Family History Stories: My Mom’s Conversion

A couple years ago, I asked my mom to write down her conversion story for me. With her permission, I’m sharing it for this week’s family history story blog post:

I was brought up in a Southern Baptist home.  My dad taught Sunday School, was a deacon in the church and once a quarter bought grape juice to be served to the small congregation in Berry for communion.  That was the only time we bought grape juice, and so I enjoyed the left overs!  Anyway, every summer I’d go to revivals, have very emotional experiences because I knew God lived and loved me but longed for more.  More peace, more answers.  At alot of revivals (summer church meetings that would last a week in hopes of more people becoming “saved”)  Anyway, in college, I became even more involved with religion as I joined a college non-denominational group called “Crusade for Christ”.  I learned more about having a personal relationship with God and had a desire to follow Him more than I’d ever felt before.

Then I met your dad.  He was perfect, as far as I could see, a musician and a minister.  We talked about the Gospel alot, only I had no idea that the things he was teaching me was part of the doctrine for the Church.  I began attending church with him and was very impressed with the warmth and kindness of the people.  Some folks even had us into their homes for dinner and FHE, and I felt something I’d never felt before.  I really liked it, but as I learned of the Mormon doctrine, it went against many of my basic beliefs (like Heavenly Father having a body and the idea of godhood).  And so for 18 months, I fought against the Holy Ghost and the beliefs that Chris shared with me.  I read the Book of Mormon, but did not get a real testimony of it’s truthfulness.

Looking back on it now, I guess I didn’t really pray with a humble faithful heart.  I’d like to say that there was a prophet or church leader who really touched me with his words, but that would be a lie.  But I held on to the testimony of Chris who was influenced by Joseph Fielding Smith (the prophet in 1973).  Back in those days, we only got to hear (not see) the prophet during General Conference, and of course there was no internet, for frequent viewing and hearing the words of the prophets.  Chris told me that he was touched by the prophet’s words when he heard them.  Remember your dad was a relatively new member too (being baptized just 2 years earlier).  And so, I prayed and fasted during my college senior year’s spring break and felt good about joining the Church.  I was baptized by Chris in a creek in Lexington on April 6, 1973.  I consider that day the best day of my life.  I didn’t know it at the time, but my life would change in a way that I could not imagine.  As Chris left on his mission four months later, I moved to Northern Kentucky, got immersed in my N Ky ward, was taught, mentored and loved.  The ward members did more for me than I could ever express.  I will always be indebted to the good people who showed me the way of the Savior.  And now many years later, I can truly say I love the Lord, his prophets, his words and his Gospel.

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