Monday, March 1, 2010

Conversion part 1 of ??

I've been thinking a lot about how drastically my life has changed for me over the last year or so. Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago but it hasn't. I've told several people bits and pieces of my story and now I just really feel impressed to share it with the blogging world and my blogging friends, old and new. It's a LONG story so hang in there with me. I'll try to break it up into different posts.

Disclaimer: These feelings and memories are mine and are recalled to the best of my knowledge. I hope I don't bring up painful things for some people. I'm writing this so that maybe I'll be able to help others and provide hope for families who have children who don't go to church or believe the things that you do. I'm also writing this because I think too often we don't share our struggles with each other, especially when it comes to our testimony of Jesus Christ and The Church. I learned to take off the "happy" mask a very long time ago. So here goes nothing...

I was born into a loving, active LDS family. I am the oldest of 4. I struggled to find my place in the family and hurt my parents and my siblings in the process. I was NOT the easiest child to raise! Growing up my parents did their best to have Family Home Evenings each week. As a teenager they were faithful with family scripture study and family prayer. My dad was a Bishop, member of the High Council and in the Stake Presidency. So it's safe to say I grew up with active parents who tried their very best to teach us the Gospel.

I didn't struggle with my testimony growing up. I thought I had a really great testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

When I was 19 I met someone and got married. He wasn't LDS and we were not married in the temple. My dad married us which was pretty cool I think. It became very hard to go to church in a new area. I was just a child still and those adults in our new ward were NOT at all welcoming. So I stopped going to church. This is when my life really changed. I had my first taste of alcohol and I liked it too much. That when the "party days" started.

Our marriage didn't last long and I found myself divorced a little over a year later. I then found a roommate and moved into an apartment with her. That was a terrible experience. I continued to party even more. I even experimented with drugs. Things with the roommate didn't work out and I got a little studio apartment all to myself!

I had decided that I needed to change and that I wanted to go back to church. So I met with my bishop and told him everything. I quit my job because I knew that if I still hung around with my friends there I wouldn't be able to make the change. That was so hard! I was doing really well for a while and then stopped going to church. I didn't party anymore though.

One summer when my little sister was home from college she invited me to go to church with her. I actually told her I would. She didn't believe it. I didn't blame her. But I did go. I told myself that I'd only go through the summer and when she went back to school I wouldn't go anymore. But the moment I went to that ward they gave me a calling. I was in charge of a huge ward activity. Crap! Now I HAD to stay...


Karina said...

Cliffhanger!! Like Lost, I'm hooked! I'm so glad you're sharing this. I've always believe that through the experiences you have you can help people.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Wow, laying all your cards on the table with this one!! :) Can't wait to hear more! - J

Loyce Ann said...

Back in 1988 I married a man who was LDS. I had been raised Baptist, but agreed to the missionaries visiting and eventually was baptized. We were in the military and moved quite a bit, but always attended church. In 1993 he left us to "find" himself. I took a job outside of Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Mentor.
Well we started attending the Kirkland ward, but never felt welcomed. I don’t believe I ever had a home teacher or visitor. The kids felt the same and we slowly quit going.
Fast forward 15 years later to August 09. The man I am now married to was also raised a Baptist, but never minded the missionaries coming to visit me, he just sat quietly and listened to us talk. Finally one evening when they were visiting Charlie started to ask questions. Not the normal half baked questions some people ask, but really good questions. He was baptized in September 09.
Listening to the lessons and asking my own questions helped me to understand things I had never really understood before. I gained my own testimony, finally. We have been attending church now since August and Charlie was given the priesthood. I can't count the amount of times the missionaries came to visit me in those 15 years, where ever I lived, but I was just not ready to go back to church.
If it were not for those missionaries coming by to visit and Charlie asking his questions, I don’t know if I would have gone back. I love the church and the teachings, but taking that step was very difficult. We are getting sealed in the Temple in August, something I thought I’d never be a part of.
Clean and Fresh

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