(Note:  Due to the sensitive  nature of some of the contents of this testimony, it is advised that caution be used before allowing children to read this, if at all)

First I suppose a little background information is necessary in order to give you a more complete understanding of the changes that have taken place both in me and for me. My life has mostly been chaos. I began life with a set of parents who were not happy with each other; as a result I was not very well received.  My mother not wanting to be pregnant did all she could to miscarry. That not having been successful, I was born but I was not very healthy and my mother was not up to the task of caring for me.  As an infant I was left alone most of the time.  My mother and father divorced and my father met my stepmother sherry and they took me in with the two of them when I was 1 1/2yrs old. At around the age of 4 I had a stepfather and when my little sister was born he started being not very nice to me.  He would beat me with his belt so badly that I had welts and bruises across my whole back side and to make matters worse, my father and stepmother did not find out this was going on until we were moving out of state.  As a result of those beatings, I developed a high threshold for pain which would lead to my disability later in life. By the first grade I was inappropriately touch by 3 different individuals.  I told my stepmother, who told the authorities and we had to go through a lot of stuff.  I and my siblings were removed from our father for a period of time, but they were too young to know why and they just knew it had something to do with me (in another words it was my fault we were not with dad) and so they were angry with me.  My father was able to pass three different lie detector tests and I was deemed a  Liar by the courts, as if that was not bad enough they told my family that since I was lying at such a young age that I would most likely do it again in the future.  In Consequence every male member of my family turned from me (and who can blame them, that is a scary thing) too bad I was telling the truth. All of this set me up for a lonely and hard childhood. I remember going to church sometimes and hearing the primary songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and wondering what I had done so wrong to be punished so badly.  I spent a good portion of my teen years just wanting to die.  Finally just before my 16 birthday I got to move in with my real Mother. She was an alcoholic bartender who juggled several married boyfriends at the same time and the only rule I had was: “Don’t do anything illegal and if you do, don’t get caught, and if you do get caught don’t come home.”  By the age of 17 I was pregnant with my first son. This is when life kicks me a different curve.  He was born premature. I had him at 26 weeks and he weighed 1lb 9oz and I was told he would never live. I prayed for the first time in a very long time that day. All I asked for was God’s will. My stepmother asked me if she could have the LDS Missionaries come and give my son a blessing and I said yes. Today he is 20, graduated, married and about to become a Father. I moved the Texas with the father of my son when he was 2 ½ years old but he became progressively more controlling and violent.  I had one more son with him and when he was 6 months old I left for Oregon.  I had to send my sons back to live with their father for 1 ½ years while I was training for the Army National Guard.  While away at training, I got married, we were together for 4 days, and then he had to ship out to Korea on an unaccompanied 2 year tour.  I never saw him again, I just got a letter telling me he was having an affair and he wanted a divorce. I got an honorable discharge, my two sons and I marry again.  I started having trouble with my hands and my health, I had to seek different employment and my marriage was suffering. Life began to crumble quickly then my husband had an affair in our home while I was there.  I left the home, was robbed and raped and all this went on in a matter of four days time. I left my husband when he cared more about a necklace that was taken than he did about what had happened to his wife.  My sons and I arrived in California at my sister’s house on August 18 2003. On October13 2003 I had decided the world was better off without me and I wrote out my last will and testament. I was committed to Butte County Mental Health for a period of 8 days. I was released heavily medicated. The unsuccessful attempt at taking me out of this world and the mix of medication lead to an addiction to methamphetamine. During this time I got to experience places and people I had never known. I got to go to Jail and I had to do a program all I really wanted to do was check out.  So for me, my story goes back a little over 3 years ago; more even but I’ll start there.  My life was in complete ruin and I was a mess.  I no longer wanted to be part of this world and my thoughts were very unhealthy as well as my actions.  I had already attempted suicide and been stopped and was perscribed and taking various medications for my ailments both physical and mental as well as being a single Mother for my 2 son’s.  At this time for me, my life was falling apart. I no longer had any answers and everything I tried was failing and the struggle was so much that I could think of only one thing to do.  It was very late at night and I went down to a place between two ponds crying and hurting and scared for the future and what it would bring, I got on my knees and cried my heart out to Heavenly Father telling him all that was in me.  I asked him to please help me and to please make the hurt that was so deep in me go away because I could not take much more of it and I was so very lost and could he please help me, please! All I can say is he heard me and he answered . Within a couple weeks of that prayer, I met Brother Jonathan Walton who was an occasional member.  We had met, and then a couple days later he was saving me and we have been together since. He showed me compassion and he helped me to find alternative ways to deal with my physical and my mental issues as well as helping me to better communicate with my son’s. He has truly been a gift for with him came so much more. We rented a home from his parents who are members of the church and missionaries would come by from time to time to meet with Jonathan and one day I believe it was Elder Larson got me to join them. I don’t remember what we talked about that day, nor do I remember most of the first year of those meetings, but I do remember key things, I had issues and questions and they always said the same thing “read about it, then prey about it” Jonathan and I started reading from the KJV Bible every morning and meeting with missionaries now and again. The Missionaries gave me a book of Mormon and asked me to read it and prey about it. So we did. In doing these things I gained am understanding of what I should be doing and how I was supposed to be doing it. I began the process of locating my husband at the time so that I could divorce him. I finally located him so I began the paper work.  Reading scripture and gaining an understanding of what I needed to do, I often times looked over at Jonathan after reading and said to him “you know what this means right?” and he would answer “yes” and I would ask “so you know what this means we need to do?” and again he said “yes” so then I asked “do you think we can do this?”  still the answer was” yes” so I prayed about it and pondered the strangeness of it all.  Jonathan and I read the book of Mormon and have attended Church as well as some of the service projects and a couple of the gatherings and we’ve been meeting with the Bishop and the missionary’s. My life is DRASTICALY changed from anything I’ve known before and there is a calm in me I’ve not known. I smoked for 20yrs and am now quit for over 2. My divorce was final June16; I was baptized June 19 and confirmed June 20 All that stuff at the beginning, all the sorrow and despair all the pain, has been or is being repaired and all I know is that I have Heavenly Father to thank for it all.  I asked him in prayer to take charge of my life and guide me and help me and he brought you to me. Now instead of dreading what the future brings, I look forward to what Heavenly Father has in store for me and to all the wonderful things I now have an opportunity to experience and be a part of. Thank you for the opportunity to share my testimony with you. May the Lord be with you always. Sincerely,  Baptized 6/16/2010Sister Tammy L Walton