Missionary Focus:
“How Do You Know?”

by Mary Cole

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    I was studying speech pathology at Mississippi University for Women five years ago. During the year I had looked for a church I could believe in. I had not found one.

    One day some friends and I discussed the destination of the spirit after death. Theories were suggested. I had heard one thing about Mormons: they believed in three heavens, and they all went to one of them. As I laughingly related this knowledge a girl spoke up, “That isn’t exactly true.” Attention was directed to her, and I asked, “How do you know?” (I was surprised someone had spoken with conviction.) She answered, “I’m a Mormon.”

    For a month I visited my new friend’s home and listened to the flannelboard discussions. The first vision of the Prophet Joseph was a little difficult to accept; also, I had a question about the day of the Sabbath. But the absolutely logical account of the apostasy and the restoration could not be disputed as far as I was concerned.

    Still, I held back until one Sunday night after sacrament meeting when the missionaries suggested I be baptized at 9:00 A.M. the next day! The suggestion was made in front of several members. They were smiling encouragingly and I said, after a moment’s thought, “All right.” (How could I refuse with so many people caring?)

    Having made the decision, I informed the Lord that Sunday night of my plans. I asked him to give me some indication that I was making the right move. Nevertheless, I told him if I received nothing, I would still be baptized.

    Very quietly, instantly, definitely, two scriptures came to my mind: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8), and “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). I was satisfied and slept peacefully.

    That Monday morning as I was brought from the water, I felt as if I had been on a long, wearisome journey and had at last come home. My own conviction of the authenticity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown since that time. Now I add my testimony to those of faithful Saints throughout the world.

    Illustrated by LaFarne Holz