I was baptized and became a member of Pacdal Ward, Baguio Philippines Stake, on 12 July 1992, one month before my seventeenth birthday. My baptism was the greatest birthday gift I have ever received.
Although I had a testimony when I was baptized, my heart desired a deeper understanding of the gospel and a stronger testimony of the Church. But this was a difficult time in my life. It seemed my testimony was under assault from many directions.
My grandmother often tried to discourage me from observing the Sabbath day. She disliked the fact that my sister Mila and I had to spend so much money to get to church. Our house was far from the meetinghouse, and transportation was expensive. But for me, the value of the word of God I received at church was worth millions of times more than the money we spent getting there!
I also had a difficult time in my peer group. Among my friends were four young men who were members of another religious group. They often shared with us teachings from the Bible. When they learned that I was a Mormon, they gave me a pamphlet that argued that ours is not a Christian religion. In giving me the pamphlet, they sincerely believed they were helping me.
I was interested, so I began reading the pamphlet. It included a lot of discouraging, negative comments about our church. As I read, confusion and doubt about the Church filled my heart. I still wanted to believe the Church was true—I had had some wonderful experiences while learning the gospel and attending church. But now my feelings were so confused that I began to doubt. I felt as though my soul were wandering. I stopped going to church and quit reading the Book of Mormon. I was frightened.
Finally I decided that I could not clear up this confusion on my own. I went to Joey, one of my friends who had given me the pamphlet, and shared my feelings with him. Being a Christian, he suggested that we pray. In his prayer, he asked God to help me know the truth and to give me peace of mind.
After he finished, I felt inspired to pray for help myself. Joey had taught me a valuable lesson: During my confusion, I had not bothered to pray. How ashamed I felt! Why hadn’t I prayed? I was a Latter-day Saint—but a very emotional one, one who had been easily overcome by this adversity. I went home that day with my heart filled with a prayer that God would tell me the truth.
He answered me. I can’t tell you exactly how, for what I felt came from the deepest part of my soul. But I knew, and boldly declare to the world, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is true!
To the youth of the Church around the world who may be confused, I say, Don’t forget to pray! God will answer you.