What I Believed Before I Converted
I actually felt I believed nothing. There were vague hopes drifting around in my brain - after all, I was baptized when I was 10 and I am now 58. But I never 'knew' - I had never been converted. I was so discouraged, so alone, for so long, I got to the stage where there was just darkness in my life.
How I Knew the Church Was True
Then I saw a couple of missionaries next door and I went out onto the balcony and I do not know why (well, I do now, but I didn't then) and I shouted out to them:
"Oy, would you two come over here for a few minutes?" They looked very taken aback and when they heard my dogs they looked like they were going to run! Nevertheless, I got them inside and asked them if I could ask them a few questions. My first one was "What about Heavenly Mother?" Elder Johnson, a part-Maori American immediately said, "Have you read the words of Hymn 292?" Question answered!
Other answers came quickly and easily and then I agreed to attend Lincoln Road Ward on Sunday. One night before Sunday, I was sitting thinking about what they had said and a miracle occurred, as clear a miracle as I have ever heard described. I felt like I was literally being enfolded in gigantic soft wings, and so much suddenly clarified in my stubborn old brain. I knew that my Saviour had allowed that 3rd member of the Godhead, to touch my soul (yes, me!) and tell me to come back home. He was offering me a second chance, forgiveness if I would repent - I felt his arms outstretched to me in love and then I knew what Godhood was about. Over the months since, my heart has come to know the truth of the Gospel beyond a shadow of a doubt. Teaching Relief Society on Easter Sunday on the life of Christ emphasized for me, the immeasurable sacrifice the Saviour made on our behalf. His suffering, humiliation and agonizing death so we might return to Heavenly Father, stood out with such clarity, I wanted to lie at the Saviour's feet and be trampled in my unworthiness, at His ability to forgive us and let us return to the Gospel and all it's blessings, if we would just try to follow His commandments. His patience is the patience of a God and as such, it is beyond our ability to fully appreciate.
- Pray and study sincerely. Now, I have no desire to do anything that I wouldn't do in the Saviour's presence. I want, more than anything, to do what He would have me do every waking moment of my life to demonstrate that I know what He went through can redeem me, through the miracle of the Atonement. Repentance drives my day and my night. The pain in my heart that I suffer for the time wasted over 50 years of my life, causes me to weep often, but then I feel the Holy Spirit comfort me, because my repentance is from my very soul - utter. I would rather die than deny what I now know to be true.