“Becoming” a Mormon was a very slow and subtle process for me that I cannot put any actual date on. I was born into a Mormon family and attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regularly– going to Primary (the children’s auxiliary), learning about the gospel and things unique to the LDS Church,without even realizing they were unique, and singing the hymns. I remember when I was four, it was very difficult for me to focus and sit still during the sacrament, and one day I told my mother that I hated church and I didn’t want to go anymore. She suddenly looked very sad, and I couldn’t understand why.
I was baptized at eight and was a very studious teen. I went to LDS seminary every morning and read through the entire Book of Mormon on my own for the first time at age 12. I felt very strongly that the Church was true, but it was also all I’d ever really known from a spiritual and religious perspective. I started coming of age, and started having doubts. Many of my friends were not LDS, and I started exploring their beliefs. I started feeling uncertain about what was true, who was right and who was wrong, and I became inactive during my college years– that universal time for self-discovery.
I went through a bit of a spiritual journey, searching for truth and happiness. I took college courses on world religions, even though they had nothing to do with my major, just out of curiosity, and I had philosophical and religious discussions with friends and associates from various religious backgrounds. All through my searching, I felt as though I had this inner divining rod telling me when something was true and when it wasn’t. Certain things just seemed to “fit”, while other things caused inner discord. Trusting this gut feeling, I put these things to the test. I, in a sense, planted seeds in my heart, nurtured them, and waited to see what fruit they would bring. I found both rotten fruit and sweet, and I followed the sweet.
I fully committed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and “became” a Mormon about three years ago, when I saw and felt the obvious difference the gospel brought to my life. Living without the gospel, I felt lost and alone–like I was walking through foggy darkness and struggling to find my way. With the gospel, my pathway became bright, my mind was opened, and everything started coming together. In all my studying and searching, no other church or religion brought me this feeling. Sure I found pieces of truth, pieces of joy and strength, but nothing as fulfilling as what I’d had right in front of me my entire childhood.
Why did I become a Mormon? Because I feel in my heart and soul that it’s teachings are true, and that by following and committing to those teachings I will be able to progress and grow and improve. I know that this gospel will continue to be a blessing to me and my posterity, because it is true and because it gives us purpose and direction. There are no words to describe how much this truly encompasses my life and my very being. It is a part of who I am, it is who I am, and I could not, and would not change it, or have it any other way.
This article was written by Melissa, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.