Chat With a Mormon Online
I went to BYU for ballroom dance camp two summers in a row when I was in college, and during this time, I had to sign the honor code and abide by the BYU honor code. I still had very little insight into what being Mormon meant or what they believed, but I knew some basics, or so I thought. After graduating college, I went to work for an accounting firm, and a large number of recruits were from BYU. Every time I met someone from BYU, I would declare, "You must be Mormon then!" without realizing how outspoken I was being (and intimidating the other co-workers nearby). In my mid 20's, something seemed to be missing and I wanted to know the greater purpose of my life. Randomly, I ended up talking to a Mormon co-worker about his religion and he invited me to Church with his family. I didn't take the invitation seriously, but I was intrigued and began reading about what Mormons believed through Mormon.org. I watched some videos (it was a different website than the revamped one now), and felt emotional, able to relate to a lot of the feelings these people were expressing in wanting to know what more to life there was. I saw an option to chat live with the missionaries and feeling safe online, I went ahead and began chatting with them. Long story short - I ended up taking discussions, checking out a Church with some co-workers, and mustered up the courage to pray and ask if all of this stuff was real or not. Once I knew it was real, I had to get baptized. So I did!
I prayed for God to help me understand if the gospel, the fully restored gospel of Jesus Christ, was true. Once I knew it was true, I didn't have much choice but to accept it and though it was a huge and often difficult change then... now, I have been forever blessed for my faithfulness and my testimony has only grown since then.
My husband and I pray together every morning and night, and we pray separately on our own. We also study the scriptures together and apart. In addition, we have one night set apart every week as encouraged by the Church, which is Monday and knowing how awful Mondays can be sometimes, it only makes sense that Mondays would also be our "family home evening" time. We sing a hymn together, plan our week, share a spiritual thought, and then do an activity together. We put each others happiness ahead of our own, we communicate and we live to the best of our ability, selflessly, as Christ taught us to.
It was beautiful. I was 27 when I was baptized and had a lot of non-member friends and family who showed up for it. Because I was a convert, the missionaries who helped plan my baptism asked me to pick the songs - so I picked ones that were closest to my heart - ones that I felt would invite the Spirit into the room - but also ones that were relatively short for all of my non-member friends and family coming to the event. Everyone who came, even if they were of another faith or no faith, felt the need to be more spiritual after witnessing my baptism. I think they felt what we call the "holy spirit" testify to them that this was indeed real. They were able to learn about baptism and the gift of the holy ghost during the baptism with some friends who gave talks. The actual water dunking part was fast. I don't remember all the details, but I do remember feeling really silly in the ugly white jumpsuit beforehand, but that after I was actually baptized, I genuinely felt different. I didn't think I was going to, despite what everyone else had told me, but I was blushing with a new light, a feeling of new beginnings and forgiveness. My mom was crying the entire time and my brother had "allergies" and was sniffing the whole time as well, and my dad was just witnessing everything and wanting to take photos - even during sacred moments where cameras are generally not welcome (we had to tell him to please put the camera away until later). Looking back at photos we do have from after the event, it all went by really quickly - like when you get married or have a really great party that goes by too soon - but I did look different - hopeful and happy, and what's more, I felt great.
People say I glow now.. it's the light of Christ. I'm more patient. I'm more honest. I'm more faithful. I know everything given to me, my family, my friends, my talents, my opportunities, are all from God. I go to Church every week to renew my promise to God and to remember Jesus Christ, my savior, for who, without, I would be nothing and have no opportunity for making my past or current wrongs right. But on top of that, I serve others whenever I can. I am not just Christian on Sunday... I am Christian everyday.