A Woman’s Good Example Led Another to the Gospel

Contributed By By the Relief Society General Board

  • 20 February 2014

Stephany Ruiz, in the foreground, with missionaries and the Flores family at her baptism.   Photo courtesy Relief Society general board.

Article Highlights

  • During a time of trial, Stephany Ruiz felt compelled to learn more about the gospel because she remembered the example of a friend who was a member.
  • Stephany contacted her Latter-day Saint friend and began taking missionary discussions.
  • On October 19, 2013, Stephany was baptized.

Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, taught that “when you love, watch over, and serve others in small and simple ways, you are actively participating in the work of salvation.”

For one young woman living in California, a good example of living the gospel led her to finding the peace and joy the gospel brings.

Lauren Flores of the Norwalk Ward in the Cerritos California Stake had many friends in high school. Although none of them were members of the Church, she was able to live the commandments and standards daily and still love and respect her nonmember friends. Stephany Ruiz was one of those friends with whom she shared many experiences, but upon graduation they lost track of each other.

Stephany moved away to Virginia, married, and had two children. Life’s difficulties began to overcome her, and she soon found herself recalling the joy and love she remembered feeling when she associated with her friend Lauren. She knew Lauren was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and felt compelled to search for her on Facebook.

There she learned that Lauren was serving as a full-time missionary in the Texas Houston East Mission. Wanting to learn more about the Church, Stephany wrote a letter to Lauren expressing her desire. Lauren was ecstatic to reconnect with her friend and immediately replied to her letter, including a pamphlet about the Restoration.

Unbeknownst to Lauren, Stephany had already made contact with the sister missionaries even before the letter arrived. Gospel principles taught by the sister missionaries brought peace, comfort, and the Spirit. It was exactly what she knew to be missing in her life. Her burdens were lifted when she attended church with the missionaries, and she felt that she was not alone.

Stephany made the decision to move back to California where Lauren’s family lived. Since Lauren was still serving her full-time mission, she passed along Stephany’s contact information to her family, and they began to help in fellowshipping. On October 19, 2013, Lauren’s father baptized her friend Stephany.

Recalling these events, Lauren said, “It is so amazing to me how our Father in Heaven prepares people to receive the gospel. I have reflected since then how even in high school Heavenly Father knew what would transpire years down the line because of our friendship.”

As it teaches in Mosiah 18:9, Church members are “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.” By keeping her covenants made at baptism, Lauren was able to provide a powerful, sustaining, and influential example to her friend.

“I know this is His work,” Lauren said. “I have such a testimony that we are all involved in the work of salvation more than we think.”