Why I became a Mormon I didn·t have the most religious upbringing.

I was raised by great parents who instilled in me strong morals, but our religious lives didn·t go far beyond attending church on Christmas and Easter. My greatest religious exposure was through talking to friends in elementary school. I remember my birthday party in fifth grade; it was a sleep over, and we stayed up all night talking about God. I was fascinated because I wanted to know how I could go to heaven. I was very concerned about the welfare of my soul. Our group conversation went on for a couple hours. I remember a friend of mine named Spencer, who was one of the more knowledgeable boys participating in the conversation, point to his heart and ask the other boys if they felt it too. He explained that he felt a burning in his chest, which was the Holy Ghost. He told us that God was pleased that he was teaching these things and that was why he felt the Holy Ghost. From that moment I knew that there was a God because I knew that Spencer wasn·t lying and he had felt His Spirit. Since then I longed to feel the burning in my chest for myself. This experience and few others have caused me to have a great interest in religion. The summer after sixth grade I was invited to Bible camp. At camp I learned a lot and became motivated to be a more religious person. When I got back from camp I started going to church fairly regularly. My Mom and I attended the New Life Nazarene Church. Although my motivation wore off and my church attendance became more infrequent, I considered myself a Christian and that was my church. I attended this church up until my sophomore year of high school. New Life was a great church and I really enjoyed the pastor there, but as I learned and grew in my beliefs I began to have questions. I wondered about what it was like when Jesus Christ was on the earth and he set up His church. Are today·s churches what he intended? I thought about the hundreds of different sects of Christianity. Which one of them was right? It also didn·t make sense to me that there were prophets and scriptures being written 2000 years ago, but nothing of the sort today. In high school I had a handful of friends who were Mormons. I didn·t know much about the religion. I just thought that they were Christians who were kind of weird and extra strict. One day I shared my religious questions with a Mormon friend of mine named Leavitt. I asked him, ´How come, thousands of years ago when a man said he talked to God, he was considered a prophet, and now we just lock them up?µ Before answering my question, he took me to down the street to the house of our friend James, who was also a Mormon. I don·t remember how they answered my question, but they told about Joseph Smith: a 14 year old farm boy, who lived in upstate New York in the early 1800·s. He, like me, had no idea what church to join. After much pondering over the subject, he went into a grove of trees and he prayed to know which church he should join. There, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. They told him to join none of them. Leavitt and James also told me that Joseph was called to be a prophet, through him the true church of Jesus Christ was restored upon the earth in preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ, and there has been a prophet on the earth ever since to lead a guide Christ·s church. They also told me about the Book of Mormon: a volume of scripture like the Bible that is a record of God·s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, that complements the Bible as a second witness of Jesus Christ, and was revealed in these last days as convincing evidence that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I was amazed at what I heard. and they promised me that if I asked God in prayer. Initially I began my own research of the Mormon faith. just around the time I graduated high school. and so many people confused the Mormons with the Jehova·s Witnesses. However. my friend James started inviting me to church again.is Christ·s church once again on the earth. I never asked my Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true. I started attending the church and meeting with the missionaries. Before I stopped meeting with the missionaries. the desire to know if the church was true soon returned. I even asked him one time. but I did not have sufficient will power to overcome the way I was living. I agreed that this was the only way to know the truth of these things. I accepted his invitation. that the religion was more of an exclusive cult that controls and disciplines its members. anti-Mormon literature. but it wasn·t long until my top priorities became varsity football and girls. About two years later. if Joseph Smith was a prophet. they told me that if I wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true. but I soon discovered that the general public·s view of the church very much contrasted what I had experienced. and I looked into several other faiths. I do not remember a great deal about my initial investigation of the church. and if the current president of the church was a prophet. It made so much sense to me. They again challenged me to ask God if the Book of Mormon was true. My parents did not want me to go anymore and I am sure it is because of all the bad things they heard about the church. Some even saw the church as the express way to eternal damnation. Honestly. I thought I wouldn·t get the proper answer until I changed my ways. my parents became very concerned with my activity in the church. simply to experience that peace of mind that I had experienced before. if the church really was Christ·s true church. then I must ask God in prayer. Eventually I considered getting baptized. At the time I found this frustrating. I was incredibly interested. friends of other faiths were quick to present my family with anti-Mormon literature. Most people had a very minimal and misguided understanding of the church. but I now see that my parents were wise in making me wait. but I also felt that I wasn·t living worthily to receive such a spiritual manifestation. I was mostly confronted by devout members of other faiths who were quick to denounce the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a corrupt and false church that made a mockery of the gospel. They thought I wasn·t old enough to make the decision for myself. ´Can I be a member of the church and just not believe in the whole Joseph Smith thing?µ Contrary to my plan. I don·t think I was truly ready to be baptized either. or that it wasn·t a Christian church at all. I thoroughly admired the church. When word got out that I was attending the LDS church. Needless to say. I was told that my answer would come through the feelings of the Holy Ghost. They taught that if the Book of Mormon was true then all these other things had to be too. I didn·t have the greatest understanding of the church. I was teased at school. but my parents wouldn·t let me. So as my parents wished. then I would receive and answer through the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:3-5). with real intent. but I knew that the church made a great deal of sense to me and that it just felt right. I reluctantly stopped going to the church. Some thought that Mormons worshipped Joseph Smith. I started meeting with the missionaries again and we spent a great deal of time discussing the two years of questions I had saved up. but I distinctly remember those few months of my sophomore year of high school as having the greatest peace of mind I have ever had in my life. The influence of the Holy Ghost had been . if the Book of Mormon was true.

while he talked with us by the way. As I met with the missionaries. Christ·s disciples describe what the Spirit of God feels like after Christ teaches them. To prove that I wasn·t naïve. and while he opened to us the scriptures?µ (Luke 24:32) Anxious to experience these feelings and with the remorse of never asking my Heavenly Father the first time I investigated the church. but logically I just couldn·t buy it because of all the evidence that I had just been presented. The testimony of that boy really stuck with me. ´Did not our heart burn within us. a feeling that came with strong thoughts and impressions. He was very savvy in the ways anti-Mormon literature.described to me as a still small voice. I began to pray more earnestly. I had felt the Holy Ghost. I knew that he felt the Holy Ghost. In the Gospel of Luke. He felt the burning in his bosom to the point where it really did feel like a thousand blankets were on him. My Mom was scared to death of losing me. The answer to these prayers did come. or that I was simply making the worst mistake of my life. I was so happy! I had been pondering potentially one of the greatest messages ever revealed to man. and I knew it was true! The missionaries and I set a date for me to be baptized: July 14th 2007. It seemed like once I set the date for baptism there arose great opposition from friends and family. I had a sincere hope of feeling what Spencer had described to me years before. and after I met with him I could tell that he had done that before. I walked out of his office nearly convinced that the church wasn·t true. I heard that he told his mother afterwards that after he was baptized he felt like there were a thousand blankets on him. and read the Book of Mormon I began to notice the warm burning in my bosom. I had that sweet peace of mind that I had once felt before. brainwashed. So I prayed. a feeling that invited one to do good. During his two hour presentation he explained all of the most convincing reasons for why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a false church. Around this time. I was cursed and yelled at by some of those closest to me. discussed the gospel with friends. They were still under the impression that I was joining a cult. I studied anti-Mormon literature and met with ministers of other faiths to inquire of them why the church wasn·t true. and a few days went by with no answer. Many people were convinced that my soul was lost. There was a particular minister who was very ready for me. I was very confused and very frustrated. When I told my parents they were alarmed. I also wanted to test my faith in order to prove to myself and my family that I was absolutely sure of my decision to be baptized. but it was mostly describe as a burning in the bosom. The disciples ask each other. I was at a point where I knew what I had felt and believed the church to be true. I researched everything that minister had told me concerning the reasons that the church was not true. I was devoted inquire of Him. or converted by my own emotions. and I experienced all of the other feelings described to me. My mother made the appointment for me. a peaceful feeling. I postponed my baptismal date to 3 weeks later. unbiased explanation about every anti-Mormon claim that bothered me. Many people think that I was light-minded in my investigation of the church and that I was easily swayed by my LDS friends. but I would like to remind all who are reading this that I was well aware that I was possibly making the . I continued to pray a couple of more times and after about a week I still didn·t have an answer. It was then that I began to seek the truth more diligently and sincere than ever before. I really wanted to know. I made it a personal goal to find out the truthful. a boy in the ward turned eight and was baptized.

the Spirit became even stronger. I was baptized on August 4th. I asked my Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true. A final time. the truth of the church is obvious to me. There was no doubt in my mind I had just been baptized into Christ·s church. One time. the same feeling that the 8 year old kid felt. but I will be exhorting people to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it and the Holy Ghost will . and the same feeling the Spencer felt. It also gives me peace and happiness that no other experiences in my life can rival. I feel that I have a personal obligation to serve a mission. they felt it too. I realized that all the anti-Mormon claims that had been presented to me were halftruths. Nearly everyone in the room was crying. Now that I have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost.worst decisions of my life and that it may have been a matter of salvation. prompts me. As I read. It was the answer to my prayers that I may have been ignoring. I felt the subtle. and movies to convince people that the church isn·t true. it helps me to know when I·m living the way I·m supposed to. That strong Spirit did not leave me as I went about that evening with my friends. through a priesthood blessing. It was the strongest that I had ever felt the Holy Ghost. or just completely false. I discovered an exceedingly great amount of supporting evidence for the truthfulness of the church in the departments of archeology. I told him. My friends and I celebrated by going to taco bell and then the theatres to see The Simpson·s Movie. It was absolutely unmistakable. the Holy Ghost was amplified a 100 times stronger than I had ever felt before. The difference between having the Gift of the Holy Ghost and not is like night and day. ´It stinks!µ I often marvel at how simple it is: read the Book of Mormon and pray with real intent to know if it is true and you will get an answer.000 blankets. tell my family how much I loved them. and personal accounts. and bear my own testimony. I had hardly ever felt such feelings before I was baptized and now I feel it all the time! It is my constant companion. Joining this church has given me the greatest happiness I have ever known and I really did nothing to receive it. The result of my research was quite the opposite of what I anticipated. When I came out of the water. I feel that warmth in my chest every day. I tried to read as much as I could. On my mission I won·t be trying to convince anybody. It is all the proof I could ever want. However I am a firm believer in the counsel of the apostle Paul. The next day. I felt it every time that I read the Book of Mormon. scripture. Just before the service ended. ´That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men. It directs me. It is the same wonderful feeling from my baptism. and it helps me to know when I·m not. DNA. of course I wanted to be 100 percent sure! Since then I have studied a lot of anti. my institute teacher asked me what it·s like not having the Holy Ghost. prophecy. Because of this gift. I have never felt such great joy in my life. I also found an abundance of answers to my concerns to the point where I felt comfortable making the decision to be baptized. It would haunt me the rest of my life if I didn·t try and share it with everyone I can. I felt a strong prompting in my heart to go to the pulpit.µ (1 Corinthians 2:5) I knew that there was only one thing that I needed to do in preparation for a baptismal decision. but in the power of God. yet prevalent burning in my bosom. testifies of truth. 2007. I received the Gift of the Holy Ghost (just as it is described in the King James Version of the Bible in Acts 8:10-17). I felt the 1. How grateful I am that I was able to come to a sure knowledge of the truth in such a way. As I did. I know all of the best websites. books. taken out of context.

that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them.take care of the rest. that there is a prophet on the earth today who leads and guides Christ·s church. . amen. that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I will be a member of this church my whole life. I had a belief in all of these things and by the power of the Holy Ghost. As I did. they will come to a sure knowledge that the Book of Mormon. is the word of God. along with the Bible. that Jesus is the Christ. I now have a knowledge of them. And I leave that with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ.