I was baptized in 1982. I had been baptized in the Lutheran church as an infant. Because of divorce I moved in with my father and step mother. Her family were Methodists. I went to that church off and on through the years.  In 1968, because of waning beliefs, my dad talked me into going to visit a Rabbi in Grand Rapids,  Michigan. I believed in Jesus Christ, but was not sure of his divinity though. My dad had been convinced to become a reformed Jew. I asked the Rabbi about Jesus. He indicated that they believed Jesus lived and was as in the New Testament about that time. He said that, Jesus was a Rabbi (teacher).   He said the death and resurrection was basically a hoax, or scam.  Probably out of some need to connect to my father, or find my way to Heavenly Father, I conceded to become converted. Shortly after I went into the Marine Corps.  I went to Viet Nam. In Nam I was confronted in my own my mind about my new religion. I had to convince myself that I did the right thing. So when chaplains of the Christian faith wanted me to join in their ceremonies out in the field I was very adamant that I was “NOT” Christian. I became so anti-Christian that I made very derogatory statements about Christ and his Mother. I did this vocally, and on objects like a zippo lighter that I had. In a sense, I was feeling good about my rebellion of Christ.

While in Nam I had survived a number of what I call certain deaths. I was seemingly invincible. Although, I did not put it to any religion at the time. I came home.While back home I found work, married, and had a beautiful daughter. My dream of the family, and home, was coming true. Then divorce hit me without warning. I was utterly dismayed. My dreams for my family and future were destroyed. I fell back into what I call my immoral past. I drank heavier than before I left the Corps.  I smoked marijuana.  I was loose with my morals in being with many women; some of whom were married.  I had no care for tomorrow.  Today was all that mattered. Then because of layoffs, I decided to go out west to visit my mom and my sister. My mom lived in Utah.  My sister lived in Riverside, California. While staying with my mom for awhile, I went with her to the Lutheran church. After the services, we would meet and have snacks and coffee. There seemed to be a lot of Mormon bashing going on.  I chimed right in as Utah had different laws regarding alcohol. I was used to going to bars and clubs to hang out in Mi. Only a few in Utah and were governed by different laws. I smoked cigarettes as well.   I didn’t like being restricted where I could smoke. So it was easy as a non-Mormon to bash a religion I had absolutely no knowledge about. Shortly thereafter under the suggestion from my mother,  I went to Salt lake City to look for employment. There while working for a security firm, I met my second wife.We hit it off right away. I loved her family as well. She indicated after I had proposed to her that I would have to become LDS (Mormon) if I wanted to marry her. Being of no sound doctrine in my heart I said “Sure, now I’m Mormon”. She laughed and said it wasn’t that easy. She indicated I would have to have discussions with the Missionaries before this could become a reality. I thought to myself “Sure, why not?”   While in discussions with them a few questions came to mind. These questions were things that had bothered me in the other Christian religions that I had been previously part of or visited.
1. The Trinity? I did not Believe God was a God of Confusion. This thing about him being all three and then just One.   I was amazed to find out that they were three distinct separate Entities. Forming the Godhead. The spirit of truth rang in me.
2. Were we born with Adams transgressions? I had always felt that I was responsible for my own sins.   That I was given my own agency to act for my own salvation or damnation.
3. Because of the the previous question ; I asked if children needed to be baptized as infants, otherwise if they died in youth they would go to Hell? They almost started to laugh (the missionaries). Because it was idiotic to think that Heavenly Father would send down such a beautiful sweet spirit to be cast into a permanent horrible condition if they died prematurely.
4.Paid ministry? I had heard that the church had no paid ministry. This intrigued me, as I thought, A true religion would not charge for its messages of salvation. I was very glad to hear that there was no paid ministry. Also very inspired to learn that Church leaders found time to take care of the church while holding down regular employment as well. What dedication!
5. This then brought up tithing. They told me how we are, throughout the scriptures, commanded to tithe, Tithes being 10%. I really had no problem with this. Seeing the great Temple that was built next to the visitor center where I was taking the discussions, and the other edifices , I realized that this and missionary work, etc. took a lot of money.
So now very enthused about this new religion, I was eager to get to know it more. Part of the Missionary discussions led to having me read the Book of Mormon. I had seen the story of Joseph Smith’s vision and work leading up to the establishment of the Church. Through many years of hearing from different church pastors etc. that God no longer communicated through prophets. That One would only see Christ again in the Second Coming.  This false indoctrination did in fact shadow me with some doubt about Joseph Smith.
After reading the Book of Mormon, I was indeed prompted to pray on it. Because of the seeds of doubt planted by Satan on Joseph Smith, I entered into the most sincere prayer of my life. However; I needed to know if the Book of Mormon was true Scripture. I needed to know for a surety that it was indeed another testament of Jesus Christ. For if these were true, then, Joseph Smith was a true prophet indeed!  So in a small apartment on the east side of Salt Lake City; an older building, in a dimly lit kitchen, I knelt and prayed for the first time a most fervent prayer. The answer came in a most powerful physical manifestation as well as a calm and overwhelming feeling of love. For the most part almost indescribable.  What ever happened in my life since and from the time of this writing forward; I will never be able to deny the spirit of the Holy Ghost! I will never be able to deny the Truth that God lives! Most importantly when it comes to religion ; I will never be able to deny that The book of Mormon is true. That Joseph Smith is a prophet of God!

People say; ” I have prayed about the Book of Mormon and nothing happened”. I say to them  “If you are challenging in your prayer; if you are doing it for a sign; if you are not serious and have not pondered the teachings of the book of Mormon, then you seek in vain for the gift of Testimony of this  book.”

Finally; Heavenly Father must have been irrate, extremely sad, and cried over my actions during my previous years, before this conversion. In my heart I believe He knew though, that this was coming. He saved me miraculous times to allow me to actually know my Saviour.  To repent for all the evil I had done in the world before. To become a father again and hopefully an instrument for good for my children and endless posterity.

The Book Of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith is a true prophet. President Monson is a true Prophet. The Church which includes Apostles and the Seventy and other leaders is the only true Christian church on the face of the earth. Those whom fight it and work to destroy it do so only in the name of Satan.  For you cannot fight the True church of Jesus Christ by using his name! I say this in His holy name; Even Jesus the Christ, Amen.