Persecution


It’s been just over a year now since my parents and I joined the Church, and it hasn’t been easy.

We were taught by two of the finest missionaries and gained a strong testimony. But when we decided to be baptized, people told us we would be lost and end up in hell. We were told we were no good. We received a great deal of persecution.

I lost all the friends I had at my old church, which I’d been attending for 11 years. I had done a lot of baby-sitting and when I changed churches, the people who I used to baby-sit for told me that I would never watch their children again, that I was a bad influence, and that they never wanted me in their home again. They said if I ever worked in a day-care center where their children were, they’d take them out.

That all hurt me very badly. I was harassed at school, and when I came home, there would be pamphlets in my mailbox and phone calls and people pushing their way into my home. My father even received death threats, saying that if we went through with the baptism, he would die.

The death threats almost postponed our baptism. When he received one the day we were to be baptized, he nearly canceled the baptism. But we went through with it.

And you know what? I’m really glad we did.

I told my mom that I didn’t care if I lost all my friends. Yes, it hurt a great deal, but I knew that Jesus Christ had died for my sins. He had been beaten, spit on, and stabbed, and had had thorns put on his head. My troubles didn’t seem so bad in comparison.

I still get criticism about joining the Church, but Jesus Christ has helped me pull through. I have my baby-sitting jobs back, and Dad has not received any more death threats. I have found truly beautiful new friends in my ward, where there is a great deal of love, friendship, and caring. I would go through all the hardships again and face even more. I thank Heavenly Father so very much for bringing me into the true Church.

[illustration] Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes