Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Special Time of Year

This time of year is special for me. The reason is because every year I have a chance to reflect on my baptism that happened 9 years ago on November 14, 1999. This event and the changes that occurred because of it have changed my life in ways that I never imagined.

It all started when my I came home from a service project at the end of October and my parents told there had been two people in suits wanting to talk to you. I thought that is a little odd.

Then a couple days later I received a phone call. It was a missionary who said that they had special message they would like to share about their Church. I was somewhat reluctant to accept because when I had religious discussions with others I always came across feeling lousy as I felt I was looked down because I didn’t go to Church. I am thankful that I didn’t decline the offer to hear their message. I agreed to meet them at Brian, my friend’s house the next Sunday evening. Later I would learn Brian had given me as reference to the missionaries in Seminary.

That Sunday I went over to my friend’s house. I met the missionaries for this first time. We talked for a little bit with my friend Brian and then the missionaries began to share the first Discussion. They started with basics about believing in God and Christ, which wasn’t new to me. From the occasional chances to attend a Christian Church with my Grandparents and Aunt and also reading stories in the Bible I felt there was a God. Then they began to share the story of Joseph Smith. This story just sounded wonderful and I had similar feeling as Joseph Smith. Often I thought it would be nice to go to Church but my parents didn’t attend church. I often thought that when I moved from home I would like to go to Church but it would difficult to find a Church that same beliefs as them. As they shared the story of the vision, I just had a comfortable feeling and that the answer he got made sense. Then for them to share that he also received the Book of Mormon was wonderful and tangible evidence he was a prophet. The missionaries were able to answer my questions in such simple ways that made sense. Things led from one thing to another till at the end of the night the missionaries asked if I would like to be baptized. As I thought about it, I agreed because the story of Joseph Smith seemed good and I felt like friends like Brian and others who I knew were members were good people, so it must not be a bad thing. They set the date for my Baptism the following Sunday.

I then met with the missionaries every day and had the discussions in rapid manner. Also I attended Mutual where I met other friends of mine. Then I attended Church for the first time that Sunday. Then that evening I was baptized. Not realizing what blessings were in store in my life and the changes that would occur in my life.

I found Church wonderful. For me the 3 hours of church was amazing because it seemed that everything that was said was something I had not heard before. I enjoyed learning more about the gospel. Also I continued to read the Book of Mormon which was amazing to read and I found to be far more exciting and easier to understand than those found in the Bible. As I came to finishing the Book of Mormon, I was kind of wondering to myself how much would I have to take on faith that Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon was true. Then as I reached the final pages of The Book of Mormon I had a wonderful spiritual experience confirming that it was absolutely true nothing doubting. This experience has been an anchor to me in trying times whenever I have began to doubt.

From being given as reference by friend Brian and that single phone call 9 years ago my life has changed significantly for the better. My testimony has slowly grown from there to know that this Church is led by Jesus Christ and the fullness of the gospel is in this Church.


Kate said...

Kendall! Thanks so much for sharing this. It definitely helps to inspire me to share the gospel more. It is a great story, and we are happy you joined too. And great job at updating your blog, it's about dang time!