I was the only teenage girl who came to church. But I found out I was never alone.
No Girl Is an Island94943_000_003
The meaning of church to most people is a little different than what it is to me. Where I live, church consists of the two LDS families in Sand Point (an island town on the Aleutian Chain in Alaska) meeting for an hour to partake of the sacrament and participate in talks, prayers, and questions. My dad is the branch president. Our branch has no meetinghouse, so my family and the other member family take turns hosting the Sunday meeting.
At first I didn’t like “going” to church, and I really don’t know why. Maybe it was because I was the only teenage girl on the island who attended. I know it wasn’t because my friends teased me about church as much as it was the questions they asked. I really didn’t understand the Church and I had doubts about it. Was the Church true? Did God care? And most of all, What would happen to me when I died?
For a while, I’d read the Book of Mormon and never seemed to get anywhere. Satan seemed to be doing all he could to keep me from gaining a testimony.
One day, my feelings began to change. After a very difficult day, I came home from school very upset. I’d forgotten my lunch, had an unfriendly run-in with a hockey puck, and my best friend and I had had an argument. When I returned home, I ran upstairs, dumped my books on a chair, flopped onto my bed, and started crying.
As my tears ceased, I noticed I had left my triple combination on my desk. As I walked over to put it away, it fell open to a page marked by a card. The verses marked in ink caught my eye. I read in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–11 [D&C 18:10–11]: “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.”
Suddenly I realized that Christ loved me and I wanted to know him better. I had expected my testimony to be handed to me. I assumed it would be easy. I know now that I have to search, ponder, and pray. I’m not going to get my testimony from my parents or grandparents, or my brothers and sisters. If I have faith my Savior will help me, and together we will find my testimony.
That night I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon again. This time, I was committed to finishing it.