In March 1989 I was seriously ill in a hospital in Wismar, in what was then the German Democratic Republic. At the age of ninety-four, I felt completely helpless and had lost all desire to live. In my prayers, I constantly asked God to take me home.
Seeing my pain, my daughter visited me from Hamburg. On each visit, she tried to give me new hope, encouraging me to hold on. Eventually, she and my son-in-law checked me out of the hospital and brought me into their home.
I had always admired my daughter’s strength and confidence. When I asked about her strength, she said that it came from attending church every Sunday. She had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints years before, but I had not felt any interest in her new religion. I didn’t want to abandon my Protestant church.
Now that I was in her home, my daughter began telling me about the Church and reading to me out of the scriptures. She also invited two lady missionaries to tell me more. I enjoyed the visits of these sweet sisters, and through our discussions I eventually gained a conviction that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indeed the only true church.
So I let myself be baptized on 27 August 1989. There I was—ninety-four years old and born again!
The change I felt was immediate and wonderful. I knew that I would still have to suffer pain but that I could ask the Lord to help me stay faithful to the end. I also knew that our Heavenly Father knows when we will return to him. It was his will that I make the baptism covenant with him in this life.