Was there any church on earth led by a living prophet?
Searching for the Right Church09243_000_008
My friend Julyette and I were chatting online when she told me she was looking for a church that had a living prophet who spoke with God face-to-face. I thought God had stopped speaking to men here upon the earth because we have a Bible, and I thought that was sufficient for our salvation.
But she said, “If God no longer called a prophet here upon the earth, He would be a liar, for He promised he would never do anything without calling prophets” (see Amos 3:7).
I asked her, “Where is this living prophet?” She did not know.
I began to reflect about how we could discover the right church. I knew that there were many different Christian churches with different doctrines. I thought, “Well, the Internet has a lot of sources,” so I searched for “the true persecuted church.” I don’t know why I typed it in that way, but several lists of churches appeared, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are many Christian churches in Brazil, but I had never heard of this church.
Upon entering the Web site, I read the story of a 14-year-old boy who had seen God and Jesus Christ face-to-face and had translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I had never heard anything about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon before, and I thought it was interesting. But what caught my attention was that the Book of Mormon told of Jesus Christ appearing to the ancient inhabitants of the American continent.
I had a great desire to read this book, so I requested a copy. I told Julyette about the site, and after she read the story of Joseph Smith, she was certain this church was the Church of Jesus Christ. She said I had been prepared by the Lord to find the Church for her.
I was impressed with her conviction and wanted to know for myself. I asked my mother if she knew about the Book of Mormon. She told me my sister had a blue book from two missionaries. I borrowed the book and read it from cover to cover in one week; I wasn’t interested in anything else. What a feeling of peace I had! I remembered a promise that everyone who read the book should ask God if it were true, and He would respond (see Moroni 10:3–4).
Early in the morning I went to my room to offer a prayer. I placed my trust in God and asked Him if the book was true, and I felt a burning inside. I did not know what the feeling was, but I felt joy. That night I had a dream in which a Book of Mormon prophet appeared. I asked him if the book was true, and he said it was. When I woke up I thought, “The Book of Mormon really is true.”
I asked around until I found someone who knew the directions to the church. One Friday I rode my bicycle to the chapel, but no one was there. I prayed for help to know when meetings were held. I went again the following week. When I arrived, an elderly lady told me that Church meetings were on Sunday mornings. I returned home happy and excited with my heart beating rapidly.
When I arrived on Sunday morning, I was well received by the members. I was impressed with the organization of the Church. I felt peace and joy in my heart during the meetings, and I asked the missionaries to come to my house to teach me. I returned home and told my mother that I had found the right religion.
The missionaries taught me about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I already knew the story of Joseph Smith, so when they invited me to pray to learn the truth, I told them I had already received an answer and told them about my experience. They were impressed with my testimony and suggested a date, May 15, 2004, for my baptism. In the meantime, my friend Julyette was also baptized. My baptism was the greatest joy of my life, and my friend and I are very happy we found the true Church of Jesus Christ.
The Word of God
“The evidence for [the Book of Mormon’s] truth and validity lies within the covers of the book itself. The test of its truth lies in reading it. It is a book of God. … Those who have read it prayerfully have come to know by a power beyond their natural senses that it is true, that it contains the word of God, that it outlines saving truths of the everlasting gospel.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “Four Cornerstones of Faith,” Ensign, Feb. 2004, 6.
Illustrations by Scott Greer