I’m a singer, I love to organize everything, and I actually enjoy doing housework. I’m also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I wasn’t always a member. In fact, when I first learned of the church and was invited to meet with missionaries I was more interested in the free food than the message they were sharing.
My journey started in choir at Creighton University. My friend Zach, who I met in choir, was the ward mission leader at the time. And because he was in the singles ward filled with young adults almost, if not entirely, made up of students, he fed the missionaries a lot. It was January when I was first asked to share a meal with him and the missionaries. My only thought was that I would get free food out of the deal. After all, I, too, was a struggling college student.
I can’t say I was completely put off by the message they shared with me, nor that I was jumping at the chance to be baptized. But I continued to meet with the missionaries over the next weeks, following their invitations to pray and read the Book of Mormon. To find out for myself if it was the true word of God. To know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, same as those in the time of Jesus. But with all my study and introspection it wasn’t until Zach and I went to see a BYU-I traveling choir perform in Lincoln that I knew what it was I wanted.
For my whole life music has been my go to for everything. When I was sad, happy, angry, or just searching for answers. It always had a way of penetrating straight into my heart and soul as nothing else could. And this was definitely true at the concert that was a turning point in my life. I couldn’t put it into words then what I felt. I could only say, “I want that. I want what they have,” when asked what I thought of the concert. Their faces were alight with such joy and meaning that you couldn’t help but want to be a part of. Now I know that what I felt so strongly was the Spirit of my Heavenly Father.
Even though I felt the Spirit so strongly I couldn’t commit myself to joining the church. I don’t know why, I just felt I needed more time to figure out truly whether or not it was what I needed and wanted in my life. Which is exactly what I did while in Ireland during the month of May. I had already planned the trip, and looking back now it seems that it is exactly what I needed to do in order to find peace with my decision to join the church. I spent countless hours pondering and reading the Book of Mormon. I wandered forests, cities, and even Catholic churches trying to find what I had felt in that BYU-I concert.
It took all summer – without meeting the missionaries – then finally meeting with them again in August when I returned for school for me to realize that what I needed to do was join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was the only church I felt fully embodied the values sought after and achieved by Christians. They are the values that I already held close to my heart so to be baptized and confirmed a member of the church was not a far leap to promise to uphold them.
The day of my baptism was a very special day. I was joined by Zach, the missionaries who had taught me from the beginning (I consider myself extremely blessed for that fact), and so many friends I had made since learning of the church. There was so much joy in my heart that day. I knew that I had made the best choice I could for myself, and I couldn’t have been more right.
Though the road since becoming a Mormon has not been without trials and doubts I am grateful I made the decision. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter. I am blessed every day for my faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and for my following the commandments He has given us to live by.