26941_000_004My LDS cousin seemed to have all the answers about religion. His beliefs sounded awesome, but I had my doubts.
I grew up in another religion and believed I was in the right church. My aunt and uncle’s family were Latter-day Saints, but I didn’t really understand their faith and didn’t try to. Then in 1996 my aunt telephoned me and asked if I wanted to go to a youth camp at Brigham Young University. Being only 14, I didn’t want to go but agreed to anyway.
At first I felt out of place because I was different. Then I met up with my cousin, Adam. He was friendly and included me in everything. The week went great.
On Thursday evening, we were in our room when Adam began to ask me about my beliefs.
I was happy to share but could not answer a lot of his questions. I asked him if he knew the answers. He told me about our premortal life and how God has a plan for us. He told me about how the early Church members fell into apostasy and how the gospel was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He told me how the Book of Mormon came forth.
We talked for about two hours. It sounded awesome, but I had my doubts. Adam told me to pray to God and ask Him if the Church was true. So I waited until Adam was asleep and did just that.
The next morning, I woke up feeling peaceful and happy. I felt the Church was true, but I didn’t say anything.
Adam gave me a Book of Mormon, and I went back home to St. Louis, Missouri. I was scared to tell my family and go forward with something so big, and I soon lost the spiritual feeling I had come home with. I put my copy of the Book of Mormon in my closet.
Six years later, after a lot of tough times and losing interest in my religion, I felt the need to find the right church. I visited different churches but never felt that I had found the right one. I just about gave up hope.
One day I was cleaning my closet, and buried deep down was that Book of Mormon. This time I read it. While reading I remembered that night at youth camp and what I had felt. I called my uncle and aunt and asked if I could go to church with them.
There I met the missionaries and began taking the discussions. Four months and four missionaries later, I was baptized.
It has been almost three years since my baptism. I recently returned from serving a mission in the Belgium Brussels/Netherlands Mission, where I followed my cousin Adam’s example and testified of the Restoration of Christ’s true Church and gospel.
How remarkable and powerful are the seeds that people plant in others.
More stories of testimony and conversion are found in the Gospel Library at www.lds.org. See “The Challenge to Become” (New Era, Aug. 2002) by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “How I Found the Truth” (New Era, Dec. 2002) by Erin Marshall, and the June 2002 New Era special issue: “Building Your Testimony.”