Becoming a Mormon: A Directed Path to Joining the LDS Church
Contributed by Tom Roulstone of the Nanaimo British Columbia Stake
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
While watching the 2008 Canadian stake conference broadcast, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the speaker, Sister Ann Dibb, second counsellor in the General Young Women presidency, mention that among her Canadian acquaintances was Sister Nadine Edis. Hearing Nadine’s name took me back over three decades to my first day at the junior secondary school in the small town of Castlegar, BC. With my wife and our four children, I had just returned to Canada after six years at college in Utah. Being in Castlegar was definitely not part of my career plan. The nearest Church unit, a branch in Trail, was twenty miles away, and having trained to teach college, I wasn’t looking forward to teaching junior high.
Of all the students I saw that first day, Nadine stood out. It was as if the Spirit whispered to me, “Here is an elect young woman.” She had a certain glow, an indefinable radiance. I mentioned her to my wife that evening and suggested that we should introduce her to the Church. The more I got to know Nadine, the more I knew she should be a wonderful member. We made it a matter of family prayer and recommended Nadine when members of the Church needed a baby-sitter.
Months went by with no obvious answer to our prayers. Then one day in my second year at the school, Nadine dropped into my homeroom to tell me that her family was going to Utah on vacation. She asked if I could recommend some places of interest. Feeling that this was an answer to prayer, I jumped at the opportunity. Several days later, my wife and I visited Nadine’s family. We started talking about Utah and ended talking about the Church. Before leaving, I mentioned that there were two young ladies from Utah in town—the sister missionaries were soon teaching Nadine and her family.
Although her parents did not continue with the discussions, Nadine took to the gospel unreservedly. The members in Castlegar and Trail warmly welcomed her, and she was soon a regular at meetings. About that time, I accepted a college position and we moved to Vancouver Island. Nadine wrote that she wanted to be baptized, but her parents felt that she should wait until she was eighteen. Her faith in the gospel so impressed her parents, however, that they eventually relented and allowed her to be baptized at sixteen.
After high school, Nadine moved to Vancouver to study nursing. There she met her future husband, Warren, who had just returned from a mission in Italy.
By this time, my wife and I had six children and getting away as a couple was always difficult. In the fall of 1983, we managed to arrange a three-day trip to the Seattle Temple—a seven-hour journey. A week before we were to leave, an excited Nadine phoned to say that she and her fiance were getting married. She apologized for the short notice, and asked if it would be possible for us to be in the temple the following Friday. She was surprised and delighted to learn that we had already arranged to be there that very day.
At the temple, I was thrilled to be asked to be one of the two witnesses in the sealing room. After the ceremony, Nadine, her eyes streaming with tears, threw her arms around my wife and me and thanked us for introducing her to the gospel. Through our own tears, we assured her that the joy she had brought into our lives was ample reward. This beautiful experience of their wedding will be with us both throughout eternity.
Although going to Castlegar was not our original plan, there is no doubt that our two-year sojourn there was part of a directed path for us to find one of the Lord’s precious daughters.