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Being raised in the Church was not enough to build my Testimony. My Baptism however was something I always considered sacred and valid. This single strand of faith carried me through many circumstances that have left others behind. Having a knowledge of something greater than myself was something I wanted to instil in my children, and the gospel was the source of that knowledge for me, so I allowed the Missionaries to begin teaching my family. Little did I know at the time that the message they brought would strengthen me as much as I hoped it would my family. It was by no means immediate, as I had several addictions that had to be given in to the will of the Lord, but eventually, line upon line, precept upon precept my conversion was complete. This in tandem with my newly baptised wife, my family now shares the joys and blessings of an eternal family sealed in God's Holy Temple, and for this I am so grateful and satisfied.
Many creeds can lead to a disciplined lifestyle, and I deeply respect anyone who practices a system of morals...but should one continue the journey of prayerful study and practice they will be led by the Spirit to the teachings of Jesus Christ. A careful examination of the patterns laid out by our Heavenly Father led me to look for the Church that professed these same teachings. First, that God lives. Secondly, that Jesus Christ was his Son and that the Attonement is valid, should we decide to have faith in his resurrection and lead a lifestyle that allows us to claim the resurrection for ourselves. Next, that God has spoken to the Church as a whole throughout history by the mouths of Prophets, not only contained in the scriptures, but to living men who direct the principles and ordinances of the gospel. If He did this in the past as recorded in the scriptures, who was I to say he could not do that now? I believe he did speak to the boy Prophet Joseph Smith, through which he restored the gospel whereby we can participate in the saving ordinances, including baptism, by those in authority to do so in his name. I believe he speaks to our modern prophets, even Thomas S. Monson, the current President of Church. I would caution those that dismiss Jesus Christ becuase of a view that is distorted by high pressure dogmatic religionists, or examples of a caustic historic picture by those who have hijacked faith as a means to commit terrible acts. One must only ask God what is true is prayer, study diligently, and seek the Holy Ghost for confirmation. Did Joseph Smith meet Christ Jesus and His Holy Father? Ask them, they were there.
Above all else...prayer. I cannot stress enought the importance prayer has played in creating a home that is safe and sanctified.
1: Pray - for the Spirit, for guidance, for comfort, often 2: Study - the Scriptures, personal and family enrichment, personal interests, skills 3: Participate - in Church, in priesthood, in activities 4: Duty - to God, to self, to family, to Church, to work, to community in that order 5: Righteous Living - Golden Rule, charity as pure love and charity as an action, good manners, exemplify 6: Healthy Living - the Word of Wisdom, exersize, proper hygene 7: Financial Health - pay honest tithe, stay educated about finances, budgeting, living within means, food storage