last. What's after this, anything?' They don't know. There's that uncertainty and this ill-ease.”
Boone said he will be living the rest of his days on earth creating more inspirational content and being generous.
"I'm at a stage in my life where I don't need to build up anything more for myself, but I take advantage of many opportunities in which I can increase my giving because God loves a cheerful giver, and I am a cheerful giver,” Boone testified. “I like to continue to increase the ways in which I can give to things that need help. It's so good to be able to not just wish you could help somebody you love or care about or an issue that you want to promote but actually be able to.”
Boone said he is in a "Joseph position" and will continue to be a blessing to those closest to him.
“My life right now is movies, books, songs. I'm still writing, still singing and recording,” he told CP.
Boone said he has recorded 2,300 songs in his career, more songs than Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby.
Visit “The Mulligan” movie website to find a theater near you.