(photo borrowed from Jen Gotch)
One evening exactly 12 years ago today I was baptized into the LDS Church. I can’t decide if that feels like a long time ago or not.
When I was in high school I met a girl named Michelle while we were doing a production of Annie. At some point she gave me a Book of Mormon and told me that “Nephi was hot.” I didn’t know what a Nephi was but kept the book and looked through it a little. The next year I took an art class and shared a work space with Laurette and Nikki and I knew they were Mormon. I remember I asked them once if they believed in God. I can’t remember which but one of them replied that the name of the church was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so yes, they believed in God and Jesus. I replied that I was just wondering. I really was just wondering.
A few years later when I’d graduated from high school and was going to school in Santa Barbara I ran into some missionaries. It was sort of a “typical” encounter I guess. They stopped me on campus and I was late for a drama class and said I didn’t have time to stop and talk and off I hurried. I didn’t get very far before I decided to turn around and talk to them for a minute and give them my phone number. I don’t want to sound corny by saying something like I felt like it was something I had to do or that I somehow sensed it was important but maybe on some level I did.
In an effort to keep this short I won’t go into details but I met with Elders Hodges and Alldredge over a period of several months and they taught me about the church and I asked probably a million questions. It’s hard to describe what I felt and what I thought during those months because it’s a time that is very dear to my heart and I don’t think I could do the experience justice.
And I don’t want to say that I “believed” the missionaries because it really had nothing to do with them. But I knew what they were telling me was the truth. Some of the things I already believed and knew. Some things I had to find out for myself. After much soul-searching and prayer I decided to be baptized.
That was December 31, 1996. It’s hard to say how my life would be different had if I hadn’t joined the Church, but I can say with all honesty that every good thing in my life has come from being able to know who I am and the plan my Heavenly Father has for me. It was a big change to make – not that there were things that I had to stop doing but more that there were things I needed to start doing and thinking about. If there is one decision in my life that I’ve never had to second guess or wonder if I’d done the right thing it is this.
“If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world”
There’s a lot more I could say but it’s New Year’s Eve! Peace out 2008!!