Not to long along my nephew was baptized. He is 22 years old, a graduate of BYU and has concluded a very successful collegiate football career. For at least a year prior to his baptism he was already a home teacher. Months prior to his baptism he was speaking at firesides and baptisms. Unique circumstances to say the least. Certainly a surprise to the missionaries who taught him.
What was it that drew my nephew to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? He was a good member of his previous church, as were his family members. He had aunts and uncles, my husband and I included, who were members of the Church, but it wasn’t until he came to Brigham Young University, and was surrounded by members of the Church at all times, that he began to notice a difference.
His roommates, all return missionaries, lived the gospel they professed to believe. This impressed him. To this day he has a great love for each of them and considers them his brothers. When he has needed a blessing they have rushed to his side, exercising their priesthood. When his heart has been heavy, these young men have crowded into our home and listened to our nephew, providing support and brotherly love. They are wonderful support system to him, and worthy of the trust he has in them.
The first time he felt the Spirit of God testify to him of truthfulness he knew something was different.
The different feel to the Brigham Young University campus made itself felt and he began to take notice.
He began a journey of learning and study, attending church, reading his scriptures and weekly conversations with us in our home. We answered his questions, as did his roommates, and he met with the missionaries.
As he began to change his life, a tangible difference became noticeable. A light began to shine from within him, and the handsome young man who came to BYU began to walk with his shoulders straight, his head high because of the recognition and understanding of who he was, a child of God.
He emphatically declared that he was not pressured or influenced in any way. When this young man bears his testimony it is one of power because it was gained with a sincere, humble, broken heart. He made the decision to be baptized but put it off, month after month until he attended President Hinckley’s last general conference with his roommates. That Sunday evening he came straight to our house, sat at our kitchen table and talked of the power he felt as a living prophet and apostles testified of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of His Gospel. He said it seemed as if every talk was directed toward him and he knew it was time to stop procrastinating his baptism.
The day this young man first bore his testimony to me I knew that he was amazing. And I asked him, “Just what made the difference for you? What made you want to take a closer look?”
He answered, “When I first arrived at BYU I wasn’t interested in the Church and had no intention of ever joining it. But the people around me lived the Gospel and I noticed. I never did drink, smoke or do drugs so that wasn’t hard. Being chaste was something I’d always been, so that wasn’t a problem either. I had to gain my own testimony of Joseph Smith, Jr. as the prophet of the restoration and the Book of Mormon as a second witness of Jesus Christ. I had to accept a living prophet and apostles and that families literally could be forever. I prayed, Auntie. I prayed a lot, and I prayed hard. I read the scriptures and I watched the members of the Church around me. That’s what made the difference. I knew it was something I had to do.”
Our actions speak far louder than our words. If we live our lives according to the practices, precepts and principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, share our testimonies when the Spirit prompts us and study the Gospel so that we have answers when questions are asked . . . this is a great way to be a Member Missionary.
A great way to begin gathering that knowledge is to drop by and check out the Mormon online encyclopedia at www.mormonwiki.com.
Recommended reading: “The Plan of Salvation” by Matthew B. Brown