Conversion Story

I've been asked by several people to share how I came about joining the Mormon church! I realize I have never really talked about it in depth, so I'm going to give it a shot.
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The reason for my conversion is plain and simple, this guy:



Now, don't get it twisted. I did not fall madly in love with this boy and decide to join his religion in an effort to win him over. That is unfortunately what 95% of the people in my life believe. No matter what I say or how often I tell them that's not the case.

He is, however, the reason that I was introduced to the church. Without meeting him, maybe I never would have joined, never would have cared to learn more about it. But I knew how much the church means to him, and that intrigued me to find out what the big deal was.

Let me start off with my religious history.

I didn't have one.

I went to church maybe five times before the age of 10. A couple of those times were for funerals, mind you.  When we moved to Hesperia, my parents made friends with people who went to a Christian church up there. They made us kids tag along whenever they went. I never enjoyed myself, never felt like I learned anything. My favorite part was when the music started up after the sermon, because I knew it was almost time to go. Then in 10th grade, my best friend invited me to go to Hume Christian Camp with her. Sleep away camp? Yes please! I didn't even care that there were mandatory church meetings twice a day. Strangely enough, this is the place where I first started to understand the 'big deal' about God and religion. The counselor of our cabin was the kindest, most loving person I had ever met. I went to this camp the next year, too, and learned even more.

However, I never felt a real connection with regular Christian Church. I always felt like there was something missing, something I was losing out on. I felt like I wasn't as close to God as I could be, and that I wouldn't find it in that church. I was always so annoyed by the hypocrisy of the disciples. You just can't preach one thing and do another. My friends all claimed themselves as good Christians, yet had no problem making out with the same sex, getting drunk, 'playing' with boys. I didn't understand it, and I didn't like it. 

I found my missing link with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In March of 2009 (on our first date) Ryan gave me a Book of Mormon. He said "I understand if you don't want to accept this, but it's something that's really important to me and I feel like I'd be doing you a disservice by keeping it from you." (Y'allllll my heart melted to the bottom of my feet.) I took the Book, read the note he had written on the first page, and I knew I'd be reading this book.

Over the next few months I started reading, and I relied on Ryan to answer my questions and help me understand. Eventually, in July, I told him I wanted to start talking to missionaries. 30 minutes and one magic Mormon phone call later, I had missionaries at my door.

It took me a really long time to finally decide I wanted to be baptized. I made the decision on April 1st, 2010 and was baptized on the 10th. It wasn't that I didn't know this was right, it was that I was scared. What would everyone think?

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But I ultimately couldn't deny the feelings I got when reading the Book of Mormon and speaking with the missionaries. I couldn't deny how right it felt to be in that church building. How wonderful everyone was to me, the obviously out of place girl in her jeans.

Did I meet opposition? Absolutely. Does it matter when you know, with a certainty, that you did the right thing? Absolutely not.

But my journey hasn't been without it's struggles. I've never had trouble staying away from drinking, drugs, and smoking. I'm lucky enough to have never had the urge to pick any of it up. I struggle to go to church regularly. To keep the Sabbath day holy. I try to cop out and say it's harder to go when you're the only one getting up and ready for it in the morning. That I don't have any friends in the ward. But there really isn't an excuse. I know I'll get better. I know eventually I won't be scared to say the prayer in front of everyone. Eventually I'll agree to give a talk. I'll open up more, be better at sharing my testimony. Because I do have one.

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It's been a long, difficult journey for me. Through all my struggles, I still know without a doubt that this church is the true church. I know that I'll be helped through all of my troubles. I know that Heavenly Father is with me, and listens to me and guides me. And I know that I made the right decision, the best decision of my life thus far. Those are the best feelings in the world.
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(I apologize for any misspelled words or jumpy paragraphs.)

30 comments:

Marissa said...

Great story!! :)

Sam said...

I'm glad you shared this :) And I'm glad you found the "more" you felt was missing from your life. It's a great feeling to finally feel at peace with your beliefs.

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing this! You are such an amazing inspiration.

Ash Att said...

beautiful :)

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

This was beautiful to read! :)

Makay said...

I am so happy for you. God isn't a religion... He wants a geniune relationship. It is when we realize that and agree to it... and let Him work through us- shining OUR lights... that is when we are "living" it. :)

Thanks for sharing! You are so amazing girly!

Love, Makay

kelzone said...

hymns are my favorite part of church!

Ang said...

thats a great story (also nice to hear some of the background of you and your boyfriend). It's motivating to me, as someone who has never been baptized and only made it to church a handful of times when I was little (and that was only because of my grandma taking me).

Thank you so much for sharing!

Maggie said...

It is awesome to get to know you a little better. I am glad you told us this story about how you decided to join and why. :)

Corinne said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I know how it could be slightly personal for you, but it's very inspiring and I love how you took things at your pace - that's how you know it's right :)

Elle Sees said...

I'm glad you found whatever works for you! My cousin converted to LDS and he loves it.

KatOfDiamonds said...

'tis beautiful!
i'm happy for you =]

stephie said...

That is so awesome! Your such an amazing example!

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

I completely agree with what Ang said above. Thank you for sharing this story.

Marci Darling said...

Such a great story!!! I'm happy for you :)

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing...it's so refreshing to see someone so confident in their religion:)

Emma said...

such a lovely story, i'm so happy for you.

Gwen said...

Wow. How sweet. You are such an inspiration.

xoxo,
Gwen

Nancy Face said...

Reading this made me so happy! :)

SavedthruLove said...

The bible clearly states that the devil is in no way kin or related to Jesus... As a Christian and believer of Jesus Christ I fid it a bit scary that the founder f the Mormon faith would say such thing when it clearly contradicts the bible ad Jesus christs teachings. Jesus is real and so is the bible. I'm lad your at peace but be aware that god says many will come in his name..

Sam, The Nanti-SARRMM said...

Saved; Just to comment, as Mormons we don't believe that the Devil is related to Christ physcially.

Mormons believe that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters, all of us, and that the devil fell away from God's plan.

Ryan Barker said...

Many will come in his name, but inside you will know which are true. Christ speaks through the spirit. His united church and his priesthood are alive in the LDS church. What other church can claim in modern revelation? Has God simply stopped communicating with his precious souls?

Does simply saying "I'm saved, for I believe in Jesus Christ" prepare your way for eternal salvation? Are men not judged of their works while on Earth then?

samnhal said...

I love hearing people's conversion stories. I grew up a member and so I love hearing the stories of how other people were impacted and able to have their lives changed through the gospel. I love hearing of people's conversions to any faith, because God is important, but it's nice to hear when someone joins your faith. Congrats on the baptism!

SavedthruLove said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTtq62XQ4jw&feature=youtube_gdata

its nothing personal. it's what man has used the word of CHRIST for. Mormon doctrine cannot even be proven. The timespan or area it exists in is NOT EVEN ON EARTH.

By THE spirit TEST ALL SPIRITS. THere is only one GOOD spirit and that is jesus christ. The devil mixes a bit of truth into A WHOLE lot of lies and people believe it.

I would like to say that the rules and regulations many religions follow are not that of which christ himself spoke. it is man. Man who is full of sin and filth. Why would anyone rest their hope in the illusion of some man?

There is too much to really discuss. Watch the video. I'm only trying to open your eyes. God is good and GOd is great. He seeks a personal relationship with us but taking his word and adding or taking out or editing is condemned.

Sam, The Nanti-SARRMM said...

The area or time span that Mormon doctrine is not on Earth? What do you mean?

And we believe the same thing, that the Devil is the father of lies. He mixes truth and lies together.

There is something that you don't understand about Mormononism though. As Mormons, we believe in Christ, we hope in Christ and pray to God the Father in Christ's name. We believe salvation comes through Christ. Not man.

Joseph Smith was a prophet. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. We believe that God calls prophets to speak to the world again.

Nor are we editing the Bible or adding to it. We believe that God had a portion of Israel in the Americas who left scriptures, and God loaned them to Joseph Smith to be translated. The Book of Mormon does not replace or add to the bible. It is only another testimony that Jesus is the Christ.

Emma Frances said...

LOVE this! :] I'm glad I found it! But seriously, what a wonderful conversion story and testimony at the end! I feel like we all need to read things like this to be reminded of why we love the church so much and why we try to live the way we do. Thank you for sharing!

Autumn said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am sorry it looks like it has received some negative feedback. That isn't always easy when you are bearing your soul.

We all have different struggles as church members. I have struggled going to church at some points and at others I have struggled not being mad at people who I see at church. The list goes on and on, however, I know if I just keep doing the small things it will end up paying off in the end.

Courtney B said...

I really, REALLY loved reading this!! Ryan was so brave on your first date (why do I hold back sharing something so dear to my heart?) and I'm so happy you've found true happiness with the gospel!
On another note.... how freaking long have I been reading your blog and never made this connection?? I totally went to high school with Ryan and Clare. I'm a dumb dumb!

Alyx said...

LOVED reading your story. Are you in the singles ward there? Is there a singles ward there? Finding and meeting friends in the singles ward (and going to institute) were a couple of things that helped bring me back to church when I was inactive.

Shay said...

I cannot tell you how much I loved reading this- I thought it was sweet and eloquent! The way Ryan introduced you to the Book of Mormon is so sweet!