Everything Fell into Place


Most of what the missionaries said fit together neatly. But everything centered on Joseph Smith. Could they accept him?

Everything Fell into Place

When my sister, Nancy, and I were teenagers, we regularly attended our local church. But we began to feel that something was missing, so we decided to investigate other churches.

That summer my sister and brother visited a booth at the Canadian National Exhibition where missionaries were showing a movie called Ancient America Speaks. After watching the movie, they signed up for a free copy of the Book of Mormon. I can still remember the excitement in my sister’s voice as she announced to my mother and me that Christ had visited the American continent.

The missionaries dropped off a Book of Mormon to my sister and asked her if she would like to learn more about the Church. That was how we both were taught the gospel.

More than a year after Nancy and I were baptized, she began dating a young man named Luke. He had a bubbly personality and seemed to radiate love and excitement. At the time Nancy met him, he was looking for direction in his life and was eager to take the missionary discussions when Nancy told him about the gospel. His sister, Leonarda, also was interested in being taught.

Although Luke and Leonarda agreed with most of what was presented, they had trouble accepting that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Once they gained a testimony of Joseph Smith then everything else (the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the gospel, and the gospel principles taught by the prophets) would fall into place.

They came to our home to be taught by the elders. Once again the discussion centered on Joseph Smith. One of the elders suggested that we should each take a turn asking Heavenly Father if Joseph Smith was a prophet and then listen silently for a minute for the answer.

I won’t forget the feeling of peace that came into that room and touched each of our hearts as the Spirit bore witness to each of us that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. For some of us a testimony was gained that night; for others the truth was reaffirmed. Luke accepted baptism and Leonarda was baptized a few years later with her parents’ approval.

Since that night the Spirit has borne witness to me many times of the truthfulness of other gospel principles. But this experience stands out in my mind because it was one of my first experiences with personal revelation from a Heavenly Father who loves me. I learned that night the truth of the counsel found in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matt. 7:7]

[photos] Photography by Peggy Jellinghausen