In October of 2017, I had a homework assignment for US History and part of the assignment was identifying individuals from history and their meaningful contributions. The first name on the list was Joseph Smith. I thought it was the most generic name ever and that Google would give me too many to choose from. Spoiler alert: when you google Joseph Smith, the first thing that comes up is the church! I read the words “restored gospel” and my immediate thought was “I found it!”
I’d been searching for truth for three years at that point. I kept learning about the church outside of class and truly began to know of its truth. I mentioned what I was learning to my father, and he threw around some harsh words, so I stopped. About 20 months later, I was still learning and really wanted to get baptized. When I went to college, I requested to meet with the missionaries as soon as I got there!
My father did not approve of my decision, and there was a lot of turmoil. But, on October 19th, 2019, exactly two years after the first time I learned about the church, I was baptized! However, the adversary works hard against you, and I didn’t get confirmed for almost a month. During that time, my father gave me an ultimatum: the church or my family.
Well, I chose the church. I chose Jesus Christ. It was the longest month of my life. Just a few months after getting confirmed, the pandemic hit and the temples shut down. I had an appointment to do baptisms for a week after they closed. I was heartbroken. But the missionaries kept helping me, especially as I was now on my own, and my testimony skyrocketed. Soared. My foundation in Christ became unmovable. Now, 16 months later, I’ve received my Patriarchal Blessing. Not only that, but on January 9th, 2021, I went to the temple for the very first time. Not for baptisms, but for my endowment.
I have created my own family within my ever-changing YSA ward, I am active in my calling, and I could not be more grateful for that one homework assignment. I guess the proper way to end this is by saying that I share these things with you in the sacred name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, amen!