I had just turned 21 and was working as a server in a local ski resort’s restaurant. One afternoon as I finished cleaning the dining room, another server handed me a book and said he wanted me to have it. I thanked him and accepted it.
I looked at the cover: the Book of Mormon. My curiosity was sparked, so I decided to go into the kitchen to check it out. Inside the cover I found a note that the server had written to me. In it he said the Book of Mormon was a true book of Jesus Christ’s gospel and that he knew it would touch my heart. I decided to start reading it right then.
As I read, a strange, peaceful feeling enveloped me. I hadn’t felt that feeling while reading any book other than the Bible. My initial intent to read a few pages quickly turned into a few chapters. I couldn’t put the book down. Then I came to 1 Nephi 15:11: “Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.”
I had to know if this book was true. I didn’t know how to address God in prayer, so I simply looked up at the kitchen ceiling and asked, “Is this book from You?” Immediately I felt a firm reply: “Yes.” I remember thinking, “Wow. I guess I’ll finish the book!”
Three months later, having finished the Book of Mormon, I drove to visit my father in California. Not far from his house I passed a building with a mosaic on its front that I recognized. I quickly turned into the parking lot and found a man outside.
“What is Lehi’s vision of the tree of life doing on your building?” I asked. He then introduced me to his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I retrieved my Book of Mormon from the car and began asking him questions about all the passages I had circled as I read. He slowed me down and explained that the Church had missionaries who devoted two years of their lives to answering questions like mine.
I gave him my father’s address, and later two elders came to visit me. I was impressed that they were eager to answer all of my questions. I was even more impressed that the new concepts they taught me felt like familiar things I was remembering again. Five weeks later I was baptized a member of the Church.
Thirty-two years have passed since then, and I still read the Book of Mormon daily. It has been a continuous source of light and direction for my family and me. How grateful I am to the ancient prophets who etched the words of God onto the golden plates, to Joseph Smith for enduring persecution and trials in order to translate and publish its truths, and to a server who had the courage to give me a Book of Mormon that day.