I won’t go into specifics, but be it said that my home life was a situation you would not wish on your worst enemy. Mental, physical abuse and torture were a daily occurrence, both as a child as well as in my marriage.  Through that I know God was with me, I know this because I survived it.  Although painful, he kept me grounded, knowing there was someone, some being, some higher power who loved me and treasured me and gave me the tools to make it through. He gave me hope.
My first encounter with the LDS Church was in high school. My circle of friends were Mormon; they were my dates and my best friends. They didn’t try to convert me, they rarely spoke of their beliefs unless asked. They, instead, taught me through example, through deed. It was an education I always remembered.
Flash forward 35-years and I found myself confronted with people surrounding me who were disparaging toward the Church. What they said and what I had experienced from members of the LDS Church were on opposite sides of the road. My son made a very negative remark about Mormon’s one day and I decided to prove to him that what he was being told was not what the Mormon Church was all about. I went online and asked for a Book of Mormon so I could read it and intelligently inform my son of his misguided beliefs. After all, you cannot teach until you know, right? I was also having a series of odd accidents, near misses that should have outright killed me, but for grace of God I was brought through. I began to acknowledge His presence again in my life.
Little did I know that the Book of Mormon would come attached to two Missionaries! We talked, we discussed, they prayed for me, and for the first time, in a very long time, I prayed as well. They continued to come to my house, out in the backwoods, 20-miles from town, on a weekly basis. They called, they texted, they became my friends, my allies, my conscience.
One day, sitting on my front stoop, they told me to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. They told me Heavenly Father would let me know if the book was true. That night, with the Book of Mormon in my hand, I asked God two questions. The first was, “Am I doing the right thing?” I opened the Book of Mormon to a random page and read the scripture from where my finger fell, Alma 13:22. He was preparing me for what I needed to do. I asked one more question, “What do You want me to know, above all else right now? What do you want me to know?” Again I opened to a random page in the Book of Mormon and my finger stopped on 3 Nephi 27:20. I was amazed and in awe that He would answer me in such clear and blatant terms. There was no quibbling about the answer received, there was no room for discussion. It was an order from on high, and it was an order I was expecting. I knew, deep in my heart, that the LDS Church was where I should have been for the past 35-years.
The Missionaries came back the next day, they asked if I had prayed on whether the Book of Mormon was true? I told them what I had done, the questions I asked, the answers that came. I told them how amazed I was that God would speak to me in that way, that he loved me enough to show me what I needed to do. I was in tears. Not only had God been with me every step of the way in my life, He had never stopped loving me, guiding me, holding me, comforting me. He was still there for me, all I had to do was ask.
It was decided that I would be baptized three weeks later. Since that day I have never lost sight of what is most important in this world, God. He has made such a difference in my life, in my day-to-day interactions with others, in how I view the world and how I can make a difference. He has made me stronger, lighter, more willing to do and lead more by example. He continues to walk with me, fight for me, hold me, carry me, comfort me and sometimes drag me…but he is there always, as he always has been and always will be.
Janet Rogers