When I was a young man, there was a time when I hated church. Things were rocky at home, and as I watched my family breaking up and my mother’s medical problems, I became rebellious. I started to hang out with the type of people I never would have hung out with before. I got a job and, with the money I earned, got two piercings and dyed my hair almost every color of the rainbow.
My family never knew where I was. I was dumb and doing dumb things. I didn’t care what I did or who I was with, as long as I was having fun. But I knew that I wasn’t really happy.
Then a new missionary moved into the ward—Elder Smith. He talked to me like no one else in the ward would at that time. I thought he was a weird guy at first because he smiled all the time. But soon we became friends, and he and his companion would come over to see me just to say hello. He talked me into going to church and priesthood meeting. It took a while before I said yes.
At that time the missionaries were teaching someone else my age. I saw how this person was made truly happy by the things the missionaries shared—by the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanted that happiness. I knew I had to take a big step in my life and pray for the first time about the Book of Mormon and about the Church. I had heard of Moroni’s promise, which says that “if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, … having faith in Christ, … he will manifest the truth … by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4–5).
I got my answer. I was overwhelmed with the Spirit. I know that there is a living prophet on earth, that Joseph Smith did in fact see Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, and that They restored the Church through him.
I have a treasure, a dear gift that I have been given—the blessing of this valuable gospel every day. I didn’t know I had it until I prayed about it. The message is so strong that it has changed my life and the lives of many others.
Photograph by Craig Dimond