In Church today one of the speakers (called up out of the audience of missionaries– they each are warned to have a talk prepared every Sunday, as they may be asked to speak) was a young sister from Poland, learning English to serve in the London Visitors’ Center. She is a convert who joined the church a few years ago. When she first was given a Book of Mormon, she didn’t want to read it. She thought it would contain strange things…but she did read it, and as soon as she began, she felt a spirit of happiness and joy overtake her. She knew it was the word of God. She read from the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 33:10) on page 116-117 Nephi’s testimony at the end of his writing:
And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye–for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words at the last day…
She added her testimony with Nephi’s that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and will bring a man (or woman) closer to God than any other book.
The second speaker was a young Vietnamese man on his way to serve the Vietnamese people in California, who told us about his uncle’s conversion to the gospel. The uncle lived a life of the world, indulging in all it had to offer, but wasn’t a happy person. Soon after he was diagnosed with cancer he accepted an invitation to come to church. He read the Book of Mormon and accepted the gospel. His last six months of life were his happiest, as he lost himself in service to others.
This reminded me of something I learned recently when I had occasion to meet up with the missionary who taught the gospel to me over 40 years ago. He took us to lunch and I asked him what he remembered from that time of my conversion. He remembered that I wanted to be baptized, but as I was a minor, I needed parental permission, which my mother was reluctant to give. The missionaries invited our family to a meeting with a visiting church leader and right after the meeting, my mother gave permission for me to join the church. Elder West asked her what the speaker had said to convince her to give permission. She replied that it wasn’t anything the speaker said. As she had looked around her, she saw how happy all the young people in the audience seemed. If being a part of this church made them so happy, and I could be that happy too, then she wanted that for me.
Mom was right: being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the best thing I ever did to ensure not only my happiness in this life, but eternal life with my Father in Heaven. It is a joy and privilege to serve Him full time now in England.