So for today I wanted to share the story of how I came to know that the Mormon church was true.
Let’s jump into the time machine and dial it back to August 2005, shall we?
The current Prophet of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley wrote an article and challenged members of the church to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. He promised that if we do this “there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”
Naturally there was a lot of talk about “President Hinckley’s Challenge” and how everyone was planning on doing it by themselves and as a family. This excitement was contagious and I decided to take upon the challenge.
At this point in my life I wasn’t getting into trouble and felt good about the church but I was still not sure if the Church was totally true for myself. My friends in middle school were starting to get into the things that teenage boys get into at that age and it sure looked like fun and an exciting time. But I was taught otherwise. I had been taught to not be apart of those things and that wickedness never was happiness.
I was presented with an opportunity to choose how I wanted to live my life. To continue down a pathway that I’ve been walking down since birth or to start traveling down roads with people and friends who were having a good time and having a ton of fun in the process.
I started reading the Book of Mormon as much as I could. I wasn’t very consistent about it, but I kept at it. Fast forward to when the ball in Time Square drops at midnight and I am still not finished. I was pretty discouraged especially when everyone at church was asking “Did you finish it? Did you finish it?” and I had to man up and say “No not yet, I’m getting there.”
So I still had that desire in my heart to follow the Prophet and read the Book of Mormon even when I felt like the promised blessings would not take effect in my life because I didn’t “complete the assignment” on time. Thank goodness I was wrong and I kept reading.
I eventually finished the book one night and decided that this was the moment. This was going to be the make or break moment in which I would put it all on the line to get an answer of truth and validation. I went and locked the door of my bedroom and knelt down in prayer on my bedside. I laid it out specifically and clearly to God that I want to know the truth.
Is what my parents been teaching me right? Is the Book of Mormon true? I think it is, but I want to know. I knelt there pour out my heart to my Heavenly Father asking for an answer.
The feeling that I felt can’t be described, but I can try using the very limited vocabulary of the English language. It can best be explained as an electric surge coursing through my body emanating from the very depths of my heart and the core of my being followed by a flood of soothing enveloping feeling of calmness and peaceful stillness in the matter of a few seconds. It was a feeling I had never felt before, and never have since but I knew what I felt.
I knew that what I felt was from God and I had received an answer to the question I had in my soul. I knew that I had received an answer because I was willing to act upon the message I received and I was truly seeking for it in my soul.
From that moment on, I knew the feeling I had and knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it. I choose to follow His example and continue down the road I had been on, but this time with confidence and courage that whatever lie ahead I had the Lord on my side and He would never fail me.
Has the road been rough at times? It has but I’ve come to learn that that is what makes us grow and develop our character is the rough times. Despite my own personal struggles and challenges I have never denied the spiritual witness that I received and kept on the road as best I can.