Some of you have heard my story, but for those who have not, I’ll briefly take you back. I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Baptized at age 8, went to seminary, graduated from BYU, married in the temple to a returned missionary. Then the real world hit with trial upon trial and my foundation was not as strong as it needed to be. I walked away from the church in 2012 and had no plans to ever come back.
There were little experiences along the way that softened my heart, but there was one big experience that was the catalyst to beginning my conversion process. One day (in August 2017) driving home from dropping kids off at school, I heard a very loud voice say ‘Just Trust Me!’ It was clear as day – as if the Lord was sitting in the passenger seat next to me. The following Sunday, my children and I walked into the chapel and I haven’t looked back. As I trusted that voice and walked through the chapel doors, I knew He had forgiven me and that He was guiding me down the path He had planned for me all along.
I have struggled through much of my life with trusting others and trusting myself. So, it has been amazing to me how the Lord has used something I have considered a huge weakness and turned it into the theme of my life for the past three years. It has been a huge testament to the truth in Ether 12:27:
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”Ether 12:27
Time after time these past few years, He has proven to me that as I trust Him and take the seemingly impossible or crazy steps He is asking me to, He strengthens me, builds my confidence, and blessings have been poured out upon me and my family.
Shortly after my return to the church, I was lucky enough to have been able to purposely clear unnecessary things out of my life. I know that He prepared that time for me, and I took full advantage of the time to immerse myself in the scriptures. As I have done so every day, my mind has been opened and I have become more discerning, I have been given answers to things that have been bothering me for years. I’m not claiming that all my questions have been answered, but having my mind calmed on some things has allowed me to seek and trust Him more. I have been able to see His hand not only in my life but in the lives of my children, my extended family, and in those I serve and serve with. It has been amazing to me that the more I let Him in, the more I want to do to keep His presence with me at all times.
I think the thing that has helped me the most is reading the Book of Mormon every single morning. I set out on January 1, 2018, telling myself that it would be the year that I would KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and that I would spend as much time studying the truths in it as I could. At the time that President Nelson issued the challenge in the October 2018 General Conference to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year – I had just begun my 4th read-through of the year. I can say with certainty that the Book of Mormon has changed ME.
I have had so many amazing experiences since my return to the church. But, I think the most important thing I can share is this, I look forward to the day that I get to see my Savior face to face, hug him, and tell him Thank You. He has been with me every step of the way, I can literally feel His arms embracing me on the hard days, nudging me when I start to question if I’m pursuing the right things. He is there helping me to know how to help my children when I don’t feel like I can. I can see Him in our Young Women lessons and activities. I hear Him in the voice of my 5-year-old as she sings I Am a Child of God. I feel His presence when my 13-year-old has experiences that teach him how the Holy Ghost speaks to him. And when I witness direct answers to prayers for my friends and family.
I know He lives. I know He loves me. I know He loves you. I pray you feel that love each and every day.