How I Know

The Right Decision

By Laura Ward

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How could I explain how I knew the Church is true?

“Why do you keep saying that you know this Church is true? What exactly does that mean, and how can you possibly know that?”

My concerned parents asked me those questions when I told them about my decision to be baptized. I thought back on all the missionary lessons I had been attending recently. I remembered asking myself the same questions just weeks before. How did I know the Church was true?

For 17 years I had been content with the little knowledge I had about anything religious. I never realized how much I longed to have a relationship with Christ and my Heavenly Father and feel the peace of the Holy Spirit.

I thought back on the missionaries’ telling the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision: a young boy seeing God and the Savior, Joseph hearing their words and knowing that what he was seeing was real and true.

Then I remembered my first prayer. Sure, I had prayed many times throughout my life, but this prayer was the first time I had asked my Heavenly Father if what the missionaries were teaching me was real and something from Him. I knew that He wouldn’t lie to me. He wants the best for His children. With that knowledge I prayed with my whole heart.

The Holy Spirit touched me for the first time. I knew that as I said “amen.” I had been told by the missionaries and my close friends who had introduced this new gospel to me that “I would feel of the Spirit, and it would let me know.” I knew that it had.

As I related this story to my parents, who had asked the questions, I felt it again. The Spirit was with me, which meant the Lord was with me also. I once again knew that my choice to be baptized was the right decision.

Standing alone in the dressing room of the meetinghouse a few months later, I stared at my reflection in the mirror. Who was this girl wearing a long white gown and staring back at me? As I stood there all by myself, I realized that this was how I had made the decision to join the Church—all by myself. But I also realized I was not truly alone. The Spirit was strong. In a few moments, I would be the newest member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The door swung open, and in came my close friends, friends who had decided to share a message about their Church with me a few months earlier.

“Are you ready?” they asked.

We walked out toward the chapel. I thought again about my first prayer and the Spirit I had felt. I knew the Church was true, and because I knew that, I was ready.

Illustration by G. Bjorn Thorkelson