Never Give Up On Others

Never Give Up On Others
My first exposure to religion was interesting. My father was raised Catholic and my mother was Greek Orthodox.  After school my father spent many years studying different religions and finally decided to practise Hinduism. I grew up meditating and doing yoga from the age of 4. My father made it clear that religion would not be forced on us. My mother insisted that we be christened in the Greek Orthodox Church.

My husband’s brother, Hans, is a Mormon and often tried to talk to us about the Book of Mormon, but I wasn’t interested.

11 years ago my husband, Jürgen, had a heart attack. He was with some young men from the LDS Church at the time who gave him a blessing. Jürgen said he knew his life had been saved and tried to discuss the experience with me but I was not interested. At the time I was an alternative healer and considered myself quite spiritual.

My mother-in-law died last year and I got a call from a member of the ward, Michelle Klintworth, offering condolences and inviting us to lunch. I had met Michelle before and was surprised by her kindness. At lunch I asked many questions about the LDS religion and spent time talking to Kyle, the Klintworth’s teenage son. I was so impressed by this young man’s respect for himself and for women, and by his unwavering love of God,  that I wanted to investigate the LDS Church. After a month of asking my husband to go to Church with me, I finally insisted that we were going to go as a family, never thinking I would join the Mormon Church.

Michelle asked if the missionaries could visit with us and I said yes, but was still convinced my beliefs were right. The missionaries came but it was hard for them as Jürgen and I fought constantly.

Michelle invited us to dinner and also invited the mission president and his wife, President and Sister Dunn. During the meal I shared with them that I often felt overwhelmed as a mother and suicidal, and that I had spent most of my life looking for a good reason to commit suicide. I had tried before. Before we left that evening Michelle’s husband, Garth, and President Dunn gave me a blessing.

I thought it would be an uncomfortable experience and that I would probably feel nothing, but what followed was undeniable.  I felt a huge weight upon me, then I started to cry and I knew instantly that this was the truth and I needed to get baptised immediately. In the blessing things were said that Garth could never have known, confirming for me that it was God speaking to me. I often wonder if I was raised LDS would I have had such a light bulb moment?

I left their home a changed person and I started taking the missionaries’ lessons more seriously. I was ready to really listen now. My heart had opened and I cried for a month after that blessing.

Since my baptism many people, including my parents, have seen a change in me. My husband and I no longer fight as we had done, I am a more loving, confident mother, and the change I see in my children and husband is nothing short of miraculous. We now look forward to the day when we can be sealed in the temple. I love this gospel and I love the people that I’ve met in this Church. Even though our trials haven’t gone away, I know that I can handle them with the help of the Holy Ghost. For the first time in my life I am not alone.

Never give up on your friends and family. If I could join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, anyone can.