My mom insists I was raised Christian. In reality, I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. My brother and I didn’t have to go to church if we didn’t want to. She’s always been slightly manipulative towards us and she was always working. My dad was always yelling at us or just yelling for the sake of yelling. I grew up with a lot of anger in our home. I hardly saw either of my parents. Now, there’s not a lot of emotional attachment. I wish there was.
I was a strong believer throughout my teenage years. I believed in Jesus Christ and God. But something was always missing for me. I felt God’s silence. About 2 months ago I was sinning a lot and just doing a lot of things against God. I was hooking up with this guy who I thought loved me. I was in a comfortable place. I didn’t have to think about God because only I mattered. I was about the most “lukewarm” Christian you could meet.
Then, everything changed.
My cousin Taylor had just got back from his mission and he was coming down to see me graduate high school. I love Taylor a lot; he’s like an older sibling rather than a cousin. I look up to him. I knew he was going to talk to me about his mission at some point and I didn’t want to hear it. I don’t quite remember how it happened, but I ended up with a copy of the Book of Mormon. I was intrigued because I saw how happy he was when he talked about the gospel. I started to realize that I was living a useless and empty life and that I wanted to feel God’s presence again. He look me to the LA Temple one night and that was it. I knew I wanted to become Mormon.
Then, a miracle happened.
I have suffered from anxiety since I was a small child. It has been incredibly hard and it made me very depressed that I didn’t feel “okay” doing what kids my age were doing, like having fun and going places. I just wanted to sit inside. I’d also suffer from terrifying demonic dreams. My cousin gave me a blessing one night and as I sank into bed, I felt the spirit calm me and I felt such peace.
Here’s the good part.
Taylor had to leave and it was upsetting because I didn’t know what to do with this new faith I was exploring on my own. But he encouraged me to read and pray. But as the week went on, I didn’t have a single demonic dream. As time passed, my anxiety was GONE. This is an absolute miracle. For someone who has suffered from it since childhood, it was overwhelming. I stopped taking my medication. I’ve felt no anxiety since then.
As I read the Book of Mormon, I felt this strange sensation in my chest. He told me it was the Holy Spirit and then I knew it was true. When I went to my Christian church, it was like looking with new eyes. A good part of the congregation didn’t live their lives like they did on Sunday. The girls in my youth group were wearing two pieces and swearing and partying outside of church. My own mother was a sometimes attender and she hasn’t always been the most emotionally nurturing parent. I wanted more. I felt God so much as I prayed and read the BoM. I felt His silence when I was Christian.
I started going to LDS church by myself. I sat in the back timidly, not knowing what to expect. My second time, a kind lady came up to me and said she was a teacher in Young Women’s and asked my age. She took me to the small youth group and then showed me where the Laurel’s gathered. I felt at home and the girls were very welcoming towards me. I was overjoyed.
My friends…not so much.
They yelled at me and said I was going to Hell for believing the doctrine and said that it really wasnt right. As they bombarded me with criticism, my eyes filled with tears and I rushed out of the restaurant we were in. I couldn’t hear it. The boy I thought “loved me” shoved me out of his life for wanting to convert and said he didn’t want anything to do with me.
I finally told my mom about wanting to become a member and she said I was joining a cult. I asked her later to come to my baptism, but she said no because me becoming Mormon was of Satan.
I started meeting with missionaries and lessons have been going great. They give me so much encouragement. I’m so excited to start my new life.
I’m getting baptized July 21st, and Taylor is flying down just to baptize me. It’s going to be the best day of my life. (Until I get married in the Temple ;])