I grew up as a serious, responsible person who followed the principles that my parents, with their limited religious knowledge, taught me. However, after my father died in 2005, when I was 15, I became someone different. Maybe it was a way of expressing my pain for not having said good-bye to him. I will always regret not giving him a kiss before he went to the hospital.
After his death I started hanging around people who didn’t have good values. I was doing things I thought were OK and that everyone was doing, but I now understand they weren’t pleasing to the Lord. I was having fun, according to the world’s standard of fun, but in reality I wasn’t happy. I was empty and missing something, but I didn’t know what. I started doing poorly in school. The worst part was that I had no idea how to find happiness in my life. At the time I didn’t see how much I was missing out on with my family and my mom, who is the person I love most.
At night I would pray to God. No one had taught me how to pray, but I felt like He was listening. I asked Him to help me be happy and to let me know if my dad was OK. I was so afraid that he was suffering somewhere. My pleas went on for many nights.
The answer finally came. I thought I would receive an answer in a dream, but instead it came in the form of two elders. They came to our house in December 2006. I didn’t understand that they were an answer to my prayers, and I didn’t want to listen to even one discussion. My mom listened and decided to go to church. She hasn’t stopped going since. She was baptized, and a few weeks later my nephews and my sister were baptized. I noticed a huge change in my mom after her baptism, to the point that she seemed much younger and happier. Her happiness and peace filled our house immensely; the minute someone came in he or she could feel that something was different.
I realized what had happened and decided to go to church. It was a strange experience; I had never been treated so kindly before. The sisters were friendly and treated me so well that I felt very comfortable at church. Little by little I was convinced the Church was true, and I decided to listen to the lessons from the elders.
I was baptized on February 3, 2007, in the Uribe Ward, Veracruz Mexico Stake, by two amazing elders. I will always remember them, and I consider them our angels. My baptism is a day I’ll never forget. I was clean from all sin. My mistakes had been erased because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I left my depression behind, and the void I had felt was no longer there. It was replaced by tremendous joy in my soul.
The true gospel has brought my family and me so much happiness. I’ve found eternal friends. I continue to battle against the world, but now I have the true gospel and the Spirit that give me joy and peace daily. Now I know the answer to the question I was asking the Lord for so long. If my dad accepted the ordinances we did for him in the temple, I know he’s happy and at peace. I believe he accepted the gospel and is waiting for us.
Sometimes I look back and realize how much I’ve been blessed. I see there is a greater happiness than that offered by the world and its pleasures and distractions. True happiness comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything that the gospel teaches is for our good.
I once received an e-mail in which a mom explains to her young son that God is like sugar that you add to your milk. You can’t see it, but it sweetens everything. In the same way, you can’t see the Lord’s true gospel, but if you accept it and apply it, it sweetens your life like sugar sweetens milk.