Latter-day Saint Voices

Blessed for Declaring My Faith

By Kristin McElderry

Massachusetts, USA

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friends walking around campus

Illustration by Dilleen Marsh

I was baptized when I was 19. Many of my family and friends did not accept my decision to join the Church, but that didn’t stop me. Two weeks later, I started my second year of college. When I got back to campus, I became nervous about my new faith.

I started to worry that I wouldn’t have the courage to stand up for my religion. I felt alone. I had never met a member of the Church at college, and I didn’t know where to find a meetinghouse, or if there was even a ward or branch nearby. I prayed to Heavenly Father for courage. I prayed I would have confidence to stand up for my newfound beliefs.

A few days later, I helped some people move in. I met a young man named Brian and we became friends. We were walking through campus one day when he asked me what my plans were for Sunday. I told him I was going to church.

“Oh, what church do you go to?” he asked.

Despite the anxious feeling in my stomach, I straightened up tall and said, “I go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

I was proud of myself! I was also nervous about how Brian would respond. Just then, I saw the missionaries. Before Brian said anything, I told him I would be right back. I ran over to the missionaries. They were happy to meet me and gave me all the details I needed to get to church the next day.

I went back to Brian and explained what had happened. I also shared a little bit about the Church with him, and we continued walking without much difference, except I now had a spring in my step. I also felt the warmth and peace only the Spirit can bring. I had been worried about being alone and not knowing where to go to church. But I believe that those missionaries arriving at that exact spot at that time was Heavenly Father’s way of blessing me for declaring my faith.

More than 10 years have gone by, and since that day I have never been afraid to say, “I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!”