Testimonies of the Truly Converted

 Sister Shana
   My mother found the gospel in a great, big, comic accident that probably saved my life.  I was a petulant little three year old at the time, and threw the MOTHER of all temper tantrums one lovely afternoon.  Rather than kill me, my mom insisted that we take a walk.  I was still reeling from the birth of my baby sister and was brutalizing my poor mom on a daily basis.  She wisely understood that my world felt completely upended and I needed to feel some control again (...a sign she may have figured out when she caught me bossing around my imaginary friend  in the back yard), so she allowed me to choose the route for our walk on that fateful day.  I turned right out of our driveway, turned right again at the corner, and right into a cul de sac full of little girls my age. We played happily that day while my mom chatted it up with the neighbor ladies--both of whom were "Mormons."  They invited me to Primary and my mom (probably thrilled to have me out of the house for a couple of hours) allowed me to participate.  A few weeks of my peaceful absence later, she began to grow suspicious of their intentions.  "What could they be teaching my child?  It could be a cult for all I know," she wondered.  So, more out of her protective Mama-Bear instincts, she began to attend Primary with me.  She was instantly softened by the discussions of families, and choosing the right.  Through the help of the neighbor ladies, she took the discussions and had an amazing conversion of her own.
    She used to tell me how, when she felt the Holy Spirit testify of the truth of the Gospel for the first time, that it felt as though someone had touched her on the shoulders.  She dramatically went running out onto the balcony to see who had physically touched her.  And my mom, while having the purest of intentions, taught me of these marvelous, miraculous events that had shaped her testimony.  So by the age of sixteen, I was deeply disappointed that I had not had these types of experiences... and doubt and teenage angst had gotten the better of me. 
   At that time, I was living in the Bible Belt of Georgia.  I was the only Mormon at my school, besides a family of hoarders with very unusual personalities, whose daughters were in their 20s and still trying to graduate.  I had been kicked off my next door neighbor's property for being a Mormon because her "Daddy was a preacher and taught her about our evil ways!"  In addition, my mom had remarried a guy who was supposed to be her Priesthood knight-in-shining-armor, but had deviously fostered some behaviors that ultimately ended their marriage.  So I was a bit jaded, to say the least.  My plan was to wait it out until I left the house after I graduated from High School and then I'd be free to leave the church.  But something happened...
    Just before my Senior year of high school, it dawned on me that I didn't really know much about the faith that I had been raised with.  I had heard my Mom's version of the scriptures and occasionally (when I listened in church) my teachers', but I honestly had no idea what the Book of Mormon was about. I was so set on the idea that I was going to leave this church some day, that I never really invested any time in learning its teachings.  Before leaving home, I decided I should educate myself and decide for myself if it would be worth sticking with. 
    So I actually started reading the scriptures in my room one night on my own.  I continued many nights thereafter.  But the thought came to me as I read a passage about the Holy Ghost, that I had still never had an experience like my Mom's... Nobody had thunked me upside the head with the Spirit like when my mom prayed to know if it was true.  So, a little disheartened, I almost gave up.  But a quiet peace filled my heart, despite the protests of my logical brain... And the thought came to me, "You know what the Spirit feels like.  You're feeling it right now." ...And that was it.  It wasn't a bolt of lightening.  It wasn't a powerful vision.  It was just the thought that a quiet, peaceful moment could be profoundly life-altering. Because of this experience, my favorite scripture can now be found in Alma 37:6, "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." 
    I continued to learn my religion during my last year at home, and have learned to seek the companionship of a peaceful heart through the Spirit for many years since. My testimony has since been built on many small and simple things.  I have never felt regret about my choice to remain in the faith that seemed so unbelievable as a teenager, because I have learned to recognize my Heavenly Father's guidance in the words of the prophets. With my husband of eighteen years, we are raising our sons to ask for themselves if this is the true church.  We teach them the best way we know how, just as my mom did with me, but ultimately know that our testimonies will not be good enough for their faith to flourish.  This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Shanelle- Salt Lake City Utah.
I was baptised January 16th 2010. The day my life changed forever. Growing up, I lived in a home where both of my parents were addicts; my mother an alcoholic and my father addicted to all sorts of pain killers, gambling, and alcohol. It was a challenging environment to grow up in. I felt like I was but a blossom wishing to to bloom but was confined to a dark room..very little sun and hardly any nutrients.
The day I was stopped by the missionaries..it was exactly a week after my very good friend was baptised in SLC. When he told me he was to be baptised I thought he was crazy.."Mormon..Mormons are so wierd..they're like a cult, ya?"..I said it in question form because I never really Knew any members, I had never been introduced to the church before, my ideas of the church were purely based off of rumors and speculations of non-members who had never attended an LDS church, nor had any active family members.
So..my friend, was baptised the day after my birthday, and one week after he was baptised, I was stopped by missionaries, during a jog.
--Now I had never been stopped before in my life, I had headphones in my ears..jogging in the neighborhood I was raised in..and I see these two guys in white t-shirts and ties- and I knew who they were..so despite it being dark outside lol. I stopped to talk to them. I had no idea what was to come next.--
I wanted to have a better understanding of why my friend chose the LDS church, so when the missionaries followed up with me, i told them, that I would like to attend. That following Sunday, from the day i was stopped I attended church.
I had never felt the spirit before that day.
     It was fast and testimony..
I fell in love. I had never felt so good :) and it was just merely being in the presence of these people who were radiating the pure love of God and whom demonstrated that to me upon every interaction.
I loved Relief Society (how can we help one another and our community) that so powerful
I love how in Sunday School and even during sacrament we teach one another-which strengthens our individual testimonies and unity as a ward.
I also love, that we can travel the world, and the church is always the same..teaching the same message, having the same meetings and I love to travel, so that is really important to me.
I have a family wherever I go.
     Since joining the church, I feel as though I have really begun to blossom. It took me 3 months to investigate before I was baptised and since then life has never been better.
I Thank heavenly father, Everyday for all the blessing i have received from being apart of the church.
    I am soo Happy. I no longer feel confined to a dark room. I have direction in my life. Purpose.
It's not even just light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel is lit all the way through!
I also have a testimony of the Holy Ghost! The Holy Ghost has been HANDS DOWN -THE GREATEST BLESSING in my Life!
He really is our spiritual GPS- as long as you keep a constant prayer in your heart and keep sensitive to those promptings The Lord will Always Provide an Answer for you!
   Gosh I am so Grateful to Be a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

the first person we have is Sister Beefelts Father Lyle Beefelt, I'm grateful that he joined the church and was able to marry a beautiful lady and raise 4 good children, one of them being my companion Sister Beefelt. THANK YOU LYLE!  You are an inspiration to all the people around you!

  I am a convert to the Church.  I was eighteen years old and a senior in high school. I was a lifeguard and there was a girl who came to the pool with the family she was staying with.  And she was kind of cute so I chatted with her and asked her out, but the day I asked her out for she was going to a church dance, so instead of going to a movie or something, we went to the church dance.  The dance was okay, and I took her home and that was it. A week or two later, she invites me to go to the temple visitor center with her laurel class.  So because she asked, and really only because she asked me and because we had talked in school and I didn’t want to seem snobbish – I went.
      We went into a theater and listened to a brief message from President Kimball who talked about the church’s belief in Jesus Christ and seemed to be trying to point out that Mormons weren’t Amish.  And an older lady about 70 years old talked about the articles of faith. She said, “Are there any questions?” I thought it was interesting that a church could put all their beliefs on a little card, so I raised my hand. But I was wearing a sweater with all these red and yellow and green and brown and white stripes (it was the 70’s) and she pointed and said, “Yes, the young man in the loud sweater?”  And the whole room turned and looked at me and I about died, but I took another breath and asked if I get have one of those cards and she said, “Yes.”
  Then we left the theater, she gave me an articles of faith card, and I walked away from the group and went over to the big windows and looked at the temple spire lit up against the night sky. It caught my attention. I stared at the temple for about a minute and while I was doing that I got a warm feeling inside that I knew meant this is a good thing.  So when my friend Cynthia came over and asked, “So what did you think?”  I said, “It was pretty cool (although most of it wasn’t really that cool).” And I went over and bought a Book of Mormon for a $1. I took it home and started to read it, but I had never been a big bible reader and the language bogged me down after a while.
      So after another month, Cindy asked me if I had been reading and I said, “Some.” She asked me if I had any questions about the beliefs on the card or the Book of Mormon. I told her that the beliefs seemed normal and the Book of Mormon was hard reading. She asked if I wanted to know more and I said, “yes”, because I still remembered my experience at the temple and she said that the church had these missionaries, and I said “No, thanks.” But asked if she would come over for dinner and then she could explain her church a little better. So Cindy came over for dinner. After dinner we talked for a half hour about the church and looked at some papers she brought. Cindy invited me to church and I said OK.
      So I went to church and I watched Elder Hugh W. Pinnock and I knew he had something, and Cindy seemed to have something, and the family she was staying with seemed to have something. So I took the missionary lessons and I read a lot of pamphlets and they challenged me to be baptized and I said no, but I could tell they felt bad about that, so I agreed to read and pray and I read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet over again. I got the same feeling I had at the temple. I kneeled down and prayed and hoped I would get a marvelous answer, but all I got was the strong feeling that I should do what I knew was right.  So I called the missionaries back up and said I would be baptized on May 20, 1978.Without Cindy hanging in there I would not be a member of the church today.  And quite frankly, it scares me to think what I would have become if I had not joined the church. I am just glad that, thanks to Cindy and the elders and some really great church members, I don’t have to know what that would be like.