I am a member of the Church because of a five-year-old missionary.
When I was young, my mother was searching for a church that could answer all her questions. As a result, we attended a different church each week. Eventually Mom became frustrated because every religion contradicted the others and none of them satisfied her. Finally she gave up.
My best friend at the time was a girl named Sandy Guthrie. We played together nearly every day. One Saturday evening she asked me if I would like to attend Sunday School with her the next day. I asked her which church she belonged to, thinking that I had visited them all. She told me that it was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called the Mormon Church—a new one to me. I decided it was the church for me because my last name is Moore and I thought she said “Moore-man Church.”
I agreed to go, but I had to ask Mom. Unfortunately, she said she had other plans that Sunday.
The next week, Sandy invited me again, and once again I asked Mom. She had another excuse, and I wasn’t allowed to go.
Being a good missionary, Sandy didn’t give up. She suggested that on Sunday morning I get up and get ready by myself before asking my mother if I could go. I thought it was a great idea. If Mom didn’t have to make a special effort to get me ready, she might be more willing to let me go.
On Sunday morning, I put on my best clothes and woke Mom up. This time she flatly refused. She offered no excuse and left no room for bargaining. She simply said no. So I did what most five-year-olds would have done. I cried.
I suppose the tears and my steadfast dedication touched my mother, because she agreed to let me go on the condition that she go with me.
Mom called Sandy’s mom to make arrangements, and we attended church with them that morning. Mom felt the Spirit so strongly that she knew immediately we had found the true Church. That evening she took the first discussion from the missionaries and agreed to be baptized.
More than twenty years have passed since then. When I tell my own two children this story, I draw a chart showing everyone who joined the Church because Sandy invited a friend to Sunday School. There are well over a hundred people on the chart. Many of them not only accepted the gospel but in turn served missions and brought others to the knowledge of the truth. I, myself, have served a mission. The chart proves that one child’s dedication to sharing the gospel can bless the lives of many people.
I don’t know how many others Sandy invited to church or how large her complete chart might be. I do know that I owe her more than I can say. I only hope that she realizes how much her faithfulness has meant to me, my family, and all the others touched indirectly by her missionary work. I know I can’t repay her, but I’ve made a goal to share the gospel whenever and wherever possible—just in case I meet another family like mine, waiting for the truth.