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I was raised by good parents in another religion, but I rebelled. I played drums in bands with large followings. I went through a long period of spiritual pessimism. Then that all changed when I met a Mormon girl and I just couldn't deny her inner light. My heart was softened because the doctrines of the church were so easy to understand, beautiful, and based on the love, compassion and service of Jesus Christ. I'm now a family man and I've never been happier. I have a better direction in life. I'm a grateful convert to the Church, and I'm a Mormon.
I was raised by good parents who taught me in the Catholic religion. When I was young, I attended Catholic school and wanted to become a Catholic priest. I even worked as an altar boy. Yet, the Mormon missionaries—two or three young men in white shirts and dark ties—consistently visited my childhood home about once a year every year until I turned ten years old. They met mostly with my father, a devout Catholic. My father knew the bible through-and-through and often tried to spar scriptures to test them, yet the missionaries wouldn't spar back, so they had meaningful religious conversations instead. As I became a teenager, my father passed away and I rebelled from any religion for years. I played drums in bands that had large followings. Then in my 20's, I met a Mormon girl who had an inner light that I just couldn't deny. Her spirit seemed familiar to me even though I was so distant from any religion at the time. But her light was stronger and so much more than what I ever had! We took a deeper interest into one another, but I did not immediately act. She soon told me she made a promise to herself when she was a teenager that she would be married in the temple someday. I responded, "sure, sounds good," not knowing what great blessings would eventually come from becoming worthy to enter the temple. Months of dating stretched into years. Then she received an out of state job offer. She told me, "give me a reason to stay." I then met regularly with the missionaries and was baptized in 1998 and married in the temple in 1999. After baptism, I immediately received a responsibility in the church. I soon discovered why Mormon missionaries consistently visited my childhood home. The house my family moved into in 1970 was built by and previously owned by Mormons. It was a social hub of the church for years. I am thankful for those consistent missionaries who probably thought their labors were wasted when visiting my family. They were sowing seeds to be reaped years later.
Before I became a Mormon, I always had an inner voice that seemed to guide me in the right direction. Yet, I did not always feel that assurance. After I was baptized and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, however, I was able to near constantly perceive the voice of the Spirit. To this day, when I keep myself worthy, I know the Holy Ghost guides my life toward true happiness in this life and toward much less regret. Boyd K. Packer—a leader in the Church—said, “Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.” After a lifetime of correct decisions under the influence of the Holy Ghost, I know the fabric of my life will be acceptable before God and will lead me and my family toward happiness in this life and for eternity.
Regularly attending church gives me opportunities to serve others and receive fulfillment and blessings through that service. Having been a member of another church where I was mainly a passive attendee, nothing kept me there. Yet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fulfills a spiritual need within me and I am an active attendee. I feel very satisfied that I am making a difference because I have learned to propel myself toward setting and achieving goals. This training has improved every other part of my life. Attending church and being an active participant gives me a vision of righteous generations who have common goals and a common desire to improve their part of the world. You may feel that your life is too busy to make time for such things. But time seems to present itself when you desire to to good. You will find a way to make time and you won't regret it.
Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008), former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stated that church members need at least three things to remain firmly in the faith—a friend, a responsibility, and "[nourishing] by the good word of God." I can attest to the truth of this, as I have been actively engaged in all three of these aspects since my conversion and baptism into the church in 1998. Heavenly Father prepared me quickly. Only 4-1/2 years after being baptized, I was called to serve as bishop, or leader of my ward (a congregation based on geographical location). I always directed everyone toward Christ because it is by His love, example, and sacrifice that we can be happy and help others feel that same joy. My favorite responsibility is rendering charity and service in the community. As a convert to the church, I know how important it is for Mormons to be active in the community. Primarily, to do just as the Savior Jesus Christ would do and assist those in need. This is the same church that he organized in His mortal ministry—but restored to the earth today—and we are his hands. Secondarily, to help dispel the common misconceptions about the church and its members. I know this because I had those same misconceptions long ago. Currently I serve on a council that administers the church in my area. I represent my local church leaders and organize family history programs (genealogy) that point our members toward the temple to: perfect the living, redeem those who have died, and help all to "come unto Christ" (Moroni 10:32). God qualifies us any work He needs us to do. As in 1 Nephi 3:7, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." And in D&C 4:5, "faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work."