Sunday, August 3, 2008
As a teenager I seemed to find myself in conversations with my friends and others hashing over the big questions of life. Many times I would look up into the night sky and be so amazed at the number of stars. I would consider what they were made of, how far away were they, why are there so many and how did they come to exist. Then I would wonder were the end is. Where is the end of the universe? If there's an end, what's past that? This would make me wonder those other big questions like who are we, where did we come from and where are we going. Is there a God? If so, where is He? And on and on. These questions scared me. There didn't seem to be a place I could go for answers. I was raised in the Catholic church. I was taught that there is a God in heaven and he created us. But there were some things that confused me that weren't clear to me. Mainly, why can't we see Him working among us today? Where is He? Many times I would ask these questions with my friends. We would talk for hours and give our very best summations on these questions still looking up into the night sky no closer to getting those answers. I began to go back to church thinking that maybe as a young adult I might have missed something and I might possibly be able to find it. One Sunday after mass feeling empty inside I determined to buy a bible and read it front to back. I was sure I would get the answers there. After all this was God's word. I wondered why He wasn't apparent today but there must surely be an answer in the scriptures. So I began reading. It was so hard to get through the Old Testament. I tried to be diligent but I knew that wonderful stories about Christ's life waited form me in the New Testament so I decided to flip ahead just once and take a break. I slipped my hand into the area of my bible that I new would surely contain some juicy New Testament story and began reading. I had in fact put my hand into the first chapter of James. Almost right away in chapter 1 verse 5 I read "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him." I was profoundly impacted by reading this. I dropped to my knees immediately and began to pray. This was the very thing that I was looking for. I was almost frightened by the obvious. He heard my heart's longing question and here He was telling me in a most plain and precious way what to do. Soon after my prayer I started a new job. I had to come in to work on a one afternoon and was listening to a preacher on my car radio. It made me have questions and when I got to work I asked my manager what he thought about what I had heard this preacher on the radio say. My manager began to tell me about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As he spoke I felt as though Christ was standing next to me in the room. My heart burned inside of me. I wanted more than anything to be a part of this church and feel this wonderful feeling more. He arranged for the missionaries to teach me the basic principles of the gospel. Here I found out the answers to the big questions of life. Each time I heard about these wonder principles like where do we come from I get that marvelous burning joy in my heart. How amazing it is from me to realize anew what I have. I read of the Savior many times as a child and longed to be with him when he walked the earth. I testify to you that He has answered that prayer. I am part of His church established on the earth in these latter days.